A FEDERATION of urban poor organizations is hopeful that the court and the claimant of the contested land in Barangay Tablon, Cagayan de Oro City, will take pity on the 200 families whose homes are set to be demolished soon.
Francisco Pagayaman, spokesperson of the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap–Northern Mindanao Region (Kadamay-NMR), said while they are thankful that the court granted a 12-day extension, this was not the solution that the residents were asking for.
"Ang gusto gyud unta sa mga residente nga ma expropriate sa gobyerno ang maong yuta, kay ang mga tawo diha namuyo na anang lugara sulod sa 60 ka tuig or sobra pa. Sakit gyud na sa ila ug perwisyo kaayo (What the residents want is for the government to expropriate the contested land. Some of the residents have been living on that land for over 60 years. It is painful for them)," Pagayaman said.
Pagayaman said they are ready to stand up against the impending demolition this July 22 if the residents stand firm and decide not to leave their houses.
The city plans to relocate the affected families to Sitio Pamalihi, barangay Pagatpat, a hinterland barangay in Cagayan de Oro. But City Administrator Teddy Sabuga-a said the residents will have to wait for about three months as the site is still being developed.
They will wait in an evacuation center in Barangay Indahag, Sabuga-a said, which he said is an ideal place for the families because it is near to a school and a market.
But Pagayaman said this will be a challenge for these families.
The Municipal Trial Court in Cities Branch 2 approved on July 10 the 12-day extension for the 200 Barangay Tablon families to move out and vacate their houses before the demolition will push through.
Lawyer Dale Mordeno, who represents the affected families, filed last July 9 a 15-day extension but Judge Eleuteria Badoles-Algodon ruled that the illegal settlers have only July 22 to vacate their area.
The contested property is owned by Himari Properties.