Salmonan residents barricade street to prevent demolition

RESIDENTS of Barangay 26-C Salmonan, Quezon Boulevard barricaded on Tuesday, April 17, one lane of the street as they prepared for the execution of the writ of demolition in the area, which did not push through.

The residents were led by their barangay captain, Wating Usman; Maranao tribe Deputy Mayor Randy Usman; and Abdul Mahmoud Adilao, also a local Muslim leader.

Wating told reporters that they were going to send a copy of their petition to President Rodrigo Duterte to assess whether the title presented by the claimant of the lot is authentic.

"Gihangyo namo ang Presidente na dapat mu-intervene niani ang MalacaƱang, tan-awon nila ug sakto ug tinuod ba ni ilang titulo nga gipakita diri. Hangyo pud nato labi na kay Mayor Inday na tan-awon niya ni," he said.

(We are asking the President for the MalacaƱang to intervene and check if the title shown by the claimant is authentic. We are also asking Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio to look into this as well.)

Wating said he is urging Maranaos to donate money for them to avail of a lawyer since they suspect that the claimant of the lot paid someone at RTC to deny their motion for reconsideration contesting the demolition.

He added that the residents will stay in the area and fight for their rights.

Based on previous reports, the residents belonging to 67 households, made up of 34 Moro and 33 Christian families, claim they have settled in the area since 1953, when Salmonan was still a marshland.

Now, a certain Datu Bahajin Marcos Mahadali is claiming ownership of the land and has shown a title with TCT #2013002121 allegedly from OCT #40, but the residents further claimed that the title is in "Barrio Tugbok, Lianga, Davao City" and not in Salmonan.

"Nganong karon pa sila mag-claim na ilaha ni nga nindot na ug na-gwapo na ang lugar? (Why do they claim the area now that it has already been developed?)," Wating said.

For his part, Randy said he could not believe for an order denying their motion for reconsideration to be immediately issued.

"Nag-file kami sa Supreme Court, naka-manifestation din ang attorney kahapon (April 16). Pag-hearing kahapon automatic na may order na gi-deny ang manifestation, how come na ganyan? That is why we will talk to President Rodrigo Duterte na dapat i-review ng mga attorney nila ang petition nila," he said.

He said the people will stay in the area, the issuance of the order is so sudden and immediate, and they are still waiting for the result of their motion for reconsideration at the Supreme Court.
The Muslim residents in the area even conducted their regular 3 p.m. prayer along the street, safely guarding their area.

For her part, Davao City Police Office Spokesperson Teresita Gaspan, yesterday said their negotiations with the residents in the area is ongoing.

"We are still negotiating so that there will be no violence in the area once the demolition will be implemented. So as of the moment the DCPO is exerting effort to do all possible means that the demolition order will be followed peacefully. We will really implement maximum tolerance in case demolition order will be implemented," she said.

The demolition order was supposed to be implemented yesterday as announced by Davao City acting mayor Bernard Al-ag.

"The court issued a writ of execution which means that they are only executing the order of the court. The court also coordinated with the DCPO and the city government, with this ma-execute ang demolition today. We are here, the city government will help the smooth and peaceful implementation of the court order so we will just follow the order of the court with the DCPO," Gaspan said.

Gaspan added that the City Planning and Development Office and the City Housing Board have been in the area for census tagging for relocation.

Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio said the city government will be providing lawyers to the residents and she also said the Local Housing Board has already issued a certification that the residents are not qualified for relocation since they refused census tagging.
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