Displaced residents seek Mayor Ahong's audience

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan.
Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan. (File photo)

DISPLACED residents from Sitio Casia in Barangay Bankal sought an audience with Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, but went home disappointed as the mayor was not able to meet with them.

The affected residents are members of the Casia Matab-ang Residents Association (Camara), whose houses were demolished on a privately owned lot in Barangay Bankal on Nov. 28-29, 2023.

The residents said they wanted to have the “long-overdue” dialogue with Chan as they wanted the local government unit (LGU) to provide them with proper relocation. They also asked Chan to fulfill his “promise” during the election period that the structures in the private lot would not be demolished under his leadership.

“Tungod niini, nakig atubang kami kanimo karon aron maningil sa imong saad ug muduso sa among hinanaling panginahanglan na onsite relocation,” reads a portion of the residents’ position paper which details their demand for assistance from the LGU.

(Because of this, we are meeting with you now to collect on your promise and address our urgent need for onsite relocation.)

Letter request

However, the residents were left disappointed on Monday as they were unable to meet with Chan and were told by his secretary to come back once they sent a formal letter informing the mayor of a meeting request.

A resident said they were told that only when the letter is forwarded to the mayor would they be able to meet with him but must wait until they are contacted.

SunStar Cebu tried to contact Mayor Chan for a statement but to no avail.

Demolition

On Nov. 28, 2023, a total of 39 houses were demolished at a privately owned lot, covering 21,874 square meters at Sitio Casia, Barangay Bankal.

A second round of demolition occurred on Nov. 29 which led to the demolition of 13 more houses. As of writing, a total of 52 houses have been demolished.

Ferdinand Ypil, a resident of the lot for almost 20 years, said the incident had devastated them and that they have sought a conversation with the mayor for almost a year now.

Salvacion Hequillo, a relative of Ypil who is assisting residents with their dialogue with Chan, said there are around 100 residents who are left without a home.

Hequillo claimed that Chan said during the election period that he would do his best to procure P3 million to pay for a lot that residents would have to pay back slowly, but until now that promise has not come.

Demolition was initially set to start in 2022 but was delayed after the City Government and residents of Sitio Casia negotiated with the property owner to establish a lease agreement.

The writ of demolition was based on two court judgments from Nov. 16, 2006 and Feb. 15, 2007. These favored the lot owner, Eulalia Mangura, represented by her daughter, Elizabeth Mangura-Frio, who filed a complaint for forcible entry, seeking ejectment, payment for damages and attorney’s fees.

Ypil said they contacted Chan and his office, but the latter was allegedly always busy until the demolition happened, which left residents homeless. (with WBS)

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