No case filed vs resident killed in MisOr town

AFTER more than a year since a resident of Lugait, Misamis Oriental was killed by still unidentified men during a violent confrontation with people affected by a demolition and law enforcers, the family of the late Nixon Tungao has yet to file charges against the perpetrators.

In a phone interview with Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro Friday, Jovito Jabagat, president of the Alyansa ng mga Biktima sa Demolisyon sa Calangahan (Albidec), said Tungao’s family has yet to file a complaint due to a misunderstanding with the potential witnesses.

Jabagat said the witnesses, who claimed they saw who shot Tungao when residents clashed with police officers on December 4, 2013 as their houses were demolished in Barangay Calangahan, Lugait, decided not to testify anymore.

He said the two potential witnesses were dismayed when they learned that Tungao’s brother accepted a job offer by the company, which claimed ownership of the land occupied by members of Albidec.

“Nawad-an sila’g gana kay mismo ang pamilya didto naman nuon nipanig sa kumpanya nga maoy nagpa-demolish sa amo (They lost their interest to testify since the family members themselves have sided with the company that caused the demolition of our homes),” Jabagat said.

He added the witnesses find it hard to seek justice when the brother of the slain Albidec member accepted the employment offered by the company.

Jabagat, however, clarified that Tungao’s parents are still determined on pressing charges against the suspects and that it was only his (Tungao) sibling who appeared to have been siding with the firm.

He said the group has not lost hope and still in talks with the potential witnesses hoping they will change their mind.

It can be recalled that about 200 families were driven out of their homes and their dwelling destroyed due to a demolition order issued by a court.

With no other place to go to, the residents were forced to live in makeshift shanties beside the national highway posing danger especially to children.

Sometime last year, through the intervention of Governor Yevgeny Vincente Emano, the displaced residents were resettled in a relocation site in Calangahan.

Although relocated, Jabagat said they are still living a hard life.

He said water and electricity are their two main concerns at present.

In a previous interview with Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro, Albidec official Gina Lubguban said there were only two water sources the residents get their water. Jabagat said these two water sources are not sufficient to provide the needs of the dozens of families.

He said one of the water faucets is only open to the residents from midnight to 3 a.m. and this has proven to inconvenience the people.

The other faucet, privately owned, provides water all day long but due to the sheer number of people getting water, quarrels among neighbors sometimes erupt as some would try to get ahead of the line.

In a separate interview, Provincial Administrator Edmundo Pacamalan Jr. had assured Albidec that Provincial Capitol would assist their needs by next year when the budget is available.

Pacamalan said when the demolition happened last year, the provincial budget had already been approved.

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