Angeles City mayor condemns shooting of Anunas residents

ANGELES CITY — Mayor Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin Jr., has condemned the shooting of residents at Sitio Balubad in Barangay Anunas on Tuesday, March 12, 2024.

Lazatin said the Angeles City government will press charges against those who attacked unarmed civilians, hurting at least six persons, in a surprise demolition of houses by armed men.

The city government said Clarkhills Properties Corporation had conducted a surprise demolition today after unsuccessful demolition attempts since October last year.

An elderly woman, who sustained two bullet wounds, and three other people were rushed to the Rafael Lazatin Memorial Medical Hospital.

Two residents, who were reportedly in critical condition, were taken to the Jose B. Lingad Hospital in the City of San Fernando.

One of the those in critical condition was hit in the abdomen while a bullet was lodged in the leg of the other one, according to a resident.

On February 8, 2024, a surprise demolition proceedings had resulted in a heated confrontation between the Clarkhills demolition team and the residents.

After a series of surprise demolitions, the city government said it will proceed with the expropriation of the contested land to bring peace in the area.

Anunas is adjacent to the bustling Korean Town and the Clark Freeport.

A mapping conducted by the local government indicated that there were 535 households and around 2,000 families at Sitio Balubad.

Clarkhills had claimed ownership of the contested land after the Certificate of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) of residents had been cancelled.

On February 12, the city government conducted relief operation and medical mission for the affected residents.

Clearing operations were also conducted to clean up the debris left by the violent confrontations.

After the relief and medical mission, Clarkhills security guards manning the disputed land reportedly engaged in indiscriminate firing of shotguns near the residents' houses.

Security guards manning the disputed land at the back of Balubad fired their shotguns five times at around 9 pm after the relief and medical operations.

“Hindi na nga po kami makapagtrabaho, sana po matapos na ang isyu na ito. Baka po kasi masaktan ang mga bata sa pagpapaputok nila ng mga baril,” said Maryjoy Paragas.

Paragas said residents had been reconstructing the wall destroyed by the demolition crew on February 8, 2024.

"Tuloy tuloy po ang pagbibigay natin ng serbisyo sa mga residente ng Angeles City lalong lalo na sa mga apektadong residente ng Balubad, Barangay Anunas,” said Lazatin.

The mayor met with officers of Balubad Homeowners Association at the City Hall recently.

Lazatin said he would never abandon them as the city government proceeds with the expropriation of the contested land. “Walang bibitaw, hindi ako bibitaw, hindi ko kayo iiwan.”


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