Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thousands of Cavite residents protest R1 road project

Press Release
January 28, 2009

Around 2,000 residents of Bacoor who are threatened by a demolition order marched and rallied at the R1 road project site in the same town. Led by the newly formed Bacoor Coastal Area Development Council, the residents are demanding assistance for livelihood and relocation from the developer and the government.

Hector Loyola, head of the Bacoor Coastal Area Development Council, said that “We are not resisting the demolition order coming from the DENR and the Office of the Governor. Nonetheless the residents are demanding assistance so that their lives and livelihood will not be displaced especially in a period of crisis such as what we are going through.”

The thousands of protesters assembled around 7 a.m. at Mabolo, near the border of Bacoor and Kawit, and then marched to the R1 project site. The Bacoor Coastal Area Development Council includes people’s organizations like the Samahang Nagkakaisa ng Cavite and also nine barangay captains of the town.

Joy Aguilar, secretary-general of Bacoor Coastal Area Development Council, explained that “Specifically we ask the R1 developer and the national government for assistance for in-city relocation, and to build a wharf so that the residents can continue their livelihood as fishers.”

Aguilar added that the government must issue a moratorium on demolitions during the period of the economic crisis since “The least that the government can do in a time of crisis is not to destroy the houses and livelihood of the poor. A bailout program for the poor must include a moratorium on demolitions as much as funding for socialized housing.”

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