March 26, 2009
Alyansa ng Maralitang Pilipino
More than a thousand urban poor residents assembled at two different points in Paranaque then marched on to the City Hall to demand a moratorium on demolitions. The protesters held a whole-day program at the grounds of the City Hall and then petitioned the City Council which met at 4 p.m.
“We are asking the City Council of Paranaque to pass an ordinance in accordance with the resolution of the Commission on Human Rights recommending to LGU’s that they implement a moratorium in evictions and demolitions in consideration of the impact of the crisis on the poor,” explained Nena Olbina, a leader of the Alyansa ng Maralita sa Paranaque (AMP), a coalition of community organizations in the city.
The group is referring to the CHR Resolution (1v) No. A2008-052 entitled “Recommending the imposition of a moratorium on evictions and demolitions of structures using for dwelling purposes and other measures to protect the right to housing.”
One group assembled around 7 a.m. at SM Bicutan while another party met around the same time at 7-11 in Kabihasnan. According to the AMP, three depressed communities in Paranaque—Meliton and Sitio Wakas in Brgy. San Dionisio in District 2 and Tambo in District 1—are scheduled for immediate demolition.
According to Romy Cabugnason, a leader of the Tucuma Federation, “Paranaque is not alone if it passes the ordinance for a moratorium. The cities of Pasay and Quezon already have similar local laws.”
The rallies at NHA last Tuesday and in Paranaque today are both build up activities for the "Kalbaryo ng Maralita" in the coming Holy Week. The “Kalbaryo ng Maralita’ is an annual protest to highlight the plight and struggles of the urban poor.
The last rally at the Paranaque City Hall on February 19 was marred with violence when a security guard in one of the subdivisions fired a warning shot as the rally passed by.