Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Parañaque residents rally against demolition

Press Release
April 25, 2012
Tucuma Federation

More than 100 residents of a community in Parañaque staged a rally at the city hall this morning to call for a stop to the scheduled demolition of their homes tomorrow. In the face of the violent eviction at the Silverio compound last Monday, another demolition has been scheduled tomorrow at the Tucuma community at Barangay Merville in Parañaque.

Ramil Asturias, president of the Tucuma Federation has vowed that “We will defend our community where some 1,000 urban poor families reside. It is in the hands of Mayor Florencio ‘Jun’ Bernabe whether a peaceful resolution of the land dispute or another violent confrontation occurs at Tucuma.”

Aside from a stop to the scheduled demolition, the Tucuma Federation also called for the implementation of City Ordinance 0013 s. 2000 expropriating the disputed land and asked that Mayor Bernabe refile the expropriation case on the property owner. The Molave Development Corp. headed by a certain Cynthia Tinitigan is claiming ownership of the disputed land which is less than one hectare big.

“We ask that Mayor Bernabe make a political decision to set aside the demolition order since the affected residents are also the beneficiaries of the expropriation ordinance that has long remained unenforced,” Asturias explained.

The Tucuma Federation likewise condemned the deadly force used on Silverio residents and demands a moratorium on demolitions. “Heads must roll for the death of one resident from police gunfire and the brutality accompanying the arrest of scores protesters,” said Ramil Cangayao, spokesperson of the Alyansa ng Maralitang Pilipino (AMP). The Tucuma Federation is an affiliate of the AMP which is an alliance of urban poor associations in Metro Manila, Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon.

Meanwhile Renato Magtubo, Partido ng Manggagawa national chair, asserted that “Violent evictions must be prohibited. Land disputes must be resolved through negotiations without the threat of violence, deceit or bribery. Residents must be relocated to better living conditions to ensure that negotiations end peacefully in agreement.”

Magtubo explained that one of the demands of the coming Labor Day rally is a moratorium on demolitions. Some 20,000 workers and urban poor under the umbrella of the newly-formed Nagkaisa will march along Espana to Mendiola to highlight the issues of job contractualization, low wages, high prices of oil and power and violent demolitions, among others. Some 40 labor organizations established the Nagkaisa, among them the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, Federation of Free Workers, Alliance of Progressive Labor and PM.

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