Friday, April 27, 2012

Tucuma residents ask Robredo to intervene for expropriation of disputed land

Press Release
April 27, 2011
Tucuma Federation

A delegation of leaders from the Tucuma community in Barangay Merville in Parañaque staged a rally at the DILG head office and sought a dialogue with Secretary Jesse Robredo. A DILG official named Clarion Paz-Tanghal met with the Tucuma leaders and received the letter on behalf of Sec. Robredo. Ramil Asturias, Tucuma Federation president, said that “We asked Sec. Robredo to intervene and persuade Mayor Florencio Bernabe to stay the implementation of the demolition order and refile expropriation proceedings. It is not true that Mayor Bernabe’s hands are tied. The expropriation case was dismissed without prejudice, meaning the city hall can refile it once more. All it takes is political will.”

The Tucuma Federation leaders held the protest and then dialogue with Paz-Tanghal at around 10:00 a.m. in Quezon City in order to prevent another bloody eviction similar to the demolition at the Silverio Compound last Monday.

“We explained to the DILG that Mayor Bernabe is not powerless to do anything except demolish our homes. The local government’s expropriation case was dismissed without prejudice by the courts. This means that all Mayor Bernabe has to do is to refile the expropriation case against the Molave Development Corp which is headed by a certain Cynthia Tinitigan,” Asturias explained.

The Tucuma Federation is banking on City Ordinance 0013 s. 2000 which mandates the local government to buy the disputed land measuring some one hectare for the purpose of a socialized housing project for the informal settlers. Meanwhile some 1,000 families in Tucuma are on a 24/7 alert to defend their homes and livelihood against the expected demolition attempt.

Renato Magtubo, chairperson of the Partido ng Manggagawa, declared its support for the Tucuma Federation. He said “Tucuma’s fight is the fight of all. Decent housing is a right not a privilege of all Filipinos. 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.

He revealed that one of the demands to be raised in the coming May Day rally of workers is a moratorium on demolitions. A long march or “Lakbayan” of informal settlers and community youth from Calabarzon will start on April 30 and merge with the May Day rally. The Lakbayan will banner the call “Stop demolitions. Housing for all.”

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