[Blogger's Note: The post below was based on an email sent by Urban
Missionaries-AMRSP on September 23, 2010, citing Rommel Yamzon as

FOUR residents were injured after government employees attempted to
evict informal settlers on a land near a shopping mall in the former
Philippine capital.
According to a document sent by Church-based nonprofit group Urban
Missionaries, the four were: Nita Estabillo, 47; Florebi Agasita, 30;
Teody Gacer, 54; and, Alberto Cavosa, 60.
The four were residents of a plot of land named after a French
Catholic saint in a village called Bagong Pag-Asa (New Hope) where
violence reportedly ensued when employees of the National Housing
Authority (NHA) attempted to evict around 600 families living there,
according to the documentation of the Task Force Detainees of the
Philippines (TFDP).
The report said these employees carried mallets, pickaxes and crowbars
apparently as tools to demolish the self-built houses of these
families who "refused" the demolition.
The report added that the four suffered bruises when the settlers and
the demolition team members threw stones and debris against each
The UM document noted that a firetruck's water cannon was also used
against the settlers.
The report noted that "the demolition team was able to enter the area
and destroy several shanties located at the northern side of the
While the document cited about 300 police were in the area, it didn't
say what action these personnel used to prevent, stop or encourage the
The UM report suspects that Ayala Land Inc. moved to demolish the
informal settlers' homes because it plans to develop a business and
commercial district on the property, which is owned by the NHA.
The report claims the publicly-listed company of the Zobel de Ayala
clan will spend about
P22 billion project to develop the 29.1-hectare property.
"Residents have refused an offer to be relocated at a resettlement
site in Montaban, Rizal citing poor living conditions, high
transportation costs and lack of amenities, such as water and
electricity. Community leaders demand an on-site relocation since
their source of livelihood is only within the metro. They insist that
the government should instead build a medium or high-rise building
where they would all live in. Moreover, community organizations are
currently lobbying to have a moratorium to suspend all demolition and
evictions against informal settlers."
The UM document is asking fellow Filipinos to write to government
authorities "urging them to:
Call upon competent authorities to carry out a prompt, effective,
thorough, independent and impartial investigation into these events,
and ensure that adequate, effective and prompt reparation, is granted
to the victims;
Strictly observe the Urban Development and Housing Act or UDHA
(Republic Act 7279) that lays down the mandatory requirements for the
valid execution of eviction and demolition orders;
Guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms
throughout the country in accordance with international human rights
Government authorities named included President Benigno Aquino III,
who is in the United States for top-level meetings as well as to grace
a fund-raising event organized by the Ayala Foundation Inc.
For additional information, please contact: Task Force Detainees of
the Philippines (TFDP) / 45 St. Mary Street , Cubao, Quezon City 1109,
Philippines / Telephone: (632) 4378054 / facsimile: (632) 9113643 /
email: / website:

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