Expulsion d’un bidonville : émeute à Quezon City – septembre 2010

Philippine squatters win temporary reprieve


23 09 2010

MANILA — Thousands of squatters resisting eviction from a roadside shantytown won a temporary reprieve on Thursday after fighting with police and shutting the Philippine capital’s main highway, police and officials said.

Several officers were slightly injured as slum dwellers fought running battles, while traffic on the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue was backed up for several kilometres (miles) after the road was blocked, officials said.

The protest prompted a court order temporarily halting the demolition of the estimated 6,000 shanties at the 340 hectare (840 acre) site, according to Chito Cruz, general manager of the government’s National Housing Authority.

One section of the six-lane highway that bisects Manila was strewn with wooden barricades and rocks by early afternoon, five hours after the standoff began, with daytime traffic diverted to smaller, more crowded streets.

« There was some rock-throwing and scuffles. Some of my men were slightly injured, » senior superintendent Benjamin Magalong, head of the 300-member riot police deployed in the area told AFP.

A quarter of a million vehicles use the artery on a typical workday, according to government estimates.

Magalong said slum dwellers were resisting an initial court order to remove the settlement, called North Triangle.

The government wants to redevelop the site into a business district in a joint venture with a private firm.

Cruz, whose agency owns the occupied property said he was surprised by the violence of the squatters who resorted to blocking the highway and throwing stones at the police.

Police were pegged back by a hail of missiles as they attempted to charge the protesters, while water cannon blasts also failed to disperse the crowds, according to AFP photographers at the scene.

Shantytown residents stood with arms linked across the road, with their belongings stacked in the middle of the highway behind them.

By midday the largely unprotected demolition crews had been forced to stop their work in the shantytown after having torn down around 50 dwellings, an AFP photographer on the scene said.

Cruz said in a television interview there were about 6,000 families at the site and over 3,000 families had already been relocated.

He said that he was confident the court order stopping the demolition would soon be lifted.

The World Bank estimates up to half of Manila residents live in slums.

14 hurt as Philippine police, demolition teams battle squatters on prime property


September 23rd, 2010

MANILA, Philippines – More than a dozen people have been injured in the Philippines in clashes between thousands of squatters and police and demolition crews trying to evict them from government property to be used for a high-end commercial project.

Philippine Red Cross Secretary General Gwen Pang says most of the 14 men treated after Thursday’s clash are members of the demolition team who were hit by stones or other objects.

The violence halted traffic on Manila’s busiest road for several hours.

The National Housing Authority says 3,500 of the 9,000 families illegally squatting on the 72-acre (29-hectare) property in suburban Quezon City have voluntarily relocated to make way for a 22 billion peso ($500 million) project that will include condominiums, office buildings and malls.

Thousands of slum dwellers resist eviction in Philippines


Manila, septembre 23, 2010

DPADozens were injured in the Philippine capital on Thursday, as thousands of slum dwellers resisting eviction blocked the city’s main highway and clashed with police.

The protestors were resisting plans by the National Housing Authority (NHA) to relocate them and redevelop the site as a business district.

The stand—off stalled traffic for several kilometres as the squatters scuffled with police officers and the demolition team.

Police said angry residents and some members of the demolition team threw stones at each other near the 22—hectare slated for demolition in the Manila suburban city of Quezon, injuring at least one police officer. The NHA, which owns the land, said it had given 2,000 of the families living in the area seven days to move to another site provided. The deadline expired on Thursday.

“The relocation site is ready and complete,” said Chito Cruz, NHA general manager. “There is electricity and we are also constructing schools, health centres and day—care centres.” The residents rejected relocation because the proposed site was far from their work, according to Kilos Maralita, a coalition of urban poor groups opposing the demolitions.

The group’s spokesman Von Mesina added that a total of 9,000 families were living on the land concerned.

“The NHA plans to develop the area into a business district under a joint venture with a private company,” he said. “We had proposed a mixed—use development to allow residents to stay but authorities ignored our proposals.” Mr. Mesina said at least five slum dwellers were seriously injured in the clash with police, while about a dozen suffered minor injuries.

Police officers were able to clear the highway after about five hours as authorities negotiated with the slum dwellers.

According to the government, there are at least 2.7 million slum dwellers living on squatted land in the Manila metropolitan area. But the World Bank estimates that half of the area’s 12 million residents are slum dwellers.

Barricades block QC North Triangle demolition; 14 hurt in clashes



At least 14 people were injured in a seven-hour standoff, and over 130 homes taken down, as hundreds of protesting residents and supporters set up barricades and clashed with police to block the large-scale demolition that began Thursday in the Quezon City (QC) North Triangle.

The demolition operations were to make way for the QC Central Business District (QCCBD) project, which would include the entire 30-hectare Sitio San Roque in Barangay Bagong Pag-Asa.

Sitio San Roque, home to almost 10,000 families, extends from the stretch of EDSA between Quezon and North Avenue to Agham road.

The P22-billion project is a joint venture between Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) and the National Housing Authority (NHA) to develop 29.1 hectares of North Triangle, aimed at making this part of QC a central business and commercial district. The NHA is the listed owner of this property, including Sitio San Roque.

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Five policemen were wounded, while at least seven residents were reported injured, said Senior Superintendent Benjamin Magalong of the Philippine National Police (PNP). Two firemen were also reportedly injured.

Around 300 policemen, with two Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams, were deployed by the PNP to assist the NHA in the demolition.

Meanwhile, over 50 structures were demolished along EDSA, while over 70 families in San Roque voluntarily took down their own homes during the day, said Francisco Alican, NHA Deputy Area Management officer for the National Capital Region.

The NHA adhered to the agency’s policy of banning demolitions after 3:00 p.m., leaving the area at around that time.

The petition to halt the demolition of San Roque, with Lucia Velarde as the plaintiff and the NHA as the defendant, was heard in the QC Regional Trial Court branch 226 on Thursday afternoon, at 2:00 p.m.

Velarde is president of one of the organizations of residents in San Roque, the Maralitang Nagkakaisa ng Metro Side San Roque North Triangle, Inc.

Acting presiding judge Luisa Quijano-Padilla issued a temporary restraining order against demolition activities in the area until 8 a.m. on Friday, after which police are to determine whether or not to push through with the dismantling of structures.

Residents rejoiced at the suspension of the demolition, but vowed that they would remain vigilant.

Kahilingan namin sa mga Ayala at sa gobyerno na itigil na itong di-makatarungang demolisyon, » said Jocy Lopez, president of the North Triangle chapter of Anakpawis. (We implore the Ayalas and the government to stop this unjust demolition.)

Police, protesters clash

The demolition began on Thursday morning, at around 8:00 a.m. The NHA targeted the boundaries of San Roque, along Agham road and EDSA, as two separate starting points for the demolition, said Alican.

However, residents set up a barricade along Agham road, backed by other urban poor groups and other militant organizations. The NHA and the PNP were forced to withdraw from the area.

Meanwhile, violence broke out early in the morning along EDSA, as residents and members of the demolition team hurled stones and even glass bottles against each other.

The NHA, which had deployed over 600 personnel for the demolition, continued taking down homes until early afternoon, despite continued resistance from the residents. Some houses were reportedly dismantled even as residents were still inside.

Violent clashes broke out at least twice more, once before lunch and once more at lunchtime. Firemen used water cannons to subdue the protesters.

The QC Fire Station had sent at least three trucks to the area.

Traffic was snarled for much of the day, with the northbound lanes of EDSA completely blocked until policemen and personnel of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) forced back the protesters at around 1:00 p.m., opening two lanes for vehicles.

The MMDA kept around 80 of its people in the QC North Triangle throughout the day, although the figure rose to over 200 MMDA personnel in the morning, pulled out from other areas, to control the traffic in QC when violence broke out.

Some 500 police personnel are meanwhile spending the night in the area, supposedly to maintain order should tension erupt anew.

“This is an inter-agency effort, » said Alican. “Of course there’s resistance, [the residents] want to stay here, but the government can’t give in. This is a prime lot. It is intended for commercial ventures. »

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Not all to be relocated

Pangako sa amin ng NHA at ni Mayor Bistek [Herbert Bautista] na walang magaganap na pwersahang pag-demolish, na sisiguraduhin muna nila ang maayos na relocation namin, » said Lopez.

(The NHA and Mayor Herbert Bautista promised us that there would be no forced demolitions, that they would first ensure our adequate relocation.)

’Di nila tinupad pangako nila. Pilit kaming pinalalayas sa bahay namin at tinutulak sa Montalban. Ayaw naman namin dun, walang kabuhayan dun, » added Lopez, who is also a longtime resident of San Roque.

(They did not keep their promise. They are forcing us out of our homes and pushing us to go to Montalban. We don’t want to go there, there is no livelihood there.)

Another community leader meanwhile called for a resumption of negotiations between government authorities and residents.

Buhay at kinabukasan ng pamilya namin ang nakasalalay dito. Bahagi din kami ng pag-unlad. Kung aalis lang ang mga demolition teams, tatahimik ang mga tao. Wala kaming ipinakikiusap (kundi) buksan ulit ang negosasyon, » said Myrna Lacdao, one of the residents’ leaders, in GMA News’ “24 Oras » newscast.

(The life and future of our family are at stake here. We too should be part of progress. If the demolition teams will only leave, the people will keep their peace. We ask for nothing but for negotiations to resume.)

The residents who will be displaced by the QCCBD project are are offered the option to either be relocated to the housing site in Rodriguez (Montalban) town, Rizal province and given a cash assistance of P6,000, or go back to their respective provinces with a cash assistance amounting to P24,000.

NHA figures show that there are 9,582 families in North Triangle QC. As of Wednesday, 3,252 had voluntarily relocated, while 6,330 families remain in San Roque.

However, only 7,864 families are qualified for relocation, including those who have already left the area. That leaves 1,718 families who are disqualified, usually because they were not registered by the NHA in a 2009 census.

“We plan to complete the relocation by the end of October, » said Alican. “Families are continuing to sign up for voluntary relocation. We encourage that. Sisikapin po naming na iwasan ang gulo (We will try to avoid further violence). »

On September 15, the NHA issued a seven-day notice of demolition for the community, which ended on Wednesday.—JV, GMANews.TV

Scores hurt as stone-throwing mars demolition of QC shanties

Philippine Daily Inquirer


ROCKS rained on the northbound lane of Edsa and traffic stood still on the busy thoroughfare for several hours as thousands of illegal settlers in Sitio San Roque, Barangay Bagong Pag-asa, Quezon City, thwarted a demolition team’s efforts to tear down their shanties Thursday morning.

As both sides threw stones at each other, several people were injured, including two policemen, some residents and members of the demolition crew and Inquirer photographer Raffy Lerma.

At around 2 p.m., a section of the thoroughfare was strewn with wooden barricades and rocks, five hours after the standoff began, with traffic diverted to smaller, more crowded streets.

“There was some rock-throwing and scuffles. Some of my men were slightly injured,” Senior Supt. Benjamin Magalong, head of the 300-member riot police deployed to the area, told AFP.

The policemen who were undermanned were held back by a hail of missiles as they attempted to charge the protesters, while water cannon blasts also failed to disperse the crowd, according to AFP photographers at the scene.

The residents stood on the road with arms linked, their belongings stacked in the middle of Edsa.

By noon, the largely unprotected demolition crew was forced to stop their work in the area. Some of them also took up stones and threw them back at residents.

Some 6,000 families live on the 340-hectare North Triangle property which is owned by the National Housing Authority (NHA). The government agency wants to develop the lot into the Quezon City Business District in partnership with a private firm.

However, Quezon City Regional Trial Court Judge Branch 226 Ma. Luisa C. Quijano-Padilla said the demolition was premature.

“There should have been no demolition in deference to a court hearing tomorrow (Sept. 24),” she told a lawyer representing the NHA during a hearing in the afternoon on the urgent petition for a temporary restraining order (TRO) filed by residents.

She also issued a TRO which according to her would remain in effect until the hearing on Friday.

Senior Insp. Celso Destajo of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) said the stone-throwing started at around 9 a.m. when residents in the area tried to stop the demolition team from tearing down shanties.

Several policemen who were lined up on Edsa to keep the peace also ended up being targets, he added.

The demolition team, however, managed to tear down 70 houses before they were forced to pull back.

Destajo, who sustained a two-inch cut on the forehead when he tried to stop the residents and demolition crew from trading flying missiles, said they were forced to close down Edsa, particularly the area from Quezon Avenue to Trinoma mall, to protect motorists and commuters.

As a result, buses and private vehicles were stuck in traffic for at least four hours, all the way to Edsa-Ortigas intersection.

“I had to walk for several blocks because the bus I was riding in was forced to take another route,” Pauleen Batarena, a teacher of Quezon City Elementary School, told the Inquirer.

She added that a grandmother and her two-year-old grandson were also forced to get off the bus and walk.

“I pity the old woman because she had to carry her grandson when he got tired from walking,” Batarena said.

The NHA, meanwhile, said it served notice to some 2,000 residents on Sept. 16 that they had seven days to vacate their houses.

It added that it would relocate the displaced families to Rodriguez, Rizal.

In a statement, the NHA said that it had already relocated some 3,000 families to the new site where they were provided houses and P6,000 in relocation assistance.

It claimed that it had conducted dialogues with the residents who remain in the North Triangle property through the NHA Project Interagency Committee whose members include the Commission on Human Rights, Department of Social Work and Development, Presidential Commission on the Urban Poor and the city government, among other agencies.

Some residents, however, were not keen on moving to Rizal.

“We admit that we do not own the land but we want a relocation site which is not too far away from where we work,” a woman told a radio reporter in Filipino.

“We want a place where we can earn a living as well,” Lucia Velarde, the leader of the residents, told the Inquirer. With Tina G. Santos and AFP wire report

Quezon City squatters demolition turns violent, causes heavy traffic


Friday, 24 September 2010

Members of a demolition team and residents of San Roque barangay (village) in Quezon City throw stones and projectiles at each other after the demolition of shanties in the area turned violent on Thursday. PHOTO BY RUY MARTINEZ

VIOLENCE erupted between the members of a demolition team and informal settlers in Quezon City, leaving several individuals, including five police officers injured and severe traffic congestion along EDSA and Quezon Avenue Thursday.

The incident started at around 9 a.m. when the demolition team was attacked by residents of Sitio San Roque, Barangay Bagong Pag-asa to stop them from entering their compound and dismantling their shanties.

Apart from five police officers also injured were two firefighters and two civilians and an employee of the National Housing Authority (NHA).

The demolition was carried out after the NHA’s deadline for the informal settlers to vacate the area ended Thursday.

The affected residents, however, got their request granted to stop the demolition, as Judge Maria Luisa Padilla of Branch 226 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, issued a temporary restraining order in the late afternoon against NHA.

The urgent motion for the issuance of a temporary restraining order was filed by the residents earlier in the day asking the court to stop the demolition of the shanties.

Served notice
NHA served a notice to some 2,000 residents on September 16, giving them seven days to vacate their homes located along Agham Road and Edsa in front of the Philippine Women’s University.

The said areas are being cleared to give way to the Quezon City-Central Business District project that aims to transform the city into the country’s business hub far better than Makati City.

The project covers the area of North and East Triangles affecting around 25,000 urban poor families.

The incident also caused heavy traffic on the northbound lane of EDSA from Cubao to SM North.

Meanwhile, a coalition of urban poor organizations has denounced the violent demolition of shanties in the city, which they consider as a complete disregard to the interest of the poor.

For his part, Mayor Herbert Bautista of Quezon City, maintained that the informal settlers were given enough time and information about the impending demolition and were already provided relocation site.

He said that the relocation site prepared from them in Rizal province is just a kilometer away from the hospital, and it also have schools were their children could enroll.

But affected residents claimed that the relocation site is far from their work place and can easily be flooded.

Traffic management
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), on the other hand, clarified that they have not send their men to be part of the demolition team.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said that although they were notified and was asked for support but this was to handle traffic management support.

Tolentino said that he send traffic enforcers to lead motorists for they expect a monstrous traffic jam in the area after he was informed that the informal settlers placed barricades along EDSA paralyzing the north bound vehicles to halt the demolition team.

The MMDA enforcers immediately remedied the situation by allowing two lanes to counter flow to minimize the build up of motorists in the area.

“None of our personnel was involved in any engagement with the informal settlers. We pulled out our Sidewalk Clearing personnel and left 20 traffic enforcers to handle the ensuing traffic gridlock,” Tolentino explained.

This after, several radio reporters were misinformed and aired that MMDA is part of the demolition team despite they only serve as guides of motorists.

More Than 6,000 Urban Poor Families Defy Order to Resettle in ‘Mental-ban’


September 22, 2010

MANILA — With a loan from the company her husband is working for as a driver, Emelyn Vidas, 31, and her husband were able to build their home in Sitio San Roque, Barangay Bagong Pag-asa in Quezon City. They religiously paid the monthly amortization for more than a year. But just before they were fully paid, the Vidas family, along with other families in the community, received a notice of demolition from the National Housing Authority (NHA).

“I feel bad at the thought that I would have to leave this home,” Vidas told Bulatlat in Filipino, “It is very simple but my husband and I worked hard for it.”

The Quezon City Central Business District (QCBD) is a 256-hectare project that would supposedly put Quezon City, if not the entire country, “at the forefront of global investment and business interest.” Former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed on May 4, 2007 Executive Order No. 670 or the Rationalizing and Speeding Up the Development of the East and North Triangles, and the Veterans Memorial Area of Quezon City, as a “well-planned, Integrated and environmentally balanced mixed-use development model” to give way to the creation of the QC-CBD.

The Ayala Land Inc., a big real estate company, has signed an agreement with the NHA to develop 29.1 hectares of the QC-CBD in North Triangle at an estimated cost of P22 billion ($500 million at an exchange rate of $44=P1). The project, however, would displace thousands of urban poor dwellers who include government employees.

The notice of demolition dated July 27, 2010 is by far the most traumatic experience that Vidas could think of. “I could not eat,” she said, adding that she is being tortured by the thought that in three days, they would not have a place to call home. She joined other families who barricaded the community but no demolition team came.

On September 15, the residents of Sitio San Roque received another 15-day notice of demolition. Residents are expecting that the demolition team would arrive either on September 23 or 24 since the notice should only include working days.

“We learned how to fight because our rights are being violated and we are being abused because we are poor,” Agham-Terminal Anakpawis Chapter president Romel Gupo said.


The NHA offered the residents of Sitio San Roque P1,000 ($23), five kilos of rice, two packs of instant noodles and two canned sardines if they would agree to be relocated to Montalban, Rizal. They are also being offered a 20-square meter house at the relocation site, which is supposedly worth P250,000 ($5681).

Gupo told Bulatlat that the houses are made of light materials. “(The houses) would collapse the moment you hit it.” He added in a sarcastic tone saying that it was definitely “a government project.”

~ par Alain Bertho sur 24 septembre 2010.

Une Réponse to “Expulsion d’un bidonville : émeute à Quezon City – septembre 2010”

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