Saturday, December 29, 2007

Cardinal Rosales marks feast of the Holy Family with the poor



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Cardinal Rosales marks feast of the Holy Family with the poor

30 December 2007. Instead of the usual mass at the Manila Cathedral, Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales today chose to join hundreds of poor Metro Manila families as the Catholic Church commemorates the feast of the Holy Family.

The first Sunday after Christmas, on the liturgical calendar, celebrates the Holy Family. Pope Leo XIII instituted this feast in 1892, encouraging societies honoring the Holy Family to be established everywhere.

Urban Poor Associates (UPA), an NGO working with the poor families, invited Cardinal Rosales to visit shanties of poor families and say Mass in a vacant lot along Osmeña Highway, next to a community along Paco Estero in Barangay 734, Manila.

“Ayon sa ebanghelyo ngayon, ang Banal na Pamilya, sina Jesus, Jose at Maria ay dumanas ng paglilipat-lipat, ng kahirapan, ng pagod, gutom, at banta sa kanilang buhay. Ito ay kahalintulad na karanasan para sa marami sa ating maralitang pamilya,” said Ted Añana, UPA deputy coordinator.

Añana recalled how a violent demolition hurt scores of residents living under the Osmeña Bridge and displaced some 54 urban poor families. “Dito mismo sa lugar na ito naganap ang matinding mga pahirap at pagsubok sa mga maralitang pamilya. Noong nakaraang Pebrero ng taong ito dumagsa dito sa lugar na ito ang halos 200 na mga demolisyon crew ng Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) kasama ang mga pulis at mga armadong sibilyan. Nakiusap tayo, nilabas natin ang ating mga imahen ng Santo Niño at iba pang banal na estatwa. Ngunit habang nagaganap ang isang pag-uusap sa pagitan ng ilang mga opisyales ng pamahalaan at mga lider natin biglang naganap ang demolisyon. Naging marahas ang demolisyon dahil di man lang binigyan ng panahon ang mga tao upang makapaghakot ng mga gamit.”

Facing a “cloudy” new year due to fear of massive forced evictions, various people’s organizations wrote a letter to the Cardinal asking him to arrange a meeting with the President.

“Marami sa amin na naninirahan sa mga estero at tabing riles ang nakatanggap na ng abiso na pagdating ng bagong taon, sisimulan na ang malawakang demolisyon ng aming mga tahanan. Kami po ay hindi tutol sa mga proyekto ng ating pamahalaan na may kaugnayan sa pagpapaunlad ng ating bansa. Ang aming kahilingan ay sundin ang batas ukol sa demolisyon at makataong relokasyon. Napatunayan sa mga demolisyon nitong taong ito at mga nakaraang taon na hindi po ito sinusunod ng ating pamahalaan,” the poor people told the Cardinal.

“Kaya kami po ay muling humihingi sa inyong tulong. Kung maari po sana, magpatawag po kayo ng isang pulong kay Pangulong Gloria Macapagal Arroyo na ang pag-uusapan ay ang isyu ng demolisyon at relokasyon. At kung maaari’y, mangyari ito sa buwan ng Enero,” the letter read.

Lack of adequate housing highlights a key concern for Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) this year in a Pastoral Statement. "Any person or family that, without any direct fault on his or her own, does not have suitable housing is the victim of an injustice.” -30-


Feast of Holy Family marked today with mass

Monday, December 17, 2007

MEDIA ADVISORY: CARDINAL ROSALES TO VISIT URBAN POOR COMMUNITIES AS CHURCH CELEBRATES THE FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY




Attention: News Editor, News Desk, Reporters and Photojournalists

MEDIA ADVISORY

CARDINAL ROSALES AT MGA MARALITANG TAGALUNGSOD MAGDIRIWANG NG PASKO AT BAGONG TAON

Kayo po ay taos pusong inaanyayahang dumalo sa pagdiriwang ng BANAL NA MISA NI ARSOBISPO GAUDENCIO CARDINAL ROSALES sa darating na IKA-30 NG DISYEMBRE 2007(LINGGO),10:00 NG UMAGA.

Gaganapin ito sa bakanteng lote sa Osmeña Bridge sa may Osmeña Highway, Paco District, Lungsod ng Maynila.

Date: December 30, 2007 (Sunday)

Time: 10:00 AM

Venue: Beside OSMEÑA BRIDGE along OSMEÑA HIGHWAY (South Super Highway), BARANGAY 734, PACO, MANILA

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Residents resist demolition team


MMDA criticized for banning Christmas carolers

Urban Poor Associates
25-A Mabuhay Street, Brgy. Central, Q.C.
Telefax: 4264118 Tel.: 4264119 / 4267615

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jlagman17
http://jlagman17.blogspot.com

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MMDA criticized for banning Christmas carolers

11 December 2007. For banning Christmas carolers from Metro Manila’s streets beginning on human rights day, the country may now be called the Grinch (nasty creatures that hates Christmas) capital of the world and deserves to be at the Guiness book of world records courtesy of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

While street caroling may be dangerous, the government should know and understand why poor kids have to do street caroling instead of staying in the comforts of their homes just like ordinary kids, according to a housing rights group who finds the ban ridiculous.

The Urban Poor Associates (UPA) called on MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando to immediately lift the ban and instead find out the reason why children desperately keep on caroling despite knowing their lives would be at risk due to speeding vehicles.

“We are not encouraging street carolers but these kids out of poverty may be pitching in to help feed their families and yet the government look at them as criminals. If there is a law banning Christmas carolers in this so-called only Christian nation in Asia, this is the most cruel, antisocial and Christmas-hating,” said Ted Añana, UPA deputy coordinator.

Research shows that more than 100,000 persons in Metro Manila are homeless, according to UPA. “Perhaps without man-made disasters like forced evictions and unlawful demolitions especially those being made by MMDA, there will truly be a “Metro Gwapo” where streets will be free of homeless and children doesn’t have to stop schooling and work to survive in slums.”

“They blamed poor people on floods and not the poor drainage system. After driving the poor families away from their shanties, now they are rounding them up from the streets. They have nowhere else to go. We won’t be surprised if next time they move to ban the Christmas for the poor,” Añana added.

Besides rounding up Christmas carolers, the government needs something better to do, the group said. “Corruption monitors confirm that graft and bribery in the country remain rampant. Corruption has penetrated every level of government, from the high-ranking officials down to the MMDA personnel who pull over motorists to demand bribes.”

UPA challenged the government, if it is indeed concern on the “safety of the children and the motorists”, to allocate its overflowing discretionary and intelligence funds to homeless children and the sorry state of the country's public transportation system.

UPA also reminds that Christmas caroling, aside from a holiday tradition, is more than just giving cash gifts. “The true meaning of Christmas lies in the heart of each person. It is a reminder of our childhood and an opportunity to discover kindness among strangers in this wild world.”

-30-

UPA asks MMDA: Why ban Christmas carol singers from streets in metropolis?


Urban poor group slams ban on street carol singers

Thursday, December 06, 2007

PAGKAKAISA LABAN SA KAHIRAPAN AT KAWALANG KATARUNGAN (Pahayag ng suporta ng mga maralitang tagalunsod sa mga katutubo at magsasaka ng Sumilao)

PAGKAKAISA LABAN SA KAHIRAPAN AT KAWALANG KATARUNGAN
Pahayag ng suporta ng mga maralitang tagalunsod
sa mga katutubo at magsasaka ng Sumilao

Ang Urban Poor Alliance (UP-ALL) ay isang kilusan ng mga people’s organisation at non-government organisation na naninindigan at nagsusulong ng mga karapatan ng mga maralitang tagalungsod sa pabahay at batayang serbisyo. Ito ay may malawak na hanay sa Mega Manila, Bicol, Visayas, at Mindanao.

Ang UP-ALL ay sumusuporta sa laban ng mga katutubo at magsasaka ng Sumilao hinggil sa kanilang lupang ninuno at sakahan.

Ang pag-aari ng mga katutubo at magsasaka ng Sumilao sa 144 na ektaryang lupain ay pinagtibay ng kanilang Certificate of Land Ownership Award, sa ilalim ng Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). Sa kabila nito, sinagkaan ng panginoong maylupa na si Norberto Quisumbing ang pagkamit sa nasabing lupa ng mga benepisyaryong katutubo at magsasaka. Dahil sa ilang teknikalidad na patuloy na hinahamon ng mga katutubo at magsasaka, nagtagumpay ang mga Quisumbing na gawing agro-industrial zone ang naturang lupain.

Ngunit matapos ang limang taon, nanatiling nakatiwangwang ang lupain, isang batayan upang muling ilaan ang lupain para sa repormang agraryo. Kung ang lupaing ito ay naibigay dati pa sa mga benepisyaryong katutubo at magsasaka, malaki sana ang naitulong nito sa pagpapaunlad ng kanilang kabuhayan at pamumuhay, kabilang na ang pag-aaral ng kanilang mga anak at pag-ahon sa kahirapan.

Kaya nga hiniling ng mga katutubo at magsasaka ang pagpapawalang-bisa sa conversion order at muling ipailalim ang lupain sa CARP. Ngunit hindi pa man nagkakaroon ng resolusyon ang kanilang kaso, ibinenta ng mga Quisumbing ang lupain sa San Miguel Corporation, na kasalukuyang minamadali ang paggawa ng isang malaking babuyan. Kung magpapatuloy ang mga gawaing ito, hindi imposibleng masimot ang kasaganahan ng lupain at lalong mapagkaitan ng karapatan at oportunidad ang mga katutubo at magsasaka ng Sumilao.

Bilang isang sektor na bunga ng kahirapan sa kanayunan at paghahanap ng ikabubuhay sa lungsod at bilang isang sektor na patuloy na pinagkakaitan ng kasiguruhan sa lupa, bahay, hanap-buhay at batayang serbisyo, ang mga puwersa ng UP-ALL ay nakikiisa sa kanilang panawagan kay Ginang Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at sa Kagawaran ng Repormang Sakahan na ipawalang-bisa ang conversion order para sa 144 ektaryang lupa at ibalik ang lupaing ito sa mga katutubo at magsasaka ng Sumilao sa lalong madaling panahon.

Tanda ng pakikiisang ito, kami ay sumasama sa mapayapang paglalakbay ng mga katutubo at magsasaka ng Sumilao patungo sa kasiguruhan sa lupa, paninirahan, kabuhayan at makataong pamumuhay.

Secretariat Office:
PHILSSA
Partnership of Philippine Support Service Agencies, Inc.
3/F Hoffner Building, Social Development Complex
Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City
Telephone Nos.: 426-4327, 426-4328
426-6001 local 4854
Telefax No.: 426-0811
Email: philssanc@pldtdsl.net, philssa_ext@pldtdsl.net

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

City Government of Naga honoured with Housing Rights Protector Award for its exceptional commitment to the human right to adequate housing

MEDIA RELEASE

City Government of Naga honoured with Housing Rights Protector Award for its exceptional commitment to the human right to adequate housing

5 December 2007. The City Government of Naga, Philippines, has been awarded the 2007 Housing Rights Protector Award for its Kaantabay sa Kauswagan (Partners in Development) Programme, an initiative providing security of tenure and improved living conditions for thousands of its residents.

The Housing Rights Protector Award is presented annually by the Geneva-based Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE) to a government or other institution demonstrating an exceptional commitment to the protection and fulfilment of housing rights.

“COHRE commends the City Government of Naga for assisting over 6,000 families to obtain legal title to their land, thereby safeguarding them from the threat of forced eviction, and for improving the living conditions of 27 urban poor communities by providing and upgrading infrastructure,” said Jean du Plessis, COHRE’s Deputy Director. Du Plessis added, “COHRE is honoured to present the City Government of Naga with the 2007 Housing Rights Protector Award for its Kaantabay sa Kauswagan Programme, which clearly demonstrates that the human right to adequate housing can indeed be made a reality if the political will exists.”

Naga City, with a population of around 140,000, is centrally located in Bicol, a region comprising the southernmost portion of Luzon Island in the Philippines. Naga City was grappling with serious urban housing problems in the late 1980s with 25 percent of its population living as squatters or in slums. Most of the urban poor living in slums in Naga City did not have legal title to their land. Residents of these informal settlements lacked basic services such as access to clean drinking water and sanitation facilities, because previous local governments in Naga City ignored their responsibilities to provide basic infrastructure in these areas, due to their informal status.

The Kaantabay sa Kauswagan Programme’s mandate includes: providing low-cost homelots for urban poor residents; facilitating the transfer of land ownership from government and private owners to those who are currently occupying the land; providing legal assistance and support for the titling or regularisation of informal land allotments; and improving living conditions in informal land allotments through the provision of basic amenities such as clean drinking water, adequate sanitation facilities and other essential services to residents.

A total of 30 on-site and off-site development projects under the programme have assisted 6,046 households (20 percent of Naga City’s population) to obtain legal title, thereby providing them with security of tenure. Negotiations are ongoing to provide another 2,717 households (nine percent of Naga City’s population) with security of tenure in the near future. The Programme has also assisted more than 27 urban poor communities in Naga City to obtain better living conditions through the provision of basic services and infrastructure improvement.

COHRE’s Du Plessis, said, “The Naga City Government’s consultation with civil society and urban poor associations in the development and implementation of housing policies has produced effective remedies for thousands of inadequately housed people. The Kaantabay sa Kauswagan Programme’s success in implementing housing and poverty alleviation policies, anchored in the understanding that the participation of the urban poor is vital to sustainable development, is commendable.”

Du Plessis added, “COHRE praises the proactive initiatives undertaken by the City Government of Naga to effectively guarantee the protection and progressive realisation of the human right to adequate housing. Its efforts provide a powerful example that governments can implement practical policies to realise housing rights and that these are integral to fighting poverty.”

The 2007 Housing Rights Protector Award will be presented by COHRE to the Mayor of the Naga City Government, Jesse Robredo, at a ceremony in Geneva today.


COHRE 2007 Housing Rights Protector Award
Municipal Government of Naga City, Philippines

COHRE’s Housing Rights Protector Award is presented annually to a government or other institution demonstrating an exceptional commitment to the protection and fulfilment of housing rights. The Protector Award demonstrates that the human right to adequate housing can indeed be made a reality, if the political will exists.

The City Government of Naga, Philippines, has been selected as the 2007 Housing Rights Protector Award winner for its Kaantabay sa Kauswagan (Partners in Development) Programme, which is administered by its department, the Urban Poor Affairs Office (UPAO). This unique programme, which was established in 1989 under the leadership of Mayor Jesse Robriedo, aims to provide security of tenure to urban poor communities living on informal land allotments in Naga City, and to improve their living conditions through slum upgrading.

Naga City, with a population of around 140,000, is centrally located in Bicol, a region comprising the southernmost portion of Luzon Island in the Philippines. Naga City was grappling with serious urban housing problems in the late 1980s with 25 percent of its population living as squatters or in slums. Today, it has developed a reputation for being a centre for innovations in local governance. The Kaantabay sa Kauswagan Programme facilitated by the UPAO of the Naga City Government is a successful housing and poverty alleviation programme anchored in the understanding that the participation of the urban poor is vital to sustainable development.

The Programme has been successful in devising effective strategies to cushion the negative impacts of urbanisation. These strategies include various modes of land acquisition, such as direct purchase, land swapping, land sharing, community mortgage, and resettlement; creating a separate section in the lending arm of the local government to specifically cater to the needs of the urban poor; and developing a financing scheme anchored on internally-generated resources of the beneficiaries.

The Programme’s mandate includes: providing low-cost homelots for urban poor residents; facilitating transfer of land ownership from government and private owners to those who are currently occupying the land; providing legal assistance and support for the titling or regularisation of informal land allotments; and improving living conditions in informal land allotments through the provision of basic amenities such as clean drinking water, adequate sanitation facilities and other essential services to residents.

A total of 30 on-site and off-site development projects under the programme have assisted 6,046 households (20 percent of Naga City’s population) to obtain legal title, thereby providing them with security of tenure. Negotiations are ongoing to provide another 2,717 households (nine percent of of Naga City’s population) with security of tenure in the near future. The Programme has also assisted more than 27 urban poor communities in Naga City to obtain better living conditions through the provision of basic services and infrastructure improvement.

The Kaantabay sa Kauswagan Programme has been successful in institutionalising a tripartite mechanism that effectively brings together a) government agencies, b) urban poor associations and their allied NGOs, and c) private land owners to solve standing tenurial problems with finality.

The success of the Kaantabay sa Kauswagan Programme is anchored on the following strategies:

· The adoption of a “partner-beneficiary” perspective in dealing with clients - This approach sees the urban poor as both programme partner and beneficiary, compelling them to actively participate in every step of problem resolution.

· Role definition and specialisation – This is the recognition that NGOs have more expertise than governments in certain areas of community development. Thus, the Naga City Government relies on its NGO partner, the Community Organisation of the Philippines Enterprise (COPE) Foundation, to assist in community organising and the preparation of beneficiaries.

· A policy of dealing only with urban poor organisations and not individuals - This compels urban poor residents to take the initiative to organise themselves, thereby facilitating community organising.

· Strategy of focus – To maximize scarce resources, the Programme focuses exclusively on the urban poor sector in Naga City. The urban poor are identified on the basis of a single criterion; the lack of security of tenure. ###

For interviews with Jean du Plessis or additional information please contact COHRE’s Media Officer, Radhika Satkunanathan on +41-22-7341028, +61-400-899474 or media@cohre.org

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

iWitness: Diskarte ala Pobre




'Diskarte ala Pobre'

Episode aired on November 19, 2007

Every morning, noon and night, Quiapo Church serves free “lugaw" or rice porridge to the poorest of poor. On Tuesdays, the El Shaddai gives out free bread. The Methodist Church opens its soup kitchen on Thursday afternoons, while on Fridays, San Sebastian Church does the same.

Kara David meets a group of beggars who prove that with a bit of resourcefulness, one can survive for free in Metro Manila.

Their solution to seemingly endless poverty and hunger – and that of other urban poor dwellers – is documented in Kara's upcoming i-Witness documentary.

Aling Nining saves on her food budget by eating “pagpag" or food from the garbage dump. A college graduate, she continues living in a dumpsite to save her income. She has managed to buy cellphones, two colored tv sets and sends her three children to school with her thriftiness. For as long as her kids are still in school, she says she won’t stop eating – and feeding her children – recycled garbage.

A new and sometimes disturbing set of Filipino values, espoused by survivors of poverty, is explored by Kara David in “Diskarte Ala Pobre" this Monday late night over GMA, right after Saksi.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007

Wanted: organizers, writers, tutors, advocates, lawyers, doctors and nurses

Urban Poor Associates (UPA) is looking for young people willing to work with the urban poor to help create a more just and prosperous Philippines. Give a few years of your life to this work for the good of the poor and the country. Needed are grassroots organizers, writers, tutors of small children, advocates, lawyers, doctors and nurses. For information write upa@pldtdsl.net

Imminent demolition of mosque tears down dreams of Muslims in Baclaran




Urban Poor Associates
25-A Mabuhay Street, Brgy. Central, Q.C.
Telefax: 4264118 Tel.: 4264119 / 4267615

http://jlagman17.blogspot.com
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jlagman17

** NEWS RELEASE *** NEWS RELEASE *** NEWS RELEASE **

Imminent demolition of mosque tears down dreams of Muslims in Baclaran

16 November 2007. With flies swarming around her shanty beside the Grand Mosque, Rahima Amal was cooking banana and cassava with coconut milk for a traditional Maranao Kanduri or thanksgiving, in which gifts are shared with extended family, neighbors and friends.

She believes that by sharing food, her wishes may be granted. She wants her life to be featured on the TV show “Wish Ko Lang.” Rahima would wish for a simple “sari-sari” store in Baclaran.

She hopes to save some money before she gives birth to her sixth child this December. She once worked as a vendor but personnel from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) would always catch her and confiscated her merchandise.

The 35-year old mother may have all the reason to lose hope but she simply never stops dreaming. “Here in Manila it is free to dream something big, it doesn’t cost a thing,” she said. That thought keeps her going despite the series of unfortunate events that happened to their community.

Five months earlier, an army of over 1000 persons, security personnel of the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA), police officers from Pasay City and Salam Police, and a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit entered the reclaimed area near Baclaran where 800 Muslim families lived and bulldozed houses.

Residents tried to prevent heavily armed policemen from entering the community, demanding a court order that would authorize the demolition. But the demolition team shoved their way into the human barricade, hitting residents with clubs, night sticks and truncheons.

Some 376 families retreated to the mosque for sanctuary. While praying inside the mosque, residents were intimidated, threatened and coerced to come out.

The police cut off the water and electricity supply and destroyed the area the residents used for performing ablutions before prayer.

After negotiations, the PRA agreed to spare the mosque from destruction until a relocation site had been found and agreed to pay some families P30,000 in ‘disturbance pay’.

Since the demolition, 30 children have stopped going to elementary and high school. Barbed wire fence has been placed across the main access path leading to the local school. Seven children have been hospitalized for malaria and fatigue.

PRA guards have surrounded the small community with barbed wire and spy on the families living under tarpaulins.

To date, after months residing in sub-standard conditions, without access to basic services of water, sanitation and electricity, the community has still not been consulted regarding relocation plans and no site has apparently been identified.

Rahima could only cry and pray. Her husband became sick and lost his job as terminal dispatcher. Her 9-year old daughter is now working along the streets selling plastic bags. Rising cost of commodities won’t allow her to buy medicines for her 2-year old baby.

Despite the problems, Rahima’s family find it hard to go back to Malabang, Lanao del Sur where farming is the only way to survive. “Aside from the problems of armed conflicts, rodents and wild pigs usually ruin our harvests. Our only problem here is eviction. The mosque is our shelter, we have nowhere else to go,” Rahima said.

Like most of her neighbor, Rahima left her province hoping to find better luck in the city. Her dream is to someday go back to her province, buy a passenger jeepney and have a small business.

The Muslim community asked the Urban Poor Associates (UPA), a non-government organization that monitors forced evictions, to help them. Last October 10, UPA arranged a consultative meeting with Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri and Senator Rodolfo Biazon regarding unlawful demolitions in various parts of Metro Manila including the Muslim area. Government agencies acceded to the appeal of urban poor leaders to have a 1-month moratorium on demolitions.

Abdelmanan Tanandato, president of Samahan Ng Nagkaka-Isang Na-Demolis Sa Roxas Blvd. Baclaran, Pasay City, also sought the help of Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo which led to a dialogue with PRA General Manager Andrea Domingo. Still the problem remains unresolved and negotiations continued.

The PRA denied the request of Bishop Pabillo to allow the entry of water rationing trucks into the area, which had been requested during the fasting month of Ramadan. The justification provided in the letter for the denial of water provision was that reclamation work was going on in the vicinity. With a water rationing truck at the Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard, residents are hoping to get some water even if they have to walk about 100 meters.

The makeshift pedestrian bridge connecting the community to Roxas Boulevard was destroyed during the demolition, isolating the community from the main thoroughfare. Using a pushcart, some people have to buy water from the Baclaran area and transport it via a longer route going to the Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard. Hence, residents have to pay 20 pesos for 5 gallons of water.

The Muslim community started reclaiming the land in 1992. In 1993, the Grand Mosque was built. In 1994, the Muslim leaders decided to make it concrete. It was completed in 2002 and the total amount of expenses reached 11.3 million pesos. Various Muslim groups donated the money while some residents contributed their coins, hard-earned money for the construction.

The Muslims built the mosque at the reclamation area in Baclaran with the endorsement of the then Parañaque City Mayor Joey Marquez. In a letter addressed to Jose Yulo Jr., General Manager of Philippine Estates Authority (the forerunner of the PRA), Mayor Marquez said the city does not interpose any objection to the establishment of the mosque in its present site for the Muslims to exercise their faith. The area is now considered a part of Pasay City.

During a mission to the Philippines in October 2007, a three-member team from the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE) visited the Muslim community. COHRE is a Geneva-based nongovernmental organization working to promote and protect the right to adequate housing.

In an open letter to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo last October 23, Deputy Director Jean du Plessis of COHRE said his organization is deeply concerned about the lack of genuine consultation surrounding the evictions and plans for relocation, the lack of access to basic services for the community, and the use of violence during the evictions and demolition. He also asked the President to take action to protect the affected families. -30-

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sine Totoo: Philippine Agenda: Housing




In Philippine Agenda: Housing, veteran news anchor Mel Tiangco highlights the issues surrounding housing in the Philippines.

The special discusses the phenomena of urban migration and its impact on housing through the story of Marian. A victim of super typhoon Reming, Marian lost the house she saved up for years to build in Bicol. She believed she would meet better luck in Manila. But instead of finding work and a decent place to live, she and her children had to squeeze into a squatter shack in Payatas, already housing four other families.

Marian’s family is just one of thousands who migrate to the big cities every year. However, most of them do not earn enough to afford a decent home, and end up settling under bridges, along railways, sidewalks, or even in the center isles of big roads.

Sine Totoo host Howie Severino leads an animated discussion on the issue of being homeless with Philippine Agenda host Mel Tiangco and her segment producer Madel Zaide. Among the various housing programs implemented by the government, Tiangco stresses we still lack a program for the poorest of the poor, those who cannot afford even low-cost housing units.

A roof over one’s head… a decent home. Is there hope that over four million homeless Filipinos will achieve this simple dream?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

MMDA demolishes more houses near QC esteros




MMDA demolishes 50 houses near QC creek




MMDA demolishes 50 creekside houses in QC


Friday, October 19, 2007

Group slams MMDA for violating moratorium on demolition

Urban Poor Associates
25-A Mabuhay Street, Brgy. Central, Q.C.
Telefax: 4264118 Tel.: 4264119 / 4267615

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jlagman17
http://jlagman17.blogspot.com

** NEWS RELEASE *** NEWS RELEASE *** NEWS RELEASE **

Group slams MMDA for violating moratorium on demolition

19 October 2007. An eviction watchdog has scored the continuing demolition drive by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) despite a 1-month moratorium agreed upon at a recent hearing at the Senate Committee on Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement.

The Urban Poor Associates (UPA), a housing rights non-government organization, said MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando violated his promise to Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri and Senator Rodolfo Biazon to stop demolitions as it only render poor families homeless.

“The MMDA should change its name to Metro Manila Demolition Abuses. For this year alone, it has displaced thousands of poor families more than a major disaster can do,” said Ted Añana, deputy coordinator of UPA.

“Aside from doing unlawful demolitions, the MMDA has perfected its propaganda of lies against urban poor just to justify its inhumane actions. In fact, the MMDA wanted to get rid of all informal settlers but it has never relocated a single family contrary to its press statements,” Añana said. “Imagine this, without all this so-called eyesores, more than half of the population of Metro Manila will be homeless,” Añana added.

According to UPA, the impact of forced evictions is almost always severe for the victims. This can include physical and mental trauma, homelessness, loss of wealth and assets in the form of dwellings and personal goods, loss of livelihood or employment, declining standards of health and education, and the destruction of community bonds.

Some residents living along Estero Tripa de Gallina in Pasay City were hurt yesterday as the MMDA dismantled the homes of more than 100 informal settlers.

Diana dela Torre, a 36-year old widow and mother of 3, tried to stop the demolition team. “Mamaya na ho kayo magsira, magliligpit lang kami ng gamit,” she pleaded.

The MMDA, however, went ahead. “Di kami pinapansin. Di nagpa-awat. Pinasok sa ilalim, parang mga gagamba sumampa sa itaas, nagsisira na,” dela Torre explained. “Masama ang loob ko, nagwawala ako, pero di sila nakikinig. Bumagsak ang kahoy, umiwas ako, pero sumagi sa anak ko kaya nasugatan.”

Dela Torre who work as scavenger said she is cleaning the sidewalk so that they will have a place to sleep. “Kahit walang bubong, may mahigaan lang. Yung mga gamit namin tinakpan ng plastic para di maulanan.”

She said they were surprised by the MMDA since there is supposedly a 1-month moratorium on demolition. “Na-shock na lang kami, biglang lumusob ang isang batalyon. Sana ay bigyan naman kami ng masisilungan. Kawawa yung mga bata, wala naman kaming ibang mapupuntahan. Masasayang ang pag-aaral ng mga bata.”

Under international human rights law, the practice of forced evictions is considered a gross violation of human rights, in particular the right to adequate housing. -30-

Monday, October 15, 2007

MMDA demolitions continues, violence mars Taguig operation




Violence erupts in Bicutan, Taguig demolitions




MMDA eases out sidewalk vendors in Bicutan





Violence erupts in Taguig market demolition

MMDA wants soldiers help in clearing operations




Soldiers may work with MMDA in Metro clearing operation




Troops join clearing of danger zones

Vendors to challenge MMDA-AFP ‘alliance’ before CHR

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Group welcomes moratorium on demolitions, evictions




Urban Poor Associates
25-A Mabuhay Street, Brgy. Central, Q.C.
Telefax: 4264118 Tel.: 4264119 / 4267615

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Group welcomes moratorium on demolitions, evictions


11 October 2007. Top government officials promised a one-month moratorium on demolitions to Metro Manila’s urban poor at a consultative meeting held at the Senate’s Padilla Room yesterday.

Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Bayani Fernando acceded to the appeal of Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri and Senator Rodolfo Biazon to stop demolitions as the Metro Manila Inter-Agency Committee (MIMIAC) develops its operational procedures.

At least 100 urban poor leaders went to the Senate to seek help from Senator Zubiri, Chairperson of Senate Committee on Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement.

Also present were officials from Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), National Housing Authority (NHA), Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP), Commission on Human Rights (CHR), and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

During the meeting, Senator Zubiri criticized the demolition of houses of informal settlers in various parts of Metro Manila. “Merong existing laws at mandatory provisions and Urban Development and Housing Act (UDHA). Ang MMDA ay hindi sumusunod. Within one month time, habang ginagawa pa ang polisiya, magkaroon ng moratorium.”

Senator Biazon, former Chairman of the Committee, supported the move saying that Executive Order 152 should be implemented otherwise it should be junk. “Bakit pa nag-issue ang Presidente ng EO 152? Violators of EO 152 challenge the authority of the President,” he said.

Urban Poor Associates (UPA), one of the housing rights non-government organizations that accompanied the people, welcome the moratorium saying this is good news for the urban poor.

“Our demolition monitor shows that MMDA is the top violator of housing rights,” said Ted Añana, deputy coordinator of UPA. “In fact, MMDA doesn’t secure Certificate of Compliance from PCUP prior to demolitions.”

He said thousands of poor families will be affected by on-going demolitions along Pasig River, Manggahan floodway, San Juan River, R-10 Navotas, Southrail, Del Pan, Commonwealth Avenue and along estero in Makati, Pasay, Quezon City and Manila.

UPA together with other NGOs such as Community Organization of the Philippine Enterprise (COPE) Foundation and Community Organizers Multiversity (COM) formed the Task Force Anti Illegal Demolition (TF-AID) to help people’s organizations affected by various government projects.

“Parang hindi pa rin tinatanggap ng MMDA ang batas. Pwede pa rin silang mag-summary evictions,” said Soti Sabarre, community organizer of COPE. “Aminado ang PCUP na wala silang magawa dahil takot kay Bayani.”

Sabarre said there should be plans, consultation and budget for relocation to maximize the one-month moratorium. “Gusto ng tao ang near-city relocation sa Montalban. Suporta lang ng gubyerno ang wala.” -30-

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Urban poor leaders ask Zubiri to help stop demolitions, evictions

Urban Poor Associates
25-A Mabuhay Street, Brgy. Central, Q.C.
Telefax: 4264118 Tel.: 4264119 / 4267615

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http://jlagman17.blogspot.com

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Urban poor leaders ask Zubiri to help stop demolitions, evictions

10 October 2007. Plagued with the problems of distant relocation, forced eviction and illegal demolition, thousands of urban poor families in Metro Manila are trying to solve the problems they face by seeking the help of Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, Chairperson of Senate Committee on Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement.

At a consultative meeting this afternoon held at the Sen. G.T. Pecson Room 2/F Right Wing, Senator Zubiri was asked to look on the demolition of houses of informal settlers in various parts of Metro Manila.

Urban poor leaders also asked Senator Zubiri to order the national agencies involved, especially the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to stop evicting poor families if there is no relocation.

Catherine Arquero, spokesperson of Task Force Anti Illegal Demolition (TF-AID), told the Senator that housing and not demolitions will solve the root causes of homelessness.

“Ang batas ay ginawa para ipagtanggol ang mamamayan, lalo na ang mahihirap. Pero sa mga nangyayaring illegal na demolisyon, walang silbi ang batas dahil wala namang napaparusahan,” said Arquero.

TF-AID represents people’s organization of some 100,000 poor families affected by demolitions along Pasig River, Manggahan floodway, San Juan River, R-10 Navotas, Southrail, Del Pan, along estero in Makati, Pasay, Quezon City and Manila, and those who were relocated to distant sites due to government projects.

It was the first Senate hearing in the last 6 years about forced evictions and illegal demolitions, according to the Urban Poor Associates (UPA), one of the housing rights non-government organizations that accompanied the people.

“Demolitions causes terrible suffering to poor families. Evicted families are forced to live on the streets. The children and the aged suffer most of all. Their children fall sick with colds and rashes. It is a traumatic experience for school children,” said Ted Añana, deputy coordinator of UPA.

Recently, the MMDA have forcibly evicted at least 1,000 families along Commonwealth Avenue to give way to a road widening project. No relocation site was provided, making the poor families homeless and more miserable. The same fate awaits some 393,000 families in Metro Manila. These are unprogrammed demolitions for non-budgeted projects, according to Percival Chavez, chairman of the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor.

TF-AID was formed by UPA, Community Organization of the Philippine Enterprise (COPE) Foundation, Community Organizers Multiversity (COM) and people’s organizations affected by government projects such as flood control, railway improvement, road widening and beautification

The group organized the meeting at the Senate to ask for the following:
· Stop violent and illegal demolition. Follow the laws.
· Give relief assistance to victims of illegal demolitions.
· Include representatives of affected families to the Metro Manila Inter-Agency Committee.
· Make in-city or near-city relocation sites as viable option to distant relocation.

-30-

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Church joins housing rights advocates in observance of Habitat Day

Urban Poor Associates
25-A Mabuhay Street, Brgy. Central, Q.C.
Telefax: 4264118 Tel.: 4264119 / 4267615

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Church joins housing rights advocates in observance of Habitat Day


28 September 2007. Bagbag cemetery is what Encarnacion Regalado and her family call ‘home’. They are living on top of a niche, using sacks as wall and dilapidated iron sheets as roof. The family has survived there for 28 years in the midst of heavy rains and a hell-like weather. Their horrific experience so far was not about ghost encounter but the non-stop demolition to make way for new compartments for the dead.

Regalado family is only one of the increasing number of homeless in Metro Manila, according to Urban Poor Associates (UPA), a non-government organization dealing with homelessness. “The government’s policies such as privatization of the public land, improvement of the dangerous area, beautification of the street have triggered forced evictions and illegal demolitions rendering poor families homeless.”

UPA called for a halt to demolitions as the world celebrates Habitat Day on October 1. "Driving away people from their homes is the most inhuman way to celebrate the World Habitat Day,” said Lawyer Bienvenido Salinas II, coordinator of UPA's legal unit St. Thomas More Law Center.

UPA notes that almost all cases of rampant demolitions being conducted by the government throughout Metro Manila have violated in one way or another the international laws and the Urban Development and Housing Act (UDHA), which prohibits use of force during demolitions and requires provision of suitable relocation areas.

Lack of adequate housing highlights a key concern in a letter signed last September 13, 2007 by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President and Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo.

The CBCP Permanent Council requests Archbishops, Bishops and Diocesan Administrators, to enjoin their priests to read in all Holy Masses on October 7 the CBCP’s “A Statement on the Nation’s Housing Problems" which was issued by the 94th Bishops' Plenary Assembly.

“As we speak in behalf of our homeless brethren and those living in very difficult conditions, let us continue praying for the speedy action of the government in response to their needs. Let us help them in whatever way we can,” Archbishop Lagdameo said.

Task Force Anti-Illegal Demolition (TF-AID) lauded the Church’s efforts in calling on those concerned to stop uncaring evictions and demolitions. Novaliches Bishop Antonio Tobias, for example, has condemned as inhuman the ongoing demolition of houses along Commonwealth, Quezon City. Last September 24, together with priests and nuns, Bishop Tobias personally asked Mayor Feliciano Belmonte to stop the wrecking crew of Metro Manila Development Authority so that affected families can find temporary staging area.

TF-AID spokesperson Soti Sabarre said poor families who are mostly under eviction threat are set to mobilize next week to urge the government to look into their plight instead of the mouthwatering ZTE deal. “The $329-million contract for the National Broadband Network (NBN) project could already house 300,000 homeless families but this government would never borrow that amount to uplift the lives of the poor.”

TF-AID was formed by UPA, Community Organization of the Philippine Enterprise (COPE) Foundation, Community Organizers Multiversity (COM) and people’s organizations affected by government projects such as flood control, railway improvement, road widening and beautification. -30-

Friday, September 21, 2007

Structures along Litex road in QC demolished




MMDA demolishes illegal police outpost




MMDA to continue demolition of structures near roads


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Reporter's Notebook: Northrail




Riles at Relokasyon
Jiggy Manicad

The North Luzon Railway Project is envisioned to bring about a modern rail system that runs from Caloocan in Metro Manila to Clark, Pampanga. The project’s first phase will run from Caloocan to Malolos, Bulacan and is expected to cost P500 million or about P25 billion. This phase is expected to be completed this year but despite funds for the project having already been spent, not even half has been completed. The project has been assailed from the start, with some quarters questioning why it didn’t undergo a bidding. Although the railway project appears to have stalled, the demolition of the shanties of informal settlers who live along the railway lines goes on. The government has spent a billion pesos to transfer these families but complaints have sprung up over the lack of water, power and jobs in the relocation areas. The houses in the relocation areas are said to be of substandard quality. Will questions that hound this project be answered?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

MMDA demolishes creekside structures


Group welcomes Mayor Cuerpo’s offer to house 500,000 homeless



Urban Poor Associates
25-A Mabuhay Street, Brgy. Central, Q.C.
Telefax: 4264118 Tel.: 4264119 / 4267615

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Group welcomes Mayor Cuerpo’s offer to house 500,000 homeless

11 September 2007. Metro Manila's poor have won a promise from Rodriguez Mayor Pedro Cuerpo to provide relocation sites to at least 500,000 informal settlers who would be displaced from their homes to give way to various government projects.

“Ako ay naniniwala na ang susi sa pag-unlad ay ang mga tao. Kaya bukas ang bayan ng Montalban sa mga apektado ng proyekto,” Mayor Cuerpo said. “Nagbigay na ako ng offer, willingness to cooperate and help relocatees of Northrail-Southrail Project,” he added.

In stressing his town’s humble offer, Cuerpo explained that poor people can be productive citizens in Rodriguez by joining livelihood program for agriculture. “May ordinansa kami na kapag di ginagamit ang bakanteng lupa ay pweding taniman upang mapakinabangan. Pero di pweding ariin,” Cuerpo said.

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, chair of the Housing Committee of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines, who has been assisting poor families in eviction crises welcomed the move.

Bishop Pabillo urged the government to hear those who are desperately in need. “Kulang ang konsultasyon sa demolisyon. Yung mga choices sa kanila ay napakaliit. Bunga nito hindi pahahalagahan ang kanilang relokasyon sa malayong lugar, babalik ulit iyan sa Manila,” Pabillo said.

“Sana tingnan yung mga tao, konsultahin para hindi masayang yung perang gagamitin nila sa relokasyon,” Pabillo added.

Results of a survey done by Urban Poor Associates (UPA) indicated that poor people in distant relocation sites would likely go back to Metro Manila due to the following issues: lack of electricity and potable water, livelihood and job problems, high cost of commodities and transportation, payments of units alloted, problem on security, and poor facilities.

Leaders of Manila area communities met with Mayor Cuerpo and Bishop Pabillo at the Arzobispado de Manila yesterday to find alternatives to the government’s policy of relocating poor people to remote sites.

Destined to be relocated in distant sites where life is extremely hard, Samahang Apektadong Pamilya sa Riles (SAPAR) have taken initiatives to find alternative relocation sites like Rodriguez.

They said they accepted relocation of a certain quality which would not cause poor families economic loss. For example, they object to being relocated to sites more than 40 kilometers outside the city where their jobs are.

Urban poor groups had sought to dialogue on their resettlement with the National Housing Authority, but their requests were either denied or "nothing fruitful" came of the talks. ###

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Bishop Pabillo, Mayor Cuerpo back railway families’ plea for alternative relocation site

Urban Poor Associates
25-A Mabuhay Street, Brgy. Central, Q.C.
Telefax: 4264118 Tel.: 4264119 / 4267615

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Bishop Pabillo, Mayor Cuerpo back railway families’ plea for alternative relocation site

10 September 2007. Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo and Rodriguez Mayor Pedro Cuerpo joined grassroots organizations this morning in a press conference held at the Arzobispado de Manila to demand that the government find alternatives to its policy of relocating poor people to remote sites.

Railway families who are facing imminent threat of evictions due to the Northrail-Southrail Linkage Project press the government to arrange that necessary relocation be to nearby sites like Rodriguez, and no longer to places two or more hours drive outside Metro Manila which is far from their jobs.

Mayor Cuerpo is offering hope to railway families as he has certified that the Municipality of Rodriguez in Rizal is willing to accept families living along the railroad tracks from Sampaloc up to Sta. Cruz, Manila.

Destined to be dumped in distant relocation sites where life is extremely hard, Samahang Apektadong Pamilya sa Riles (SAPAR) have taken initiatives to find alternative relocation sites for some 1,500 families. Despite many appeals the National Housing Authority (NHA) refuses to accept the Montalban relocation site.

The group also expressed admiration for Bishop Pabillo's consistent support for the poor. The chairman of the Philippine bishops' Housing Committee has assailed the soulless eviction of poor families.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has called the attention of the government in its pastoral statements on the homeless (1997) and on the nation’s housing problems (2007) to stop uncaring demolitions as it only put poor families from danger zone to death zone.

The government’s efforts to decongest Metro Manila by relocating poor people to distant places is simply pathetic, according to Urban Poor Associates (UPA), a non-government organization that concentrates on evictions and slum-upgrading.

Results of a survey done by UPA indicated that poor people in distant relocation sites would likely go back to Metro Manila due to the following issues: lack of electricity and potable water, livelihood and job problems, high cost of commodities and transportation, payments of units alloted, problem on security, and poor facilities.

Lawyer Bienvenido Salinas II, coordinator of UPA's legal unit St. Thomas More Law Center said the law requires that families evicted from government land be given decent relocation. “The Constitution clearly stated in its Article XIII (Section 10) that no resettlement of urban poor dwellers should be undertaken without adequate consultation with them and the communities where they are to be relocated.” ###

Monday, September 03, 2007

MEDIA ADVISORY : Bishop Pabillo, Mayor Cuerpo come to the aid of railway families

Hundreds of railway families in Manila who are facing imminent threat of evictions and demolitions due to the Northrail-Southrail Linkage Project have found advocates in Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo and Rodriguez Mayor Pedro Cuerpo who have offered to help in a press conference to be held at the Arzobispado de Manila on September 10, Monday (10:00 AM).

Poor families living along the railroad tracks in Sampaloc will ask the government to take another look at in-city or near-city relocation sites, for example in Rodriguez (Montalban), Rizal.

Destined to be dumped in distant relocation sites where life is extremely hard, grassroots organizations have taken initiatives to find alternative relocation sites.

The Constitution clearly stated in its Article XIII (Section 10) that no resettlement of urban poor dwellers should be undertaken without adequate consultation with them and the communities where they are to be relocated.

Photo ops: A woman in Filipiniana dress will receive a mock-up 100 Million Dollar Cheque as Official Demolition Assistance (ODA) fund from a woman with South Korean costume; Poor people will act out as miserable patients to depict the tragedy brought about by forced evictions and distant relocation.

Date: September 10, 2007 (Monday)

Time: 10:00 AM

Venue: Arzobispado de Manila
121 Arzobispo Street, Intramuros, Manila

For further information, please contact the Urban Poor Associates (UPA) at (632) 4264118 / 4264119 / 4267615.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

More than 100 houses destroyed in MMDA demolition




MMDA demolishes houses on Pasay, Makati esteros




MMDA demolishes 100 creekside houses in Makati




MMDA rushing cleanup of San Juan River




Shanties of 3,000 families along San Juan River to be demolished



MMDA to relocate riverside communities in San Juan City

Monday, August 27, 2007

Squatters protest MMDA demolition in Pasay and Makati




Mahigit 1,000 residente ng Makati at Pasay, nagprotesta laban sa napipintong demolisyon ng MMDA




MMDA dismantles 60 more Pasay, Makati shanties

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Slow motions highlight 3-year old case vs MMDA

Urban Poor Associates
25-A Mabuhay Street, Brgy. Central, Q.C.
Telefax: 4264118 Tel.: 4264119 / 4267615

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Slow motions highlight 3-year old case vs MMDA

23 August 2007. Some 70 poor families who are seeking a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to prevent their eviction and the demolition of their houses along San Juan River are hoping that their 3-year old case may finally be heard at 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon today after series of motions to reset hearing filed by the MMDA’s legal counsel.

Petitioners, who are residents of Gregorio Araneta Avenue Extension, Brgy. Dona Imelda in Quezon City, filed their petition for injunction and for a TRO November 4, 2004 at the Quezon City Hall of Justice.

Pursuant to the order of Hon. Vivencio Baclig, the Presiding Judge of Branch 77, the case was set for pre-trial conference on June 29, 2005. With an urgent motion to reset hearing, lawyer Thomas Laragan, a Senior State Solicitor, requested the court that the hearing be cancel and reset to August 31 because he will be attending several cases against the government in Bago City and Bacolod City.

The Solicitor again begs for the “understanding” of the court as he requested for the cancellation of the pre-trial and its resetting to October 12 because he will be leaving for Washington D.C. and San Francisco California, United States of America (USA) to attend the observation tour for Philippine law enforcement. However, in a very urgent motion to reset hearing, the Solicitor again requested for the cancellation of the hearing and its resetting to November 16 or any other date convenient to the calendar of the court because he is busy preparing the government’s comment on the constitutionality of Executive Order No. 464.

“The instant motion is not intended to delay, much less to trifle with the generosity of the honorable court,” Laragan stated in all his motions, to which the court acceded.

Thereafter, on July 13, 2007 the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) received court order setting the case for hearing on August 1. However, with another urgent motion to reset hearing, the Solicitor requested for the cancellation of the hearing and its resetting to August 23 because the Solicitor will travel to USA and that his trip abroad is covered by a duly approved application for leave of absence chargeable against his leave credits and that his expenses shall not be borne by the government.

“Mga 15 to 20 times na siguro na-reset. Bihira ko makita abogado ng MMDA. Siguro delaying tactic nga. Kasi labag sa batas ang mga ginagawa ng MMDA sa pagdedemolis,” said Jose Morales, one of the 25 petitioners.

To assuage their fear of being thrown into the streets, petitioners had sought the assistance of Urban Poor Associates (UPA), a non-government organization defending the housing rights of the urban poor.

Evictions are not a viable solution to the problem of slum dwelling, according to UPA. UPA research demonstrated that evicting poor people, without alternatives, does nothing to reduce the total number of slums. This is so because evictees invariably move into other slums in the area, sometimes after long periods of out on the street. Conditions in street are generally just as or even more unhealthy and unsafe as the shanties from which evictees were originally removed.

“We are deeply saddened by the impunity of illegal demolitions which swept through several areas in Metro Manila as typhoon lashes the country,” said Teodoro Añana, UPA deputy coordinator.

“The government is under a constitutional duty to devise and implement a plan to provide basic shelter for those who are in desperate need. Yet the government has manifestly failed to perform on its obligation to cater for them. It is this failure to provide alternatives which leaves the poor vulnerable to disasters,” Añana added.

MMDA personnel have recently informed the poor families that their homes will be demolished any time this August 17 to 31. ###

Monday, August 20, 2007

Shanties near Buendia Avenue in Makati demolished




Clashes erupt at demolition at Pasay, Makati esteros




MMDA demolition affects 1,000 families




1,000 families evicted from Pasay, Makati esteros




MMDA continues demolition of houses along waterways




Mahigit 1,000 pamilya, apektado ng demolisyon ng MMDA




MMDA continues clearing, flood control operations




Mga bahay sa ilalim ng tulay pinagiba


‘Court orders not needed to tear down shanties along waterways’


Mga bahay sa estero ng Makati giniba

MMDA demolishes 60 shanties in Pasay, Makati

Friday, August 17, 2007

MMDA demolishes houses in waterways




MMDA demolishes houses along creek




MMDA continues demolition of structures along waterways




Drive targets creek, cemetery dwellers

Sta. Mesa, Manila residents eye politics behind demolition

Lim proceeds with clearing of another Manila street

Friday, July 27, 2007

Housing rights advocates slam ‘summit makeover’

Urban Poor Associates
25-A Mabuhay Street, Brgy. Central, Q.C.
Telefax: 4264118 Tel.: 4264119 / 4267615

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Housing rights advocates slam ‘summit makeover’


27 July 2007. “Fresh paint, landscaping, rounding up beggars and clearing squatters will not do the trick.”

Following efforts to show off ‘good impressions’, a housing rights advocacy group has criticized ‘extreme makeovers’ that are being made in preparation for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) ministerial meeting in Manila to be held from July 29 to August 2.

Expecting delegates to arrive for the Asean ministerial meeting, authorities have started sprucing up poor communities hoping some serious cosmetic surgery can help mask its poverty.

They may only be going to stay for five days but finding enough ‘Filipino hospitality’ posed a real problem and may costs millions of pesos, according to Urban Poor Associates (UPA), a non-government organization that monitors forced evictions.

Large international conferences such as the ASEAN Summit are often accompanied by human rights violations, such as the demolitions of poor communities in host cities. UPA called on the government to stop this culture of ‘self deception’ saying not to disguise the fact that the much vaunted development and economic growth which the government so desperately wanted to display to potential foreign investors was not benefiting large sections of Philippine society.

Based from the UPA Demolition Monitor, from January to June this year some 5,745 families in Metro Manila lost their houses due to demolitions. UPA expects this year’s evictions to possibly even top the magnitude of evictions in 2006 and 2005.

“Unlike in 2004 when the number of demolitions dramatically went down mainly because of the national elections, in the first six months of this year during which the electoral campaign and May 14 voting took place the number of demolitions did not appreciably decrease. The reason could be because this year’s elections did not involve the president,” said Teodoro Añana, deputy coordinator of UPA.

Painting jobs, forced evictions and demolitions were also carried out in preparation for the 12th ASEAN Summit hosted by Metro Cebu. Nearly 210 people (42 families) were left homeless in September 2006 when police demolished their houses, situated in front of the Shangri-la Mactan Resort and Spa in Mactan Island, to make way for a parking lot that was used by Summit participants. More than 600 homes were also demolished in Mandaue City and Lapu-lapu City. Of the 600 families (3,000 people) rendered homeless by these demolitions, only 100 families were moved to a temporary relocation site. The temporary relocation site has no basic services such as electricity and potable water.

Cities especially in developing countries like the Philippines will be preferred home of an increasing proportion of the world’s poor people, city governments cannot avoid the problem of slums and homelessness for too long, according to the Institute on Church and Social Issues (ICSI).

“Sooner than later, they will have to confront the problem or face the prospects of urban decay, social violence and the overall deterioration of the quality of their life in their cities,” said Dr. Anna Marie Karaos, ICSI executive director. “But if local governments can act swiftly in partnership, rather than in constant conflict, with the poor who clamor for decent housing, they can fashion cities where everyone, the rich and the poor alike, can live productive lives.” -30-

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Catholic Bishop backs group in fight against urban poverty



Urban Poor Associates
25-A Mabuhay Street, Brgy. Central, Q.C.
Telefax: 4264118
Tel.: 4264119 / 4267615

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http://jlagman17.blogspot.com

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Catholic Bishop backs group in fight against urban poverty

15 July 2007. Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo added his voice to the initiative being pursued by the Urban Poor Alliance (UP-ALL), a coalition of non-government organizations (NGOs), people’s organizations (PO) and individuals all over the country who are working for the advancement of the urban poor particularly in facilitating the right to decent housing.

UP-ALL have found an ally with the Housing Committee Chairman of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in its third general assembly at the Religious of the Virgin Mary (RVM) Convent in Quezon City over the weekend.

Expressing his support and solidarity, Bishop Pabillo said he will help the group as it pursues the more urgent issues and concerns such as eviction, resettlement, basic services, land proclamation, community mortgage program, and women and gender.

Bishop Pabillo further noted that preventing and minimizing urban poverty requires solving rural poverty. As an example, he told the story of poor dwellers under a bridge in a parish in Las Piñas City. “Merong mga squatters sa ilalim ng tulay at ang kanilang sahig ay styrofoam. Para kapag tumatataas ang tubig, aakyat din sila. Kapag bumaba ang tubig, bababa din sila. Kung maganda na ang buhay at may trabaho na, aalis na sila. Pero may bago na naman na papasok. So hindi talaga mauubos iyan.”

According to Bishop Pabillo, urban poverty may be reduced through job creations, health services and better education. “Ang aking ideya dyan ay ang mga tao ay may regular na trabaho pero hindi ganun ang sitwasyon ng maraming urban poor. Nagtitinda lang iyan ng mga bulaklak dyan, hindi naman may regular na trabaho iyan,” explained the Bishop.

At a dinner meeting at Malacañang last July 5 with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Bishop Pabillo called the government’s attention to forced evictions despite its failure to provide job opportunities to relocated urban poor families.

The Urban Poor Associates (UPA), an NGO that provides free legal assistance to underprivileged homeless, lamented that the government has concentrated on the demolition of urban poor communities rather than on housing, as called for by the Urban Development and Housing Act (UDHA). Idle government lands earmarked for low-cost housing are being sold to private investors, according to UPA.

UPA have asked several Church leaders to intervene in impending demolitions because it may leave thousands homeless. Bishop Pabillo said many priests and Bishops are willing to help but the problem is many church people do not know the urban poor issues. “Hindi nila malalaman yung isyu kung hindi ninyo ilalapit sa kanila. Alam naman natin na yung isyu ng kahirapan, malapit sa puso ng mga tao iyan kung alam lamang nila. Problema hindi nila alam,” he added.

Since its formation in 2005, UP-ALL is further consolidating its ranks in Bicol, Visayas, Mindanao and Mega Manila. It has come up with a 14-point agenda. Among these include:
· The establishment of a local housing board that would manage and respond to the needs of the urban poor, particularly in facilitating the latter's right to housing and basic services.
· A guarantee that families threatened by eviction due to development projects would be allowed to meaningfully participate in policy and planning processes especially in ensuring in-city relocation including economic opportunities within the locality
· Regular allocation of adequate funds for housing through a multi-stakeholder process and ensuring that budget on housing even on the level of the Barangay represents the interest of the Gender and
Development framework. -30-

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

QTV: Railroad squatters slam VP Noli de Castro




Railroad residents heckle VP De Castro




Houses near Manila railways to be demolished in August





Poor residents living near railroad slam De Castro during visit



VP de Castro tinalakan ng mga iskwater sa Maynila


Eviction looms for railways folk

Monday, July 09, 2007

Demolition in Pag-asa and Quiapo




MMDA demolishes stores in Bgy Pag-asa, Quezon City

Saksi: D'Little Vietnam' residents will be relocated




Demolition continues in Manila's 'Vietnam'





'Vietnam' residents prepare to leave area


50 families lose homes in Quiapo demolition

Babies from displaced 'Vietnam' families getting sick

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Tribesman sheds light on ‘Kalinga massacre’

Urban Poor Associates
25-A Mabuhay Street, Brgy. Central, Q.C.
Telefax: 4264118 Tel.: 4264119 / 4267615

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Tribesman sheds light on ‘Kalinga massacre’


1 July 2007. Breakfast is being prepared. As usual, people are farming, gardening and just trying to earn a living. It was 7:30 in the morning June 25 when all of a sudden residents saw people in white shirts backed by policemen who are armed with M203 rifles and B150 machine gun.

After surrounding the area, the demolition team torched two huts and that triggers the explosion of gasoline inside the house that led to a ‘massacre’ in Sitio Malapiat, Brgy. San Pascual, Rizal, Kalinga.

“May baril sila!” a policeman shouted while firing shots that wounded fellow policemen. In terror, residents fled everywhere and hide. But contrary to what police thought, the residents don’t have guns.

“Hindi kami lalaban,” a resident said as he surfaces. A police handcuffed the man then shot him dead. With the presence of Rizal Mayor Marcelo dela Cruz, policemen open fired at a house where Abok Tayaan and his wife were hiding. Shanties had been razed to the ground. When the smoke cleared, at least nine people lay dead including the Tayaan couple. At least 50 residents were wounded. The policemen were reinforced by a group of soldiers.

This is the real story, according to Solomon Inaw, a local tribesman. About 300 meters away from the bloody scene, Inaw stayed safe in a hut together with a woman, a child and an old man.

Residents started building huts in the area in 1986. Tribesmen claimed it was their ancestral land until the family of Vicente Madrigal came and turned it into hacienda. Tribesmen went to courts to fight for ownership of the land. It was declared public land by the Supreme Court in 2003. However, under the government’s land reform program, the disputed land is also being claimed by farmers who come from other provinces and who used to work with the Madrigal family.

After the first demolition in 2004, tribesmen went to Tabuk Regional Trial Court. Failing to secure a court order, Mayor dela Cruz asked the Sangguniang Bayan to make a resolution that will evict the residents. “Syempre yung lupa na iyan talagang fertile kaya gusto nilang okupaduhin. Tapos ang ginawa nila hindi pumunta sa korte kasi matatalo sila. Hindi makuha sa legal na paraan kaya gumamit ng karahasan at yung power niya sa pagka-Mayor,” Inaw said.

As of June 30, the dead who belongs to different tribes were already buried. Charges will also be filed against the policemen and the town mayor. “Maghihintay kami sa Korte at itatatag namin yung dokumento na talagang pag-aari namin itong lupa na ito,” Inaw added.

The Urban Poor Associates (UPA), a non-government organization working to promote and protect the right to adequate housing, expressed sadness over the incident and called on the government to order an impartial and independent inquiry into the violence and promptly make the findings public. “Ensure that all officials, government agencies and police personnel who are responsible for human rights violations, including the excessive use of force, or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, are prosecuted,” the UPA said in a statement.

UPA also asked to immediately cease all forced evictions and comply with treaty obligations incumbent upon the Philippines to submit a report to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which the Philippine government has not done since 1995. -30-

Friday, June 29, 2007

Urban and rural poor dwellers under siege by demolition-freak government




The Urban Poor Associates (UPA) is a human rights non-government organization working to promote and protect the right to adequate housing for everyone, everywhere, including preventing or remedying forced evictions.

UPA is concerned about reports of brutal forced evictions and unlawful demolitions happening in and out of the Metro, the latest of which killed a muslim in Baclaran and 9 tribesmen in Kalinga province.

UPA is concerned that these evictions breach both domestic and international human rights law.

Article XIII, Section 10 of the Philippine Constitution explicitly provides that "Urban or rural poor dwellers shall not be evicted nor their dwellings demolished, except in accordance with law and in a just and humane manner."

The legal process intimated by Article XIII, Section 10 was in turn adopted through statute under Republic Act No. 7279, otherwise known as the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992 (UDHA).

Section 28 of the provision states that "Eviction or demolition as a practice shall be discouraged." However, under certain circumstances evictions may be allowed, but must comply with eight mandatory requirements, including: "Adequate consultations on the matter of settlement with the duly designated representatives of the families to be resettled and the affected communities in the areas where they are to be relocated;" and " Adequate relocation".

Furthermore, Executive Order no. 152, issued on December 10, 2002, instructs all government officials to secure a Certificate of Compliance (COC) from the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP) to ensure that procedures for a just and humane demolition, as mandated by the Constitution and as set out in the UHDA are followed.

As a State Party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Government of the Philippines is legally obliged to respect the right to adequate housing, including the prohibition on forced evictions, as guaranteed under Article 11(1).

According to General Comment No. 7 of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which is mandated to monitor compliance with the Covenant, forced evictions can only be justified in very rare and exceptional circumstances and even then must occur in the context of specific procedural protections.

Furthermore, and in any event, forced eviction shall not result in rendering individuals homeless or vulnerable to the violation of other human rights.

Indeed, the Philippines is obligated to ensure that adequate alternative housing and compensation for all losses is made available to affected persons.

In terms of international human rights law, for forced evictions to be considered as lawful, they may only occur in very “exceptional circumstances” and “all feasible alternatives” must be explored. If and only if such “exceptional circumstances” exist and there are no feasible alternatives, can evictions be deemed justified. However, in those rare cases where eviction is considered justified, it must be carried out in strict compliance with international human rights law and in accordance with general principles of reasonableness and proportionality.

These include, inter alia:
۰ Genuine consultation with those affected;
۰ Adequate and reasonable notice for all affected persons prior to the scheduled date of eviction;
۰ Information on the proposed evictions, and where applicable, on the alternative purpose for which the land or housing is to be used, to be made available in reasonable time to all those affected;
۰ Especially where groups of people are involved, government officials or their representatives to be present during an eviction;
۰ All persons carrying out the eviction to be properly identified;
۰ Evictions not to take place in particularly bad weather or at night unless the affected persons consent otherwise;
۰ Provision of legal remedies; and
۰ Provision, where possible, of legal aid to persons who are in need of it to seek redress from the courts.

Therefore, UPA urges the government to:
1. Immediately cease all forced evictions and reconsider any plan that would result in forced eviction;

2. Identify, in consultation with those affected, adequate alternative accommodation and relocation to all those rendered homeless by the recent forced evictions, and establish adequate mechanisms for compensation and other remedies to those previously evicted;

3. Order an impartial and independent inquiry into the violence and promptly make the findings public;

4. Ensure that all officials, government agencies and police personnel who are responsible for human rights violations, including the excessive use of force, or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, are prosecuted;

5. Comply with treaty obligations incumbent upon the Philippines to submit a report to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which the Philippine government has not done since 1995.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

NHA demolishes houses along South Railway project




1,000 shanties demolished in Manila for NorthRail project


Houses near Sta. Mesa railroad tracks demolished


Friday, June 15, 2007

Bishop Pabillo asked to help evicted Muslim families in Baclaran



Urban Poor Associates
25-A Mabuhay Street, Brgy. Central, Q.C.
Telefax: 4264118
Tel.: 4264119 / 4267615

Ref: John Francis Lagman
http://jlagman17.blogspot.com
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jlagman17


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Bishop Pabillo asked to help evicted Muslim families in Baclaran

15 June 2007. In a desperate move and very rare opportunity, some 332 evicted Muslim families in Baclaran have asked a Catholic Bishop to send their message to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and various government agencies.

Led by Abdelmanan Tanandato, president of Samahan Ng Nagkaka-Isang Na-Demolis Sa Roxas Blvd. Baclaran, P.C., Muslim leaders went to Sto. Niño Parish in Tondo yesterday to personally deliver a letter to Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Housing Committee Chairman of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

The leaders are hesitant to directly deliver their letter to PGMA at the Malacañang receiving section for fear that it may only end up in the waste basket. “Humihingi po kami ng tulong sa inyo dahil wala na po kaming maisip na paraan upang makarating sa Pangulo ang aming liham,” Tanandato told the Bishop in a letter.

Tanandato requested Bishop Pabillo to send their message through Malacañang's Religious Affairs Office “Hindi na po kami lumapit sa Office of Muslim Affairs (OMA) dahil ito po ang naging dahilan ng hindi makataong demolition at forcible eviction sa amin,” the letter read.

With an endorsement from Bishop Pabillo, the Muslim families hope to send their message to the government as quickly as possible to prevent bloodshed as a cause of a violent eviction that may be enforce by Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit.

Despite the P30,000 ‘disturbance pay’ being offered by the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA), many Muslim families opted instead to fight for their relocation. As a result, last June 7 several people were hurt as the demolition team and antiriot policemen pushed, shoved and battered their way into the human barricade formed by residents. The residents retreated to the Grand Mosque for sanctuary and struggled for days to save the Mosque from demolition.

At the Office of the Ombudsman and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) last June 13, Muslim leaders together with the residents’ legal counsel Sultan of Lanao Firdausi Ismail Yahja Abbas filed criminal cases for unlawful demolition, interruption of religious worship, offending the religious feelings, less-serious physical injuries, grave threats and grave coercion, violation of the Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Charges were filed against Andrea Domingo (PRA General Manager / CEO), Oscar Sanchez (PRA Assistant General Manager), Chief Superintendent Sukarno Ikbala, Police Senior Inspector Lerpon Platon, Police Senior Superintendent Salim Sahiron and Senior Superintendent Marieto Valerio.

Lashing out at the government’s defiance to the CBCP Statement on the Nation’s Housing Problems and for failing to house the poor, the Urban Poor Associates (UPA), a non-government organization that monitors forced evictions, expressed concerns about increasing number of violent demolitions. “Thousands of poor families are being evicted by various government agencies now that the midterm election is over,” said Teodoro Añana, deputy coordinator of UPA.

According to UPA, the following areas seem certain to be cleared of urban poor settlers this year: C5, R-10 Navotas, Northrail and Southrail, Pasig River (10-meter easement) and Esteros.

UPA called on newly elected Senators and Congressmen for total involvement as legislators and housing rights advocates. “We seek improvements in the law but we realize good laws are not enough and that it requires strong political will to achieve results,” Añana said. -30-



*Letter to Bishop Pabillo

June 14, 2007


His Excellency
Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, D.D.
Auxiliary Bishop of Manila


Dear Bishop Pabillo,

Humihingi po kami ng tulong sa inyo dahil wala na po kaming maisip na paraan upang makarating sa Pangulo ang aming liham. Hindi na po kami lumapit sa Office of Muslim Affairs (OMA) dahil ito po ang naging dahilan ng hindi makataong demolition at forcible eviction sa amin.

Umaasa po kami na maipaparating ang aming mensahe kay Pangulong Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo upang maiwasan ang anumang kaguluhan. Balita po kasi namin na lulusubin ng SWAT ang aming Mosque upang puwersahan po kaming paalisin at gibain ito. Hindi po namin masisiguro na walang mangyayaring karahasan pero kung hindi kikilalanin ang aming karapatan at paniniwala, baka po maaaring maging sanhi ito ng pagdanak ng dugo. Sa ngayon po ay binakuran na kami ng barb wire, pinutol ang kuryente at maiinom naming tubig. Maraming mga bata na sa ngayon ang nagkakasakit dahil dito.

Hindi po kami tutol na umalis sa Mosque kung meron po kaming relokasyon na malapit sa aming hanap-buhay at paaralan ng aming mga anak. Importante rin po na may maayos na paglilipatan ang aming Mosque.

Umaasa po kami sa inyong suporta.

Maraming salamat po.


Lubos na gumagalang,



ABDELMANAN D. TANANDATO
Pangulo
Samahan Ng Nagkaka-Isang Na-Demolis Sa Roxas Blvd. Baclaran, P.C.
Bgy. 76, Pasay City



*Letter to the President

Ika-13 ng Hunyo, 2007


Her Excellency Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
President, Republic of the Philippines
Malacañang Palace, Manila


Mahal naming Pangulo,

Umaasa po kami na mabuti ang inyong kalusugan, sampu ng inyong mga mahal sa buhay.

Sumulat po kami sa inyo para humingi ng tulong para sa aming mahirap at maselang kalagayan sa kasalukuyan, lalo na ang aming mga anak, mga kababaihan, at mga nakakatandang miyembro ng aming mga pamilya. Ito ay dahil sa nangyaring marahas, sapilitan, at hindi makataong demolisyon sa aming mga kabahayan noong ika-07 ng Hunyo. Ang masakit pa, pagkatapos ng demolisyon, pinutulan kami ng kuryente at tubig. Hindi kami makapaghanapbuhay at karamihan sa aming mga anak ay nawalan ng pagkakataong makapasok sa eskuwela sa taong ito. Maraming mga bata ang maysakit sa ngayon. Nagsisiksikan kaming tatlong-daang (300) pamilya sa Grand Mosque na nagsisilbing pansamantalang tirahan namin sa kasalukuyan.

Kaugnay po dito, walang pagtutol sa amin na paalisin kami kung may relokasyon sa mga pamilya at sa mosque. Hiling lang po namin na sana mabigyan kami ng pagkakataon ng ating pamahalaan sa pamamagitan ninyo bilang aming Pangulo.

Ang mga sumusunod ay nais naming hilingin sa inyo:

• Mabigyan kami ng relokasyon na malapit sa aming hanapbuhay.
• Irespeto ang presensya ng aming Grand Mosque. Tuparin ang pangakong lugar para sa relokasyon nito. Sang-ayon kami na ito ay ilipat sa Nayong Pilipino. Kung maaari, dagdagan ang laki ng lupa para sa mga pamilyang nawalan ng tahanan.
• Pagbabalik ng mga batayang serbisyo na pinutol kagaya ng tubig at kuryente. Huwag harangin ang water delivery truck na nagsu-supply ng tubig sa mga residente.
• Agarang pagpapadala ng gamot. Dumarami ang nagkakasakit lalo na ang mga bata.
• Ipatigil ang “harassment” na ginagawa ng PRA o Philippine Reclamation Authority. Tanggalin ang barbed wire na nakaharang sa paligid ng mosque. Delikado ito sa mga bata lalo na kung gabi dahil walang kuryente.
• Hayaang makapagtinda kami sa Baclaran habang hindi pa nakaka-recover sa nangyaring demolisyon. Hiling namin na ipatigil ang mga harassment na ginagawa ng MMDA. Humigit-kumulang 95% sa nademolis na pamilya ay vendors.
• Dagliang makagawa ng mekanismo kung saan makakahabol sa pag-aaral ang humigit-kumulang isangdaang (100) batang mag-aaral. Natigil ito nang mangyari ang demolisyon.
• Habang isinasagawa ang negosasyon, sana ay walang demolisyon sa mosque at huwag paalisin sa aming mga pamilyang pansamantalang nakatira dito.
Umaasa po kami sa inyong suporta at dagliang pagtugon sa aming kahilingan. Marami pong salamat.

Lubos na gumagalang,


Abdelmanan D. Tanandato
Pangulo
Samahan Ng Nagkaka-Isang Na-Demolis Sa Roxas Blvd. Baclaran P.C.
Brgy. 76, Pasay City



Copy Furnished:


Vice President Noli de Castro
Chair
Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC)

Purificacion C. Valera Quisumbing
Chairperson
Commission on Human Rights (CHR)

Percival Chavez
Chairman
Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP)

Dr. Esperanza I. Cabral
Secretary
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)

Andrea Domingo
General Manager and CEO
Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA)

Undersecretary Sultan Yahya "Jerry" Tomawis
Executive Director
Office of Muslim Affairs (OMA)

Allan Panaligan
Mayor
Pasay City