Wednesday, January 30, 2008

‘Have pity’ poor families appeal to PGMA in face off


Have pity’ poor families appeal to PGMA in face off

30 January 2008. Backed by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), urban poor leaders will have a meeting tomorrow afternoon with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo at the Heroes Hall in Malacañang where they hope to discuss forced evictions, inadequate relocation and land proclamation issues.

The meeting resulted from a consultation between urban poor groups and the CBCP held last week at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Paco, Manila.

Archbishop Diosdado Talamayan of Tuguegarao and Bishop Ramon Villena of Bayombong offered to arrange a meeting with President Arroyo through the Office of the Religious Affairs in Malacañang.

Urban poor groups want a halt to forced evictions, specifically those done by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and the preparation of adequate relocation sites for those who are evicted.

They want the President to condemn the practice of MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando for his failure to relocate families he has evicted.

The Urban Poor Associates (UPA) eviction monitor for the first month of 2008 shows some 1,800 families have already been left homeless after being forcibly evicted.

A group called Task Force Anti-Illegal Demolition (TF-AID) warns of massive demonstrations in Metro Manila if their requests will fall on deaf ears. TF-AID was formed by various people’s organizations and NGOs such as Community Organizers Multiversity (COM), Community Organization of the Philippine Enterprise (COPE) Foundation, and UPA.

The group agree with the words of Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales in a sermon delivered to urban poor on the Paco Estero during the Feast of the Holy Family. “There should be no violence. No one should use violence. There should be no intimidation, no use of arms. We will obey, but we don’t want to be forced or subjected to violence. If government evicts it must prepare relocation sites. This is what we say, the site is prepared when there are houses, roads, light, water, schools for the children, and travel to work must be easy.”

Jose Morales, one of the urban poor leaders who will meet the President, said it is time to stop the social injustice being experienced by urban poor. “Panahon na para wakasan na ang pagiging berdugo ng maralita ni Bayani Fernando. Panahon na para igalang ang batas tulad ng Urban Development and Housing Act (UDHA).” Morales represents the Urban Poor Alliance (UP-ALL) and the Ugnayang Lakas ng mga Apektadong Pamilya sa Baybaying Ilog Pasig (ULAP).

Prescilda Juanich, a representative of Samahang Pinagbuklod ng Pagkakaisa, said she is excited because it is her first time to set foot in Malacañang. “Idol ko si Gloria, senador pa lang siya hanggang sa naging vice president. Pero ngayon nagdadalawang isip ako dahil pakiramdam ko pinapabayaan ang hanay ng maralita. Patuloy ang proyekto pero walang nilalaan na relokasyon sa mga taong apektado tulad ng road widening project sa R-10 Navotas ng Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).”

“Labag sa batas at labag din sa inuutos ng Pangulo sa kanyang Executive Order 152 ang ginagawa ng MMDA. Utos mismo ng Pangulo, di sinusunod ni Bayani,” said Soti Sabarre, spokesperson of TF-AID. “Kung binabalak na maging presidente ni BF dapat ay tigilan niya ang mararahas at iligal na demolisyon. Kung hindi ay titiyakin ng mga maralitang tagalungsod na sa kangkungan siya pupulutin pagdating ng eleksyon.” Fernando has said he plans to run for the presidency.

The President proclaimed urban land for about 200,000 families 2001-2003, but almost none since.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Army unit demolish 300 Taguig shanties

01/29/2008 | 12:21 PM

Soldiers guard planned demolition in Taguig
01/29/2008 | 06:14 AM

Demolition team arrives at Maharlika, Taguig
01/29/2008 | 07:40 AM

Friday, January 25, 2008

Railway people stage rally outside South Korean Embassy


Railway people stage rally outside South Korean Embassy

25 January 2008. Protesting the refusal of Ambassador Hong Jong-ki to talk with them, about fifty people from railway communities gathered outside the South Korean Embassy in Makati City this morning.

Demonstrators, some of them carrying banners “Mr. Ambassador, speak, listen to us!” patiently waited at the grounds of the Pacific Star Building along Makati Avenue where the embassy is located.

Blue-red-and-yellow paper house boxes, matching the colors of the Philippine flag, were put on some protester’s head to show that a roof over people’s head is a human right.

The groups picketing are people being evicted due to the Northrail Southrail Linkage Project which is funded by the Korean government. Some are residents of the Southville relocation site in Cabuyao, Laguna. They are helped by Urban Poor Associates (UPA), a non-government organization working on urban poverty.

The Korean government has judged the relocation of the families as adequate based on two surveys it funded that were headed by a person employed at the Asian Development Bank.

“The surveys which play such a key role have never been made available to us though we have asked to see them several times. Now the Korean Embassy refuses to talk to us. What are they hiding, we want to know,” said Ted Añana, deputy coordinator of UPA.

“We want to stress that the affected families are not opposed to the railway project. Our only concern is the observance of the rights of the affected families as enunciated by domestic and international laws,” Añana pointed out.

The railway project involves the eviction of 50,000 families from Caloocan City to Calamba, Laguna. About 30,000 families still remain on the tracks. The Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) under Vice President Noli de Castro is in charge of the relocation.

After learning that the embassy officials refused to dialog with them, the Koalisyon ng mga Samahan sa Riles Katimugan (KOSARIKA) wrote a letter addressed to Lee Myung-bak, President-elect of Republic of Korea. “Your embassy officials here refuse to dialog with us. It is as if we were not of value.”

“We write this letter to seek your help, since the relocation provided for us is woefully inadequate. We also want the Korean government to make another survey to be done by a university here in a very transparent manner with the results revealed publicly,” the letter read

The Korean government through its Finance and Economy Ministry has expressed concerns regarding the relocation of railway families in a letter sent to KOSARIKA dated May 11, 2007. “Our government is well aware of the importance of the issue of relocating local residents in that project, and we emphasize once more that we plan to continually watch to see whether it is being implemented according to international standards.”

In order to relieve the transportation jam in Metro Manila and at the same time to develop parts of Metro Manila that were becoming slums, South Korea decided in December of 2003 to support the railway project. However it has consistently maintained the position that “preparing and implementing adequate relocation for the residents alongside the railway is a precondition for providing support for the project.”


Railroad squatters picket South Korean embassy

Evicted railway settlers picket South Korean embassy

S. Korean envoy urged to address plight of 50,000 evicted families

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Demolition of 200 shanties turns violent

01/24/2008 | 06:39 PM

More than 200 shanties along Quezon Ave. demolished
01/24/2008 | 12:12 PM

3 nabbed for stealing steel parts from demolition site
01/25/2008 | 07:26 PM

MEDIA ADVISORY : Protest Rally at the South Korean Embassy in Makati

Attention: News Editor, News Desk, Reporters and Photojournalists


Protest Rally at the South Korean Embassy in Makati

Leaders of communities affected by the Northrail Southrail Linkage Project being funded by the South Korean government will stage a protest rally to be held in the morning of January 25 (Friday).

Housing rights advocates will convene at the grounds of the Pacific Star Building along Makati Avenue where the South Korean Embassy is located.

The people are protesting the refusal of the Embassy to talk with them unless they coordinate with the office of the Vice President Noli de Castro in the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC). The people say they always talk with HUDCC but now want to talk to the Korean government that is funding the railroad project.

We hope that members of the media will cover the event. We wish to assure you that the activity will be peaceful.

Photo ops: Some protesters will be wearing paper house boxes on their heads to show that a roof over people’s head is a human right.

Date: January 25, 2008 (Friday)

Time: 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Venue: In front of the South Korean Embassy (Pacific Star Building),
Makati Avenue, Makati City

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

MMDA demolition in Libis, Quezon City affects 100 families

01/16/2008 | 12:00 PM

Residents watch as MMDA dismantles houses in Libis
01/16/2008 | 12:26 PM

Residents decry demolition in Brgy. Libis, QC
01/16/2008 | 07:37 PM

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tension continues to grip New Manila demolition

Some QC residents dismantle houses amid demolition
01/15/2008 | 07:42 AM

Miyembro ng Demolition team, sugatan sa pagsabog ng pillbox
01/15/2008 | 12:01 PM

Another pillbox explodes in QC demolition

Monday, January 14, 2008

Pillbox explodes in New Manila demolition

Demolition team in New Manila guarded by cops in battle gear

Tension up in New Manila over demolition

1 sugatan sa demolisyon sa 6th, 7th street sa new manila

1 hurt in New Manila demolition

Friday, January 11, 2008

200 Pasay houses, stores demolished in MMDA operation

Residents demolish own homes in Pasay

MMDA demolish homes of 500 families

MMDA demolishes houses, shops under LRT in Baclaran

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Violence mars demolition of QC shanties

QTV: Tension mars demolition in New Manila

4 hurt in New Manila demolition

New Manila residents fight back demolition team

5 hurt in New Manila, QC, demolition operation

Pillbox explosions injure three during QC demolition

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Demolisyon sa Commonwealth ave. at sa Port area Maynila, nagkaroon ng tensyon

Tension grips demolition on Commonwealth Avenue

Rock-throwing mars demolition in Paco, Manila