Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Urban Poor Mother, Son Killed


Urban Poor Mother, Son Killed

Quezon City, 13 October 2009. Maria Myrna Porcare, a vocal leader of Samahan ng Magkakapitbahay sa Pechayan (SAMASAPE), and his son Jimyr Porcare were shot dead by the land owner-hired security guards on October 9, 2009, Friday afternoon over a disputed piece of property in Pechayan, Brgy. North Fairview, a community near Tullahan River.

According to witnesses, the victim was just trying to stop the guards from fencing the area because they were already going beyond what was stated in the court order. The 2.4 hectare Pechayan is home for more than 1,000 informal settler families for about 20 years. The revival of eviction case against a certain Domingo couple at the Metropolitam Trial Court Branch 38 of Quezon City sustained Melecio Lavares’ claim over a portion of land. The land owner was able to secure a writ of execution against Domingo.

However, the guards adamantly continued fencing the entire 2.4 hectares of land which was beyond the court’s order. Thus, settlers resisted. Porcare was killed by a shotgun blast in the stomach. Her son came to rescue his mother but he was also shot dead in the thorax. Carrying shotguns, some 15 security guards are present at the crime scene.

Suspects were charged two counts of homicide with the help of Urban Poor Associates (UPA), a housing rights NGO. The suspects were detained at the Crime Investigation Detection Unit of Camp Karingal on Oct. 9.

Lawyer Ritche Esponilla, UPA legal counsel, said, “We will never tire ourselves prosecuting the two suspects to make sure that justice will be served to the mother and son who were unlawfully killed for fighting over their shelter rights.”

“We are likewise weighing all legal possibilities if we can file charges against the land claimant, the security agency and even against the sheriff for failing to properly supervise the execution of the issued writ which led to this very unfortunate incident,” he added.

Father Robert Reyes, also known as the running priest, in a mass this morning emphasized the greatness of the mother and son who died protecting their rights as a citizen of this country. “The mother died protecting her family’s right to housing and as a consequence her son also died protecting his mother’s right to live. They are heroes of urban poor,” he told residents during the homily.

“The rights of the poor diminished all of a sudden because of the government’s negligence to its duty to serve and protect. But we should not lose hope and instead justice should be served to Myrna and Jimyr’s death by continuing our fight for decent housing,” the Catholic priest added

Task Force Anti-Eviction composed of various people’s organizations and NGOs such as UPA, Community Organizers Multiversity (COM) and Community Organization of the Philippine Enterprise (COPE) Foundation condemn the killing.

The group urges the government to act “with expediency to resolve this crime and to investigate the conduct of demolitions and evictions, may it involve government or private land.” -30-

Maria Myrna Porcare - 42-year-old

Jimyr Porcare - 18-year-old

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