Government forces illegally demolish community with 700 families in Quezon City

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The combined forces of the National Housing Authority (NHA) and the police illegally demolished the houses in Sityo San Isidro, Barangay Pag-asa, Quezon City yesterday, April 17. According to Kadamay’s report, 50 houses were destroyed by the combined forces of the NHA and Quezon City police to make way to the construction of a parking lot for the Philippine Children’s Medical Center. This community has 700 families.

The group’s report say the demolition team did not present any notice of demolition or certificate of compliance. They demolished houses without prior consultation. They also did not offer relocation or assistance to the homeless. All who objected to the demolition were threatened with prosecution. Residents were arbitrarily evicted. After the demolition, 20 families slept on the street, including pregnant women and mothers with infants.

Up to 1,700 families used to live in Sityo San Isidro, but many have been displaced due to the constant threat of demolition. They were forced to accept relocation to distant places such as Pandi and Norzagaray in Bulacan, and Morong in Rizal.

Kadamay strongly condemned the illegal demolition, its lack of due process, consultation, warning, documentation and fair compensation. They also condemned the PNP and the demolition team for their intimidation and threats.

“As the demolition of the adjacent San Roque site continues, as part of the construction of Solaire North, the local government of Quezon City has not only failed… to protect its constituents in the city, it has even become an active participant in the harrassment.” Solaire North, a luxury hotel and casino, is part of the Bloomberry Resorts Corporation owned by Enrique K. Razon Jr.

Kadamay says the eviction of the poor from their communities is widespread. It says, from January to March alone this year, there have been 2,424 incidents of fires, mostly in urban poor communities.

“Forcibly evicting residents from their homes is a well-known tactic of developers,” according to the group. Just last March, Barangay Pinyahan in Quezon City was burned down.

Outside of Metro Manila, at least eight fires have been recorded in Cavite, where there are construction plans for the Manila-Cavite Toll Expressway Project (MCTEX), and the 420-hectare reclamation project in Bacoor City.

AB: Government forces illegally demolish community with 700 families in Quezon City