Sitio Balubad demolished residents in face off with Angeles City Mayor

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Residents of Sityo Balubad, Barangay Anunas, Angeles City, Pampanga again staged a protest before xcAngeles City Hall yesterday, June 18, to assert their right to housing. Residents were evicted from Sityo Balubad after the violent demolition by 500 joint policemen and goons of Clark Hills Properties Corporation in the seized 73-hectare last March 12.

The demolition, which destroyed 535 houses and destroyed the crops of farmers in the community, affected an estimated 2,000 residents.

In a statement by the Anunas United Farmers, Settlers, Descendants Association (AUFSDA) yesterday, the city’s local government offered to relocate the evicted residents to Magalang. “The offer of a three-hectare relocation site in Barangay San Ildefonso [in Magalang], which is almost at the border of Concepcion, Tarlac, is an insult, and inhumane and unsustainable for the people of Balubad,” the group said.

Each affected resident will be given a 45 square meter plot of land. The group said “this is not enough to replace everything that was illegally demolished in the former area in Sityo Balubad.”

They pointed out that the relocation is two hours away from their work and livelihood in Angeles City. It is also very far from schools and hospitals and other necessary services. They also said that the roads there are not in good condition and there are no public transportation except tricycles that charge ₱250 per special trip.

AUFSDA challenged the city mayor to ensure their right to housing. They insist that they deserve “not this kind of offer but better, close to our livelihood, and most of all sustainable.” The poultry farms and piggeries around the offered relocation is an additional problem.

“The Sitio Balubad residents believe that it is the city’s rightful responsibility to take care of the evicted constituents,” they said. The local government is mistaken if it thinks that its relocation offer will resolve the issue and silence the Balubad people. This will not be the end of the struggle to reclaim the 73-hectare land violently seized by Clarkhills, they said.

AB: Sitio Balubad demolished residents in face off with Angeles City Mayor