Lapu church faces demolition
A CHURCH built within the three meter easement of Sitio Camansi, Barangay Pajo in Lapu-Lapu City faces demolition even as their members remain defiant against Lapu-Lapu City Hall’s order for them to leave the place.
“We are preparing for that, because there were resistance from them. This would be demolished because it was built in the seawater. The (Aug. 12) notice already lapsed. Some lumad (indigenous people) are interfering and defending the church,” Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza said.
The Seo-Jong New Life Church, a born-again Christian church, was built in 2014 with the help of the DAIL Community in South Korea. It counts lumad among its members,
Datu Edgardo Luardo, chieftain of the Tribu ni Datu Mapaubsanon, questioned the demolition order, since they are members of the IP community.
“We are governed under the Republic Act (R.A.) 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Right Act of 1997, which gives IP community the right to self-governance over its ancestral domains,” Luardo said.
Luardo showed to Cebu Daily News some documents to prove their claim on the property and site, claiming that it was issued by the Tribal Government of the Philippines, under the Office of the Customary Tribal Building Official in Lapu-lapu city.
He also claimed that the church has its own septic tank and they are monitoring its garbage disposal. The structure consists of a Tribal Hall on the ground floor and the church on the second floor.
Luardo said they refused to receive the demolition order from City Hall since it stated that the structure is being rented out.
“If a demolition team will be sent, someone may die,” Luardo warned. He said they will ask for help from other tribal groups in Mindanao. The Tribu ni Datu Mapaubsanon has 85 members in Sitio Camansi.
The group is also associated with the Alimaong Tribal group in Lapu-lapu City.
Luardo’s wife, Baenag Maaghop serves as a pastor in the church. She said their group explained their side to the city government.
“We have 110 scholars from kindergarten and Senior High School in Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City and even in Bogo City. Our group is sponsoring their tuition, uniform and school materials,” Maaghop said.
She said they also help other communities victimized by calamities through their partners from South Korea. The Lapu-Lapu City government cracked down on illegal structures along the coastal areas in the city early this year.
The crackdown came in response to a report from the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-7) on increased fecal coliform contamination in the seawaters of Mactan.
Illegal structures near the easement zones were blamed for the pollution of the seawaters due to their improper waste disposal. About 1,800 boarding houses and 700 piggeries were demolished since then.
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.