Tejero residents’ plea to Tomas: ‘Give us a relocation site’
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The residents of Sitio Silangan I and II of Barangay Tejero in Cebu City, whose houses were the subject of a demolition on Monday morning, February 4, 2019, appealed to Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña to provide them with a proper relocation site.
Christina Ardello, the president of the homewoners association of Lot 1, Silangan II, said that the residents would peacefully leave the area if they are given a proper relocation site and financial aid.
Ardello said that many of the residents, including herself, have been living in the area for at least 20 years and don’t have places to relocate in such a short period of time. They also don’t have the financial capability to do so.
She said that the demolition should not have pushed through because they filed a motion for reconsideration at the Cebu City Regional Trial Court on January 24, 2019.
“Kami, naa miy hold order gikan sa korte. Dili ni paminawon ni [Probe chief Raquel] Arce,” said Ardello.
Ardello said that thy have confided the matter with their legal counsel, Lawyer Vincent Isles, who also came during the the demolition on Monday to settle matters with the Probe chief, Raquel Arce.
She said Isles told them that the resumption of the demolition was illegal because of the hold order by the court.
Ardello said that she can’t blame the residents from resorting to violence to stop the demolition because the Probe team resumed tearing down their houses despite the court order.
“Gipangdapogan man gani niya (Arce) among mga bata. Gipakulata ang uban namong kalakin-an,” she claimed.
But Arce refuted the claims of Ardello. She said that during the commotion at the beginning of the demolition, the Probe team even had to defend themselves from the mob, especially from the rocks being thrown at them.
The police eventually brought back order in the area minutes after.
Arce added that the residents were also given enough time to transfer since they were informed of the demolition order in July in 2018
Arce also said the city government is not obliged to provide relocation sites for those who built homes in the sidewalk. /bjo
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