Soldiers’ kin: Give us due process before you evict us
CEBU CITY, Philippines — At least 205 families and relatives of soldiers face the possibility of losing their homes in Sitio San Miguel, Barangay Apas in Cebu City.
The Archangels Residence Mergence Inc. (ARMI), families of active and retired members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), occupy Lot 937 which is in the vicinity of the Camp Lapu-Lapu, the Central Visayas Command (Centcom) of the AFP.
Anne Martel, ARMI president, said most of their houses had stood in the area since early in the 1960s.
Martel’s father was a military man who retired as a second lieutenant of the AFP in 1987.
Martel said the AFP Centcom provided Lot 937 for the families of soldiers.
She said the lot was said to be expropriated by the national government from a certain Felecise Godinez.
“Pagka-1987, nagpa-reconstitute ni si Mariano Godinez. Wa mi kaila ug wa mi kakita niya. Niingon siya nga siya kuno ang heir. Gi-declare siya sa korte nga siya ang tag-iya in 2001 kay wala man napakita sa Centcom ang voucher nga fully-paid gyud ni in 1939 for the purpose of military expansion,” Martel told CDN Digital.
(In 1987, a certain Mariano Godinez asserted that he is the heir of the owners of the lot. He was declared as the owner of the property by the court in 2001 because the Centcom failed to present the voucher showing the payment they made in 1939.)
The first demolition order against the ARMI members was issued by Branch 9 of the Cebu City Regional Trial Court (RTC) in 2010. Appeals and litigations in court, however, delayed the implementation of the demolition.
In an amended order dated May 27 signed by Special Sheriff Nelson Sungahid, the court scheduled the demolition for the occupants of Lot 937 on June 17 to 21 and June 24 to 28.
This morning, the officials of ARMI barricaded the entry point to Lot 937, anticipating the implementation of the writ of demolition. However, no demolition team arrived.
Matthan Serana, ARMI’s secretary, said they would not allow their houses to be demolished without due process.
Serana said they were barred from intervening in the case on the ownership of the lot since the respondent named was the Department of National Defense.
He added that there were a lot of irregularities in carrying out the demolition especially that they still had a pending appeal at the Court of Appeals regarding ownership of the lot.
“Currently naa mi petition for annulment of judgment with a petition for injunction and temporary restraining order sa CA but hangtud karon wa pa na nilihok ang kaso,” Serana said.
(We have a petition for annulment of judgment with a petition for injunction and temporary restraining order at the CA, but until now the case has not moved.)
Serana added that there was no Pre-Demolition Conference (PDC) completed, which supposedly would be one of the requirements before a demolition should be carried out.
“It is unfair because we were never given due process. We were never part of the case. We were never allowed to intervene in the first place. Wala mi gipaapil pero kami ang naigo,” said Serana.
(It is unfair because we were never given due process. We were never part of the case. We were never allowed to intervene in the first place. We were not included in the case when in fact we were the ones, who would be affected by this.)/dbs
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