Luz fire victims appeal to Capitol: Be humane, don’t take evac area yet

By: Rosalie Abatayo - Reporter/CDN Digital | February 28,2020 - 07:00 AM

A galvanized iron sheet gate is installed in one of the entry points of the evacuation site where the over 40 families who lost their homes to the fire are staying. The provincial government, allegedly put up the fence in an attempt to evict the evacuees on Thursday, February 26, 2020. |Rosalie Abatayo

CEBU CITY, Philippines —Over a month since the fire gutted their homes, residents of Sitio Santo Niño 3 in Barangay Luz were rattled again on Thursday, February 27, 2020.

Nestor Loyloy, 40, said they were shocked when personnel from the Cebu Provincial Capitol came bringing materials to fence the property near the fire site which they had been using as their evacuation site.

Loyloy, his family and over 40 other households, who were affected by the fire, are staying under makeshift tents at the open space as they await the city government to clear the fire scene and the green light for them to rebuild their homes.

Read more: P1M worth of property destroyed after fire razes 60 houses in Barrio Luz

Dili lang unta sa pasirad-an. Unya na lang kung makabalik na mi. Among hangyo, ayaw lang sa sirad-i kay naa pa man mi diri. Consideration lang gud nga mga fire victims mi diri,” Loyloy told CDN Digital.

(The should not fence it. They can do that once we can return to rebuild our homes. We appeal to the Capitol officials to please don’t close the area because we are still here. We, the fire victims, appeal for consideration because we are still here.)

Loyloy assured that they would not build any permanent structure at the evacuation site.


Luz Barangay Captain Ronilio Sab-a said they were as shocked  as the residents about the fencing of the area since Capitol representatives did not inform them about it at all.

Sab-a, who talked with Capitol lawyer Donato Villa, said he appealed to the provincial officials not to evict the fire victims from the property, yet, and to wait until the fire site would be cleared so that they could return there and rebuild their homes.

Sab-a said that they used the vacant space as an evacuation site for the fire victims upon the instruction of Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella.

93-1 land swap deal

The lot, Sab-a said, was supposed to be part of the 93-1 land swap deal which was passed in 2018 during the administration of former Governor Hilario Davide III and former Mayor Tomas Osmeña.

Read more: Labella: 93-1 land swap deal will benefit residents

Incumbent Governor Gwendolyn Garcia and Labella, who both took over in July 2019, have agreed to renegotiate the land swap deal.

Sab-a said the lawyer informed him that a businessman, who would be renting the property, would already use it and that the fire victims would need to vacate the place.

Appeal for compassion

He said that while they understood that the property that they used as an evacuation area was a property of the Capitol, he appealed to the province to be more humane and allow the fire victims to stay there until they would be able to make it back to their old spaces.

“Mao na akong gihangyo kay pag-abot nako nagkagubot na man ang mga tawo. Ayaw sa ninyo korala kay naa pa na sila sa kaguol. Wa pa na sila ka-recover sa ilang na-experience, kuhaan pa ninyo og evacuaton area?” Sab-a said in an interview.

(That is my appeal to you because when I arrived at the area there were already an altercation. Please don’t fence the area yet because these people were still suffering from losing their homes. They had not recovered yet from their tragic experience and yet you would take away their evacuation area?)

“Asa man ang kaluoy nila? Human man kaha ta unya leader ta unya karon dire-diretso lang nga koralon. Diha ko nasakitan,” Sab-a said.

(Where is your compassion? You are a humane leader yet now you fence the area right away. That is what hurts me.)

While the camp of Barangay Luz and the Capitol lawyer were discussing, a gate made of galvanized iron sheets were constructed at one of the entry points of the evacuation site.

“Lain kaayo ba nga nagkalisod pa ang mga tawo unya ila pang papahawaon kay gamiton na lagi kuno,” said Sab-a.

(It’s disconcerting to think about it that the people are suffering and they will evict them from the area because they will use it.)

Position to stay stays

Sab-a said the personnel from the Capitol pulled out from the area before noon on Thursday following a discussion between Villa and Cebu City Legal Officer Rey Gealon.

The village chief said they would maintain their position to let the fire victims stay in the area as long as Labella would tell them to do otherwise.

“It was the mayor who told me nga ‘Gamita. Ayaw kahadlok kay kalamidad na … Karon lang gyud nga panahona. Di man na namo angkonon diha. Urgent kaayo to kay kalamidad. Unya na lang tawon, tagaan nato silag time kay even the city government wala pa nakacomply sa clearing and subdivision of lots,” Sab-a said.

(It was the mayor who told me to use the lot. Don’t be afraid because that was a calamity. It’s just this time. We have no intention of taking the lot as our own. But the situation was urgent because it was a calamity. We need to give them time because even the city government had not complied with the clearing and subdivision of lots.)/dbs

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next

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.

TAGS: Capitol, fire victims, Garcia, Gealon, Labella, Luz, residents
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our regional newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.