Homeowners of Lot 937 in Barangay Apas given 2 weeks to vacate

By: Pegeen Maisie Sararana, Wenilyn Sabalo - CDN Digital Multi-Media Reporters | October 13,2022 - 09:15 PM

Residents of Lot 937 in Sitio San Miguel, Barangay Apas, Cebu City block the entrance to their area to prevent the demolition of their houses on Thursday, October 13, 2022.

CEBU CITY, Philippines — More than a hundred families residing in Lot 937, Sitio San Miguel, Barangay Apas in Cebu City are given two weeks or until October 27, to vacate or relocate.

If these families fail to abide by the order of the Court, Sheriff Edilberto Saurin said they will implement the demolition order.

Saurin said this after he and representatives of the private claimants of the lot met with Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama earlier today.

Rama met with the affected families residing at Lot 937 in Sitio San Miguel, Barangay Apas, Thursday morning, October 13, 2022, in an effort to stop the demolition scheduled on Thursday.

The mayor also invited the representatives of the private owners for a talk and to negotiate.

After several hours, Saurin told reporters that it was agreed by both the private owners and the city government to give the affected residents two weeks to pack up and leave their houses.

Accepting this notice, Anne Martel, leader of the homeowners’ organization of the affected lot, said that they will also work on their appeal against the demolition within the said timeframe, claiming that there are illegalities in the procedure.

READ: Lot 937 demolition: Rama negotiates with private lot owner

Early Thursday morning, a group of the demolition crew, led by special sheriff Suarin, went to the area to carry out the writ of execution or writ of demolition dated March 5, 2010, and July 20, 2010.

Affected residents, however, blocked the entrance to the area near IT Park going to Sitio San Miguel as they oppose the demolition and sought the assistance of the city government.

Around 200 police personnel were also on standby in the area to secure the supposed conduct of demolition.

Some of those who were renting a place in the area also started to leave on Thursday, while classes in Apas Public School were suspended.

Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia and Councilor Edgardo “Jaypee” Labella II also talked with the affected residents. Garcia also talked with Suarin to bridge the side of the city’s constituents and the private lot owners.

The vice mayor said there were some lacking documents for the supposed violation. He also said that there was a failure on the private owner’s part to issue a notice to the city government about the demolition since the city acts as a mediator on behalf of the residents who are the city’s constituents.

“Mao na nga ang akoang gi-hangyo sa tag-iya, sa sheriff, hatagi intawn ni sila og higayon. Number one, maka-istorya g’yod sa tag-iya or ang ni-daog sa kaso kunohay kay para naa sila’y peace of mind and perhaps makakita ta og solusyon sa problem,” he said.

Rama, in a follow-up phone interview, said he will meet again with the private claimants of the controversial land. He also assured of the city’s assistance to more than 200 affected families.

Lot 937 in Sitio San Miguel in Barangay Apas has been a subject of a legal battle for over 10 years now.

Residents started moving into the area in the 1960s and started to build permanent homes with the assurance of long-term occupancy from the local authorities.

As of 2019, at least 200 families are already occupying the disputed area.

However, a certain Mariano Godinez claimed ownership of the property in 2010 and asked that the structures built there be torn down,     /rcg

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TAGS: barangay Apas, Cebu‬, Cebu City, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, demolition, it park, Lot 937, Lot 937 demolition, Mayor Michael Rama

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