Houses in Osmeña Shrine not covered by moratorium

By: Nestle L. Semilla June 01,2016 - 10:03 PM
Members of the Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification and Enhancement (Probe) team advise carpenters to stop building houses while they distribute copies of a demolition order to illegal settlers at Osmeña Shrine in Barangay Kalunasan. (CDN PHOTO/JUNJIE MENDOZA)

Members of the Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification and Enhancement (Probe) team advise carpenters to stop building houses while they distribute copies of a demolition order to illegal settlers at Osmeña Shrine in Barangay Kalunasan. (CDN PHOTO/JUNJIE MENDOZA)

The houses built in Osmeña shrine in Barangay Kalunasan, Cebu City are not covered by a memorandum imposing a moratorium on the demolition of houses of settlers and their eviction, acting Cebu City Mayor Margot Osmeña said yesterday.

Osmeña said she did not believe that the houses were built by fire victims.

“They had to come from somewhere. So where did they come from? They live somewhere. They were not demolished yesterday and then today they move there,” she said.

Osmeña said she was surprised that there were more than 50 houses built in the 4.2 hectare lot owned by the Cebu City government.

She said she would stand by her order to the Prevention, Restoration, Orderly, Beautification and Enhancement (Probe) team to clear the area of these houses.

Osmeña signed a memorandum prohibiting the Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor (DWUP), Local Housing Board, Probe and the City Legal Office from issuing any order, notice or recommendation to demolish or evict vendors and informal settler families.

The acting mayor said Barangay Kalunasan officials were partly to blame for allowing settlers to build their houses.

“They should be the first one to secure the area,” she said.

Osmeña also questioned why the barangay did not coordinate with Cebu City officials since they were the first who saw these houses being built at the Osmeña shrine.

But Kalunasan Barangay Chairman Nunilon Monares Jr. said barangay tanods have been patrolling the area.

“I’ve long been scolding them. I went with (Collin) Rosell (Division of Welfare of Urban Poor chief), we removed the straws they used to delineate their area but they always come back claiming that they were supported by someone,” Monares said.

He said they kept calling City Hall officials to inform them of the situation in Osmeña Shrine.

Monares said while some of those families are from Barangay Kalunasan, most of them are not.

Monares said there was someone “big in politics” who was behind these informal settlers.

He said he invited the settlers to a meeting last Monday to ask them who was their backer.

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