QC attack exactly a year after communist group wrote agency, cops noteBy Nancy C. Carvajal
Philippine Daily Inquirer
A group opposing the demolition of informal settlements in Metro Manila, particularly in the North Triangle area in Quezon City, has claimed responsibility for Monday’s grenade explosion at the National Housing Authority’s main office, the city police chief said on Friday.
Chief Superintendent Mario de la Vega said the Partido Marxista-Leninista ng Pilipinas (PMLP) had come forward to say it was behind the blast that damaged at least six vehicles.
Another police official noted that the July 2 incident took place exactly a year after the NHA received a letter purportedly sent by the PMLP.
“PMLP, a communist group, has claimed that it was responsible for the grenade explosion at the NHA over its failure to address the problem of demolitions in Manila, especially the North Triangle area,” De la Vega said.
He described the PMLP as a resurgent group with roots in the Alex Boncayao Brigade, a breakaway faction of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
Inspector Elmer Monsalve of the Quezon City Police District’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (CIDU) disclosed that two days after the explosion, a man called the office of NHA General Manager Chito Cruz claiming responsibility for the July 2 “operation.”
The caller assailed the agency for its supposed failure to address the concerns raised by a letter sent to Cruz’s office on March 2011, Monsalve said.
But the official said the caller may actually be referring to a letter sent by the PMLP dated July 2, 2011 – exactly a year before Monday’s explosion.
In that letter, Monsalve said, the PMLP asked the NHA to look after the welfare and protect the rights of the people who would be affected by the proposed 250-hectare central business district (CBD) to be built in North Triangle.
The letter which was written in Filipino also accused certain NHA officials of violating these rights in connivance – “kutsabahan” – with a major real estate developer and ranking officials of the Quezon City government, he said.
The letter ended with a threat, saying these NHA officials face reprisal from PMLP’s “armed operatives” if they would not change their ways, the CIDU official said.
Monsalve said police had gathered from witnesses that a man described to be in his 40s “lobbed a grenade from a taxi” as it went past the parking area reserved for NHA executives on Elliptical Road, Diliman, Quezon City, at around 5:15 a.m. on July 2.
The Quezon City council in April approved an ordinance creating the CBD in North Triangle. City Hall then conceded that up to 6,000 families in area may have to be relocated to give way to the project, but urban poor groups claimed that up to 25,000 families face eviction.