Militant group supports in-city relocation for San Juan City informal settlers
MANILA, Philippines—Militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said the demolition in Barangay Corazon de Jesus in San Juan City early Wednesday could have not resulted in a violent confrontation if the city government considered residents’ suggestion of an in-city relocation.
Bayan Secretary General Renato Reyes said that residents had long suggested various modes of in-city relocation—where they would either be transferred to a different lot within the city, or be moved inwards of their existing community to give way to city projects—instead of being transferred to Montalban, Rizal, “a place that has gained notoriety among the urban poor.”
“The Aquino government should ask itself why many informal settlers, not just in San Juan, refuse to be relocated to Montalban,” he said.
Citing figures from the National Housing Authority (NHA), Reyes said that there are 584,425 families classified as informal settlers in Metro Manila alone as of July 2011. While in other regions outside the Metro, he said that there are 761,482 families considered informal settlers, of which, around 518,625 families are in what the government considers as “danger areas.”
“The NHA has also failed to complete its resettlement and slum upgrading targets, accomplishing only 76 per cent in 2010 and 73 per cent for the first three quarters of 2011,” he added.
The clash between protesters and the demolition team started around 9:30 a.m. when residents began throwing stones to save their homes from being destroyed, as the 30-day demolition notice of the local government of San Juan City expired.
Reyes told INQUIRER.net that the Health Alliance for Democracy treated at least 26 people from the residents and supporters side.
Meanwhile, Chief Superintendent Francisco Manalo said they have arrested several people who were seen carrying weapons, but later found out the arrested individuals were not residents of Barangay Corazon de Jesus.
INQUIRER.net tried to get the side of the San Juan City Government through its Public Information Bureau but the said office refused to give any statement.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.