Violent demolition in Maragondon, Cavite injures 4 fishers, several cops
LUCENA CITY — At least four residents of a fishing village in Maragondon town in Cavite province allegedly suffered gunshot wounds, while several policemen were also injured after a court-ordered demolition turned violent on Thursday.
Fernando Hicap, chair of the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), said about 300 combined police, Philippine Air Force, and demolition forces attempted to destroy the houses of more than 600 fisherfolk and residents in the coastal village of Patungan at past 10 a.m.
“At least four men sustained gunshot wounds. One of them was hit in the abdomen and is being treated at the hospital,” said Hicap.
More than a dozen villagers were also injured by rocks thrown by the demolition team, claimed Susana Agner, 54, leader of the local fisher group “Save Patungan Now.”
Executive Master Sergeant Sarah Jane Drio, a staff member of the Cavite police public information office, confirmed the violent incident, but said she did not know that villagers were shot by the police.
“There were policemen who also sustained injuries from rocks thrown by the resisting villagers,” among them the town police chief, Captain Jerry Flores, she said in a phone interview.
Drio explained that the police were on the site to maintain peace and order during the court-ordered demolition. “But the residents violently resisted. They threw rocks and stones at the direction of the police and the demolition team,” she lamented.
She appealed to the village leaders to settle the issue within the bounds of the law and not resort to violence.
But Agner assailed the violence allegedly started by lawmen enforcing the demolition order by Judge Lerio C. Castigador of the Regional Trial Court in Naic town.
“We will not allow them to destroy our houses. Our ancestors and our present families have been living here for so many years,” she insisted in a phone interview.
Agner said the villagers were aware of the planned demolition and had set up barricades before the police and the demolition crew arrived early Thursday.
“On their first attempt, the demolition team and the police retreated. But on their second try, they forced their way in, and the clash erupted,” she narrated.
Hicap called on the Cavite governor to intervene: “We are calling for direct and immediate intervention of Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla to stop the violent demolition carried out by a developing firm against his fisherfolk constituents,” Hicap said in a statement Thursday.
Hicap said the struggle of the fisherfolk in Patungan started in 2016, when a writ of demolition was issued by Judge Castigador.
He described Patungan as a coastal community situated along Mt. Palay-Palay, a mountain range known for its famous highest peak called “Pico de Loro.”
Hicap said the coastal area had been sold by the Maria Teresa Virata Realty Corporation to the Manila Southcoast Development Corporation (MSDC) owned by the late business tycoon Henry Sy.
“The MSDC plans to convert Patungan into an exclusive beach resort adjacent to its Hamilo Coast in Nasugbu town,” Hicap said.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
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.