SPD stumped by squatter problem within camp
This calls for delicate police work, indeed.
The new leadership of the Southern Police District (SPD) appears to be stumped by the problem of informal settlers within its own camp at Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
This was after the National Capital Region Police Office director, Chief Supt. Alan Purisima, ordered the removal of the houses “that are not part of the camp,” structures which he personally saw on Monday during the command turnover ceremonies for new SPD head, Chief Supt. Benito Estipona.
“All structures inside the camp should be authorized by the district director,” Purisima then told reporters, noting that the houses, mostly bungalows, could be “eating at the camp’s budget for light and water” and their residents not paying the right taxes.
From the camp’s entrance, visitors could see about six of these run-down houses, some operating sari-sari (variety) stores. On the fringes, however, more than a hundred houses have sprouted through the years, some built just behind buildings.
SPD spokesperson Supt. Jenny Tecson said the houses were once used by policemen serving under SPD but were not handed back to the district even after they were reassigned elsewhere.
“Either the policemen’s families stayed in the houses or the houses had been sold to civilians,” Tecson said.
Tecson admitted that the SPD is in a dilemma. “Demolition would be difficult because it will be a long process. We will likely hold a dialogue with the homeowners to find an amicable solution.”
And aside from policemen, members of the Army, Navy and Marines have also built or rented homes inside the SPD camp, she said.