Acid, waste derail demolition in Pasig | Inquirer News

Acid, waste derail demolition in Pasig

More than 20 hurt as residents, authorities trade tear gas, projectiles
By: - Reporter / @jovicyeeINQ
/ 06:05 AM July 14, 2015

Violence erupted at a disputed 3,300-square-meter private lot in Pasig City on Monday when residents threw paint, acid or sewage water mixed with animal or human waste at a demolition team, prompting authorities to respond with tear gas.

According to an Eastern Police District report, at least a dozen Pasig policemen and 11 members of the demolition crew suffered minor injuries ranging from burns to cuts after they were hit by the projectiles hurled by residents.

At that time, they were enforcing a demolition order issued by the Pasig Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 71 against 110 families living at St. Benedict Compound in Alley 2, M. Jimenez Street in Barangay (village) Kalawaan around 11 a.m.


The resistance put up by residents, however, kept the team out of the compound, prompting authorities to call off the demolition. They were expected to return to the area Tuesday.


Among those injured was SPO2 Bien Angeles who told the Inquirer that he felt a burning sensation on his right arm after it was hit by a container filled with liquid believed to be acid.  Another policeman, PO1 Jefferson Baguilat, sustained a 5-inch-long cut on his arm from a sharp object thrown by a resident.

St. Benedict Compound Neighborhood Association president Arman Claveria, on the other hand, said the police tried to make them abandon the barricade they had set up behind the compound gates by using tear gas against them. He claimed that as a result, two children in the area experienced difficulty in breathing.

Asked if the children were able to receive medical attention, Christopher Navarro of the Pasig Emergency Unit told the Inquirer that the residents didn’t allow them inside the compound so they were not able to verify the report.

The rising tension in the area prompted Pasig assistant chief of police for operations Supt. Joey Aquino to hold a dialogue in the afternoon between the residents and police officials, including the court sheriff.

Claveria asked the heirs of Gavino Espiritu and Leonor de Borja, the lot owners, to sell the property to the residents, saying some of them have been living there for more than 40 years.

He added that they attended  two court-arranged predemolition conferences in August last year and last March with the Espiritu family. In their first meeting, Claveria said it was agreed that they would pay the Espiritus P6,500 per square meter, totaling roughly P21 million, for the property within two months.


However, they were able to come up with just P1 million, prompting them to ask for help from the Pasig City government which offered to buy the property on behalf of the residents. However, the local government wasn’t able to do so as the lot has no property title.

Claveria said the Espiritus presented in court the tax declaration of the property to support their claim to it. To date, he said, they have already collected P3 million to buy the property.

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Norman Luis de Leon, head of the local government’s sidewalk clearing and demolition office, said that Pasig government officials were not informed of the demolition on Monday. He added that as far as the local government was concerned, it wanted to ensure that the demolition crew would adhere to the Urban Development and Housing Act.–With Maera Tezuka, trainee

TAGS: demolition, Pasig City, Police

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