‘Aquino’s massive relocation plan will spur series of violent demolitions soon,’ says urban poor group

May 12, 2011

Kadamay-NCR hits PNoy’s all-out demolition policy of urban poor communities

MANILA — Militant urban poor group, Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap – National Capital Region (Kadamay-NCR) today urges the administration of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III to withdraw its all-out demolition policy against urban poor settlers all over the country. On his visit in Jakarta, Indonesia last week during the ASEAN Summit, PNoy made open pronouncement of its plan to massively relocate an initial 560,000 poor families to 1.5 million hectares of farm land nationwide for the purpose of decongesting Metro Manila.

Kadamay-NCR insists that this ‘massive relocation’ plan of PNoy means nothing but large-scale demolitions of urban poor communities and further destruction of lives and livelihood of the Filipino people. They also said that this open declaration would be dangerous for this will only serve as rubberstamp and justification of all pending demolitions in Metro Manila in the coming days.

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The group’s call for President Aquino to retract its anti-poor statement is made as members of various organizations under Kadamay-NCR, who were also facing threats of demolition today stormed the Don Chino Roces Bridge in Mendiola, Manila. Some of the communities present on today’s rally are Barangay Corazon de Jesus in San Juan City, Brgy. San Roque in Navotas City; North Triangle in Quezon City; Dypac Compund in Tondo, Manila; Paranaque; among others.

‘A waste of time and money!’ This is how Joy Lumawod, NCR chairman of Kadamay sees this new P100 billion project of the Aquino government. He added, ‘Clearly, PNoy and his economic managers are barking at the wrong tree. The problem of poverty and growing number of Filipinos from provinces going to urban centers is the lack of genuine land reform program on country-sides. If this is the case, Aquino must resolve the issue of landlessness first on rural areas and start distributing free land to farmers!’

Lumawod narrated, ‘PNoy must start on his own backyard first and must lead by example. We challenge him to show his sincerity and political will by giving-out free land to the farmers of their family’s Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac. If for the longest time, he did nothing to this long-drawn clamor of the Luisita farmers and farm-workers for land, then how can we expect sincerity and results from Aquino that he can address landlessness issues of the majority of our people.’

Moreover, Kadamay-NCR said that just few days after this pronouncement of Aquino, a violent demolition already took place between demolition teams, cops and resisting residents of Kadiwa in Barangay San Roque in Navotas City last Wednesday, May 11. To date, demolition in this area is on-going until the road widening project and the medium-rise housing of the local government will be fully implemented.

Also, series of demolitions are expected to happen again in San Juan City and North Triangle in Quezon City next week. It can be recalled that demolition in these areas turned violent last January 25, 2011 and November 23, 2010, respectively when residents resisted and had set-up barricades to defend their right to housing. Pocket demolitions were also reported on different parts of Metro Manila.

‘To be able to prevent violent confrontation and clash between demolition crews and residents to take place on upcoming demolitions, PNoy must pull back his plan to massively displace urban poor families in Metro Manila and rather must start implementing genuine agrarian reform program and national industrialization so that there will be no reason for Filipinos to go on urban slum areas,’ Lumawod ended.#

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