Youth group Anakbayan stormed the Department of the Interior and Local Government, in an indignation rally to protest yesterday’s violent demolition in a Makati City community.
“The government, especially the new DILG leadership, should prove that it serves the people and not few business interests,” Anakbayan chairperson VencerCrisostomo said.
The youth group slammed newly-installed DILG secretary Mar Roxas “for not respecting its own laws”, citing the Urban Development and Housing Act which states, “Eviction or demolition as a practice shall be discouraged.”
The Act also enumerates several guidelines for demolitions, such as the wearing of nameplates for members of the demolition team, the conduct of demolitions only within office hours, and the non-usage of heavy equipment, all of which were violated in yesterday’s demolition.
“The use of the backhoe was simply overkill, an act of a homicidal maniac. Unlike his predecessor, the late Jesse Robredo, Roxas’ policy is ‘Get out of the way or die’” Crisostomo said, citing Robredo’s policy of resorting to negotiations.
“The onus is in the government to prevent such violent demolitions. Unlike what they like to project in the media, no one wants to live in such squalid conditions. But they would rather stay here than be relocated to places where death by hunger or flooding is certain” explained the youth leader.
During last month’s Habagat floods, relocation sites in Rizal were submerged by roof-high floods.
“Provide decent housing, along with livelihood opportunities and adequate social services, instead of violence and force. What millions of residents in urban poor communities like Guatemala are asking for is just a basic human right” added Crisostomo.
The youth group called for the immediate release of the detained residents.