Mercado on demolition: “Residents want it”
Mechelle P. Florita/NSA (The Freeman) - August 29, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Amid claims of the residents that the demolition of Citi Center Complex in Barangay Kamagayan was illegal, Cebu City administrator Lucelle Mercado said the residents actually wanted it.

“Actually, kanang sa Kamagayan, they (residents) voluntarily removed the structures. Kita man g’yud sila sa problema,” Mercado told reporters yesterday.

Lawyer Benjamin Militar, counsel of the affected dwellers, earlier questioned the demolition conducted by the Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification and Enhancement, saying that the government violated the law.

According to Mercado, there was no resistance from the residents when they “voluntarily removed” the structures.

“The fact that they voluntarily removed, that means wala siguro’y question no?” she said.

She said the city government came in to help the residents clean the area. The ongoing demolition started last August 18.

“Ang ato lang gibuhat, daghan man ‘tong mga debris mga binungkag nila, mao na atong gipanghipos. Kay if you go there, like I was there last night, daghan gyud nagkatag mga binugkag mga kahoy, mga inana. Atong gibuhat, ato nang gihipos,” Mercado explained.

The City Council set an executive session on Monday for PROBE chief Raquel Arce to explain why they already started destroying the Citi Center Complex.

The council has also requested the executive branch to suspend demolition for 20 days.

Last year, the City Council passed Ordinance No. 2356 known as “An ordinance imposing a moratorium on demolition in the City Center Complex, Cebu City,” which imposed certain conditions for the demolition.

 Among the conditions are adequate consultations with the settlers, identification of the latter’s relocation site and representation in the Task Force organized under the ordinance, from the informal dwellers themselves, and the National Housing Authority.

Militar said none of the conditions in the ordinance was followed by PROBE. He added that the city government did not consult any of the residents.

Section 28 of the Republic Act 7279 known as the “Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992” states that in the execution of eviction or demolition orders involving underprivileged and homeless citizens, there should be “notice upon the effected persons or entities at least thirty (30) days prior to the date of eviction or demolition and adequate consultations on the matter of resettlement with the duly designated representatives of the families to be resettled and the affected communities in the areas where they are to be relocated.”

Kamagayan barangay captain Raquel Avila has said that government intends to reblock the 142 houses in the area after the clearing operation.

Mercado assured that the affected residents can go back in the place after the demolition.  (FREEMAN)

BARANGAY KAMAGAYAN BEAUTIFICATION AND ENHANCEMENT CEBU CITY CITI CENTER COMPLEX CITY CITY CENTER COMPLEX CITY COUNCIL DEMOLITION KAMAGAYAN MERCADO
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