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Cebu News

Warwick fire victims seek OSG intervention on case vs city

Mechelle P. Florita/ATO - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - More than eight months after a fire hit Sitio Warwick Barracks, barangay Ermita, Cebu City, fire victims continue their fight to achieve the “justice” they seek on being “illegally evicted” from their lots.

 Emalyn Aliviano, spokesperson of Kilusan, a non-government organization helping the victims, said they are now asking the help of the Office of the Solicitor General.

“Ni sulat sa Office of the Solicitor General to seek legal intervention of the case and of course given the information nga nakuha sa Office of the Solicitor General, they ask for the report and recommendation gikan sa kang Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council Undersecretary Cecilia Alba,” she said.

 Presidential Decree No. 478 states that OSG is a law office of the Philippine government that performs a vital role in the program of the administration, particularly in the handling of constitutional and other important litigations before the Supreme Court and other courts or tribunals.

Aliviano said that they are currently waiting for Alba’s response for the recommendation to OSG and to the fire victims.

 They are also waiting for the schedule of the hearing for their case filed against the city government.

Earlier the victims filed a case against the city government because of the violation of Republic Act 7279 or the “Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992.”

 However, the case was dismissed because based on the decision of Judge Gilbert Moises dated June 30, there was “no cause of action” or an act of a party violating the right of another causing the victims to file a Motion for Reconsideration last July.

 “The plaintiffs have sufficiently alleged in their complaint the causes of action against the defendants,” stated on the Motion for Reconsideration.

 The complainants alleged that their stalls were destroyed without due process of law one month after the fire hit the area despite the fact that they were paying fees.

 The law states “Eviction or demolition, however, may be allowed under the following situations: (a) When persons or entities occupy danger areas such as esteros, railroad tracks, garbage dumps, riverbanks, shorelines, waterways, and other public places such as sidewalks, roads, parks, and playgrounds; (b) When government infrastructure projects with available funding are about to be implemented; or (c) When there is a court order for eviction and demolition.”

  They said that none of the enumerated situations were present when the defendants, with the use of force, violence and intimidation, summarily destroyed and demolished the abodes of the plaintiffs and drove them away.

 Presently, there are more than 20 families staying at Barangay Budlaan, around 28 in Laray, San Roque, Talisay and other victims are living with their families.

 Aliviano also added that the victims have no permanent livelihood.  (FREEMAN)

ALIVIANO

BARANGAY BUDLAAN

CEBU CITY

EMALYN ALIVIANO

HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT COORDINATING COUNCIL UNDERSECRETARY CECILIA ALBA

JUDGE GILBERT MOISES

OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR GENERAL

PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO

REPUBLIC ACT

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