BOPK supporters lose houses in demolition

Odessa O. Leyson (The Freeman) - June 15, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Their being supporters of Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan in the last elections did not help the close to 50 illegal settlers in Barangay Kalunasan to save their houses from being demolished.

Members of the Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification, and Enhancement (PROBE) team led by Racquel Arce yesterday demolished the illegal structures built within the Osmeña Shrine despite pleas from the owners who claimed to have supported incoming Mayor Tomas Osmeña.

Acting mayor Margarita “Margot” Osmeña ordered last month the demolition of illegal structures at the shrine.

Arce said the affected residents failed to secure a temporary restraining order from the court.

The occupants, through Benjie Eballena, head of Association of Peoples Initiatives, tried to negotiate with Arce to give them more time to look for relocation site.

“Wala ko sa posisyon nga i-grant inyong request. Ang korte na ana kay as of now gi-deny man ang TRO nga inyong gi-request sa korte,” Arce explained to them.

Eballana, however, understood and allowed to PROBE personnel to demolish their houses without any resistance.

The informal settlers claimed that they were solid supporters of BOPK.

“Nganong giingon ani man mi niya abi kay nakuha na niya among boto. Bag-o pa gani mi gi-demolish ngadto sa Sudlon pag Mayo 30 dayun papahawaon nasad mi ngari. Hibaw-an palang maypa wala mi nibotar niya ngadto nalang mi sa pikas,” lamented Ruby Casinda, treasurer of the association, as she watched her house being dismantled by the demolition team.

Residents presented a covenant for mutual support signed by Margot, Tomas and other BOPK officials.

“But it doesn’t say that they can move in (in the area). No, it won’t change,” Margot told reporters during the press conference.

Margot said even if the affected residents were BOPK supporters, she could not help them.

 “No let’s not break the law. If you are a leader you have to lead what is right, di ba?” Margot said.

Those affected came from Lahug and Sitio Acacia in Kalunasan whose houses were also previously demolished.—(FREEMAN)

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