Cebu News

Demolition of 300 houses at Osmeña Shrine halted

Jean Marvette A. Demecillo - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu City’s demolition team was unsuccessful in demolishing all 300 houses allegedly built illegally at a 42-hectare property in Barangay Kalunasan yesterday.

About 10 houses have been torn down when Councilor Pastor “Jun” Alcover arrived and protested against the operation because the city reportedly no longer owns the lot, thus, the demolition was illegal.

“When you talk about clearing, dili iapil ang structure kay kailangan court order ang demolition. Dili ni owned by the city,” Alcover told Abel Diloy, head of the Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification, and Enhancement (PROBE) team.

Alcover said he was informed that the city has donated the property to a religious organization several years ago.

“Maluoy ka’s mga tawo. Ang sal-an ani si Tomas kay sa wala pa election, iya giawhag mga tawo nga mopuyo diri. Karon nga naa nay mga tawo, iya nang pamatiran,” Alcover told Diloy.

He said he will assist those who intend to file cases against the city. 

Alcover’s intervention also stopped some of the residents from tearing their own houses down.

Mayor Tomas Osmeña has already denied having been the one who allowed the residents to construct the houses on the lot, which is also referred to as the Osmeña Shrine.

The PROBE team left the area at noontime.

Diloy told The FREEMAN the team was just following the order of the mayor.

Osmeña, in a September 29 order, directed Diloy to remove and clear the “illegal structures located on a government-owned lot (Osmeña Shrine)” in Barangay Kalunasan.

“This clearing/demolition order is issued pursuant to Section 3 of Cebu City Ordinance 1481 and Presidential Decree 1096 otherwise known as the National Building Code of the Philippines,” Osmeña’s order reads.

On October 4, Diloy issued a 72-hour notice to all occupants of the lot to give them time to remove their structures voluntarily.

Diloy told the residents not to be swayed by “false hopes.”

“I asked the residents kinsa magpatabang para relocation site para moadto sa DWUP (Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor),” he said.

Ramonito Del Campo, a resident and member of board of trustees of the Association of Peoples Initiative, said yesterday was the second demolition executed by the city government.

The first one was in June this year upon the order of the mayor’s wife, Councilor Margarita “Margot” Osmeña, who was acting mayor at that time.

“Nangyawat lang gyud mi og tukod diri kay walay laing kapuy-an. Dili man pod ang syudad tag-iya aning yutaa,” Del Campo said. (FREEMAN)

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