Cebu News

City Dad asks CH help to prevent demolition

Mary Ruth R. Malinao - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  The Cebu City Council has requested the Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor (DWUP) to draft an action plan that would help more than 200 families in Sitio San Miguel, Barangay Apas who are facing possible demolition of their residences.

Councilor Edgardo “Jaypee” Labella II delivered a privilege speech before the council on Wednesday to apprise them of the continuing battle the residents of Lot 937 are facing.

“From my knowing, there was a demolition order last October 3, but I think the Office of the President stopped the demolition. This is a battle that is continuing. Dugay na kaayo ni,” said Labella.

With this threat of displacement to several individuals, Labella said the city government must look into these court orders to see if the execution is in compliance with the requirements provided by law.

He requested Mayor Michael Rama and his fellow council members to help, through legal means, the people in the city “who greatly needs our support and intervention.”

Families of retired and active soldiers were allowed to build houses in 1960s on Lot 937.

The court had earlier granted the motion of Mariano Godinez, claimant of the property, to implement the writ of demolition of the houses in the area.

It was in 2010 when Godinez, through his counsel, filed a case to claim Lot 937.

The residents claimed that they have lived in the area for several decades already, but they have not seen Godinez yet.

Meanwhile, the Central Command (Centcom) has expressed its gratitude to the Cebu Provincial Government for its decision to relocate its camp in Tuburan, Cebu.

This, after the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines returned 16 parcels of donated land to the Province of Cebu.

DND Officer-in-Charge Secretary Jose Faustino Jr. and Governor Gwendolyn Garcia were present in the turnover ceremony last Monday.

Centcom spokesman Major Israel Golorio said they are grateful and welcome the governor’s offer to allocate funds for the establishment of the military facility.

Golorio also clarified that there is no decision made yet whether the transfer will be in Cebu or in Bohol.

“Rest assured that VisCom will sustain our efforts, we will sustain our gains dito sa Visayas.  We will sustain our internal operations na meron tayo in order to ensure yung safety and security ng ating mga kababayan dito sa region,”

The Capitol and the DND have agreed to create a joint technical working group for the relocation and replication of the headquarters of Centcom.

Garcia said the Capitol will let the Centcom decide on the design of their military facility and the province will just provide a lump sum.

In the 2007 Memorandum of Understanding, the Capitol will have to shell out a sum of P1 billion for the replication project. But this time Garcia pointed to do a benchmarking as to the cost of the replication project.

“Since 2007 and to this day, a lot has happened... the value of the peso then is no longer the same of our peso now. So that if this is the amount that they need to replicate, I said can we do a benchmarking? As benchmark, let us look at how much this amount would be if we go back to 2007. So that was agreed.” Garcia said.

Meanwhile, former Apas barangay captain Ramil Ayuman, who is now the special assistant of Mayor Mike Rama, has chided the current village chief, Virgil Cabigon, for allegedly being an “alarmist.”

This, after Cabigon had expressed apprehensions of possibly losing the barangay hall, public schools, and about 5,000 households following the province’s recovery of at least 17.5 of the 80 hectares of land Centcom has occupied.

Garcia has assured the affected residents that they would come up with a "win-win solution."

“Don’t be an alarmist. And akong hangyo sa mga residente sa Apas nga dili ta angay mabalaka.  In fact, dapat tang malipay sa kalambuan.  At least, maka-negotiate pa ta ug tarong,” Ayuman added. — Caecent No-ot Magsumbol, Le Phyllis F. Antojado and Romeo Marantal, GAN (FREEMAN)

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