A relocation site, a seed of tranquility

OFF TANGENT - Aven Piramide (The Freeman) - March 30, 2014 - 12:00am

I received from sources not quite removed from some of the settlers of Sitio San Miguel Barangay Apas, this city, whose houses have either been voluntarily dismantled by the homeowners themselves or demolished pursuant to a court order unflattering remarks about a certain Mr. Unchuan. The venom of such rumors is understandably reflective of the intensity of the adverse positions assumed by the contending parties, settlers, on one hand, and the land owners, on the other hand, in that bitterly contested court action that led to the demolition order.

I am certain that such if nasty talks have found their way to a non-entity like me, they must have, with more reason, reached the ear of the city mayor. I can bet that these stories have become more inflammatory. Of course, they are peddled to get the mayor to side with the cause of the lot occupants. It is not that I doubt the veracity of such supposedly confidential information for after all, many of the affected settlers are persons known to me but, I feel that the mayor, if information I got on his move is correct, is assuming a more pro-active stance.

Questioning the ownership of the Suico-Magat family, who by the way, are also known to me, all the way to the highest court of the land is expensive. But, if those taking this course of action can afford it and believe in the merit of their move, the lawyer in me wishes them the best of luck. We just cannot help but accept the fact that this supposed legal remedy is only productive of ill will. Amity is abandoned and whatever cordial relations the parties had while the settlers were still occupying the land are thrown to the gutter and in their place fierce enmity reigns.

I was told however that some of the settlers have filed a request with His Honor, Mayor Michael L. Rama, for his intercession of the kind that does not stoke the fire of hatred. These settlers reportedly requested the Barangay Council, thru Captain Ramil Ayuman, to formalize a plea to the mayor for a relocation site.

There are parameters that the mayor should keep in responding to this request. He must first note that most of the affected families do not belong to that social caste called urban poor. It just so happened that they erected their homes on a land not their own, but they are not necessarily impoverished. If they are asking the mayor to help them find a relocation site, it is because they do not have the luxury of time to find one for themselves. The mayor has that facility. So, if a relocation site if ever found, these settlers who may be relocated there must not ride free on the city taxpayers money. They may rely upon the city coffers to bridge the acquisition of the asset, but in the earliest chance, they must pay the price of such a property. The operative word is bridge finance!

Second, I got the information that some settlers made money out of their structures. Is it true that some of them have apartment units built in the area? Or that others merely rented out their houses to third persons because they have other residential homes to stay in? I feel that this kind of settlers do not need the help of the city because they have been enriching themselves at the expense of the Suico-Magat family and if they are also given the opportunity to avail of any relocation site, they are likewise enriching themselves at the expense of the city.

Third. It is important for the mayor to validate some claims that there are settlers in San Miguel who own parcels of land somewhere. The happenstance of their occupying the Suico-Magat family property has been a luxurious choice.  In other words, they do not need to be relocated by the city because they can reside in their own properties.

Outside of these parameters though, the immediate matter for the mayor to consider is the relocation of those deserving families at the soonest possible time. He has to act quickly keeping in mind that if he does it with dispatch, he is sowing the seeds of peace.

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