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Opinion

EDITORIAL - Exercise in futility

The Freeman

No one can really solve the problem surrounding the plight of the victims of the huge fire - which swept through sitio Avocado, Barangay Lahug in Cebu City a day after Christmas - except for the fire victims themselves.

More than a hundred families are raring to go back to the fire site, where they had lived for decades. However, the owner of the property, the University of the Philippines Cebu, no longer wants them to reoccupy the lot.

The school administration has already fenced the area, saying the fire-stricken site would be used for future development and expansion, especially for the UP High School. It also deployed guards to secure the lot.

Unless of course the UP Cebu administration softens its stand, the fire victims would no longer have the chance to return to the area. It seems the best thing for them to do is to pack up and move.

The city government seems to be losing hope in its appeal for the fire victims to stay in the area. This after initial talks with the UP Cebu officials did not bear fruit. And while awaiting the final result of the negotiations, the fire victims stay at evacuation areas.

Even acting mayor Edgardo Labella failed to convince the school authorities to consider their stand. He had appealed that the issue on the lot ownership be set aside at this time when the city government is busy attending to the needs of the fire victims.

However, the position of the UP Cebu management is of course understandable. The fact that it legally owns the lot is a reality that those hundreds of fire victims and the city government should understand.

The school administration had assured the fire victims that there is already a relocation site waiting for them at a Cebu provincial government property in Nivel Hills. This is something that they should accept.

Insisting on staying at the UP Cebu property is certainly not a good idea for the fire victims. They do not own the area, in the first place. And like trying to get blood from a stone, fighting for the lot is an exercise in futility.

AREA BARANGAY LAHUG CEBU CEBU CITY EDGARDO LABELLA FIRE HIGH SCHOOL LOT NIVEL HILLS UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES CEBU VICTIMS
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