The groups said that the footages on the news looked exactly like the violent dispersal of police and military forces of the picketline of farmworkers which led to the Hacienda Luisita massacre on November 16, 2004.
“This is very disturbing as the Aquino government who promised change during elections have abandoned poor Filipinos, demolished their small houses and leave them homeless,” said Antonio Flores, KMP Spokesperson and Tanggol Magsasaka Co-Convenor.
“The demolition looked like Hacienda Luisita massacre where state forces used fascist measure to disperse the striking farmworkers, thus, they were compelled to defend their lines. At the incident, all sectors including women and children joined the barricades against the demolition team. They are desperate, they have nowhere to go,” said Flores.
However, the groups commended KADAMAY and Anakpawis for effectively leading the people in defending their homes. The groups were able to delay the demolition and succeeded in acquiring a temporary restraining order from a local court ordering the National Housing Authority to stop the demolition.
“The clashes between residents and the demolition team showed the real character of the legal system, which is anti-poor, anti-people, pro-rich and pro-foreign. The Aquino government prioritized the rich like the Ayalas and the interested foreign investors. Aquino totally abandoned the urban poor of Sitio San Roque,” Flores said.
The groups said that the residents were with them at their protest at Cojuangco-Aquinos’ residence at Times Street on June 8 and they called for Aquino to intervene and stop the demolition of their homes to give way to the Quezon City Commercial Business District (QC – CBD) project.
“Aquino ignored them, and now their homes are being demolished,” said Flores.
KMP and Tanggol Magsasaka said that most of urban poor in Metro Manila were peasants at the provinces who were displaced from their farms as landlords and foreign investors systematically grabs and convert lands.
“Filipino peasants across the country are being displaced from their farms such as those who cultivate Hacienda Looc in Nasugbu, Batangas, Hacienda Yulo in Calamba, Laguna, Tungkong Mangga in Bulacan, Parawagan in Montalban, Rizal, Bgy. Prado Siongco in Lubao, Pampanga, Sta. Barbara in Pangasinan, from the lands of Central Mindanao University (CMU), in Southern Mindanao region and many more areas. Now that they have migrated to Manila to gamble for jobs, they are being booted out, they have nowhere else to go, thus, they are pushed to fight for their rights,” Flores said.
KMP also suggested the urban poor residents to continue their organized and united struggle against the demolition and if they are capable, they set-up people’s camp-outs at agencies responsible.
“We from the peasant sector, we launch camp-outs such as in front of Dept. of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to drum up our issues. They could do same in front of the National Housing Authority (NHA), we would be then neighbors along the Elliptical Road,” suggested Flores. #