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THE EPCC SUPPORTS THE FIGHT FOR SAN ROQUE, CONDEMNS THE NORTH TRIANGLE PARK PROJECT IN MET

by Echo Park Community Coalition (EPCC) Friday, Jun. 04, 2010 at 7:33 PM
epccla2002@yahoo.com 818-749-0272 1740 W. Temple St. Los Angeles, Ca 90026

The Echo Park Community Coalition (EPCC) based in the United States condemns the P3 billion Quezon City Central Business District (QCCBD) project of the than World Bank itself. From its early inception WB has sold the idea of QCCBD as the mecca of new and forward looking economic development within Metro Manila area and outlying regions. Generally dubbed as a mixed-use commercial/residential/recreational district - the 250 hectare Triangle Park project will displace 16,000 poor families. Ironically the 37 hectare property where San Roque is nestled belongs to the National Housing Authority of the Philippines and is leased to Robinsons Land Corporation - one of the biggest mall and residential developer in the Philippines.

THE EPCC SUPPORTS TH...
dsc07412.jpg, image/jpeg, 1280x960

EPCC NEWS

Los Angeles, CA

June 03, 2010

THE EPCC SUPPORTS THE FIGHT FOR SAN ROQUE, CONDEMNS THE NORTH TRIANGLE PARK PROJECT IN METRO MANILA

Los Angeles-- The Echo Park Community Coalition (EPCC) based in the United States condemns the P3 billion Quezon City Central Business District (QCCBD) project of the than World Bank itself. From its early inception WB has sold the idea of QCCBD as the mecca of new and forward looking economic development within Metro Manila area and outlying regions.

Generally dubbed as a mixed-use commercial/residential/recreational district - the 250 hectare Triangle Park project will displace 16,000 poor families. Ironically the 37 hectare property where San Roque is nestled belongs to the National Housing Authority of the Philippines and is leased to Robinsons Land Corporation - one of the biggest mall and residential developer in the Philippines.

We support the people of San Roque in the center of the urban Metro manila whose settlement of 32,000 informal settlers was marked for demolition nine days before the fire. A temporary restraining order issued by the municipal court might have triggered the incident.

"We are being terrorized," said Edwin Nacpil of San Roque Community Council - North Triangle Alliance and Kasama Pilipinas. "As if the threat of losing our homes to bulldozers is not enough."

UNITED IN THE STRUGGLE

San Roque is a microcosm of not only culturally diverse population of Manila but the whole country itself.

Poor peasants and workers displaced by neo-liberal developments in the countryside flocked to the metropolis in search of livelihoods only to face the same problems they are running away from and found themselves huddled in informal communities like San Roque.

"Regionalism is very strong here and overtly manifested," said Nacpil. "But the current crisis became a linchpin that brought everybody together. Visayans, Ilocanos, Tagalogs and even Muslims are now standing shoulder to shoulder to defend San Roque."

"They are workers, mostly from the service sector and the informal economy," pointed out Butch Sardina, a Bantay Pilipinas organizer working in the area. "They nailed together our houses, drive our cars, cook and serve our meals, etc......in short: they built our cities and still keep them thriving."

"But all those things don't matter - what matters is the maximization of profit. The influx of foreign capital heightened the lust for wealth by local capitalists. They saw the potential of North Triangle if developed commercially - they didn't see the potential of our people - of San Roque as a thriving community within that development scheme. In the value system of the elite - we are worthless it seems," Nakpil interjected.

THE PEOPLE VERSUS WALL STREET POWERHOUSE

The driving force behind the project is no other than the World Bank. This projects was designed to expand capitalist activities in its host country hence greatly enhancing the profitability of American Companies.

The Triangle Park development project which is closely modeled after the Makati Business and Commercial District will surely benefit Citigroup, American Express, Starbucks, KFC, Coca Cola, Nike, Gap, Hollywood film and music companies, etc.

San Roque is where the "rubber meets the road" in the realm of the antagonism between the capitalists and the poor.

THE RACE AGAINST TIME

"Our strategy is to delay the demolition until the end of June when the new Aquino Administration takes over," explained Teody B. Gacer, an organizer for SRCC-NTA.

In 2007 the outgoing Arroyo government issued Executive Order 620 - mandating the expeditious realization of the North Triangle development project.

"The community is aware that Aquino made promises during his campaign for president to deal squarely with the problems of the urban poor. We are counting on those promises. North Triangle particularly San Roque will be a test case," continued Gacer.

Meanwhile QCCBD is working overtime to eliminate the obstacle to its scheme, but there is no indication that the people of San Roque are willing to move out of the way without a fight. The people mobilized and fought the attempted demolition on May 14 and won a Temporary Restraining Order. The court also granted a cooling off period until June 18, 2010, for consultation and negotiation.

NAcpil, the community leader said" we have the impression that the reason why QCCBD and its proponents are reluctant to accept our modest proposal is not because it might cost them millions or they will be forced to live side by side with us; but because the idea of us thriving as an independent community, managing our own affairs outside the sphere of their influence - if modeled and implemented by every poor community in the country - the very structure that is holding together the current system will be in question," concluded Nacpil.

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