September 24, 2010
QUEZON CITY’S NORTH TRIANGLE RESIDENT FIGHTS WB-IMF LANDGRABBING/DEMOLITION
Los Angeles- PESANTE Bulletin based in Los Angeles learned today that more than 8,000 residents of North Triangle , Quezon City ( formerly the capital of the Philippines) fought the demolition teams of the MMDA and the Police to a stand still and stopped the demolition of their homes yesterday.
The PESANTE BULETIN said that rocks rained on the northbound lane of Edsa and traffic stood still on the busy thoroughfare for several hours as thousands of residents in Sitio San Roque, Barangay Bagong Pag-asa, Quezon City, thwarted a demolition team’s efforts to tear down their shanties Thursday morning.
People barricaded EDSA
At around 2 p.m., a section of the thoroughfare was strewn with wooden barricades and rocks, five hours after the standoff began, with traffic diverted to smaller, more crowded streets.
The more than 1,000 policemen and demoliton teams of the MMDA were held back by a hail of missiles as they attempted to charge the protesters, while water cannon blasts also failed to disperse the crowd, according to AFP photographers at the scene.
The residents stood on the road with arms linked, their belongings stacked in the middle of Edsa.
By noon, the largely unprotected demolition crew was forced to stop their work in the area. Some of them also took up stones and threw them back at residents behind the phalanx of the policeSome 8,000 families live on the 340-hectare North Triangle property which is owned by the National Housing Authority (NHA). The government agency wants to develop the lot into the Quezon City Business District in partnership with a private firm.
TRO by the Court
However, Quezon City Regional Trial Court Judge Branch 226 Ma. Luisa C. Quijano-Padilla said the demolition was premature.
“There should have been no demolition in deference to a court hearing tomorrow (Sept. 24),” she told a lawyer representing the NHA during a hearing in the afternoon on the urgent petition for a temporary restraining order (TRO) filed by residents.
She also issued a TRO which according to her would remain in effect until the hearing on Friday.
The demolition team, however, managed to tear down 70 houses before they were forced to pull back.
People United Will never be defeated
The protesting residents close down Edsa, particularly the area from Quezon Avenue to Trinoma mall, to protect motorists and commuters. As a result, buses and private vehicles were stuck in traffic for at least four hours, all the way to Edsa-Ortigas intersection.
In a statement, the NHA said that it had already relocated some 3,000 families to the new site where they were provided houses and P6,000 in relocation assistance.
It claimed that it had conducted dialogues with the residents who remain in the North Triangle property through the NHA Project Interagency Committee whose members include the Commission on Human Rights, Department of Social Work and Development, Presidential Commission on the Urban Poor and the city government, among other agencies.
Some residents, however, were not keen on moving to Rizal. “We admit that we do not own the land but we want a relocation site which is not too far away from where we work,” a woman told a radio reporter in Filipino.
“We want a place where we can earn a living as well,” Lucia Velarde, the leader of the residents. The North Triangle Alliance are leading the struggle of the residents .