MANILA, Philippines – The demolition of “obstructing” structures on San Agustin Street in Quiapo, Manila, pushed through yesterday afternoon despite appeals from residents to stop the clearing work.
The City Engineer’s Office’s 20-day notice of demolition lapsed Wednesday. But residents, led by Barangay 647 chair Suharto Buleg, asked for a dialogue with Mayor Alfredo Lim when demolition teams arrived around 9 a.m. yesterday.
“They were given sufficient time to leave. Mayor Lim saw no reason to postpone it because they had no legal basis to stay there,” said city legal officer Renato de la Cruz.
Buleg said around 122 families would be affected by the demolition of homes, the barangay hall, daycare center, barangay clinic and a multipurpose building that occupied about three meters or half of San Agustin Street.
Some sources alleged the mayor ordered the demolition because he received only a few votes from the area in the last elections.
But Councilor Marisa Papa, Liga ng mga Barangay president, said Lim was acting on a complaint of the donor of the lot where the structures stood.
“When the mayor does something, it is in accordance with the law. He does not want politics to muddle the issue. It was the donor who complained. The lot was given so it could be used as right of way. But now, even the donor cannot pass through that street,” she stressed.
Buleg’s group also lost the court case when Judge Zenaida Daguna of Manila RTC Branch 19 denied on Wednesday their petition for preliminary injunction.