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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, March 17, 2011
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‘Paglaum squatters
will face demolition’

BY CARLA GOMEZ

The Negros Occidental provincial government will initiate judicial proceedings for the ejection and demolition of structures of squatters at the Paglaum Sports Complex in Bacolod City if they refuse to vacate the area in 15 days from receipt of their notices, Provincial Legal Office Jose Ma. Valencia said yesterday.

“If I were the occupants there now, they should not wait for the termination of the judicial proceedings because the end is near and predictable…they will face demolition,” he added.

The Capitol can even charge the squatters for back rentals for using commercial space owned by the government for a long, long time without paying rent, he added.

On Friday Capitol issued notices of ejection to 39 of 41 occupants of the commercial spaces in the sports complex building facing Lacson and Hernaez streets. It has yet to issue notices to the Negros Occidental Teachers Federation and another tenant whose name has to be established.

Squatters who have set up houses near the track oval will also be issued notices of ejection, Valencia said.

“We are looking into initiating judicial proceedings (before the Municipal Trial Court in Cities), which are summary in nature, as legal basis for demolition,” he said.

No financial compensation will be given to the squatters to be ejected since they have even been doing business at the sports complex building for so many years without paying any rent, he said.

The provincial government will rehabilitate the football field at the complex, Valencia added.

On Tuesday Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. also said that after the squatters vacate the sports complex, it will be fenced in and the structures facing Hernaez and Lacson streets will be demolished.

A plan is now being prepared for the building of a new three-storey structure in its place, he said.

The first floor will be rented out to commercial establishments, the second floor will be used for a call center and part of the third floor will be a dormitory for students, he added.*CPG

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