Informal settlers in Tanjay City, Negros Oriental, yesterday voluntarily began taking apart their homes after the court sheriff, accompanied by police, served a writ of demolition for them to vacate the area owned by private individuals.
Sixty-two homes of around 250 families are covered by the ejection cases filed by Hilario Comcom Sr. against Emmie Banogon, et al, before the Municipal Trial Circuit Court of Tanjay.
Chief Insp. Teodorico Picardal, Tanjay police chief, said they counted around 82 houses in the area.
Leonardo Jimar, sheriff III of MTCC-Tanjay City, had requested for police assistance in case of any resistance during the serving of the writ of demolition.
Picardal said the squatters put up no resistance and asked that they be allowed to demolish their homes so they can salvage materials that can be reused, such as roofing, wood and walling, and to ensure that their personal belongings are not lost or damaged.
A pre-demolition dialog was held between the respondents, the sheriff and local officials yesterday, and this helped defuse tension among the squatters, he added.
Picardal said the informal settlers had earlier been given the chance to vacate the private property. Around five households requested assistance from the city demolition team to help dismantle their houses as they did not have the means, or manpower to do it.
Picardal said Tanjay City Mayor Lawrence Teves has offered a relocation site for the affected families, although this will still be subjected to a public hearing on Saturday. The lot is in Sitio Nabulagan, Barangay 6, Tanjay City.
The public hearing will take up assistance from the city government and arrangements for the relocation, Picardal said.*JFP
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