Malacanang distances itself from Paranaque demolition

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang yesterday distanced from the violent demolition of illegal market stalls in Parañaque City, saying the court, not the executive branch, issued the demolition order.

Deputy Presidential Spokeswoman Abigail Valte however assured there will be a thorough investigation into the death of a resident in the middle of a brutal clash between protesters and the police-backed demolition teams last Monday.

“The demolition order was by virtue of a court order which is independent from the Executive branch,” Valte said in the wake of criticisms of the alleged police brutality during the demolition operations.

“Nonetheless, (Interior and Local Government) Secretary Jesse Robredo has ordered the SPD (Southern Police District) chief Benito Estipona to conduct an in-depth probe into the death of one of the rallyists in the demolition operations, including the members of the PNP seen on television hitting arrested rallyists for possible human rights violations,” Valte added.

Commission on Human Rights (CHR) chairwoman Loretta Ann Rosales earlier denounced the violent demolition at the Silverio Compound along Sucat Road, Parañaque City that left one person dead and several others injured. Rosales said it was clear the police applied excessive force to drive away the residents who fought with the demolition team.

A militant urban poor group, Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (KADAMAY) also blamed the Aquino government for the bloody dispersal of protesters during the demolition activity.

But Valte disputed the accusations of KADAMAY against the government, saying the group was “either

deliberately ignoring the facts or is just poorly informed.” She reiterated that the demolition of the talipapa in the Silverio Compound was ordered by the court.
The Parañaque City government also made an assurance to the Silverio Compound that there will be no demolition to be conducted again as they are already on its clearing operations particularly on the collection of debris from the demolished “talipapa’ area.

Oscar Fernandez, chief of the local housing development office, said that the demolition conducted on Monday morning was for the “talipapa” area which is intended for the city government’s road widening project.

Fernandez said that prior to the demolition, Mayor Florencio Bernabe already conducted series of dialogues with leaders at Silverio Compound on the intention of the city government to build socialized housing.

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