MANILA (2nd UPDATE) – Chaos erupted along Agham Road in Quezon City on Monday following an attempt to demolish houses of informal settlers.
At least five 10-wheeler dump trucks carrying demolition personnel arrived in the area this morning. They were accompanied by members of the Quezon City Police District Civil Disturbance Management Unit.
The informal settlers then hurled several explosives believed to be pillboxes at the demolition team. The demolition team's armed police escorts retaliated by throwing tear gas.
Footage taken by ABS-CBN showed some of the settlers throwing bottles and other debris while the police advanced.
The demolition pushed through following a confrontation between the police and residents and their alleged supporters from various militant organizations.
Additional policemen from the National Capital Region Police Office - Regional Public Safety Battalion arrived at around 10 a.m. Violence erupted anew at noontime but the police were able to quell it.
Five male informal settlers believed to be behind the explosions were arrested.
The Quezon City government, meanwhile, clarified that the demolition of the illegal structures is meant for the Agham Road widening project.
The city government said structures standing within 11.3 meters from the road's current sidewalk will have to be demolished.
A member of the demolition team got injured after falling off one of the illegal structures.
Today's demolition operation came a week after the demolition of stalls inside the nearby Manila Seedling Bank. – report from Dexter Ganibe, dzMM