1 killed, 36 hurt in Parañaque demolition

Posted at 04/23/12 12:15 PM

Residents clash with policemen securing a demolition team sent to evict informal settlers in Silverio Compound in Parañaque City on Monday. 1 person was killed and dozens were injured in the incident. Photo: ABS-CBNnews.com

MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) – One person died while 36 more were injured after violence erupted during a demolition at the Silverio Compound in Sucat, Parañaque before noon Monday.

Victim Arnel Tolentino, 21, was found beside the center island of Sucat Road with his head crushed.

The residents and flea market vendors started barricading the road at around 6 a.m., anticipating the arrival of the demolition team as the 10-day notice of demolition elapsed Monday.

Violence erupted at around 10 a.m. after negotiations between the two sides failed.

The informal settlers threw rocks, glass bottles and hard objects at the demolition team, prompting them to use tear gas against the settlers.

Police said 29 residents and 7 policemen were injured. Some of the residents were arrested.

Among the injured residents were Raul Grafil and Rodman Ortega who were shot in the head and left arm, respectively.

Grafil is an executive officer of Barangay San Isidro, which covers the compound.

Residents claimed that Ortega was shot by a policeman. Grafil’s assailant, on the other hand, has yet to be identified.

Police Officer 1 Marco Gambaya suffered the worst injury among the police. He was hit with a big chunk of rock in the face.

Meanwhile, Superintendent Teofilo Andrada, Deputy Chief of Parañaque Police, said he will check on reports that some policemen threw back the rocks that came from the residents.

No demolition of houses

The demolition team successfully entered the compound at around noon to demolish some of the structures in the flea market inside the compound.

Some vehicles that got stuck in the area at the height of the tension have also been able to pass through Sucat Road.

Monday’s demolition was the second to occur in the compound since March 7.

Parañaque Mayor Florencio “Jun” Bernabe Jr. earlier said there were no plans of demolishing the houses of the residents living in the 9.8-hectare land, which had been expropriated by the city government.

The demolition team, led by the sheriff of Parañaque Regional Trial Court Branch 195, told settlers about the plan but they refused to leave.

“Ang ide-demolish ngayon, kung pu-pwede iyun munang mga talipapa. Pero yung residential area hindi namin gagalawin yan,” Bernabe told dzMM.

The mayor said the city government has no plan to expel residents from the area. He added the city is constructing several medium-rise buildings for them.

“Magtatayo ng MRBs (medium rise buildings) dyan eh, kailagan siyempre may konting explanation sa mga tao na ito ay programa, ayaw nilang maniwala eh,” he said.

“Meron kaming staging area, may property kami sa Coastal Road, bibigyan namin sila ng temporary housing, pagkatapos [ng construction] ng isa o dalawang MRB balik na sila ulit doon.”

Kadamay alleged that Henry Sy-led SM Development Corporation is eyeing the property for a condominium project.

SM had denied this allegation. – with a report from Dexter Ganibe, dzMM