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Press Release
December 18, 2012

GMA, Cavite residents stage rally, demand relocation

Some 100 residents of the town of General Mariano Alvarez in Cavite today rallied at the municipal hall to demand a relocation site. The community called Market Site, an open space of 63 structures near the Magra market, is now being fenced off to make way for real estate development by Lotus Mall owned by a certain Mr. Lee.

The members of Samahan ng Naninirahan sa Market Site together with the Cavite chapter of Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) and Alyansa ng Maralitang Pilipino assembled early this morning at the Tahanan Village and then marched to the municipal hall in time for the 7:00 am flag ceremony.

“The people want social progress with social justice. We appeal to be treated as human beings not rags that can be thrown when not needed. If our community is to be demolished then we demand decent relocation and financial assistance,’ declared Ramil Cangayao of PM-Cavite.

Since July this year, the community residents have been holding protests and negotiations with the National Housing Authority, which owns the open space sold to Lotus Mall, and the administration of Mayor Leonisa “Ona” Virata. But residents complain that they are being given the runaround. On November 19, the Sangguniang Bayan passed Resolution No. 0735-2012 approving the application of Lotus Mall to develop a commercial building at so-called Market Site.

Cangayao added that “If there is any shred of good governance in the administration of Mayor Virata, then residents deserve transparency as to the local government’s plans about relocation. They keep on promising there is a relocation site but there are no details. We also want the implementation of the Office of the Court Administrators Circular No. 72-2003 mandating a financial assistance to relocatees amounting to 60 days times the minimum wage or a total of P19,628 per family. The social cost of the project should be part of the development cost.”

Cangayao challenged the candidates in the coming elections to stand on the side of the urban poor residents. “Go beyond motherhood statements. In the real life struggle for a decent life and affordable housing, are the candidates on the side of the ordinary people or of rich developers,” he said.

The residents averred that their protests will continue until their demands are heeded. In the meantime they are preparing for the possibility of an illegal demolition and vowed to defend their community if necessary. ###

Contact: Ramil Cangayao @ 09499797400