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Relocation of flood-prone poor, only an excuse for demolition

“The QC government is just exploiting the floods and threat of flooding to sugarcoat the demolition of urban poor communities with a so-called relocation plan for the safety of settlers.”

This was the statement of labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno in response to Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista’s order last July 28 for the immediate relocation of settlers in flood prone-areas in the city.

The QC government identified Waling-Waling and Gumamela streets in Barangay Roxas, and Calvary Hill and Isla Noah in Barangay Damayang Lagi as among areas near waterways and creeks. It also plans to include informal settlers along the banks of the San Juan, Tullahan and Dario rivers.

“We have every reason to believe that the Aquino government is using flooding and the threat of flooding to pursue its war against the urban poor. The QC local government under Mayor Bautista is using the dangers of heavy flooding caused by strong rains to demolish urban poor communities,” said Lito Ustarez, KMU vice-chairperson.

“In the first place, these people have been living near the esteros for the longest time because the national and local governments have failed to provide them decent housing. When LGUs like that of Quezon City therefore talk about removing urban poor residents from their communities, we are sure they do not mean providing, at long last, decent housing to the poor,” he added.

“Provide them decent mass housing, decent jobs and accessible social services first before you speak of relocation,” Ustarez dared.

Aquino record on urban poor slammed



KMU also criticized the Aquino government’s record on the urban poor.

“What we have been seeing under Aquino is that houses of the poor are being demolished without providing decent housing to the latter. The demolition cases in Old Manila, San Roque, Corazon de Jesus, Laperal Compound and Pangarap Village –wherein two anti-demolition leaders were killed – are vivid scenes of the Aquino government’s war against the urban poor,” Ustarez said.

“The Aquino government is hell-bent on wiping out urban poor communities to satisfy the interests of big foreign and local capitalists and powerful land-owners in the country,” he added.

“If the Aquino government continues with its anti-poor crimes, a rebellion of the urban poor in the near future would not be far-fetched. Poor people have been fighting back in their communities and it won’t take long before they close ranks against the Aquino government, which is proving to be a demolition regime,” Ustarez said.  Lito Ustarez, KMU Vice-Chairperson

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