Two people's organizations from Barangay Punta Taytay, Bacolod City, blamed the ignorance of their barangay captain who they claimed did not hear their side, and led to the demolition of 14 households in a supposed donated land in Purok Makawiwili.
Purok Makawiwili Fisherfolk Association Chair, Ernesto Arroz, said that because their barangay captain did not give them enough attention onworking on the documents required, that cause of the demolition of the houses.
These houses were situated in the 841 square meter lot donated by businessman Enrique Rojas to the barangay in 2004.
PTMFA together with theBrgy. Punta Taytay Marginalized Marketing Cooperative held a press conference at the Negros Press Club yesterday to air their sentiments on the demolition of houses and other complaints to their barangay council.
PTMMC Chair Joaquin Malacad agreed with Arroz that their local chief did notgive them opportunity to consult them on their sentiments on the move to demolish their houses.
TeresitaRelota of PMFA said that the land where they reside is public land and a document on the deed of donation was given to the barangay council. When they asked for it, they were told that the document was “lost” by a friend of a kagawad, she claimed .
She said they submitted three formal letters to the barangay hall but they were not given much attention by their barangay captain, Lea Palma.
Arroz also said that Palma did not fulfill her duties as a barangay captain as she did not “show care and enough attention” to the issues they were raising.
He also said that the land was sold to a Pastor to build a church in the area.
However, city Councilor RenecitoNovero saidearlier that the donation was “conditional”, and could be taken back if the conditions were not met after three years.
Novero, who chairs the committee on urban poor, housing and resettlement, disclosed this during a media interview after a public hearing on the matter on Jan. 25 at the Bacolod City Government Center. Arroz said they attended the hearing.
“It was given to the barangay on condition that it will be improved in three years after the donation. However, almost 14 years have passed but there was no improvement, so the donors could take it back,” Novero said.
“We cannot blame the donor as the barangay had the fault of not improving the area,” he added.
Novero also said during the public hearing that there will be an area for resettlement for those who will be displaced in PurokBayanihan 2 in Punta Taytay that will be called “Fishermen's Village.”
Director Fr. Chris Gonzales of the Social Action Center of the Diocese of Bacolod, who also attended the press conference yesterday, vowed to give the organization legal assistance on the matter. * MLG
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