Clearing to continue sans court order
Four more families residing along the Mahiga Creek in barangay Mabolo lost their homes to Cebu City’s demolition team members yesterday.
Alvin Santillana, head of the Cebu City Risk Reduction and Management Council (CCRRMC), said the demolition of creek-side houses would continue unless the court issues a temporary restraining order (TRO).
“I heard they (residents) went to the Ombudsman to seek help but I was told that they misinformed Assistant Ombudsman Virginia Palanca-Santiago saying they were not given enough time to prepare,” Santillana told Cebu Daily News.
He said in the absence of a TRO, “the mayor’s order was to push through (with the demolition).”
“They (residents) have been given a lot of extensions (already) even from the time of (south district) Rep. Tomas Osmena as Mayor,” Santillana told CDN.
Cebu City’s Squatters Prevention Encroachment and Elimination Division (Speed) has to remove 147 structures illegally built within the three-meter easement.
As of yesterday, they already demolished a total of nine houses while 11 others were voluntarily demolished by its owners.
“We want to reiterate that this is not demolition but a clearing operation to keep the residents out of danger should the water in the creek rise again,” said Santillana.
He said the clearing operations on the creek is also part of the city’s preparation for the rainy season.
“Since it is still summer, now is the best time to desilt the creek. We are also racing with time since Pagasa said the rainy days is just around the corner,” he said.
While Speed personnel cleared a portion of the creek in sitio San Isidro I in barangay Mabolo, policemen and personnel from the Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation (ERUF) were on standby.
“We asked for their presence in case someone gets hurt while the houses are being torn down due to accidents,” said Santillana.
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