Extra-judicial killing in QC, Demolition in Caloocan: Anakpawis condemns violence against urban poor

Family of EJK victim Benilda Veloria Santos.
(Photo by Friends of Anakpawis)

Extra-judicial killing in QC, Demolition in Caloocan
Anakpawis condemns violence against urban poor

MANILA, Philippines – The militant Anakpawis Party-list condemned the latest atrocities against urban poor communities in Calaanan compound in Caloocan city and Brgy. Commonwealth in Quezon city. About 500 houses were violently demolished early morning in Calaanan, while a member of Anakpawis – Commonwealth chapter Benilda Veloria Santos was killed late night last May 22 at the said barangay.

“Kinukundena namin ang karahasan at pasistang atakeng ito sa mga urban poor, hustisya ang aming panawagan sa mga biktima,” (We condemn this violence, fascist attacks on the urban poor, we demand justice for the victims) Anakpawis Representative Fernando “Ka Pando” Hicap said in a statement.

Anakpawis Caloocan chapter said that the urban poor community in Calaanan compound was demolished as the land is being targeted for a commercial project by rich businessman Alfred Yao, owner of Zest-O Corporation. The urban poor residents claimed that Yao does not have any legal claims but the collusion between local officials and Yao resulted to the dislocation of the residents. The victims also protested violations during the demolition such as the absence of any representative from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the local government unit. There was also no negotiation team that was recognized while the PNP deployed an overkill 500-man contingent armed with high-powered rifles. They also argued that their houses were demolished with no relocation site offered.

“Ang ganitong sistema ay pino-promote ng gubyernong Aquino kung saan binabalewala ang kapakanan ng mahihirap para bigyang daan ang interes ng malalaking negosyo, idadagdag namin sa pananagutan ni Aquino ang karahasang ito,” (This system is promoted by the Aquino government which has long neglected the welfare of the poor to give way to the interests of big businesses. These incidents are now added to the Aquino regime’s long list of crimes.

The killing meanwhile of Santos, 42, Anakpawis claims, is a brutal attempt to silence urban poor leaders in the area who are in the forefront of an ongoing local struggle against the displacement of urban poor communities caused by the National Government Center project in Quezon City. Members and leaders of Anakpawis, Kadamay and rights group Karapatan are conducting a fact-finding mission in the area of the incident as of this writing.#