Friday, April 27, 2012

News Update Merville squatters ready to play dirty

MANILA, Philippines - Illegal settlers in Barangay Merville, Parañaque had prepared bags of feces mixed with mud and dirty water they would use – in lieu of rocks and bottles – to drive away the demolition team if yesterday’s scheduled demolition had pushed through, community leaders said yesterday.
Ramil Asturias said they designated feces collectors after receiving an eviction notice on March 12.
The collectors would go around the neighborhood asking for feces from about 600 houses (1,000 families). After that, the feces would be packed in clear cellophane bags mixed with mud and dirty water. A water drum near the gate served as a receptacle for the bags.
“We’ve seen bloody demolitions but that will never happen here. We don’t want to hurt anyone, so, we decided to use feces to protect ourselves. This is our shield,” Asturias said with a chuckle.
The illegal settlers occupy the “Tucuma” compound, which lies in the middle of three sitios (Tuyuan, Cubic, and Malaya). These slums are located near posh subdivisions.
The compound is surrounded by shanties and narrow allies, and can be reached only by foot or two-wheeled vehicles.
“Had the demolition pushed through we will throw these at them,” Asturias added, as he insisted that they “know what is right. We are disciplined.”
However, aside from feces, the residents also prepared gravel mixed with pepper and bottles of urine.
Asturias said they were given 45 days since March 12 to vacate the place. Instead, they prepared to resist the demolition crews.
They created dress codes to “easily distinguish” the residents from the members of the demolition team. “We discussed all these during consultations,” he said.
Their members also wore layers of clothes and helmets while guarding the gate. A visitor who looks suspicious would be accosted by a member.
They handed out fliers asking residents of the three other sitios to join them in opposing the eviction. One resident, who requested anonymity, said the flier and the presence of the media made them panic, prompting them to pack their things early yesterday morning.
“But we don’t want to join them. They are egging us to join them in the riot,” the resident said.
What demolition?
It seems, however, that only the residents are aware of the demolition. The Parañaque police said they were not instructed to go to the site.
“There was no request from the court or from our higher headquarters,” said city police chief Senior Superintendent Billy Beltran. - By Aie Balagtas See