Monday, January 24, 2011



Regarding the recent demolish of houses in San Juan and other related issues
affecting the Urban Poor, the struggle for decent life and against the rotten order

By Katleah Iskre Ulrike

Early in the morning, we've witnessed in the news another urban poor defiance against the rotten social order. Back then we've witnessed about San Roque in Quezon City, but this time we've witnessed a recent event-the houses in Barangay Corazon de Jesus in San Juan City, and its resistance unleashed by its residents.

To some people, they are being called as "Squatters" regardless of its legality due to the decrees given to them by two presidents, and worse? Having their houses be demolished by a City Government being ruled by a "Pro-Poor" administrator. Isn't it obvious that they've been fooled enough just to do this goddamn work?

According to some reports, there are 1,800 more households to be displaced if the demolition succeed. And it can be recalled that some 200 homes were already destroyed last June 28, 2010 to pave the way for the completion of the construction of a new city hall and planned establishment of the government center of San Juan. And most of these houses demolished lately are from Barangay Corazon de Jesus, the land the Government once recognized the resident's legality to stay.

How wonder why the present administration agreed to this action laid. It was even said that the land of Barangay Corazon de Jesus has already been awarded to them by past administrations of Cory and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo through Executive Order 164 and Presidential Proclamation 54, respectively.

Yes, we've seen their houses demolished and took pity on the displaced people who may possibly once voted for an Ejercito as Mayor, but still these people remained valiant and kept on resisting against the order- that 40 persons were injured, including the municipality's Engineer Danilo Mercado, who was hit on the head by stones thrown by residents.

But then, the demolition team countered the people's resistance with tear gas, according to the report. And again, most people would took pity on these people, yes, their houses being demolished, yes, their bodies being beaten by the policemen, what's next? Being moved to a so-called "Resettlement area" full of nothing? That requires paying much and if not be expelled and accused of trespassing? Another pity if we expect so!

After all... these people are "poor" yet "struggling to live." The ones who voted for an Ejercito, the ones who enjoyed the welfare and paying taxes despite working in a low payed, less benefit jobs, but at least having a roof, food, school, anything. But to other's interpretation-be called as illiterate, misguided fools. God forbid, but the ones who interpret are the ones who are foolish, the same beings who took pity on the victims if we look upon to.

Lately, former President Erap Estrada had visited them, telling that they are to be moved in a relocation site, and reprimanded the policemen for using tear gas and not implementing "maximum tolerance", but obviously, it is purely considered to be a lip service than reality. Why? How come the Government agreed in demolishing houses in San Juan just for that goddamn sake of having a new Government Center? On that same area wherein according to the residents as "legal?" They are all victims of brutality as we expected, then Estrada lately visited them and telling via DZIQ that the policemen should do "Maximum tolerance" and not to use tear gas?

Is this what Noynoy's straight path towards progress? That they disregard the Executive order and Presidential proclamation regarding these residents just to build a new City hall? In case of the Ejercitos, is this their "relief"? Remember, they are the ones who rally for erap and his "Kung may ERAP may Ginhawa" (If there's ERAP there's Relief) during the last elections!

Since the start, we witnessed all of these events concerning the Urban Poor, their plight, and their resistance against the rotten order. We've witnessed San Roque last year, and lately in Barangay Corazon de Jesus in San Juan; and it really shows that with or without Presidential Decree or whatsoever, the demolition will still commence "in the name of change and development." How come people around us accept so this kind of act, will this inculcate relief, especially if they moved to a relocation site? Or a burden, especially if they start again from scratch?

To end this writeup short, this event, like any other urban poor related tragedies, will be one of the events be written in the history of the common man in the Philippines, that they are the wretched of the earth, victims of everything around the society, willing to resist as we expected-that according to Arnold Repique, representing the Urban Poor in San Juan:

"Like what our heroes fought before here in Pinaglabanan against Spanish colonizers in our glorious past, the modern-day sons and daughters of San Juan will once again revolt for our legitimate demands for decent housing, livelihood and social justice."