DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Davao City Police Office (DCPO) is conducting a series of investigation at Tigatto, Buhangin district here following a clash between residents and a private company’s demolition team.
Security personnel from Lapanday Foods Corporation (LFC) were forced to “fire warning shots” after residents showed force and later threw stones at them, according to Police Senior Superintendent Alexander Tagum, DCPO director.
Apart from the police, the incident was confirmed by Luis Tiblawan, leader of the Kagan-Bangsamoro Association Inc, and a resident in the same area.
Tiblawan said the incident happened on Monday, November 27, when about 250 men, some with high powered firearms barged in and destroyed their houses.
The men, he said, arrived at around 3:00 in the morning, and forcibly dismantling the houses including a madrasah, where Kagan children also study Arabic.
“Not only that, they also pointed guns at children. If we look at it, it’s a violation of the children’s rights,” he told Davao Today in an interview.
Tiblawan, speaking in Cebuano, emphasized that the demolition team did not present any legal document or a demolition order.
Meanwhile, Tagum, citing initial police investigation, said that the commotion happened before the police responders arrived in the area.
The LFC, according to the official, did not coordinate with the police prior to the demolition.
“Unfortunately, this happened before police responders arrived,” Tagum said in an interview.
He also cited that the demolition happened despite their prior agreement with the LFC.
The police, he added, has to be informed should the company carry out fencing or demolition activities so their security would be ensured.
Also, Tagum urged the residents who were affected by the incident to file a complaint and coordinate with the Buhangin police.
Based on the barangay clearance dated February 27, the LFC’s parent company Lapanday Prime Development Corporation (LPDC) will be constructing a perimeter fence to more or less 7,999 square meters land parcel in Tigatto.
However, Tiblawan maintained that it was agreed that those families whose houses were built inside the land claimed by the company would vacate the area as long as they will be able to present the legal documents.
“We will vacate our houses if it is part of the land that they own, but they have not shown us legal documents, a title, that will prove that they really owned the land. If it is really legal, they should show us the true and authenticated title and not just any other papers,” he stressed.
Because of the lack of pertinent papers, Tiblawan insisted that the 8.9 hectares occupied by the community is not part of the land owned by the Lorenzos.
Meanwhile, City Mayor Sara Duterte said the City Government of Davao will be providing a relocation site for those residents who are “qualified” while financial assistance will be given the rest of the affected individuals.
The City Social Services and Development Office (CSSDO) Buhangin district also distributed food packs to more or less 150 families who were left homeless. (davaotoday.com)