The Puerto Princesa City Anti-Squatting unit demolished some 11 houses made of light materials in Barangay Inagawan-Sub on Thursday, February 4.
The anti-squatting team, carryjng a demolition and dismantling order dated February 1 and signed by mayor Lucilo R. Bayron, removed 11 illegally built structures within a declared “danger zone” inside the Acasia Tunnel Park, which is also part of national highway ‘Road Right of Way.’
The demolition activity was carried out pursuant to the provisions of Article 55 (b) (3) (vi) of the Rules and Regulations implementing the Local Government Code of 1991 (Republic Act 7160) and in compliance with Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum Circular 2019-121.
According to Iwahig Corrections Facility (ICF) information officer CTO II Levi Evangelista, the penal prison management which is a member of Task Force Acacia Tunnel had already told illegal settlers to self-demolish “for humanitarian consideration” and leave but they remained in the area despite the issuance of several notices to vacate.
“Alam din nila na illegal kaso nagri-resist pa, nagmamatigas, hindi umalis. Sinabihan din sila ng BuCor (Bureau of Corrections) at saka Task Force Acacia Tunnel pero hindi pa rin sila nag-vacate. Ilang notice to vacate na kasi ‘yan hanggang sa bumaba na ang demolition order,” Evangelista said.
“Oo, sakop siya ng (ICF premises). Nasa kaliwa’t kanan, at ang ilang kabahayan ay nandito na lubhang delikado sa kalsada sapagka’t dikit sila, national highway ito. Mabibilis pa naman ang mga sasakyan,” he explained.
“Hindi naman natin sila pinuwersa o ng demolition team para ma-clear nila yung area from illegal occupants,” he added.
Evangelista further said the demolition is also in compliance with the mandate of the ICF to preserve its properties from illegal settlers and protect the forestland aside from its main responsibility to help the reformation of persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) committed within its four sub-colonies.
Follow up monitoring in the area with the members of the task force and barangay officials of Inagawan-Sub will be conducted to make sure that the settlers will not rebuild their structures.
“Ang objective naman sa part ng BuCor ay i-secure ang place at hindi na mapasukan ng intruders at informal settlers doon nga sa Acacia Tunnel,” he said.