The Iwahig Corrections Facility (ICF) has fenced off the 300-square meter land area at Km. 40, Sitio Tacduan, Barangay Inagawan after some informal settlers were found to have built makeshift shanties within the land which is part of the property owned by the prison management.
Information officer CTO II Levi Evangelista said Tuesday, June 22, that the ICF discovered three families that built structures in the area on the first week of June. They were given 15 days to demolish their structures but the prison management found out that they did not comply with the agreement, he stressed.
Evangelista said the ICF noticed some vehicles parked beside the highway and decided to return to the area after their Oplan Galugad operation in Inagawan Sub-colony.
“Sabi namin babalikan na lang namin. Ang naging sign namin ay ‘yong mga gamit nila na sasakyan na naka-park doon sa gilid ng highway. After ng operation namin sa Inagawan, nandoon pa rin, that’s why bumaba kami at inakyat ‘yong hagdan nila,” he said.
“Sabi nila nangingisda lang sila sa area na ‘yon at iyon ay pansamantala lang nila tinutuluyan. Noong June 16, binalikan natin sila kasi meron tayong naging agreement sa kanila. Hindi sila sumunod doon sa kasunduan na i-vacate na lang nila ‘yong area. Kaya ang naging move na lang natin doon ay bakurin para hindi na sila makabalik pa sa area na ‘yon,” he added.
Evangelista explained that their move was a preventive measure “to avoid further encroachment of intruders.”
“Temporary shelter lang naman parang mga tatlo ‘yon at magkakamag-anak sila sa area na ‘yan. Taga-bayan sila, may sarili naman talaga silang tahanan o inuuwian kaysa diyan sa inuuwian na kung makikita sa picture ay temporary lamang. Ang alarming for the part of the IPPF is ‘yong pag-occupy nila,” he said.
“Naniniwala rin naman tayo sa kanila na temporary shelter nila ‘yan pero ang susunod kasi diyan, ang temporary, magiging permanent shelter na nila ‘yan. Dadami sila diyan, magkakamag-anak sila. Pero may mga sasakyan kasi sila, hindi talaga sila ‘yong sinasabi na wala rin matitirhan. Ang objective lang naman natin doon ay to prevent pa ‘yong pagpasok pa ng illegal settlers,” he said.
“Well, baka lumipat lang sila sa ibang area. Nonetheless, patuloy ang pagmonitor natin dahil hindi naman sila titigil. Hindi lang naman sila, we are not talking na sila but the rest na gusto pa mag-illegal occupancy sa land ng IPPF ay we are closing monitoring on that matter,” he said.
ICF recorded a number of over 500 illegal settlers scattered in Brgy. Inagawan wherein the prison management already filed cases against some of them.
He added that the ICF has no dedicated personnel to focus on daily monitoring of informal settlers within their properties as their mandates are focused on safeguarding and rehabilitation of persons deprived of liberty (PDL).