City government officials dismantle cottages owned by a Tagbanua woman.

Members of the City Anti-Squatting Task Force dismantled cottages owned by a Tagbanua in Sitio Tagkawayan, Barangay Bacungan on Tuesday, claiming that the structures were built on city-owned property and not ancestral lands.

The owner, Chirlita Garcia Condesa, told Palawan News in a phone interview on Friday, November 19, that she was not given any notice about the demolition and was taken aback by the appearance of city government representatives. She added that she was having the cottages built so she could have a small income, being a widowed woman with one child in her care.

“Wala akong pinagkakakitaan ngayon. Ito sanang mga cottages ay pinagawa ko para kahit papaano may pagkakakitaan ako. Para kung may mga mamamasyal dito sa Tagkawayan, puwede silang sumilong dito,” she said.

Condesa sought the help of some relatives to aid her in her plight after the demolition.

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According to one relative, Jerson Bulan, who witnessed the demolition, said that it came as a surprise and that the officials who were at the site said the

“Si Ate Chirlita, dito na talaga siya. Dito niya inilabas ang kanyang labing-anim na anak, ngayon siyam na lang kasi ang iba namatay na. Nakiusap na lang siya sa amin na tulungan siyang magpagawa ng mga kubo para may pagkakakitaan siya,” Bulan said in a phone interview.

“Kamamatay lang din ng isang anak niya nakaraan at na-busy siya sa pag-asikaso. Ngayon, noong Tuesday, dumating ang mga taga-city government, nagkaroon pa sila ng alitan dito ni Ate Chirlita. Wala naman daw siyang natanggap na court order o kahit anuman bago ang demolisyon. Ang sabi pa ng mga taga-city, sa city raw ang lupa na iyon kaya giniba, e ayon kay Ate Chirlita, wala naman daw siyang hawak na papel na nagpapatunay na ibinenta niya ‘yon sa city,” he added.

However, Anti-Squatting Office chief Alex Hermoso said in a phone interview that they had already issued several notices to Condesa, stating that many houses in that area of Tagkawayan were also scheduled for demolition.

“Na-isyuhan na siya ng notice of violation, kasi nasa easement na sila. Nagpatayo sila ng structures na nasa city beach. Kaya for demolition na ‘yan, in fact, sila na lang po ang natira doon,” he said.

“Ngayon, hindi na lang giniba ang bahay niya kasi nakiusap siya eh. Sabi niya, ipaglalaban daw niya ang lupa kasi kanya raw iyon. So, nasa kanya na iyon, kung ipaglalaban niya. Eh, noong tinanong, mayroon ba siyang CADC, mayroon ba siyang CALC, kasi siya raw ay isang katutubo, wala naman,” he added.

Certificates of Ancestral Land Claims (CALC) and Ancestral Domain Claims (CADC) refers to the certificates issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) recognizing the claims of ICCs/IPs to their ancestral lands and ancestral domains (ALs/ADs).

Bulan said he is helping Condesa now with her land claim, and that they will also file a formal complaint to proper authorities about the demolition.

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is a senior reporter for Palawan News who covers politics, education, environment, tourism, and human interest stories. She loves watching Netflix, reading literary fiction, and listens to serial fiction podcasts. Her favorite color is blue.