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Despite resistance, Boracay resumes demolishing noncompliant structures

Boy Ryan B. Zabal
Despite resistance, Boracay resumes demolishing noncompliant structures
(UPDATED) Foreign owners of business establishments use water hoses to prevent the demolition of their buildings which the Boracay task force says violated the easement rules

AKLAN, Philippines (UPDATED) – Despite resistance from owners, Boracay Inter-Agency Rehabilitation Management Group (BIARMG) is bent on demolishing the last few structures which do not comply with the easement rules in the island resort.

On Thursday, November 7, a group of foreigners who owned the business establishments being demolished by the government used powerful water hoses to stop the demolition of their property.

BIARMG general manager Natividad Bernardino said 3 of the 10 structures were found violating the 25+5 meters beach easement along Bulabog Beach in Barangay Balabag while the rest were 10% to 20% partially encroaching into the easement.

Ito ay bahagi ng patuloy na rehabilitasyon na gawing compliant ang lahat ng establishments sa Boracay. Malaki man o maliit na resort, kailangan nilang sumunod sa easeback rule. Isa din itong political resolve ng ating gobyerno sa pag-kumpleto ng rehabilitasyon. Magiging bad precedent ito pag hindi natin itinuloy ang demolition,” she stressed.

(This is part of the rehabilitation, which is to make all establishments in Boracay compliant. Big or small resorts must abide by the easeback rule.  This is our political resolve, to complete the rehabilitation. It would be a bad precedent if we do not continue with the demolitions.)

Bernardino was saddened by the events that happened Thursday morning which saw foreign nationals ‘spraying’ water from fire hoses to the demolition crew.

Sila na lang ang natira na non-compliant.  Generally peaceful ngunit may mga banyagang may-ari ng resort na binubomba ng tubig ang ating demolition team. We will look into itong nangyari kaninang umaga,” she said.

(They were the last noncompliant establishments. It was generally peaceful, until the owners who were foreigners fired water hoses at the demolition team. We are investigating this incident.) 

Out of 52 establishments in Sitio Bulabog, 42 have already complied with the required 25+5 meters setback while 10 residential and commercial building owners filed a civil case in Regional Trial Court Branch 7 in Kalibo, Aklan against the local government of Malay, Aklan.

The demolition was stopped on October 15 after a judge issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) in favor of the affected building owners.

The TRO stopped the demolition order issued on March 25, 2019 of Pahuwayan Suites, Boracay Gems, Ventoso Residences, Lumbung Residences, Aira Hotel, Wind Riders Inn, Unit 107 of 7 Stones Boracay Suites, Kite Center at Banana Bay, Unit 101 of 7 Stones Boracay Suites and Freestyle Academy Kite Surfing School for a maximum duration of 20 days or until November 5.

On November 6, acting Malay town mayor Floribar Bautista issued Executive Order No. 38 to demolish the structures.

Bernandino said they likewise instructed authorities to exercise maximum tolerance to prevent the escalation of violence. She also allowed the affected resort and business owners along the eastern part of Boracay to get their valuables prior to demolition.

Pinahintulutan natin sila na kunin ang kanilang mga gamit bago ang demolition kahit na ganito ang ginawa nila sa ating demolition team. Nag expired ang TRO itong Lunes at wala ng legal impediment para ma-implement ang demolition. Ilang taon na itong demolition order, panahon pa ni Mayor Ceciron Cawaling at acting mayor Abram Sualog. They were given enough time to self-demolish,” Bernandino added.

(We allow the owners to get their belongings before we demolish structures, even if this is how they treat our demolition team. The TRO lapsed Monday, so there are no legal impediments to stop us from implementing the demolition. The demolition order was given years ago. That was still during the time of mayor Ceciron Cawaling and acting  mayor Abram Saulog.)

Appeal

Residents in Bulabog Beach appealed to Bautista to postpone the implementation of the demolition order.

Lawyer Salvador Paolo Panelo made the appeal on Friday, November 8. The Bulabog residents urged to hold in abeyance the implementation of demolition order until the Regional Trial Court resolves their prayer for writ of preliminary injunction.

Panelo said “the residents were unprepared, and without warning, they were immediately forced to evacuate their families and children, from their homes.”

“We appeal to your sense of humanity and justice, and treat the Bulabog residents with decency, compassion and fairness. The reprieve should at least give them an opportunity to try and recover from the demolition’s traumatic events, and to secure the safety of their families while the threat of demolition is imminent,” Panelo said in their appeal to Bautista.

Panelo reiterated that the implementation of the demolition order is illegal without a court order. – Rappler.com

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