CHR: Informal settlers went too far by throwing feces

Informal settlers cry foul over Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista's 'malicious' allegations they are 'professional squatters'

VIOLENT CLASH. Policemen block the entrance of the Quezon City hall on Monday, July 1, as protesters tried to break through. Photo by Mark Demayo.

MANILA, Philippines – The informal settlers who barricaded Agham Road were unprovoked and went too far by throwing human feces and urine at the police, Commission on Human Rights (CHR) chairperson Loretta Rosales said.

Ugali ba ng Pinoy na magtapon ng dumi? Hindi ‘yan natural sa atin!” Rosales said. (Is it customary for Filipinos to throw feces? That’s not natural for us!)

Residents and anti-riot police clashed as officials broke the barricade during a demolition of shanties along Agham Road in Quezon City on Monday, July 1.

Rosales said that while the CHR recognizes the vulnerability of informal settlers who are threatened with forced evacuation, the rights of policemen must also be respected.

Rosales maintained that the CHR will take steps to educate the informal settlers about their rights and responsibilities.

On Tuesday, July 2, Rosales said that she has already instructed CHR investigators to look further into the clash.

Rosales maintained that the CHR will takes steps to educate the informal settlers about their rights and responsibilities.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) earlier said they will investigate alleged squatting syndicates who agitate and fund the resistance of the informal settlers.

“We will have to look into this and file charges if necessary,” DILG undersecretary Francisco Fernandez said.

Anakpawis files libel suit

Meanwhile, former Anakpawis Rep Rafael Mariano filed a libel case against Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, saying that the mayor maliciously accused his party-list of inciting the violence that erupted on Agham Road

Mariano, who was accompanied by illegal settlers from Sitio San Roque, Quezon City, also complained that Bautista described affected residents as “professional squatters” several times on air.

In a suit filed with the Office of the Ombudsman on Wednesday, July 3, Mariano said that Bautista’s statement damaged the reputation and integrity of Anakpawis.

“Mayor Bautista should be penalized for his irresponsible, reckless, malicious, and untruthful statements,” Mariano said.

In an interview on GMA7 after the violence errupted, the Quezon City mayor also said the group is collecting money from informal settlers with the promise that they will not be relocated.

Pinagkakakitaan iyan ng Anakpawis…ang ginagawa nila, naniningil sila ng P1,000 kada pamilya, na sila raw…ang magtatrabaho para hindi maalis sila diyan. I have intelligence report on that,” Bautista said.

(Anakpawis makes money from informal settlers. They collect P1,000 per family and they tell them that the party-list group will work to make sure the families are not relocated. I have an intelligence report on that.)

Bautista also accused the  informal settlers of illegally tapping water and electricity.

BLOCKED. Quezon city police used water cannons to disperse the protesters on Monday. Photo by Mark Demayo.

‘Telenovela of lies’

Anakpawis representative Fernando Hicap earlier denied Bautista’s “telenovela of lies.”

“We are not part of any professional squatting group and the people in North Triangle are not professional squatters but legitimate citizens of this country who do not deserve this sheer madness and extreme brutality displayed and employed by the mayor of Quezon City and the Aquino administration,” he said.

There are at least 2,000 informal settler families living in the 29-hectare property of the National Housing Authority (NHA). NHA sold the property to Ayala, which plans to develop it into a business district.

Anakpawis vs. Bistek Complaint Affidavit

-Rappler.com