3 hurt as violence erupts in Makati demolition

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 28 2011 03:10 PM | Updated as of Apr 29 2011 02:38 AM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - At least 3 people were injured Thursday afternoon during a violent confrontation between Makati authorities and informal settlers of the fire-hit Laperal Compound in Makati City.

A report by ABS-CBN correspondent Niko Baua said informal settlers, including minors, used stones, molotov bombs, gunpowder, and even human waste to repel elements of the Makati police, Makati traffic and Bureau of Fire Protection from implementing the evacuation of residents.

Baua himself was injured after being hit by rocks thrown by the informal settlers. An ABS-CBN vehicle and equipment were also damaged.

Footage taken by ABS-CBN News Channel showed Makati authorities using truncheons and water cannon to repel some of the attackers.

The forced evacuation came just a week after fire razed some 900 houses in the compound. 

The local government of Makati gave informal settlers in the compound a 2:30 p.m. deadline to leave the site, which is already declared a danger zone.

Makati Mayor Junjun Binay said he offered some 2,000 Laperal residents a P20 million relief assistance plus relocation to settlement sites in Bulacan and Laguna.

Baua said some residents were not satisfied with the relocation sites while others only wanted to relocate after a year.

Joey Salgado, Makati public information office chief, said only a small group of residents are responsible for the violence perpetrated on Thursday.

"It is very unfortunate that this happened. This is not a demolition or forced eviction. It is not within the city government's jurisdiction to do that because Laperal Compound is private property. What the Makati government is doing is enforcing the declaration of the area as a danger zone. This is a condemned area. Some of them are now using children as human shields," he said. 

Salgado said private owners of billboards affected by the fire are reportedly afraid to demolish their structures after residents started barricading the area. 

Robredo, Makati mayor clash over demolition

Meanwhile, tension ensued between Binay and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo over the demolition.

Robredo reportedly wants the informal settlers to be given more time before being relocated from the area, which the Makati mayor opposed.

The two officials had a heated conversation over the issue, a report said.

The DILG chief went to the Laperal compound around 4 p.m. and told the media that the remaining informal settlers will not be evicted for the meantime.

Binay then arrived at the scene and was angry with informal settlers and the police.

"Kung pinagbigyan nila request ko for additional manpower, di nangyari ito," he said. "Eighteen lang ang pulis ng Makati."

He then talked to Robredo, who wanted to meet with leaders of the settlers.

Binay, however, rejected the DILG chief's suggestion on consulting the settlers before setting a deadline. 

The demolition of shanties will resume Friday, according to authorities. - With reports from Niko Baua and Jorge Cariño, ABS-CBN News