MANILA – Some 20 residents living inside the New Bilibid Prison compound in Muntinlupa on Monday held a picket in front of the Department of Justice to urge Secretary Menardo Guevarra to stop the demolition of their houses allegedly ordered by Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director General Nicanor Faeldon.
Bella Diaz, chairperson of the group Kalipunan ng mga Mamamayan na Pinagkaisa sa New Bilibid Prison, Inc. (KAMPINA) said Faeldon has issued a 15-day notice of demolition to residents.
The demolition is part of the NBP’s development plan which will include transfer of NBP facilities to Nueva Ecija while the land in Muntinlupa will be privatized and utilized for mixed-use projects.
“Ipapaupa ata. Malaki raw ang papasok sa loob ng BuCor kung ipapaupa sa dayuhan. Parang Bonifacio Global City,” she told reporters outside the DOJ compound in Padre Faura, Manila.
(It would probably be rented. Lots would come in to BuCor if it would be rented to foreigners. Like Bonifacio Global City.)
Diaz said they have written a letter to the justice chief and are seeking an appointment with him in order to review Faeldon’s actions. The BuCor is an agency under the DOJ.
“Kung kailangan na makaharap namin siya ngayon, para alam ni Sec. Guevarra ang ginagawa ni Faeldon sa maralita,” she added.
(We need to face him now, so that Sec. Guevarra would know what Faeldon is doing to the poor.)
Diaz said more than 30,000 residents will be affected by the demolition, some of whom had lived on NBP land for 30 to 40 years.
These include residents in Makabuhay, Mapalad, Magnetic, Magdaong, Promised Land and Old Compound areas, according to KAMPINA’s media advisory.
The group also claimed electricity and water supply in these areas had been cut off since January, and some stores have been closed supposedly under Faeldon’s orders.
According to the group, construction materials are also no longer allowed to be brought inside the NBP compound.
Diaz insisted, residents like them should be given their own land.
“Kaya ang laban talaga namin, panawagan namin, bibigyan kami ng tirahan doon mismo dahil nakatiwangwang po ang malaking lupain doon. Ang lawak-lawak po. May 90 hectares, 70 hectares. May 22 hectares. Bakit hindi bigyan ang maralita bago negosyo?,” she said.
(Our fight, our clamor is to be given housing inside where there is barren land. It's vast. There are 90 hectares, 70 hectares. Some 22 hectares. Why not give first to the poor before businesses?)
Sought for comment, Guevarra told ABS-CBN News Monday: “Let me discuss this first with Director General Faeldon.”
ABS-CBN News is still seeking the side of Faeldon.