Friday, November 3, 2006

appeal letter re. pre-asean summit demolitions

25-A Mabuhay St., Brgy. Central,Quezon City, Philippines
Tel No: 632 426 4119-19;Tel/fax no: 632 426 4132

November 2, 2006

The Honorable Alberto G. Romulo
Secretary of Foreign Affairs
Chairman,National Organizing Committee
Department of Foreign Affairs
Fax No. 632 832 1597

Governor Gwendolyn F. Garcia
Chair, Cebu Organizing CommitteeCebu Provincial Capitol
Capitol SiteCebu City, Philippines 6000
Fax Number: (+63) (032) 255-0642

The Honorable Arturo Radaza
Office of the City Mayor
Tele/fax: +63 32 340 0656

Subject: Demolition of Urban Poor Houses, Arrest and Detention of Protesters


Our organization has received information from civil society organizations in Cebu, Philippines about the September 29, 2006 demolition of 30 shanties affecting 42 families in front of Shangri-la Mactan Island Resort and Spa in Mactan Island, Cebu, the arrest and detention of 12 people who protested against the demolition.The demolition was carried out as part of the preparations for the 12th ASEAN Summit December 2006 in Cebu. The cleared land will be used as a parking lot for Summit participants.

Since the contested land is privately owned the land claimant should have gone to court to get a demolition order. Instead the local government opted to use presidential decree 1096 of former Dictator Marcos requiring government building permit for house construction which requires a land title to be issued. Obviously squatter families cannot obtain such a permit from city hall. Under Marcos Minister for Public Works and Highways Jesus Hipolito instructed through a July 13, 1984 memorandum to government agencies not to use PD 1096 to demolish squatter houses.

The demolition operation was violent. Police used water cannons and truncheons to disperse the barricade put up by members of ASUPA (Atbang Shangrila Urban Poor Association) and students. Scores were hurt, including women and children. Thirteen were arrested with one released at once because he was a minor.

The twelve detained are the following: Almarie B. Marzado, 19; Emalyn M. Aliviado, 23; Lourd Sherry V. Perez, 23; Melba C. Ugbinada, 22; Jo Ann L. Martinez, 24; Rosita D. Blando, 54; Ronald A. Sitoy, 21; John Francis B. Aguilar, 19; Jordan M. Jainar, 19; Deogracias J. Cane, 23; Ashbel C. Edaño, 19; and Reyneil Jim V. Perez, 22. They are asked to post bail of P80,000 each (US$1,633) or a P960,000 (US$19,591), clearly beyond their means. Their detention is now more than a month.

Recently they have been charged with violation of the child abuse law Republic Act 7619 because they “induced” a minor, a 16 year old resident, to join in the barricade, a charge they deny. They are in jail with common criminals.

As you may know, forced evictions in connection with international events such as summits and conferences violate the guidelines contained in General Comment No. 7 : Forced Evictions (1997) issued by the United Nations Committee on Economic,Social and Cultural Rights. The committee is the treaty body of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which the Philippine government has ratified. The September 29, 2006 forced evictions also violated the instruction of the United Nations Secretary General Kofi Anan which is contained in his Forced Evictions: Analytical Report (1993).

Eviction Watch therefore demands that the National Organizing Committee and the Cebu Organizing Committee, including the local government of Lapulapu City:

· Stop all forced evictions, including those being planned, related to the holding of the ASEAN Summit in December in Cebu City;
· Pay compensation and provide adequate relocation to the evicted families and observe the other guidelines prescribed by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in its document The Right to Adequate Housing: Forced Evictions;
· Release, without bail, immediately the 12 people arrested and detained who protested the September 29, 2006 demolition,

Such actions will most certain show that the ASEAN, beginning with the organizers of its 12th Summit, are consistent in their avowals of creating a caring and sharing community .

Yours truly,

Respectfully yours,
Teodoro Anana


Her Excellency Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
Malacañang Palace
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel
Manila 1005
Telephone Nos.: 632-735-6201 up to 10; 632-735-6180
Fax Number: 632-733-2107

Mr. Eduardo R. Ermita
Executive Secretary
Malacanang Palace
Fax no. 632 736 1010

Mr. Ong Keng Yong
Secretary-General of ASEAN
The ASEAN Secretariat70A, Jalan SisingamangarajaJakarta 12110IndonesiaTel : (6221) 7262991, 7243372Fax : (6221) 7398234, 7243504Email :

Mr. Miloon KothariSpecial Rapporteur on Adequate HousingUN Council on Human RightsTel/Fax; 91.11.24358492 :

P/Supt. Louie Tiroy OpusPhilippine National Police Headquarters (PNP-HQ)City Hall Compound, PusokLapu-lapu CityPHILIPPINESTel: +63 32 341 1311
Director General Oscar CalderonChief of Philippine National Police (PNP)Camp General Rafael CrameQuezon City PHILIPPINESTel: +63 2 726 4361/4366/8763Fax: +63 2 724 8763 E-mail:

Mrs. Persida V. Rueda-AcostaChief of Public Attorney Office (PAO)DOJ Agencies Building, NIA Road East Avenue1104 Quezon CityPHILIPPINESTel. No. +63 2 929 9010 / 9436Fax No. +63 2 927 6810 / 926 2878Email:
Ms Leila ZerrouguiChairpersonWorking Group on arbitrary detentionAttn: Mr Miguel de la LamaOHCHR-UNOG1211 Geneva 10SWITZERLANDFax: +41 22 917 900

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