Attention: News Editor, News Desk, Reporters and Photojournalists
Urban poor set to march to Mendiola
Urban poor families in Metro Manila are set to march to Mendiola on Wednesday (May 9, 2007) beginning 9:00 in the morning to urge President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to meet with them.
The people have sent various letters to President Arroyo endorsed by His Eminence Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales asking for a meeting but to no avail.
Representatives of the urban poor groups want to hold a dialogue with Mrs. Arroyo to make her aware of their problems.
Hundreds of families, for example, are now living in the streets after their houses built along esteros in Paco, Manila were demolished by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA). There was no relocation.
Evicting poor families without adequate relocation violates not only the Constitution but also the Urban Development and Housing Act (UDHA) and the United Nations covenants.
Thousands of families living along the railroad tracks in Manila, Caloocan and Taguig wants the demolition of their houses stopped until the government considers in-city / near-city relocation sites as alternatives to its distant relocation sites (Cabuyao / Towerville / Trece Martirez) where life is extremely hard. They want the National Housing Authority (NHA) to hand over the funds it holds to Mayor Sigfrido Tiñga of Taguig and Mayor Pedro Cuerpo of Montalban who have agreed to accept the families and let them do the relocation work.
Urban poor communities in Navotas that were burnt out by fires were told they cannot return to the area. This effectively puts them in the streets, and again violates the law.
The people will gather at 8:00 AM onwards. We hope the police will permit the march. The presence of media will help ensure calm.
Date: May 9, 2007 (Wednesday)
Time: 9:00 AM
San Sebastian Church, Plaza del Carmen, Quiapo, Manila