RESIDENTS thought they had until March 31, 2020, to stay in the La Guardia homes, but instead, some 60 houses in Sitio La Guardia, Barangay Lahug were demolished on March 11, 2020, 20 days earlier than agreed.
The residents said they assumed the demolition, earlier scheduled on March 13, would be on March 31 since it was what they agreed with Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella when they asked for his help.
Robert Barquilla, of the Mayor’s Task Force for Housing, said they were caught by surprise since Mayor Labella asked the owner of the private lot to postpone the demolition on March 31. Apparently, the agreement wasn’t implemented.
The court order for the demolition came out in October 2019 but was not implemented due to the intervention of Mayor Labella.
Meanwhile, Barquilla accused the demolition team of violating the rules since the team members weren’t wearing proper IDs and protective gear.
He also said two residents--both female in their 50s--collapsed but have since recovered. He also said a resident lost a ring but Barquilla advised the resident to file a police report.
Barquilla said it was highly probable that a thief managed to sneak in as the demolition team had no IDs and they couldn’t be identified nor could it be ascertained that none of them were minors.
The residents who lost their houses are temporarily housed by the Division of the Welfare of the Urban Poor at Block 27 at the North Reclamation Area. (JCT / ML)