DWUP urged to create plan to protect 200 Apas families from demolition

THE Cebu City Council has approved a resolution requesting the Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor (DWUP) to develop an action plan that will assist more than 200 families living in Lot 937 in Sitio San Miguel, Barangay Apas who could lose their homes after owners of the property are set to implement a demolition order against them.

Cebu City Councilor Edgardo “Jaypee” Labella II filed the resolution in order for the City to act on the plea of the residents who could lose their homes after the court ruled in favor of Mariano Godinez, who claims to own Lot 937.

In his privilege speech on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, Labella said that the 4.5-hectare lot was reclaimed by Godinez.

A demolition order against the residents of Lot 937 already came out in 2012, but the demolition did not push through after Labella’s father, the late mayor Edgardo Labella, who was then Cebu City councilor, filed a motion for reconsideration on the court’s ruling penned by Judge Soliver Peras of Regional Trial Court Branch 10 on April 19, 2012. The motion was granted.

“Similar to my late father’s stance, I will continue to support and endeavor to do whatever legally possible to prevent the impending demolition of the structures in Lot 937,” the younger Labella said.

The action plan that will be crafted by the DWUP will be submitted to the City Council for deliberation; if the council approves it, then it will be endorsed to Mayor Michael Rama for his approval.

Labella said the city government should start preparing a relocation site for the residents due to the impending demolition order by the court.

The case involving Lot 937 started in 2010, but it dragged on for several years due to legal interventions made by the city government.

The officials of Archangels Residents Merger Inc. or Armi, the association of residents living in the disputed area, said the lot is owned by the government as it was bought by the city government in 1959 as a settlement area for the military personnel who were assigned in Camp Lapulapu.

Councilor Labella said he had also sought the help of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to prevent the demolition. (PAC / TPT)