Mayor comes to Apas residents’ aid, asks to move demolition to April

CEBU City Mayor Edgardo Labella asked the court to postpone the demolition of 189 houses in Barangay Apas for six months to give City Hall time to look for a relocation site for the affected families.

“As a mayor of the City of Cebu, I am invoking Republic Act 7279 (Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992), which says that the families should not be displaced. They should not be demolished while there is no relocation site. I am asking for a six-month extension, but it’s really up to the court,” Labella said.

He directed Simeon Romarate, head of the Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor, to look for a relocation site for the families.

Labella also sought police assistance to make sure the demolition will not push through.

Labella disclosed his plans as families occupying the lot braced for a demolition on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019, after several postponements of the implementation of the demolition order.

Members of the Archangels Residents Mergence Inc. (Armi), the homeowners’ association, got ready to resist the demolition scheduled by the Regional Trial Court Branch 9 between Oct. 9 and 31.

Anne Martel, Armi president, said according to the copy of the writ of execution of the demolition order given to the homeowners by Special Sheriff Nelson Sungahid last week, the demolition of 189 houses would happen within 21 days.

Martel said Lot 937, a 4.6-hectare lot in Apas, was bought by the government in 1939 for the families of the soldiers.

There have been attempts to demolish their houses in 2010, 2012 and March 2019.

According to Martel, the ownership claim of Mariano Godinez Jr., who filed the case to acquire Lot 937, is questionable.

“We are not convinced that the owner is Mariano Godinez Jr. because there is a voucher issued in 1939 showing that the lot has been paid for. The government made a full payment for Lot 937 to the property administrator, Felica Cip,” she said in Cebuano.

“If you look at it, the ownership of Mariano Godinez Jr. is questionable. That is why we would not allow our houses to be demolished,” Martel added. (WBS, PAC OF SUPERBALITA CEBU / LRC )