21,000 forcibly evicted since 2010

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At total of 21,516 persons were victims of a series of demolitions in different parts of the country in the past five years, a human rights group revealed on Monday.

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The victims include children who were not given decent relocation areas, according to Karapatan.

The number of victims was recorded from July 2010 to September 2015.

Wilson Fortaleza, spokesman for the Partido Manggagawa (PM), said more than 21,000 victims were sufficient proof that the urban poor sector has not been the priority of the Aquino administration since the start of its term in 2010.

Fortaleza said President BenignoAquino3rd favors land developers than the informal settlers.

“Dati, exclusive villages lang meron dito sa Metro Manila [Before, Metro Manila had only exclusive villages]. Today, the cities are becoming the exclusive domain of the upper class,” he noted.

According to Fortaleza, PM is very sure that the biggest majority of the victims are workers if not all.

He said many workers could not afford to own a house because of their low take- home pay every month.

The workers could not also afford to rent apartments where the monthly rental fee is high, thus, they are forced to rent small but cheaper rooms in “squatter” areas, Fortaleza added.

Karapatan is expecting that the number of victims of demolitions will further increase as the government is scheduled to continue its anti-urban poor policy until the end of President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s term in June next year.

It argued that relocation to a decent housing project is a basic human right.

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