• Muntinlupa squatters barricade portion of SLEX

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    IN a move to delay the impending demolition of their shanties, informal settlers occupying a private lot in Cupang, Muntinlupa City on Monday blocked a portion of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).

    Informal settler residents of Carmina Compound, set up the barricades at the East Service Road as early as 6 a.m., causing heavy traffic congestion in the area, according to the urban poor group Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay).

    The Carmina Compound Homeowners Association has 122 members and the Samahan ng Kapitbahay sa Carmina Compound Inc. has 166 members.

    “The local organization of the residents vowed to defend their homes in all forms. They are on guard as the demolition might be carried out any time now,” said Christian Yamzon, Kadamay’s media officer.

    She said that Muntinlupa City chief of police, Sr. Supt. Roque Vega has given the informal settlers until Monday to voluntarily tear down their homes.

    The demolition is scheduled on Tuesday or Wednesday.

    Kadamay said the informal settlers have been bracing for demolition as early as next week following the first attempt to demolish their homes on Thursday.

    Residents last week put up pieces of old furniture and set tires on fire to stop the implementation of a demolition order issued by Judge Ethel Mercado Gutay of the Muntinlupa Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 80 in November 2010.

    Reports indicated that the landowner, Sonia Lim, had promised to give P36,000 cash to each family to vacate the 11,500-square meter property.

    But the residents became angry when told they would only be paid P15,000 and the P21,000 balance within six months.

    At least 166 families opted to get the supposed P36,000 compensation, while some 123 opted to be relocated to Santa Rosa, Laguna. After more than two hours of negotiation between police and the leaders of the two homeowners associations, the barricades were removed by past 8 a.m.

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