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Beleaguered Salmonan residents ask Duterte admin to stop demolition

DAVAO City — As the Holy Week of Ramadan is fast approaching, Moro residents of the contested land in Barangay 26-C Salmonan here appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to halt the demolition.

“We appeal to hold the demolition for humanitarian consideration while we wait for the response from the national government regarding our request,” said Virgie Gonzales, acting chairperson of the Quezon Boulevard-Lizada-Juan Luna Home Owners Association.

According to Gonzales, they already sent a letter directly to the office of President Rodrigo Duterte last year requesting his intervention on the land dispute.

Abdul Agor, one of the community’s Imams, appealed to the officials during the dialogue to conduct the demolition after the Holy Week of Ramadan which is expected to start on May 15 or 16.

“It will be Ramadan in two weeks, what would happen to us if we will be displaced?” lamented Agor.

However, Jay Esperanza, deputy sheriff of the Regional Trial Court Branch 17 bared during the dialogue that it is up to the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) as to when they will implement the demolition order.

“The ball is on the police. They will give the go signal to the sheriff regarding the demolition,” said Esperanza.

Esperanza said Datu Bahajin Mahadali already refused to the residents’ request to postpone the demolition after Ramadan in a negotiation initiated by DCPO Director, Police Senior Supt. Alexander Tagum.

The DCPO had already scheduled a four-day demolition last April 17-20 but later decided to defer to avoid “violent confrontation” with the residents.

Gonzales said they were satisfied with the dialogue because they were able to present the basis and documents on their claims.

They remained worried, though, because there was no assurance that the demolition will be halted.

Gonzales said, “we will fight and defend our homes.” (davaotoday.com)

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