Fisherfolk cries out over violent demolition in Brgy. Patungan; calls on to investigate
the PNP and Philippine Air Force
Maragondon, Cavite – The activist fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) condemns in the highest possible terms the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Air Force (PAF) for the violence they perpetrated during the attempted demolition yesterday in Brgy. Patungan, Nasugbu, Batangas.
About 500 combined demolition crew, PNP and PAF have trooped Barangay Patungan yesterday morning to resume its adjourned demolition which they started on the afternoon of August 22.
Reports from the residents said PNP and PAF used blank bullets and tear gas to disperse the residents who collectively resist the demolition. Despite the violence committed by the state forces, the residents led by the Save Patungan Now Movement managed to maintain their set-upped barricade, blocking the demolition team from entering their community and frustrating the demolition.
“Because of the strong resistance and unity of the residents, the demolition crew, despite their police and military escorts has failed to completely execute the demolition. But the looming threat of demolition continues for they will not stop until the last house and the last family have been ejected from this land,” Susan Agner, Save Patungan Now Movement said in a statement.
Brgy. Patungan is a home to 353 fisherfolk and peasant families which are set to be demolished under the Writ of Demolition ordered by the Naic Regional Trial Court (RTC).
The 602-hectare fishing and farming land being claimed by the Maria Theresa Virata Realty Corporation (MTV Realty Corporation) was already sold to Henry SY, a business-tycoon who is about to convert Patungan’s productive fishing and agricultural grounds into a money-making eco-tourism hub. This will result to the demolition and displacement of 353 fisherfolk and peasant families depending mainly on its rich fishing and agricultural resources on a day to day basis.
“Where will the government take these hundreds of fisherfolk and peasant families if they pursue the demolition? What happened to the ‘no relocation, no demolition’ policy of President Duterte? And what happened to the oligarchs like Henry Sy whom the President vows to destroy? It seems those oligarchs like Sy are on their business as usual under the new administration,” Fernando Hicap, Pamalakaya Chairperson said.
Pamalakaya laments that many fishing communities were already destroyed to give way to eco-tourism projects during the Aquino administration. On 2014, about 600 fisherfolk families in Brgy. Laiya, San Juan, Batangas were displaced from their source of livelihood when their coastal community was transformed into a grandiose private beach resort.
“Henry Sy is fast converting the coastal areas of Batangas into grandiose tourist destinations to the detriment of the fishers’ lives. Too many reclamation projects have been executed to displace us; this atrocity among the fishers has to stop,”
“We strongly urge President Duterte including PNP Chief Bato Dela Rosa to take necessary actions on the atrocities committed by their troops to our fishermen and farmers,” Hicap ended. ###