MANILA (29-April-2012 – Today, Arnel Leonor, 21, who died in a shooting incident following a violent clash between the barricading residents of Silverio Compound in Parañaque City and the members of the police and demolition team, will be put to his final rest in Manila North Cemetery.
However, his parents, colleagues, friends, and sympathizers sad his death will not go in vain, neither their dreams would go 6-feet underground with him. Rather his death has fueled their desire to intensify their struggle for their right to abode and to put a halt to what they called “corporate greed”.
‘The battle for homes, livelihood and social justice doesn’t end with the funeral of Arnel today and with the DILG’s [Department of Interior and Local Government] suspension order for demolitions. Arnel Leonor will serve as inspiration to us in Silverio Compound and to all urban poor families all over the country in pushing for our long drawn demands,” said Shella Bernal, spokesperson of the Alyansa ng Mamamayan sa Silverio, a group allied with the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap-National Capital Region (NCR).
While the Silverio residents welcome DILG secretary Jesse Robredo’s order to temporarily stop all demolitions in Metro Manila to review the current policies and tactics being implemented during the demolition operations, Bernal said it should have been released earlier to prevent Arnel’s death and the wounding of 38 others.
She also condemned President Benigno C. Aquino III for being mum about the issue of violence in connection with demolitions.
But this thing is not new in demolitions. In 2010, many residents of Sitio San Roque in North Triangle, Quezon City had been hurt due to the clash between the residents and the members of the police. Same thing happened on January this year in Brgy. Corazon de Jesus in Pinaglabanan, San Juan City as the city government wanted the informal settlers near the Pinaglabanan shrine out, to give way to the erection of the new city hall.
Meanwhile, the residents of Silverio compound said they are always ready to defend their homes since the lot, where their houses stand have been already awarded to them. [Noel Sales Barcelona/CBCPNews]