Youth partylist denounces extreme police brutality, abuse of minors in Silverio Compound massacre
Kabataan Partylist denounced the “extreme police brutality” in the planned demolition in Silverio Compound, Sucat, Parañaque City yesterday, which left at least one minor dead and over 39 people injured, two of which are minors with gunshot wounds.
“As residents defend their constitutional right to proper housing, the government through its repressive police force answers back with such impunity and brutality that even minors are shot and killed in broad daylight,” said Kabataan Partylist Secretary General Vencer Crisostomo.
Over a thousand residents gathered in Sucat Road early yesterday to barricade against demolition teams that are set to tear down portions of the compound following a demolition order released by the Parañaque Regional Trial Court.
The 9.7-hectare Silverio Compound is home to around 25,000 to 28,000 families that are in danger of losing their homes due to the reported construction of condominiums by Henry Sy’s SM Development Corporation (SMDC).
By 10 a.m., a dozen riot policemen arrived on the scene armed with high-caliber guns and truncheons, ready to crush the human barricade. As the riot police made contact with the residents, conflict began between the opposing sides, as the police threw tear gas cannisters to the protesters and hit them with truncheons.
The residents retaliated by throwing rocks and other projectiles to the surging police force. However, a little before 12 p.m., the police started open firing at the residents, leaving dozens of residents hurt and Arnel Leonor, 21, dead.
“This is what the Aquino administration brandishes as change – a more brutal police force that seemingly has no regard for the life and rights of citizens. Instead of preserving peace and order, the Parañaque police have shown that they are merciless henchmen of filthy-rich businessmen like Henry Sy,” Crisostomo said.
“With the Aquino administration’s utter lack of concern for the urban poor, residents forced out of their homes have no choice but to join together and fight. In this incident, it is apparent that instead of choosing to side with the poor residents, the government has opted to decisively defend the interests of rich tycoons like Henry Sy,” Crisostomo added.
Most residents in Silverio compound have also been victims of forced demolitions in other parts of Metro Manila. “In the end, the urban poor become wanderers forced to move from one place to another due to the government’s inability to provide stable relocation sites,” Crisostomo said.
For 2012, Aquino added P10 billion for housing services. However, the said budget is not enough to provide decent relocations to residents that are near their occupation and their children’s schools, Crisostomo explained.
Right to Defend
Silverio Compound is subject of an expropriation deal wagered by the Parañaque City government, wherein the whole lot was purchased by the government for the residents occupying it.
In various media interviews, Parañaque Mayor Florencio Bernabe Jr. denied that the government is planning to sell the property to SMDC and reiterated that the demolition is to give way to the development of medium-rise housing units for the residents of Silverio Compound.
“It is highly ironic that the Parañaque government claims that all these brutalities are for the benefit of the residents of Silverio. If not for profit and the influence of big businesses like SM, why does the police need to fire indiscriminately at residents?” Crisostomo asked.
“What is apparent here is that the Silverio Compound residents are fighting for their homes, and as they assert their constitutional rights, government forces try hard to silence them, going even as far as killing them in order to do so,” Crisostomo added.
“We call on the Aquino administration, the PNP, and the local administration of Parañaque to not only investigate this bloody melee but also to put an end to such vicious and merciless acts that instill fear among residents who are just asserting their rights,” Crisostomo ends.#