Tenants, demolition team gird for showdown in Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan

May 25, 2010 8:22 pm 

STA. BARBARA, Pangasinan, May 25 —Tension developed when tenants bodily prevented the demolition team, from demolishing their houses in barangay Tebag East here after they lost their case and their appeal before the Department of Agrarian Reform Accreditation Board (DARAB).

The demolition team was carrying out a Special Order issued by Judge Annabele Magdayag Oandasan dated February 17, 2010 that was to be enforced by Sheriff Saturnino Tadeja when men, women and children barricaded and taunted that blood will flow if the team will proceed in demolishing their houses.

Tadeja and his assistant Alex Bajesta were enforcing an order of DARAB relative to the decided case filed by Humberto Solis as complainant versus Emiliano Neri et al, defendants.

Up to 40 policemen, from Sta. Barbara and adjacent towns in Pangasinan, were called to the site to protect members of the demolition team from harm and to restore peace and order.

Tadeja said those resisting the demolition were recognized tenants of Solis with whom he had initiated a case of ejection as they were not allegedly paying their rentals. Solis won the case.

Up to 54 structures are set to be demolished within the Solis property, said Tejada, adding that this was based on the inventory conducted by the old sheriff whom he replaced.

It was learned that a decision on matter had been decided way back in September 2006 but the losing tenants, through their lawyer Alejandro Tabula, filed a series of motions for reconsideration and appeals, which they all lost.

Tejada said that before the issuance of Special Order, there was already a previous order implementing the decision ordering the ejectment of the tenants.

The former Sheriff had notified the defendants to move out as they were already being ejected but they refused, prompting the lawyer of Solis to file a motion seeking the issuance of Special Order for Demolition.

There was a hearing conducted on the motion and the defendants, including their lawyers, participated where they also filed their opposition. But despite this, the motion for the issuance of Special Order for Demolition was granted.

Thus, and also in the absence of a temporary restraining order issued by the court, the demolition order is now being effected on the tenants, said Tadeja.

The tenants said they refuse to move out because they and their ancestors had been in their present site for more than 100 years.

The 11.7 hectare property is the area retained by Solis and his siblings under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARP).

In front of television cameras, both sides pushed each other with the police not being able to do anything despite the call of Solis for the lawmen to arrest the leaders of the resisting tenants to quell the resistance.

The police said this was the third demolition attempt, adding that the first two attempts done a few months ago, were not successful. (PNA)

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