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Agham Road in QC becomes battleground during demolition

POLICEMEN wipe with a wet towel the face of a child overcome by smoke from a tear gas canister during yesterday’s demolition of shanties on Agham Road in Quezon City. Alexis Corpuz

Motorists may be best advised to steer clear of Agham Road in Quezon City, as an ongoing demolition may once again cause violence to break out in the area.

Yesterday, Agham Road became a virtual battleground between squatters and demolition teams. The squatters, occupying a lot owned by the National Housing Authority, pelted policemen and demolition teams with rocks, bottles, and pillboxes Monday morning.

Eleven residents were arrested by policemen after they reportedly destroyed a patrol car assigned to the Quezon City Police District’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (QCPD-CIDU). Two of those arrested did not even live in the area but were from Caloocan City.

Quezon City personnel from Task Force for the Control, Prevention and Removal of Illegal Structures and Squatting and antiriot policemen arrived at 9 a.m. to tear down around 120 shanties and trouble broke out. Residents started hurling stones and bottles and members of the task force threw tear gas canisters to drive them back. The chocking smoke allowed the demolition team to begin their task. Nobody was reported hurt in the incident.

Quezon City administrator Aldrin Cuña said that the demolition was conducted upon the request of the NHA. He said that due process was observed with the affected families informed of the impending operations. Legitimate residents in the area were reportedly entitled to P5,000 worth of financial assistance plus relocation to a site in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.

The property that the informal settlers had been occupying for years has been tagged for development as part of the Quezon City Central Business District, a private-public partnership with Ayala Land Inc.

With report by Jeannette I. Andrade

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