Words by Angelin Isabelle Ulayao
Photo by Bagong Silangan
Residents of Sitio Silangan, led by urban poor alliance Bagong Silangan, staged a protest in front of the Bacoor Hall of Justice last February 19, calling to drop the trumped up charges filed against them by land agent Ana Marie Pagtakhan. The residents also denounced the deliberate and violent actions taken by the alleged owners of the land to displace them.
On January 13, tension fumed between the community and the land owner’s security guards when Ana Marie Pagtakhan ordered to dismantle the residents’ calls draped over their protest camps. The situation further escalated when an unknown person charged towards the crowd and was seen wielding a gun.
A total of 400 individuals were charged with estafa and other deceipts on January while another batch of 62 people were filed with the same cases recently. The latter motion was eventually put on hold since the plaintiff didn’t show up in the hearing and was since rescheduled.
This has been a prevalent issue in Niog 1 and Talaba 7, collectively known as Sitio Silangan, where the residents face threats of land grabbing and countless oppressions.
Sitio Silangan is eyed under the program “Proyektong Kaunlaran” of Bacoor LGU to host an infrastructure. Currently, fisherfolk communities in Bacoor face the same attacks as the “ AmBisyon Natin 2040” program under Rodrigo Duterte, to reclaim Manila Bay, is now in full effect.
As of this writing, none of the earlier cases filed were dropped. [P]