Around 240 families bulldozed in favor of agro-industrial development

Lugait, Misamis Oriental--Around 240 farming and fishing families have erected their makeshift shanties along the highway in the villages of Biga and Kalangahan after their houses were demolished on May 28 to 30.
 
The demolition was executed by more or less 100 policemen led by Sheriff Norberto Labis of Branch 44, Lugait, Misamis Oriental. They were accompanied by elements of the Regional Mobile Group.
 
The demolition was ordered following the Joint Decision in Civil Case No. 007 – 2008 entitled Achondoa Agro-Industrial Corporation represented by Emma Anora versus Laureto Tongao.
 
The displaced residents complained that no notice of demolition has been served prior to the dismantling of their houses and farms.
 
One of the victims, 45-year old Eulogio Q. Clapano, Jr., suffered from heart attack after learning that his more than 300 coconut trees were destroyed by the demolition team. He died on June 5.
 
Another resident, Soledad G. Magallanes, cried foul over the destruction of her bananas that are bound for harvest.
 
The policemen also crushed 2 motorized bancas owned by displaced the fishermen.
 
Following the demolition, a resident was also arrested by police officers after cutting a Gemelina tree to build a shanty.
 
Displaced residents said they are prohibited to go back to their farms and their livelihoods. They claimed that the area is being developed as an agro-industrial area along the Cagayan-Iligan Industrial Corridor.
 
No relocation area has been allotted to the displaced residents. Members of the Kalangahan Pagkakaisa Neighbourhood Association, Inc., are now planning to file charges in court and launch campaign to retain their lands.