Philippines: Police demolition team meets mass resistance in San Juan City

Residents hurling stones at members of the demolition team

23 hurt in demolition of shanties in San Juan
By Jose Rodel Clapano, The Philippine Star, January 12, 2012

MANILA, Philippines – At least 23 persons were hurt when the demolition of shanties along P. Narciso street in Barangay Corazon De Jesus in San Juan City turned violent yesterday morning.

Members of the demolition team, San Juan Police, Eastern Police District, National Capital Region Police Office and the Special Weapons and Tactics team clashed with the residents, who threw rocks, bottles and even molotov cocktails.

“We observed maximum tolerance, but they (squatters) started attacking us. We are here to maintain peace and order during the demolition, but they provoked us,” Superintendent Thomas Arcallana said.

Among the injured were policemen, members of the demolition team and at least three residents.

They suffered injuries in the head, belly, face and thighs and were rushed to the San Juan Medical Center.

The windshields of several vehicles parked near the area were also shattered.

Grace Cortes, spokesperson for Mayor Guia Gomez, said some of the victims suffered injuries in the chest, forearm, head and mouth.

Cortes said the 123 families, whose shanties were the subjects of the demolition, were part of the 400 families scheduled for relocation since Jan. 25 last year. Continue reading