Caloocan Mayor Oscar “Oca” Malapitan slammed a real estate developer for reportedly covering a creek in Pangarap Village, resulting to frequent floods in the area.
Residents of Barangays 181 and 182 said Carmel Development, Inc. (CDI) dumped layers of soil on the creek, making the area flood-prone at the slightest downpour. Several houses were also damaged by the floods.
Barangay 182 Chairman Rowelle Brin said around 40,000 residents, including children, are suffering twice as hard amid the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic due to CDI’s “act of intimidation.”
“They are doing it without court order because they want us to leave Pangarap Village. They are not contented with cutting our power supply, this is what they’re doing now. It’s their way of forcing the residents out of the property,” Brin said in a statement issued on Sunday. “We are not squatters. We have our land titles.”
Malapitan said he has deployed the City Legal Office and City Environmental Management Office to take legal actions to protect the city’s waterways.
The local chief executive also requested the Philippine National Police and Department of Environment and Natural Resources to help them enforce laws to stop CDI’s alleged “harassment.”
“The proper resolution of land disputes is through the various legal and humane processes instituted by law in order to preserve peace and order,” he said in a statement issued on Sunday.
In 2018, CDI was issued a temporary restraining order by the Caloocan Regional Trial Court (RTC) for barring workers from Meralco from entering Pangarap Village, leading residents from the said barangays to suffer from power shortage for nearly a month.
However, Brin said they are still experiencing water and power shortage. Only barangay halls and schools in the area have water and power supply, he said.
CDI and the residents of Pangarap Village have been locked in a land dispute for many years after Pangarap Village became a resettlement area by virtue of a presidential decree issued by the late President Ferdinand Marcos.