Residents in Angeles defend their houses, face violence from police and private security

Dominic Gutoman
2 min readMar 14, 2024

by DOMINIC GUTOMAN
Bulatlat.com

Photos retrieved from live footage of Balubad Anunas

MANILA — After asserting their right to housing in a barricade, seven (7) residents were delivered to a nearby hospital after a violent demolition operation in Sitio Balubad, Brgy. Anunas, Angeles City.

According to reports gathered by Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay), around 500 personnel from the Philippine National Police and the private security of Clark Hills Properties trooped the barricade area, where residents were defending their homes.

Caught in a video recording of the dispersal, residents were shouting and asserting that the police should follow their operational procedure.

“Police should stay 50 meters away from us [barricade]. You should maintain peace and order and you should not be there… They are already starting to throw at us,” a resident said in Filipino, caught in the video recording.

Section 2 of Rule 20 in Demolitions, Injunctions, and Other Similar Orders in the PNP Manual states: “The duties of PNP personnel in any demolition activity shall be limited to the maintenance of peace and order, protection of life and property, enforcement of laws and legal orders.”

Clark Hills Properties started its forced demolition in 2023. Around 2,000 individuals live in the 72 hectares of land that the corporation is trying to seize.

“Even if the Clark Hills said that it is open for discussions on relocation, financial aid, and provision of lands for housing, the residents continue to suffer from violent dispersals,” Kadamay added.

Kadamay said that farmers are also affected by the operation of Clark Hills, affecting houses and agricultural produce.

The parcels of land were supposed to be distributed under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), only to be retracted by the Supreme Court in 2001, reclassifying it as “residential land.” For Kadamay, this paved the way for corporations like Clark Hills Properties to grab the lands where farmers and residents have lived for generations.

“We also condemn the violence committed by the joint forces of Clark Hills Properties and the police, and the continuous deterrence of the government in our right to lands and housing. Kadamay is disgusted with the fake development projects built on the blood of the vulnerable poor residents and farmers,” Kadamay added.

In the live footage, some of the wounded were delivered by the vehicles of media personnel present on the ground, consecutive gunshot sounds were also recorded. In the live footage, a resident said: “We only have bottles, why do they have to resort to guns?” (RTS)

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Dominic Gutoman

Covers human rights, environment, grassroots initiatives, and accountability mechanisms at bulatlat.com.