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No pag-asa in Barrio Bagong Pag-Asa

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Last 16 September, while me and Yeyette were inside an MRT coach with a friend of ours, it slowed down and stopped for a few seconds right in front of one of the largest shanty towns we have ever seen…

A sea of shanties in Barrio Bagong Pag-Asa, Ciudad de Quezon.

Yeyette immediately told me to take a photo of it so that I can feature it one day in either FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES or ALAS FILIPINAS. The photo above was like a premonition, for exactly a week later, violence erupted…

QTV: Violence mars demolition in Brgy Pag-asa, QC – Video – GMANews.TV – Official Website of GMA News and Public Affairs – Latest Philippine News.

We all know that these squatters have no right at all to live on a property that is not theirs in the first place. Also, it was reported that the government had already prepared a relocation site for them. But it is in faraway Montalbán, Morong (now Rizal province). No wonder why a majority of them refused to let go of their illegal homes (3,000 families accepted to relocate there as against 6,000). They have lived there for many years, and many of them have already adapted to a hand-to-mouth existence within the unfriendly streets of the asphalt jungle, something that would be difficult to replicate in Montalbán.

The demolition was put to a halt. P-Noy Aquino, who was at the US during that time, intervened and ordered to put a stop to it. But a temporary restraining order, even if it is from the highest office in the land, will always be that — temporal.

During his first overseas trip as president, P-noy received some $434 million “grant” from the US government to “help” our country alleviate poverty and fight corruption. Even less than a sixteenth of that amount can help stop the stalemate going on right now in Barrio Bagong Pag-Asa. But I doubt that even a trickle of that “grant” will be directed to it, for the verdict is final: the Quezon City Business District should soon stand on that disputed 340-hectare property.

For the elite-backed government, the urban poor will always be expendables. Useless eaters even (except during election season). I see no hope for these poor city dwellers…

On second thought, there’s Matthew 5:3.

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