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Republic of the Philippines HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TWELFTH CONGRESS Third Regular Session

HOUSE RESOLUT ION No. 1294 ___________________________________________________________________________ Introduced by Reps. SATUR C. OCAMPO, CRISPIN B. BELTRAN and LIZA L. MAZA

___________________________________________________________________________ RESOLUTION DIRECT I NG THE COMMI TTE E ON AGRARIAN REFORM TO CONDUCT AN INVESTIGAT IO N, IN AID OF LEGISLAT ION, ON THE CONTROVERSIAL CONVERSION BY THE COTABATO CITY GOVERNMEN T OF THE LAND REFORM- COVERED 34HECTARE CANIZARES ESTATE IN MALAGAPAS, COTABATO CITY WHICH RESULTED LAST AUGUST 7, 2003 IN THE VIOLENT DEMOLI T I O N OF HOUSES AND THE MAULI NG, ARREST AND DETENT I ON OF TWO RESIDENTS AND THE INJURY OF AT LEAST SEVERAL OTHERS, INCLUD I NG A PREGNANT WOMAN, ALL OF WHICH TRANSPIRED UNDER THE SUPERV IS ION OF NO LESS THAN CITY POLICE DIRECTOR PERACO MACACUA W HEREAS the Canizares Estate is a 34-hectare property covered by Presidential Decree 27 or the Land Reform Act since January 22, 1979, which had been purchased by the Cotabato City local government from the heirs of Arturo Canizares of Binondo, Manila; W HEREAS the estate is now being converted by the Cotabato City government as the site for a new City Hall, shopping malls and other infrastructure as part of a "development plan"; W HEREAS the residents, mostly tenant-farmers, and their ancestors have been tilling the land long before World War II. Over the years, they have pressed that their possession and cultivation of the land be upheld especially with the passage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law in 1998; W HEREAS on July 29, 2003, the Alyansa ng mga Samahan sa Malagapas (ALSA MALAGAPAS), an organization of residents in the site, submitted a petition to the Provincial Council urging the Cotabato City local government to immediately halt the conversion of the Canizares estate; W HEREAS on August 4, 2003, a hearing was called by the Provincial Council but the issues were unresolved. It was agreed that the hearing resume on August 6 right at the site. On August 5, representatives from City Hall arrived at the area and ordered the residents to leave or face forcible demolition; W HEREAS on August 6, 2003, on the scheduled hearing date, residents assembled at the site. To their dismay, however, they were met instead by a demolition team. The residents asked for a Court Order and asserted that the hearing should take place as scheduled. But the demolition team still went ahead with their action even without a Court Order and pulled down the house of Sarat Nul; W HEREAS at around 8:30 a.m. on August 7, 2003, some 15 elements of the Philippine National Police arrived at the site, together with the demolition team and firefighters. The residents barricaded the area and tried to negotiate with the demolition team;


W HEREAS at around 2:00 p.m., a reinforcement team of PNP elements, all in full battle gear, arrived, led by Cotabato City Police Director Peraco Macacua. The latter drove a payloader and rammed it into the first house, triggering a commotion; W HEREAS the firefighters struck at the barricade and the police, some of whom were in plainclothes, initially fired shots in the air and then at the residents themselves; W HEREAS the police arrested Ismael and Nasser Shariff. Cotabato City Police Director Peraco Macacua hit the two although both were already handcuffed and crouched on the ground. This incident, along with the gun-toting and trigger-happy policemen, was caught and aired in the national media. Ismael and Nassir Shariff are now detained without charges; W HEREAS among those also seriously injured were Freddie del Rosario, Bainot Malasigan, Mustapha Malasigan, Usman Tasil, Rahim Shariff, and five-month pregnant Marisa Sahrif Nur-Hussein. Those indiscriminately fired upon were siblings Rahib, Akrima, Narima, Nasrudin and Marisa Nul; Bainot Panasilan; Khadapi Panambulan; Norma Abdul; Jerome Sangki; Mc Ben Roy; and Usman Tasil. Meanwhile, Ramdy Ustadz Abdulkarim Solaiman was also repeatedly hit by Macacua until he fell unconscious; W HEREAS no court order was presented to the residents 15 to 30 days prior to the demolition as provided for by law; W HEREAS the residents are convinced that the demolition team led by Macacua employed excessive force in carrying out what appears in the first place to be an illegal demolition; W HEREAS the residents do not know where else to turn to in their appeal for an immediate stay in the demolition of their community pending a thorough hearing on their petition to stop the conversion of the Canizares Estate which is legally covered by the land reform law; NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Committee on Agrarian Reform conduct an investigation, in aid of legislation, on the controversial conversion by the Cotabato City government of the land reform-covered 34-hectare Canizares Estate in Malagapas, Cotabato City which resulted last August 7, 2003 in the violent demolition of houses and the mauling, arrest and detention of two residents and the injury of at least several others, including a pregnant woman, all of which transpired under the supervision of no less than City Police Director Peraco Macacua. Adopted,

SATUR C. OCAMPO Bayan Muna--Party-List Bayan Muna--Party-List

CRISPIN B. BELTRAN Bayan Muna--Party-List

LIZA L. MAZA


HR 1294 - Cotabato demolition