Anakbayan Toronto calls for dropping the charges against Le Jardin 4!

Anakbayan Toronto calls for dropping the charges against Le Jardin 4!

Le Jardin 4

Anakbayan Toronto strongly denounce the illegal arrest and detention of  the youth and student activists, collectively identified as Le Jardin 4. Joselito Lagon Jr., Wyrlo Enero, Johnny Urbina & John Michael Lim are members of various grassroots, volunteer-based youth groups, Kabataan Artista para sa Tunay na Kalayaan (KARATULA), League of Filipino Students (LFS) and Anakbayan-Davao, respectively. All four were “arbitrarily” arrested while assisting the occupants and families who were resisting the fencing off of Bariquit compound to be developed as Le Jardin subdivision.  The disputed 20-hectare land in Bugac, Ma-a, Davao City was already scheduled for digging operations when the arrests happened.

The demolition of the Bariquit compound on August 25 was initiated by the greedy capitalist, Villa Abrille family and implemented by 20-strong police force from Talomo Station. The brute police assistance entered the community fully armed without any compliance certificates and while the compound was still under court litigation. The youths were illegally electrocuted, physically assaulted and then detained at the Davao City Police Office without just cause.

“Gisumbag-sumbag mi unya ganiha naa mi sa mobile gisumbag ko diri sa wala nga bahin sa akong lawas tapos ang uban, namalikas sa amoa, nagpakita lang gyud sa ilang pagka-arogante”

(They continued hitting me even when I was already inside the mobile. They shouted profanities at me, which only shows their arrogance) KARATULA regional spokesperson Joselito Lagon said from a article.

The youth activists were temporarily released on August 29 after posting bail from three cases filed against them.

But the case of Bariquit Compound has been an ongoing issue since the 1970’s and still remains to be resolved. It is however clear that the fascist move by the Villa Abrilles to aggressively eradicate the poor Davaoeños living in that compound is motivated by their greed. Villa Abrilles is in a joint-venture with the realty firm Filinvest Lands to build high-end residential subdivisions.

All the while, the Le Jardin families continue to suffer from it. The families have already been subjected to multiple human rights violations. Leading up to the illegal demolition, the poor families’ crops and fruit trees were destroyed which left them scrambling to find alternative source of sustenance. Last month, they were forcefully cut off from electricity and water source making their livelihood even more difficult and recently, reports of shootings by Villa Abrilles’ hired security as a means to intimidate the remaining 13 families to leave Le Jardin has been an almost daily occurrence.

“Unsaon man nato ug pagsabot sa pwersadong pagpalayas sa mga pobreng pamilyang nakapuyo didto sa LeJardin sa Dakbayan sa Dabaw? Kining ginabuhat sa mga pasista ug abusadong pamilya sa Villa Abrille kay nagapatungod lang na nagkadaghan pa ug samot ang mga pwersadong pagpalayas sa mga kabus, dili lamang sa Dabaw, pati na sa tibuok nasud Pilipinas sa kamot sa papet na gobyerno ni Noynoy Aquino III. Makit-an nato sa mga datos na nagapatuo lamang na nagkagrabe ang pagmaltrato sa mga kapitalista didto sa mga pamilyang kabus!”

(How should we look at the eviction incident in Davao? This incident is part of a record-breaking number of evictions, including illegal and violent evictions, under Noynoy Aquino’s regime. We can see in the figures that the maltreatment by these capitalists are getting worse towards the poor families!) posed Anakbayan Toronto member and Davao City native, Rhea Gamana.

In the year 2011 alone, 14, 744 families or 73,780 individuals were evicted in 39 demolition incidents, according to a study of Urban Poor Associates. Startling is the fact that 9 out of 10 evictions are considered illegal as they do not comply with the requirements in the Urban Development and Housing Act (UDHA). Section 28 of UDHA also clearly stated that,”…eviction or demolition as a practice shall be discouraged”. Yet, Aquino remains complacent and complicit in maintaining the status quo as there remains no proclamations for socialized housing sites for the poor nor an end in sight for these illegal evictions.

Anakbayan Toronto condemns the land grabbing greed of Villa Abrilles and the aggressive tactics towards the youth activists, community supporters and the people of Bariquit compound.



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