BAGUIO CITY – Some two hundred fifty-one illegal structures erected over portions of the 94-hectare Baguio Dairy Farm have been dismantled by members of the city demolition team pursuant to a valid special writ of demolition that was issued by a local court.
City Public Order and Safety Division head Policarpio Cambod informed Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan that of the dismantled structures, 219 were described to be shanties while 32 structures were said to be concrete ones.
However, he admitted that the supposed demolition of the remaining 57 illegal structures have been stalled after the issuance of four temporary restraining orders (TROs) by two local courts stopping the demolition of the remaining big structures that were illegally constructed over the government property.
Cambod and several teams of public safety enforcers were tasked by the city government to augment the members of the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) and the members of the City Demolition Team in dismantling the illegal structures.
The concerned local courts gave the Office of the Solicitor-General up to October 6, 2017 to respond to the petition of some of the affected informal settlers for the exemption of their huge structures from the implementation of the special writ of demolition issued against all the informal settlers in the area.
Earlier, Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said that it will now be up to the agriculture department to address the issues raised by the petitioners in their petition to convince the court to dissolve the temporary restraining order that will allow the continuation of the stalled demolition.
He expressed optimism that the issuance of the restraining order is just a temporary setback in the government’s effort to curb the proliferation of illegal structures in government reservations around the city to send a clear message to enterprising land owners to stop speculating by building illegal structures over public and private lands in some parts of the city.
Cambod explained the remaining huge structures were supposed to be demolished this week if not for the restraining orders issued by the local courts, thus, the members of the demolition team will wait for the outcome of the pending cases before planning how to dismantle the remaining illegal structures in the property of the agriculture department.
The Department of Agriculture earmarked some P2 million to dismantle the illegal structures so that the agency could use the property for its prescribed purpose, specifically in aggressively promoting dairy production in the area with the expected increase in the number of cows that could be milked to increase the availability of dairy products not only in the city but also in the different parts of the region.
BCPO deployed more than a hundred law enforcers to ensure that law and order will prevail in the area following the slight resistance offered by some affected informal settlers.
By Dexter A. See