A composite team of the Drive Against Professional Squatters and Squatting Syndicates (DAPSASS) Office of the City Environment and Natural Resources Officer, Bantay Bakawan program of the City Government of Puerto Princesa, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Barangay Bucana-Matahimik informed more than 40 families that informally settled in a mangroves area in Zone 4, Barangay Bucana-Matahimik to voluntarily demolish their houses until July 10, 2020.
Aside from the more than 40 informal settlers/families in Zone 4, there are also informal settlers in Zone 1 and Zone 2.
Alex Hermoso, head of DAPSASS said that this will give them time to prepare and relocate.
During an operation of the joint team on June 10-11, 2020, perimeter fences of the informal settlers within the occupied mangroves area were dismantled and removed. Aside from the perimeter fences, the team dismantled one unfinished structure, while one abandoned houses were also demolished.
Informal settler’s families appealed to the City and the Barangay that they will be assisted where to relocate since they didn’t know where to go.
It was during this operation on Wednesday, June 10, 2020 when some team members were allegedly manhandled by authorities. At around 10:30 am, while still in Zone 4, some members of the composite team decided to form a separate team to proceed to Zone 3, located along the national road in Bucana-Matahimik. They were Rodney Veran, Roldan C. Alvarez, Reymond Luna, Jason D. Montemor, Jefferson de Leon-Palacol, Jhon Vincent J. Bartulo, Pablito Vidara, Raymund Sapalo of the DENR-CENRO, Steve L. Ferrer and Roldan Paras, both barangay tanod of Barangay Bucana-Matahimik, and Shirin Maulod, a City Government employee under Bantay Bakawan.
They later figured in an incident, when they were allegedly ordered to drop/ fall on the ground, pointed with guns and arrested by the City PNP personnel, while they are on their way to Zone 3, to inspect and investigate a damaged mangrove area. They were released few hours later.