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On the demolition of urban poor homes in San Juan City

By LILIOSA SUMILANG
NDFP-Metro Manila

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines-Metro Manila salutes the valiant, determined and organized resistance against the demolition of the urban poor people of Corazon de Jesus, San Juan. Bearing the Red flag, the residents resolutely defended their homes and their barricade from the forces of the police, SWAT, demolition team, bulldozer, water cannon, high-powered firearms and teargas.

Despite losing their homes, the residents even refused the relocation offered by the local government. Most of the residents now temporarily live in a shelter with the help of church workers. Meanwhile, the hundreds of families who remain in Corazon de Jesus gear for another stage of their resistance. In the face of greater oppression, upholding their dignity is one triumph of the poor when they choose the path of struggle.

The NDFP Metro Manila vehemently condemns the brutality of the Aquino regime and the local government of San Juan. The state gathered its forces to enforce a violent and inhumane demolition on 11 January 2012 to forcibly displace hundreds of families. The residents were unarmed; they used only what is available in their community to defend themselves.

Even before the demolition, the residents have had a taste of state fascism: from psywar, deployment of military in the community, intelligence operations against the youth to filing of trumped up cases and arbitrary arrests of leaders. What the reactionary government thought to be the deathly blow to the struggle served only to inflame the fight of the residents of Corazon de Jesus and give inspiration to the oppressed all over the country to organize themselves, rise up and fight.

The Aquino government has only prolonged and deepened the misery of the urban poor who experienced successive violent demolitions in his short time in office. This is no different to the brutality Aquino and his family has displayed against farmers pushing for genuine agrarian reform. Aquino, like the Ejercitos, cannot admit defeat and hunts down dissenters even after the fight or after they have lost. They do this in the name of business and profit of a few, at the expense of the homes and lives of the people.

Public-private partnerships in Metro Manila, such as the city hall and commercial center in San Juan, are purely for business and for repayment of debt of gratitude of Aquino and local reactionaries to their friends and benefactors who helped put them in office. Expect the state to use an iron hand to execute pending demolitions in more urban poor communities such as North Triangle, Pangarap Village, Welfareville, Freedom Island, etc. The government is brutal and indifferent to the poor. This is why the poor are now awakened and they want to fight.

The revolutionary resistance of the urban poor continues and ever burns. The violence of poverty and fascism of the state has urged the youth and urban poor to join the armed struggle and take up arms in the countryside.

The countryside is the rear base for a heightened battle against the oppressors of the people. Joining the armed struggle in the countryside remains an option for the poor to engage in a life-and-death struggle to end the moribund system of society and replace it with a society that champions the interests and needs of the people.

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