Indications of ‘hamletting’ prevail in a remote Barangay in Cavite
Maragondon, Cavite – “Since the developer named Virata claimed our land, private security guards under D’Black Pretorians have been stationed in the threshold of our community. They didn’t allow us to go in and out, worst is they even prevent raw materials and goods from entering into our community, so we have no choice but to take a boat which is more costly than walking,” Susan Agner, a resident of the disputed Brgy. Patungan (Now Sta. Mercedes), Maragondon, Cavite said during a focused group discussion in the National Fact Finding Mission (NFFM) conducted last September 02-03.
The NFFM was led by the fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) together with other sectoral organizations. The fact finding team found out that food and economic blockade that might lead to hamletting prevail since the developer under Maria Theresa Virata (MTV) Development Corp. claimed the 602-hectare Brgy. Sta. Mercedes on 2012.
“This is the most gruesome this land dispute had bring us; the martial law-style of hamletting. We have been deprived of our economic, political and civil rights since the dispute happens. We can’t develop and construct our houses and facilities, even schools!” Agner said.
More than 300 fisherfolk families are set to be demolished from their rich fishing village for the extension and completion of Henry Sy’s 8,000-hectare Hamilo Coast in Maragondon’s neighbor province in Nasugbu, Batangas.
“The residents have been restricted from their aspects of political, civil, and cultural rights as if they are prisoners inside their own community. This is mind boggling for hamletting is a serious human rights violation under the international humanitarian law,” Fernando Hicap, Pamalakaya Chairperson said in a statement.
Pamalakaya said even the fact finding team had experienced the harassment from the private security guards and police when the former tried to enter the community by land.
“We were blocked by the stationed security guards and questioned the motives of our mission. We had no choice but to take a fishing boat to reach the community,” Hicap said.
Even the residents for years have been using their boats as a mode of transportation in going in and out of their community; otherwise security guards will block and harass them if they opt to take the land through walking.
“This economic isolation in Brgy. Patungan might lead to a complete hamletting which happened way back during martial law days. This deserves a strong condemnation from the national up to the international community,” Hicap said.
Pamalakaya and its local chapter in Maragondon, Cavite are set to have a dialogue with the concerned government agencies regarding the illegal and violent demolition, and the illegal claim perpetrated by the Virata and Sy in Bgry. Patungan.
The residents also call on to remove all the elements of military and security guards that are stationed near their community. ###