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Gov’t to probe Paranaque demolition melee

The government will conduct an investigation on the demolition of structures within the Silverio compound in Paranaque City that has turned into violence even as it assured full cooperation from the Philippine National Police (PNP) during the probe to ferret out the truth on accusations of violation of human rights.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda gave the assurance saying that two specific investigations are presently being conducted – one by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and another by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) – upon the order of President Aquino.

“When the incident happened, Secretary Jesse Robredo was tasked by the President to immediately order the investigation. And so there are two pending investigations right now — one being conducted by the DILG and one being conducted or will be conducted by the Commission on Human Rights… we have committed to the Commission on Human Rights that we promised full cooperation on the part of the PNP in the investigation with the CHR,” Lacierda said.

“We are looking into the whole incident not only on the abuses by the policemen when some of the rallyists were inflicted harm while under handcuffs. We’re also looking into why it happened,” he added.

Lacierda made it clear that the demolition order came from the judicial branch of the government particularly the regional trial court and not the executive branch as claimed by some groups.

“There were a number of questions that came out two days ago accusing the government of this demolition. Let me state for the record that the demolition order was issued by the regional trial court. It’s not by the national government,” Lacierda said.

He also said that the case was between the local government of Paranaque and the residents of the compound.

“This is a case between the city government and the residents of the Silverio compound. What was agreed upon in that particular demolition is that the residents’ houses will not be affected, only the 60 structures of the talipapa—the commercial structures. ‘Yung talipapa lang po ang ide-demolish,” Lacierda noted.

One person died while 39 were injured as violence erupted during a demolition at the compound last Monday. The compound has about 6,000 homes.