Wrong policy leads to violence | Inquirer Opinion

Wrong policy leads to violence

/ 02:03 AM April 30, 2012

The Health Action for Human Rights (HAHR) strongly condemns the violent demolition that occurred at Silverio Compound in Parañaque last April 23.

HAHR went to Silverio Compound in the afternoon of the day of the demolition to provide medical assistance to injured residents. We treated five residents who were too afraid to go to hospitals for treatment of their injuries lest they be arrested, as there were reports that indiscriminate arrests were made in the morning.

We also assisted a 16-year-old resident with a gunshot wound. The boy’s left upper arm was completely fractured. There were other six other residents who were hit with gunfire, four of them seriously—two in the head, one was in the left upper leg, shattering his femur, and another in her lower back. They were eventually brought to the Philippine General Hospital for further treatment.

In all, we documented seven victims with gunshot wounds. This does not include Arnel Leonor who died, and the other victims who were brought to the Parañaque Community Hospital and Las Piñas Community Hospital.


The fact that a large number of injured residents sustained gunshot wounds belies the claim of Parañaque Mayor Florencio Bernabe Jr. that the police used only blanks. We find it appalling that Bernabe and the PNP can claim that the gunfire came from the residents when all the gunshot victims came from the ranks of the residents themselves. Furthermore, news footage clearly showed members of the PNP-SWAT (Philippine National Police-Special Weapons and Tactics) team firing their guns directly at residents.

Also, almost all 33 persons arrested have contusions on different parts of their bodies after they were beaten up by their arresting officers.

The use of firearms by the police, the beating up of arrested persons and the use of excessive force are all violations of existing laws and even of the PNP’s own operational procedures. A thorough investigation should be conducted to identify the police officers responsible so that they can be held accountable for their actions. Mayor Bernabe’s actions that resulted in the violent demolition should also be investigated.

We call on national and local officials to stop the policy of demolition as a way of solving the land problem of urban poor dwellers. Our experience has shown that such policy almost always leads to violent clashes between the demolition team and the residents fighting for their homes.



Health Action for Human Rights,


Doña Anita Bldg., Rm 206,

284 E. Rodriguez Sr. Ave., QC

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TAGS: demolition, human rights, Silverio Compound, Violence

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