Clearing ops for Cawa-Cawa set PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 08 January 2015 14:00

The City Planning and Development Coordinator’s Office has reported the presence of few Badjao families on the R.T. Lim Boulevard, particularly at the portion fronting the PNP’s Camp Battalia Headquarters.

Engr. Rodrigo Sicat said the Badjao families had set up makeshift huts on top of the big rocks along the boulevard.

However, the city planning and development officer could not ascertain as of yesterday afternoon whether or not those families were among internally displaced people (IDPs) removed from the area and transferred to Masepla transitory site in Mampang sometime in November last year.

“We have to determine their status. Are they really IDPs or purely squatters?” Sicat asked in a statement as he urged the Housing and Land Management Office headed by Rodrigo Pagotaisidro to inspect the area and find out whether or not those families are really IDPs as many believed.

“If they are IDPs, we have to transfer them back to the transitory site. If they are not IDPs, then they should be driven out of the boulevard,” Sicat said.

To recall, the entire stretch of R.T. Lim (Cawa-Cawa) Boulevard was transformed into the biggest evacuation center for thousands of IDPs, second to the Baliwasan Grandstand nearby, when the siege broke out in September 2013.

The IDPs mostly belonging to the Badjao tribe had encamped on the boulevard for more than a year until they were gradually transferred to the transitory site in Mampang. The boulevard was completely cleared of IDPs only last November.

Months later, however, some IDPs reportedly returned to Cawaq-Cawa, but staying on the big rocks.

“These IDP-returnees must be removed the soonest time possible before others would follow them. Otherwise, we will wake up one morning with IDPs occupying anew the whole of the boulevard,” Sicat said.— Vic Larato