Sunog na naman!

Sunog na naman!
Manuel L. Morato
UNCENSORED
By MANUEL L. MORATÓ
Sunog na naman!
 
Basta pumasok ang buwan ng Marso (buwan daw ng mga sunog), asahan ninyo ang pirming tinatamaan ay ang mga kapus-palad na nakatira sa tinatawag na “squatters’ area,” or informal settlers. Para bang sinasadya ng may mga interes sa particular na lupain. Masakit pong masunugan, ke may kaya o wala. Isa ‘yan sa pinakamalungkot sa mga trahedya.
 
Kamakailan lang, Marso 20 ng hapon, nasunog po ang Barangay Damayang Lagi bandang ala una bente siyete ng hapon. Inaalam pa daw kung ano ang naging sanhi ng sunog – as usual. Natapat pa naman sa araw na kulang ang rasyon ng tubig. Dumating man daw ang mga bumbero, mga sobra na sa isang oras ng sumiklab ang apoy, wala na pong tsansa na maisalba pa ang mga bahay. After all, the houses are all made of light materials and every minute counts. Had there been no shortage of water supply, I am sure that many houses could have been saved sa sariling sikap ng mga may bahay. Para pong nagsama-sama lahat para madisgrasya lahat ng ating mga kababayan ng Damayang Lagi sa E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, Barangay Damayang Lagi, Quezon City. Malakas daw po ang hangin; mahinang pressure ng tubig “at pinapaypayan pa ng malakas na ihip ng hangin ang napakalaking apoy kung kayat itinaas sa general alarm ang sunog.” Bakit hinintay pa ang “napakalaking apoy kung kayat itinaas sa “general alarm” ang sunog? Dapat bang hintayin pa na lumaki ang apoy para mag “general alarm”?
 
I feel the moment a fire starts anywhere, “general alarm” must immediately be called. It is a fact that a small fire can cause a conflagration. All fire tragedies start from a “small fire” specially in the so-called “squatters’ area” peopled by human beings who have less in life and are called “informal settlers” – unfortunately. They are either sent to another resettlement areas by the city government with “approval” by the court sponsored by “powerful” people to places fit for wild animals. It’s like being displaced from civilization to a jungle-like environment with no water and no electricity. It’s really inhuman what some so-called educated and well-to-do individuals can do against our fellow human beings. Nakakaawa talaga ang pagtrato ng iba sa mga mahihirap, all because of greed for power.Iba-iba talaga ang kaugalian ng mga tao. May napapaiba na galing sa masamang ugali, o galing sa katuksuan ng masasamang kaibigan, barkada at hindi tamang ambisyon sa buhay. In short, greed for power and money.
 
It has happened in many places. “Squatters” or informal settlers who have settled down on vacant lots suffer the most, by ways so inhuman to get rid of them by the owner of the lot/lots; or induced by buyers of the lot/lots where highrise buildings will be erected. Never did I see a lot/lots owned by its legal owner build a house to live in. It’s always induced by people who want to buy the land for a big project such as condo, condo/hotel, apartelles and the like who are in power to remove the squatters. Only the powerful can remove them for the developers to come in, either through resettlement or fire. Some people texted me to watch out what will eventually rise in Damayang Lagi in E. Rodriguez Avenue, Quezon City, across the De Los Santos Hospital whose owner before, Dr. Efren de los Santos is my nephew-in-law married to a niece of mine.
 
Many people say that it’s enough to trace the culprits of such fire/s when people see the building that will rise on the lot engulfed by fire last March 20, 2019. As to who will own it; or owns it, we might not know – for now. God alone knows everything.
 
Sa mga napinsala sa Damayang Lagi, idineklarang “fire out” daw, pero out na nga ang apoy at ubos na rin ang 250 na kabahayan. That’s a lot of houses to lose in a few hours, owned by some 750 families, now totally homeless and displaced and thrown to the wind, as the saying goes.
 
Oh my Lord, please help them! No one else can, no matter the bigay-bigay ng mga local officials. That will never suffice. Ginamit pa sila sa pang-eleksiyon. Kawawa naman.
 
Frankly, the only person who can sincerely help the homeless from the recent fire is our President who can initiate a thorough investigation as to who owns the property; what will erect on the site, etc… as these incidents have been happening for the longest time; more so on an election year to give the President a bad image.These are tricks used on “unfriendly” areas.
 
Bigyan naman sana ng abiso o babala na pinapaalis na sila doon para naman maisalba ang kaunti nilang kagamitan; at mai-relocate sa lugar na paglilipatan, dala ‘yong konti nilang ari-arian.
 
Let’s have compassion towards others whoever they may be. It’s something we must always bear in mind: NEVER DO WRONG TO OUR FELLOWMEN – RICH OR POOR.For comments and suggestions email at mlmorato@yahoo.com

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