By Manuel L. Morato
We were made to understand that COVID 19 thrives on dry metal surfaces; that the virus dies when wet. That’s one of the reasons we are told to take lots of water to keep our mouth and throat wet to prevent the coronavirus from entering the lungs via the nose and throat. That’s one of what we have learned from doctors who appear on television; or from DOH announcements. It is said that we have to take up to 3 liters of water a day!
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For more than two years my three sisters and I have filed a case in court for falsification of documents regarding the demolition and sale of my mother’s ancestral home and properties. In April of 2018, the RTC 215 granted us a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) for 20 days, but the group involved in the case did not honor the decision of the Court; and to top it all, they were not even reprimanded much less penalized. We could have saved the ancestral home of my parents constructed in the 1950s in violation of the Republic Act 10066 prohibiting the destruction of structures 50 years old and above to preserve historical sites. My parents’ home was constructed in the early 1950s, over 70 years ago.
The Republic Act 10066 prohibits the demolition of structures without the Court’s decision. All heirs must give its consent in Court. But this was not observed by the group who took over the property in the name of my mother through falsified documents. The element of deceit is reflected in all the documents presented in Court according to our lawyers. “They just rammed it on us.” It was a surprise attack.
We have been dribbled in 3 Courts through their requests of inhibitions. The second Judge of Branch 92 erred in his decision in favor of the other party we sued; and we were only given one hearing in August 2019, 8 months after the case was re-raffled.
It was claimed that the first Court Branch 215 did not accept the case. Wrong. It did. The decision of RTC Branch 92 was based on what is not true. Our lawyers can present the document.
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It took the Coronavirus/COVID 19 to stop the construction, speaking of the “law of compensation.” For one, the injunction we have been asking the Court has not been granted to this day. It took the “Lockdown” to stop the construction. The quarantine did it. It was the only decision through technical lockdown that stopped the continuation of the construction for, despite the TRO and hearings in Court, the construction just never stopped; and despite the Register of Deeds’ “Lis Pendens” on the three properties of my mother where the ancestral home once stood but was demolished; and all the documents of my parents, furniture, collection of miniatures of my mother acquired in her travels abroad, my paintings and all the furniture of my parents, including mine, were taken away by you-know-who. We have no idea what happened to the estate properties inside my mother’s house.
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I received a text message from an engineer who has evidently been watching the two buildings rising in the residential area here on Scout Gandia where highrise buildings are not allowed based on the encumbrances on the titles of the properties behind Morato Avenue, considered residential for over 80 years now. As we have been made to understand, 5 storey buildings are allowed only along Morato Avenue. I went up only to 4 storeys. But this is the first two highrises 21 and 22 storey buildings allowed and given “Special Permits” by the Quezon City Council without the residents knowing anything; no hearing nor publication; and we were never consulted nor told about their manipulation of the old law. It was only the Barangay Captain of Barangay Sacred Heart, a Mr. Flores who granted the demolition and construction permits without the members of the Barangay Kagawads signing; and the residents were not informed. Then Barangay Captain Flores did not even inform us, despite the fact that we know each other well – he and his wife.
The few chosen residents who signed the request passed around told me that they signed (three or four of them) for it only stated “for minor repair in the house of your mother.” The paper passed around to some neighbors (very few) hindi kami isinaling magkakapatid when we live in the same compound. Doon na lang, suspicious na. Dapat ‘yong Barangay Captain noon, si Flores, na kilala ko din, dapat sinabihan kaming mga anak ng aming ina. Hindi po ipinaalam sa amin. It is clear na kasama si Flores sa maling gawain. Marami na rin akong naitulong sa kanya noong ako ay nasa PCSO.
On hindsight, the engineer who texted his comment on the two construction sites in a residential area in our residential neighborhood, the first of its kind since the City’s foundation day in October 12, 1939, his observation stated “the steel bars on both construction sites are heavily corroded with rust; that the integrity of the building structure has been compromised.” In short, the steel bars that are heavily corroded with rust may weaken the foundation and structure. We demand from the Quezon City’s Engineering Department to reassure the neighborhood, in writing, that these two buildings, 21 and 22 storeys in our residential area are safe and will not collapse in case of 7 to 8 intensity earthquakes occur. Take note, intensity 6 to 7 collapsed many buildings in the Southern Philippines last year, 2019, that caused President Duterte to call the attention of the Engineering offices of LGUs in the area; and also called the attention of structural engineers and contractors who take short-cuts. “May dayaan daw” kaya nagbagsakan ‘yong mga buildings. Halata daw na may depekto ang foundation; at posibleng nandaya o nagtipid sa mga materyales to make more money. How true, indeed it is being done.
Sana matulungan tayo ng Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) now headed by its Secretary, General Eduardo Año. Only his office can prevent the abuses of the City Councils from abusing peaceful residential neighborhoods, turning them into commercial areas without even consulting with the residents. Not only that, the drainage in the residential areas in our neighborhood, in particular, cannot accommodate the highrise buildings for the drainage system constructed in the 1939/1940 suitable only for residential private homes. And it will definitely extract the water supply of the private homes in the area.
We in the neighborhood see a dark future in our residential area not prepared for the invasion of 21 and 22 storey condo/hotel/offices, all at the same time consuming the water supply of the entire neighborhood and clogging the narrow side-streets with vehicles for lack of parking space.
Please be aware that the parking lots provided by these highrise buildings are not meant for the public but only for its tenants.
Where will the clients, guests of these two monstrous buildings, park?
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