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Families in Philippines forced out of homes for road-widening project

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Families in Philippines forced out of homes for road-widening project


Police in Quezon City, a suburb of the Philippine capital Manila, have enforced a demolition order, clearing a shanty town of around 50 homes to make way for a road-widening project.

Many of the families living in the town said nobody told them about the order. The local government said it advised residents to evacuate beforehand.

Residents built a makeshift barrier out of their belongings in an attempt to fend off the demolition attempt.

The 50 affected families will be transferred to a resettlement site with electricity but no water supply.

One local resident, Josie Lopez, explained what happened: “They threw tear gas at us and forced us out of our homes. Then they started destroying our houses as you can see,” she said.

Her neighbour, Alexander Rosal, is concerned: “We will be sleeping on the streets tonight and it’s difficult with the weather being so unpredictable. I am just worried for the welfare of my family, especially my children who are so young,” he said.

Slum resident Encar, who has been living in the shanty community for 26 years, said the police used excessive force.

“They are using too much force! They are harassing the masses. They are abusing the common people,“ she said.

Several slum communities around Manila have been cleared in the past year to make way for infastructure and property projects.

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