Skip to main content

Squatters square off against police, demolition crew in Philippines

From journalist Arlene Espiritu
A local resident protests in front of policemen during the demolition of shanty homes in Manila on September 23.
A local resident protests in front of policemen during the demolition of shanty homes in Manila on September 23.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A new central business district is planned on the land
  • Residents throw rocks and other debris in protest
  • The protest further ties up traffic along metro Manila's main thoroughfare

Manila, Philippines (CNN) -- Hundreds of squatters in the Philippine capital faced off against authorities Thursday, in a bid to stop the demolition of their makeshift homes to make way for development.

The squatters threw rocks and other debris at riot police, development officials and a demolition crew from the National Housing Authority, whom they outnumbered.

"The throwing started at around 9 a.m. One police was hurt, but not seriously. Now we're just trying to ask them to leave the main road," said Quezon City's police director, Chief Superintendent Benjardi Mantele.

The protests happened along metro Manila's main thoroughfare, further snarling traffic as people stopped to watch.

The city government and Ayala Corp. plan to transform the area -- located north of Manila -- into a central business district modeled after the Makati business district.

"We served the demolition notice on September 16. We gave them seven days, which is enough time to vacate their homes," said Chito Cruz of the National Housing Authority.