Demolition in Camp Evangelista Military Reservation

On Tuesday, June 18, 2024, the Writ of Demolition (WOD) was implemented for all structures within Lots 4354 and 4357 in Camp Evangelista Military Reservation (CEMR). The demolition was carried out by a team led by the Court Sheriff of RTC Branch 17, along with the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (COCPO).

The demolition was divided into five sectors and proceeded smoothly and peacefully. We assure the public that the demolition team, the PNP, and the Army observed maximum tolerance and respected the human rights of all the Informal Settler Families (ISFs) and those who voiced their opinions and views.

From June 18-21, 2024, the demolition team, supported by the 4th Infantry Division through the 4th Installation Management Battalion and by the City Health Office, City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) of Cagayan de Oro City, Brgy. Patag Representative, RTA, Commission of Human Rights (CHR), Philippine Commission for Urban Poor (PCUP), and Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), demolished 591 houses of ISFs.

While no untoward incidents or major aggressions were observed, the Explosives and Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team of 4ID recovered several high explosive ammunitions hidden inside the houses by some of the IS. These posed a danger not only to their families but also to their neighborhoods. We urge the ISFs to report and voluntarily surrender any explosives and ammunition still in their possession for everyone’s safety.

We understand and recognize the difficulties and challenges faced by the ISFs and respectfully urge them to stay calm, cooperate, and not resort to violence. 4ID personnel and military trucks are on standby to assist the ISFs in other sectors in transporting their belongings and furniture. Medical Teams with Ambulances from the Camp Evangelista Station Hospital are also on standby for any medical needs during the demolition.

The demolition was carried out to implement the Supreme Court ruling dated November 20, 2013. Lot 4354 and 4357, totaling 42.29 hectares, have been declared reverted to the public domain. Following the ruling, Presidential Proclamation No. 265 series of 1938, which declares Camp Evangelista as a military reservation, is still in effect. After several appeals and motions, the RTC Branch 17 granted the motion for issuance of the order of demolition. The recent Resolution of RTC Branch 17 dated June 14, 2024, denied the motion to quash the Writ of Execution and Demolition of the other party, the defendants.

We understand the impact on individuals and families residing in the affected areas for many years. The 4ID and the LGU are committed to ensuring that the demolition is carried out with utmost sensitivity to the well-being of the ISFs. Efforts have been made in collaboration with LGU officials and several government agencies to facilitate the smooth transition for the affected ISFs, prioritizing their safety and welfare.

Moving forward, the 4ID reaffirms its commitment to upholding the integrity and security of military reservation areas while respecting the rights of the affected families. As the Diamond Division continues to serve the people and secure the land, we commit to preserving a peaceful community where the root causes of conflict are addressed and sustainable socio-economic progress is promoted.”

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