THE date for the demolition of houses of 168 families occupying a private lot in barangay Apas, Cebu City, has been set on May 7.
Court Sheriff El Cid Caballes said structures built in the 4.7-hectare lot owned by Mariano Godinez will have to go by then.
A notice to Implement Writ of Demolition was issued by Judge Soliver Peras last April 19, to the settlers of lot 937 in sitio San Miguel who are members of the Archangel Residents Mergence Inc. (ARMI).
“Please comply with the foregoing demand so as to avoid the use of coercive means and attending inconveniences,” Caballes said in a notice on Tuesday.
Last Friday, Judge Peras of Branch 10 lifted an earlier order that held off implementation of the Writ of Demolition.
Roberto Palmares, counsel of lot owner Godinez, earlier said his client is willing to give the settlers a six-month grace period to voluntarily remove their houses.
An amount of P17 million was also offered to the settlers for their voluntary relocation.
In 2002, RTC Judge Benigno Gaviola declared Godinez the “absolute and exclusive owner” of the lot which was used for many years as the site of a police training camp in Camp Lapu-lapu, during which families of policemen and soldiers built their houses.
The ARMI filed a petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals (CA).
They said that when the families started residing in the area since 1960, they believed the government had expropriated it.
The settlers said the lot was identified as a socialized housing site under Cebu City Council Resolution 99-4771 on June 30, 1999.
The ARMI’s petition was dismissed by the appellate court for lack of merit and the appellate court’s order was deemed “final and executory.”
The settlers, however, filed motion for reconsideration, which is still pending.
Cebu south district Rep. Tomas Osmena said residents should stay put and questioned the wherabouts of lot owner Godinez who he said has not been seen in the past six years. /Reporter Ador Vincent S. Mayol