Councilor files libel cases against 3 urban poor group leaders

Posted on October 14, 2012

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A CEBU City councilor filed oral defamation and libel cases against three urban poor group leaders at the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office.

Councilor Nida Cabrera, who’s also the president of sitio Nangka Homeowners’ Association of barangay Luz, filed the cases last Thursday against Generosa Corbeta and Lucena Fabular, president and vice president respectively of the Barangay Luz Urban Poor Fraternal Organization (Blupfo), and Bebie Barillano, Blupfo’s secretary.

Cabrera, chairperson of the City Council committee on housing, said she took legal action to counter the name-calling and false accusations against her.

Last September 6, officers of Blupfo filed a complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman accusing Cabrera and Diosdada Martinez of violating laws against professional squatting and squatting syndicates.

Martinez is the president of sitio Mabuhay Homeowners Association.

Blupfo officials alleged that both Cabrera and Martinez facilitated the delisting of 32 households from their roster and occupation of professional squatters to areas where houses were demolished.

Corbeta and Fabular claimed that the two provided a list of assumees or occupants who did not reside in the barangay, or already owned houses in other places and were therefore not qualified to assume the lots.

Cabrera denied the allegations and said the complaint was a “recycled” and “politically motivated” issue.

She denied that she and many barangay Luz occupants got their lots through “landgrabbing”. the lots were acquired in 1995 through amortized payments and organized homeowners associations under the government’s Community Mortgage Program (CMP).

Cabrera said she and many others in the barangay satisfied all CMP requirements such as paying diligently the amortization to the Socialized Housing Finance Corp. in Manila.

Blupfo has 32 members from sitios Mabuhay, Nangka and Lubi who all face eviction through a court-ordered demolition.

Last Oct. 8, houses of nine members of the group were demolished.

On Monday, Blupfo members in sitio Nangka are scheduled to be taken down.

No schedule has been set yet for demolition of houses in sitio Lubi.

Blupfo officials said their stay in the area preceded that of the CMP and their right to the land should be respected. /Correspondent Tweeny M. Malinao

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