DAVAO CITY – Twelve members of Sitio 117 Bago Oshiro Farmers’ Association were arrested on Monday morning after violence erupted between residents and the forces of Davao City Police Office (DCPO) at UP Mindanao-Manambulan Road during the construction of the DPWH road project.
In a report from the University of the Philippines Mindanao official student publication, Himati, those arrested were barricading the area.
According to the police report, the charges filed against the residents include arson, grave coercion, and direct assault.
Chief Inspector Ireneo Caburnay, station commander of the Tugbok District Police, said the presence of the police force was necessary to disperse the commotion after the settlers formed a human barricade.
The tension increased after an alleged member of the farmers’ group threw Molotov bombs on a bulldozer and a backhoe.
The residents, however, insisted that the action did not come from them, since the bombs were thrown from a direction opposite to where the barricade was situated.
UP Mindanao Vice Chancellor for Administration Antonio Obsioma said UP has no control over the construction since it is a government project.
The said road construction is part of the UP Mindanao-Davao City Sports Complex Project.
The City Government of Davao in partnership with UP in Mindanao signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the development of the DC-UP Sports Complex on August 6.
The farmers association, however, has filed a complaint saying UP has not yet complied to the provision of an existing Memorandum of Agreement regarding the compensation and relocation of the settlers. (davaotoday.com)