Thursday, March 25, 2010


Squatters are currently in the minds of individuals running for public office. And after winning, they are soon forgotten once more. But how can we really forget them when everywhere we go, we see them? Even Malacanang houses the country's biggest squatter-family.

There was a time a few years ago when proponents to decriminalize squatting came under fire. Especially targeted was former Senator Joey Lina, known for the "Stupid Lina Law," also known as the Urban Development Housing Act of 1992, another blunder of the Aquino regime. The law exempts squatters from criminal prosecution. Well, it also encourages squatting.

Property owners say that the Lina Law, supported by the Aquino administration, would further aggravate the squatting problem and yes, encourage invasion and occupation of government and private land by the hordes of squatters coming from the provinces. It would certainly be welcome news to see our winning presidentiable tackle this social ill once and for all.

Former Senator Ambrosio Padilla, one of the leaders of the property owners, stressed that squatting had become a widespread vice since the last global war. Citing court decisions, Padilla said, "Squatting was and is a blight. Squatters' areas pose problems of health and sanitation. They are breeding places for crime. They constitute proof that respect for the law and the rights of others, even those of the government, are being flouted. Knowingly, squatters have embarked on the pernicious act of occupying property whenever and wherever convenient to their interests. They are emboldened seemingly because of their belief that they could violate the law with impunity."

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