MMDA told: No 30-day notice, no demolition

THE SUPREME COURT Yesterday said its December 2008 order directing government agencies to clean up Manila Bay didn’t authorize the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to evict illegal settlers without first giving them prior notice.

“While the MMDA’s zeal in improving the state of Manila’s drainage system and water bodies is laudable, this endeavor cannot go against the rights of those whose dwellings are in danger of being torn down,” the high court clarified.

The court resolution was prompted by a motion filed by an urban poor group which asked the court to clarify the MMDA’s authority to tear down illegal structures along waterways.

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Classes in Metro Manila suspended today

Classes in all levels in the National Capital Region are suspended today for the final State of the Nation Address (Sona) of President Arroyo and 95th founding anniversary of Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC).

The Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) cited the anticipated heavy traffic as its reason for the class suspension.

“In view of the expected heavy traffic on Monday from the coinciding major events of the Sona and the grand celebration of the INC, classes in all public and private pre-school, elementary and high schools would be suspended on July 27,” DepEd National Capital Region director Teresita Domalanta said.

Ched Chairman Emmanuel Angeles, for his part, said he is ordering the suspension of classes in the tertiary level, noting the center of INC celebrations would be in Metro Manila.

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MMDA to build concrete dividers in EDSA

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced that the plan is under way to construct concrete dividers along the entire stretch of the Epifanio delos Santos Avenue to keep public utility buses (PUBs) within the yellow lanes.

MMDA’s Traffic Engineering Center said the yellow lane “separators” are concrete strips that are high enough to prevent errant PUBs from going out of the yellow lanes, where they are supposed to stay.

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MMDA official’s son hurt, driver slain in Laguna ambush

Six heavily armed men shot dead a driver and critically wounded a son of a Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) official during an ambush in San Pedro, Laguna yesterday.

Police said Johnny Agbay was driving Mico Esquivel, 14, to school when the suspected communist guerrillas, riding two tricycles, strafed their Mitsubishi Pajero using Armalite rifles along Juan Luna street in Chrysanthemum Village, Barangay San Vicente at around 7:15 a.m.

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MMDA chief charged for ‘authoritarian’ act

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Bayani Fernando is now in a tight fix again after a motel operator filed charges against the controversial MMDA official before the Ombudsman for what the complainant described as an “authoritarian” decision he is implementing with his questionable projects.

Fernando and five other MMDA officials were charged before the Office of the Ombudsman by a hotel company for serious misconduct and oppression for allegedly disturbing and affecting their business operations.

In a five-page complaint-affidavit, Lakambini Hotel Corp. (owner and operator of Mahal Kita Drive Inn) as represented by Tito Ortiz, filed the charges against Fernando, MMDA general manager Robert Nacianceno along with MMDA officials Corazon Cruz, Angelito Vergel de Dios, Ramon Ona and Noemie Recio.

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