GENERAL SANTOS CITY WEATHER

The National Urban Poor Sectoral Council of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NUPSC-NAPC) Appeal to the President of the Philippines

In behalf of the National Urban Poor Sectoral Council-National Anti-Poverty Commission (NUPSC-NAPC), we the undersigned, are humbly appealing for your swift intervention in preventing injustice done against our fellow Council Member, RODRIGO “BOY” M. OLARTE, SR., an urban poor sectoral leader, and a long-time Representative from Mindanao of the NUPSC-NAPC under the Office of the President.

Boy Olarte was arrested from his office and headquarters at Katotohanan, Pagkakaisa at Serbisyo Foundation, Inc. (KPSFI), at Purok Magsaysay, Barangay Labangal, General Santos City, around 2pm to 4pm, of 19 June 2018. His arrest was made by virtue of a Search Warrant (SW) signed by Executive Judge Emmanuel C. Carpio from Davao RTC, on June 11, 2018. The SW against Boy Olarte was executed on charges of illegal possession of firearms, upon complaint of Col. Giovanni Evangelio Ladeo, PNP Force Commander of City Mobile Company, General Santos City Police Office with witness, Henry Guiamang y Bualan. According to the SW, the search should be particularly made for a cache of firearms “hidden under the office table” of Boy Olarte. According to another confirmed report, Judge Carpio immediately signed the SW, after he was given the information that Boy Olarte is a “terrorist and pulahan”.

As evidenced by first-hand witnesses, there were obvious violations in the conduct of the SW, and the greater possibility of planted evidence (i.e., “tanim granada” on top of the drawer of the Admin Officer of KPSFI, Ms Arlene Bohol-Panizales), because the actual search under the office table of Boy Olarte for the alleged arms cache turned out negative.

Contrary to the biased reporting of some media group about the arrest, Boy Olarte is not a “big businessman”, nor a “squatter”. He had been at the forefront in the struggle to advance urban poor peoples’ right to land and greater democratic space. The urban poor peoples’ movement he led has advanced the strategic contribution of the “homeless and the hopeless”, thru a program for urban poor secure tenure and governance for the past 30 years.

As early as February 1986, Boy Olarte led an urban poor movement, then called “Kamatuoran, Panaghiusa ug Serbisyo” (KPS), widely considered (and featured in TIME Magazine) as a “local repercussion of the EDSA People Power Revolution”. The rallying cry and struggle of the urban poor movement in Gensan City, for decent and proper relocation at Makar Townsite Reservation (MTR) composed of prime 105 hectares of land, located at Sitio Makar, Barangay Labangal, General Santos City, eventually led to the awarding of MTR as socialized housing site for more or less 3,000 urban poor families, thru the late Pres. Corazon C Aquino’s Presidential Proclamation No. 727, series of 1991. Mr Olarte’s works with the urban poor sector was consolidated with other basic sector efforts leading to the passage of the UDHA (Urban Development and Housing Act, RA 7279) in March 1992. His foray into local politics led to public service as City Councilor of General Santos City for 2 consecutive terms (from 1995 to 2001).

In November 2000, KPS was given the Bayaning Pilipino Award, “Bayaning Samahan sa Taon ng Bagong Milenyo, Gawad Geny Lopez Jr.“, in recognition to the urban poor organization’s work in consolidating urban poor efforts to gain greater democratic space, in pursuit of their common development goals.

As of January 2011, Boy Olarte as elected NUPSC Council Member was assigned as In-Charge for one of the NUPSC Top Priority Agenda, the “Investigation on Corruption in Housing, Fake Titles and Squatting Syndicates” leading to the conduct of Senate Committee Hearings on Fake Titles before Sen. Koko Pimentel, sometimes on October-November 2014 until at present time. As a result of that hearings, the NUPSC-NAPC come-up with the recommendation for the Issuance of Executive Order (EO) on the creation of Presidential Task Force Against Fake Titles.

It is sad and tragic to note, that the recent arrest of Boy Olarte seems to degrade the contribution he had made to advance the gains and successes of the disadvantaged sectors in creating a just, free, humane and inclusive Philippine society.

As he was clearly a victim of trumped-up charges, an illegally conducted search warrant, and “tanim granada”, we are afraid that during his detention, he will be shot and killed, “dahil sya’y nanlaban“.

There are scenarios that have been drawn up. But one of these, is that this is expected result of his being passionately engaged in the advocacy against the proliferation of fake titles in General Santos City; particularly at the area known as the Olarte Estate, a 973-hectare property, where as a matter of fact, more than 5,000 fake titles have emanated. Many of the current landowners and fake title holders include judges, big landowners and businessmen, prominent local and national politicians.

We are urgently seeking for your intervention, in behalf of Boy Olarte because he is a basic sector leader and a staunch advocate against crime and corruption. He is not a “big businessman and a squatter”, nor “a terrorist and pulahan”, just as his enemies and detractors would make us believe.

Hoping and praying that you can be on the side of justice and truth as we continue the struggle to build a better Philippine society.

Very truly and respectfully yours,

napc logo(SGD.) NOEL S. CANO
Sectoral Representative
NUPSC-NAPC

(SGD.) NOEL I. GALLARDO
Chairman, NUPSC-NAPC

(SGD.) NELSON H. NUNEZ
Secretary-General
NUPSC-NAPC

The PHILSSA Statement in Support of Rodrigo "Boy" Olarte and Katotohanan, Pagkakaisa at Serbisyo (KPS)

Partnership of Philippine Support Service Agencies (PHILSSA), a partnership network of sixty (60) development service providers from the National Capital Region (NCR), Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao working for inclusive, transformative and sustainable urbanization, is calling for social justice and equal protection of the law for Mr Rodrigo “Boy” Olarte, founder of an urban poor people’s organization, Katotohanan, Pagkakaisa at Serbisyo (KPS).

Rodrigo “Boy” Olarted was arrested at his office in Purok Magsaysay, Barangay Labangal, General Santos City in the afternoon of June 19, 2018 by virtue of a Search Warrant signed by Judge Emmanuel Carpio, from Davao RTC last June 11, 2018.

 KPS is a long-time member-civil society organization (CSO) and partner of PHILSSA in South-Central Mindanao (Region XII). Since 1980s, KPS has been actively working for the poor and advocating self-help and self-reliant solutions to issues affecting the urban poor and informal settler families, such as land and housing projects, social protection and services to women and children, disaster risk reduction and management – climate change action (DRRM-CCA), savings and livelihood program, both in the local and national levels.

In November 2000, KPS was honored with the Bayaning Pilipino Award, Bayaning Samahan sa Taon ng Bagong Milenyo, “for continuing to set aside personal interest or gain for the benefit of their respective community, imbued with a tireless pursuit for excellence in their endeavors, and dedicating their lives in the service of the poor.”

Boy Olarte and KPS have been passionate advocates of the urban poor sector, working with community organizations and sectoral federations and engaging with government institutions and officials in the city/municipality, provincial, regional and national levels. As part of his advocacy and sectoral engagement, Boy ran and was elected for two (2) consecutive terms (1995 to 2001) as City Councilor of General Santos City under the Party of PDP-LABAN. He had also been actively engaging for almost two decades now, with the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), the national machinery for poverty alleviation of the disadvantaged basic sectors under the Office of the President. As an active long-time Mindanao Representative in the National Urban Poor Sectoral Council (NUPSC), Boy Olarte and KPS have passed resolutions benefitting the urban poor sector all over the country.

In all these years that PHILSSA have worked with both KPS and Boy Olarte, they have exemplified passion, commitment and integrity in their programs, services and advocacies for the urban poor sector, in general, and for informal settler families/communities in General Santos City, Region XII and Mindanao, in particular.

PHILSSA fears that the search of the KPS premises and the arrest of Boy Olarte will unnecessarily affect the programs and services of KPS as a social development institution, as well as the advocacies and other activities of their partner urban poor groups in General Santos City and nearby areas. Likewise, we are concerned that all these will also affect the health of Boy, given his age and medical condition.

PHILSSA reiterates its support to KPS and Boy Olarte for their continuing efforts for community service and development.

PHILSSA deplores the search of KPS premises and the eventual arrest of Boy.

Moreover, PHILSSA hopes for the restoration of justice and his immediate release.

 philssa logo

(SGD.) ROSEMARIE JOHNSON-HERRERA
Chair, Board of Trustees

(SGD.) BENEDICT BALDERRAMA
National Coordinator

bayaning pilipino 2000

Please provide your personal data on the form if you wish to be included on our petition for a just and equal justice for Katotohanan, Pagkakaisa at Serbisyo (KPS) and Rodrigo ‘Boy’ Olarte, Sr.