Bianca Gonzalez speaks out on Manila’s squatter infestation!

bianca_gonzalezWas it because it was said in Tagalog? Or was it because popular celebrity babe Bianca Gonzalez (with a “z” at the end) tweeted it? Whatever the reason, an outrage fad was born yet again after the modelling and social media superstar let out this gem on Twitter:

Ang dami nating nagtatrabaho para makaipon para sa prime lot at bahay plus buwis pa. Bakit nga ba bine-baby ang mga informal settlers?


“So many people working hard to save to buy a house on prime land while paying their taxes. Why do we have to baby these informal settlers?”

It is an old concept. The simple principle behind Gonzalez’s tweet is rule of law and everyone — whether rich or poor — being subject to it. Quite simply, squatters live on land funded by the hard work of somebody else and put a strain on public works and services funded by somebody else’s tax money. I elaborated on this in a previous article Land ownership Hell: The Philippines is Squatter Central when it comes to government subsidies!. This being the Philippines which aspires to be a First World nanny state (despite lacking the cash to achieve that quaint aspiration), applicable laws to combat squatter infestation have been reduced to toothless drivel since the fall of former President Ferdinand Marcos.

Presidential Decree 772 (PD 772) effected by former President Ferdinand Marcos in 1975 made prosecuting “squatting and other criminal acts” relatively easy. Squatting under PD 772 was clearly a criminal undertaking as Section 1 of the decree states…

Any person who, with the use of force, intimidation or threat, or taking advantage of the absence or tolerance of the landowner, succeeds in occupying or possessing the property of the latter against his will for residential commercial or any other purposes, shall be punished by an imprisonment ranging from six months to one year or a fine of not less than one thousand nor more than five thousand pesos at the discretion of the court, with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency.

And so, under Marcos’s administration, thousands of squatters were successfully evicted from land they illegally inhabited and jailed for their offense.

Unfortunately PD 772 was repealed when Republic Act No. 8368, the “Anti-Squatting Law Repeal Act of 1997” took effect. RA 8368 also authorised dismissal of all pending cases that drew upon the provisions of the now repealed PD 772. It also directed criminal cases against squatters to defer to the broader “Comprehensive and Continuing Urban Development Program” described by Republic Act 7279, which stipulated sanctions that are applicable only to “professional squatters” which are defined to be…

[…] individuals or groups who occupy lands without the express consent of the landowner and who have sufficient income for legitimate housing. The term shall also apply to persons who have previously been awarded homelots or housing units by the Government but who sold, leased or transferred the same to settle illegally in the same place or in another urban area, and non-bona fide occupants and intruders of lands reserved for socialized housing.

RA 7279 however explicitly excludes from the definition “individuals or groups who simply rent land and housing from professional squatters or squatting syndicates.” These laws, in effect, make the process of removing squatters from one’s property a long and convoluted one.

Well, we sow what we reap, don’t we?

Metro Manila is now a pigsty of a city. Squatters routinely deposit their household sewage into the Pearl of the Orient’s once picturesque esteros. The illegal structures they erect, have long been seen as the single biggest urban blight that contributes significantly to the problem of flooding in the Philippines’ wretched capital. Add to that too all the other illegally-erected structures of businesses backed by local politicians, such as the fish pens that proliferate all over Laguna de Bay. The aroma of raw sewage that engulfs the country’s premier metropolis is unmistakable during the wet season. And during the dry season, the thought of open sewers and where the thick ubiquitous clouds of dust that hang over the city 24 hours a day comes from is enough to discourage anyone from eating ice cream on a cone outdoors.

But because Bianca Gonzalez is a celebrity and because the starstruck society in which she makes her living expects its celebrities to be a “compassionate” bunch, Gonzalez’s tweet made waves. On the venerable pages of that exemplar of journalistic integrity Remate, can now be found the collective expression of indignation of the Filipino underclass

“Kailangan maunawaan ni Bianca ang tunay na ugat ang urban poverty at squatting problem sa bansa. Ito ay isang social responsibility ni Bianca at ng iba pang journalist na tagapag-timon ng public opinion sa bansa,” ani [Gloria Arellano, KADAMAY national chairperson].

Inaasahan ng grupo na pagtatanong lamang ang naging komento ni Bianca. Nakahanda umanong maglinaw ang KADAMAY at sagutin kung talagang bini-baby ng gubyerno ang mga informal settler.

“Pam-bibaby bang maituturing ang libu-libong maralitang pamilyang na itinaboy ng gubyernong Aquino sa panahon ng kanyang panunungkulan at pagdanas nila ng pandarahas ng estado mula sa sapilitang paggiba ng kanilang tahanan, pagkakakulong, pagsasampa ng gawa-gawang kaso hanggang at pagmamaslang sa 13 maralitang tumututol sa demolisyon?” tanong ni Arellano.

Translating the above to the lingua franca of the 21st Century…

“Bianca needs to understand the real roots of urban poverty and the country’s squatting problem. This is a social responsibility of hers and other journalists who shape public opinion.” says Gloria Arellano, KADAMAY national chairperson.

The KADAMAY group (an acronym for the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap or Confederation for Solidarity Among the Impoverished) hopes that Bianca merely tables a rhetorical question. The KADAMAY group is ready to clarify whether the government is indeed coddling the informal settler community.

“Can we even regard as ‘babying’ the state’s violent demolition of homes, the imprisonment and filing of cases against the 13 who protested this demolition which transpired under the government of President Aquino?” asks Arellano.

Gonzalez has since reportedly expressed to Vencer Crisostomo (chairperson of leftist militant group Anakbayan) her intention to initiate talks with the aggrieved parties.

[Photo courtesy]


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782 Comments on "Bianca Gonzalez speaks out on Manila’s squatter infestation!"

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Scrap Lina law


She DOES have a point. Many Filipinos pay a lot of tax money in order to have living space. We work our asses off. Informal settlers or not, everyone MUST do the same to DESERVE better living space.

Christian Santos

Totoo naman e. Etong mga hampaslupa na to napakalakas ng sense of entitlement mula sa gobyerno. Di naman nagbabayad ng buwis.


She has a point. I believe that local government in the metro are supporting the so called informal settlers kasi boto yan…


Way to go Bianca! She shouldnt have to apologize for shit. Good on her! Shes only saying what should be said by each and every sane thinking citizen and politician with balls.


I agree with this lady in toto.

Albert Israel

Sana ang Gobyerno idedicate lang sa mga tax payers ang mga projects nila para itong mga informal settlers na ito ay magsumikap rin! #puroTambay #nganga

Jay Vee Linatoc

ang daming mangmang sa sistema kung bakit nga ba sila naging informal settlers in the first place. leche nakakainit ng dugo ang kamngmangan ng pilipinas


its as simple as this – squatters = most number of votes per square inch


What the hell does she have to apologize for? She has a good point.


Ang problema sa batas ngayon, NIREREWARD ang pagnanakaw ng lupa.

Dito, bibigyan ka ng libreng condo pag nagsquat ka. Ayos, di ba? Pwede mo pang ibenta para extra cash. Tapos squat ka ulit, para libreng condo ulit. Tapos benta ulit, ad infinitum.

Tapos may batas pa na nagpoprotekta sa magnanakaw (Lina Law)

Labo rin ng gobyerno eh, no. Gusto raw itigil ang pagnanakaw ng lupa, pero ginagantimpalaan naman ang magnanakaw ng lupa.


Tama lang un Bianca! Edi parang ine encourage lang lalo nila ang mga informal settlers na mag squat kase may easy money.

Janette Bautista
It’s not just that baby ang mga informal settler’s.while others doing the hard work,paying taxes just to buy prime house or own houses. Good for you Bianca among other people who are blessed with good job, earned a lots of money to save large, perhaps huge money from the bank and can afford to buy luxurious things and owned a house of your dream among others things and comforts in life, because you have given the gift and opportunity to work or have given chance to have a work, perhaps a descent and good job for you because you have… Read more »
julie a. adzuara

Korek! LGU ang may sala kasi pondo yan at meron din siguro sila. Hindi dahilan na mg botante ang mga squatters na ito. Ito ang Logic : kahit 20 mamamayan sa isang sityo at ikaw ang hirangin ng 11 katao panalo ka pa rin! Malinis at maginhaang pamayanan ang iyong munisipalidad di ba 🙂 gamitin ang kokote hindi ang dami!!!!

Wendell Toledo Veneracion y Maningas
Wendell Toledo Veneracion y Maningas

wala atang mali sa sinabi ni Bianca, ang hirap mag-isip para magkaroon ng ari-ariaan na talagang masasabing nai-pundar ng isang tao… pero yung mga squatter, mag mamasid lang kung walang nakatingin at ayun, mag titirik na ng tirahan… kalaunan ay protektado na ng Lina Law… ang gusto pa ay sa gitna ng Maynila ang relokasyon… samantalang ako, nag hahanap pa rin ng mabibiling bahay at lupa, huli akong tumingin sa Cavite at mukhang di ko pa kakayanin.


Tama naman sya.Actually, those settlers have been lucky enough to be provided with a house to move in to sa mga relocation sites and they still complain na wala raw trabaho dun..I think they’re being too much.they have settled many years on properties they don’t own with taxes they don’t pay,and in return they were given a house with very easy and light finance terms,and they still have the nerve to get mad na walang trabahong kasama ang binigay sa kanila.I know Everyone has the right to live decent lives but I think it should also be earned….Just saying.

Don’t hate Bianca for being rich. Pinanganak na ngang mayaman, nagtatrabaho pa kahit pwede na lang siya na umasa sa magulang. Pero kaming mga hindi ipinanganak na mayaman, we have to work our arse off to earn enough so we can provide for our family and pay for shelter. Ang laki pa ng tax na binabayaran. So I agree with Bianca. She has a point. Ang dami lang nagagalit kasi she happens to be rich. But that is not her fault. Karamihan kasi sa mga squatter na yan, bibigyan mo na ng source of livelihood, ayaw pa. Gusto aasa sa… Read more »

ayos di nman tong si lintik na bistek na toh tinapos muna ang election ska pinalayas! pero noon campaign period mas malimit sila mangampanya sa mga squatter! mga manggagamit!


wag ka ganyan bianca
kung lahat yan nagttrabaho
baka wala ng manood sa mga show nyo

kung hindi pa ang papanget ng show niyo walang quality at paulit ulit at alam mo ba na karamihan ng nanonood sa inyo mga squatters? pasalamat nga kayo ganun din kababaw ang taste nila, pero kung mga mayayaman yan hindi pagtyatyagaan yang channel 2 ba bulok mga show.


at yan ang ugaling squatter