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Mayor Binay, Robredo clash at Guadalupe demolition site

(Updated 9 a.m. Friday) Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo and Makati Mayor Junjun Binay engaged in a verbal tussle on Thursday at the site of a violent clearing operation in the city where bottles and teargas flew, and men with knives were arrested. Robredo and Binay were at the Laperal Compound in Barangay Guadalupe Viejo to pacify the riot that erupted when residents in the fire-razed area clashed with members of the demolition team from the City Hall. At least 18 people were hurt, according to a dzBB report earlier. The tension lasted for an hour. Authorities had to use water cannons and teargas to contain the angry mob. Two men carrying knives were arrested by the police. A report on GMA News' "24 Oras" said Binay was accusing Robredo of deploying a limited number of policemen to diffuse the tension despite the fact that the area has been declared a danger zone. "May mga feed na dun sa media na may mga bote na, na may barricade na sila, and yet they left us with only 18 policemen," said Binay, who walked out of the confrontation. [Watch video below for Binay-Robredo confrontation.]

Binay said he had ordered the clearing of the area after a fire there last week turned it into a danger zone, which meant residents were prohibited from returning there. He also said he received information that a syndicate has been making money by encouraging people to rent houses in the area. Meanwhile, a report by dzBB's Nimfa Ravelo said the Makati City government had approved a P20-million fund for the relocation and financial assistance for the residents. The report said the city government approved this in a special session on Thursday morning. Under the setup, the funds will be taken from the local disaster risk reduction and management fund. Binay, Robredo continue word war Binay and Robredo continued their word war Friday, with Robredo insisting Binay should have exhausted all peaceful solutions and Binay saying some groups were already exploiting the dialogues. “Mas makakatulong kung mag-usap para 'di magkaroon ng mga pagduda ang mga tao roon. Wala namang mawawala sa pagdayalogo," Robredo said in a three-way radio interview with Binay. He also insisted he went to the site because President Benigno Aquino III instructed him to do so. But Binay chided Robredo for rushing to the site without knowing what the local government had already done. “Mr. Secretary, huwag ninyo sabihing hindi kami nakikipag-dialogue," said the first-term mayor Binay, the son of Vice President Jojo Binay, who was Makati mayor for over 20 years. "If you are implying we never held dialogues with the concerned parties, we cannot accept that. Besides, the state has police power that it should use if there are people who are under threat," he added. He also said dialogues have limitations. The city government cannot allow some groups to attack the city government’s teams while holding the dialogues. Binay earlier voiced his suspicion there are syndicates charging rent inside the Laperal Compound, the same groups who have been egging residents to barricade the compound and fight the demolition teams. “Ang dayalogo may hangganan yan. Nakikipagdayalogo pero at the same time nagbabarikada at naghahanda ng bote at bato. Hindi naman pwede gamitin ang dialogue as a guise para magipon-ipon doon," he said. — KBK/LBG/HS, GMA News