via Inquirer, 11 March 2019: The previous story was good news, but this piece was bad news. A colonial cemetery site was illegally demolished last year in northern Philippines, and in its place is a stadium.
A cockpit arena now stands at the site of the Spanish-era cemetery of Balaoan in La Union following its demolition last year.
The circular cemetery together with the town’s convent was built by Fr. Casimiro Melgosa in 1877.
It was where the seven martyrs of Balaoan were executed by Spanish authorities during the 1896 Philippine revolution.
A descendant of one of those martyrs, Emilie Obaldo, a heritage advocate based in the United States, lamented the demolition.
“If this issue is a violation of any existing Philippine law protecting historical structures, then whoever demolished Balaoan’s public cemetery should be held accountable,” said Obaldo. (She is sister of mayoralty candidate General Pedro Obaldo Jr.
The “desecrated” cemetery, she said, “has been untouched for years, evident that it has always been a public property.” But it appears to have been transferred to private ownership.
A provincial official has acknowledged for the first time that local authorities took money from villagers to allow constructions inside Angkor Archaeological Park, but said on Thursday that the illegal structures would still be demolished.
Deputy Siem Reap provincial governor Ly Samrith said that some villagers had been “cheated” by local officials, but only those who had submitted forms to the Apsara Authority asking for permission would be spared from the weekslong demolition operation that began earlier this month.
“We think that some constructions would be allowed to stay, but if we give them a pardon, they will extend their constructions to the front of the Angkor temple,” he said.
via Phnome Penh Post, 14 August 2017: The APSARA Authority this week began evicting and demolishing illegal structures – many of them homes – in the Angkor Archaeological Park which were built in the last year. Local residents have begun to protest to the provincial government, but the orders to vacate and the threat of demolition have been made for several months now.
The Apsara Authority and Siem Reap provincial officials have demolished 49 homes out of 520 slated for removal within the Angkor Archaeological Park since Thursday, officials said yesterday.
via Cambodia Daily, 03 August 2017: Following on this news because it deals with the heritage laws around the Angkor Park. Armed forces will be helping the APSARA Authority during their exercise of razing illegal structures in the park area, following threats from local villagers. APSARA has been for the last few months warned about the impending demolition of illegal structures and have given a deadline that expires this week.
Following threats from villagers, armed military and police forces will help secure a team that will forcibly raze hundreds of improperly constructed homes and shops within protected areas of Angkor Archaeological Park, an official said on Wednesday.
Apsara Authority, the government entity charged with overseeing the park, on Tuesday announced an August 10 deadline for the removal of illegal structures.
via Phnom Penh Post, 13 July 2017: Cambodian authorities will take action this week on demolishing illegal constructions within the Angkor Archaeological Park, citing the potential danger to the Unesco World Heritage listing.
The director-general of the Apsara Authority and the deputy governor of Siem Reap announced yesterday that all “illegal constructions” inside the Angkor Archaeological Park will be destroyed next week, with any protests inside the park to be suppressed.
The community at the Mahakan Fort continue to have their houses razed, but at the same time a panel has been set up to evaluate the historical value of some of the remaining houses. It looks futile at this stage, since even if the houses are preserved the living community has been actively destroyed?
A 10-member panel will be formed to look into the historical value of the remaining houses in the Mahakan Fort Community to determine whether they should be preserved, says a source close to City Hall.
Villagers sign a petition to the Cambodian Prime Minister after the Apsara Authority, the agency that oversees the management of Angkor, tore down a house which the authority says was illegally built in a protected area. This reminds me of a time when the World Heritage status of Ayutthaya was threatened because of the encroachment of settlers into the protected areas of the ancient city.