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Kadamay ready with barricades vs. NHA personnel who will serve eviction notice

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 3/20/2017 Galarpe, Karen
KADAMAY members occupy idle gov't housing in Bulacan © KADAMAY KADAMAY members occupy idle gov't housing in Bulacan

Members of a militant urban poor workers' group have barricaded on Monday the idle government housing site they occupied in Pandi, Bulacan amid the expected serving of an eviction notice by the National Housing Authority.

A report by GMA News' Victoria Tulad on Balitanghali showed the entrance of Pandi-Atlantica which has been blocked by the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) to ward off the NHA.

Most of the Kadamay members insisted on claiming the idle housing units despite the looming notice of the NHA.

"Wala naman kaming hangad na makipag-away kung kanino. Basta ang hangad namin, magkaroon ng bahay," Dory Balaquiao said.

Asked if they were afraid of being forcefully evacuated in the area, Nympha Cruz replied: "Hindi naman po. Marami naman po kaming ditong mga Kadamay e."

Nona Alraschid, a member of Anakbayan who is helping the cause of Kadamay, said they will continue occupying the housing units if the NHA pushes with the serving of the eviction notice.

"Kung makikipag-negotiate, puwede naman gawin dito po sa mismong barikada," Alraschid said.

"Kung matutuloy 'yung eviction notice, tutuloy lang po 'yung pag-ookupa dito. Tuloy lang po 'yung laban ng mga maralita dito," she added.

However, Kadamay member Domingo Cavite said he is willing the accept any decision by the government.

"Ako, hindi ako makipagmatigasan. 'Pag binigay sa 'min ng maayos, tanggapin pero 'pag hindi, wala, okay lang," Cavite said.

The report said Kadamay members started occupying Pandi Atlantica on Friday with more than 2,000 occupants now staying at the housing site.

The leaders of Kadamay called for patience as they decide on the distribution of the housing units.

Others are staying on makeshift tents made of tarpaulins outside due to lack of living space in the houses.

The report showed on video the house where the Cruz family is staying with about 50 others.

Nonetheless, more Kadamay members were flocking to Pandi Atlantica.

Police cars have been regularly roaming the housing site to ensure peace and order.

In a separate report by GMA News' Jun Veneracion on Balitanghali, Kadamay members in the Pandi II housing site also built a barricade, setting the boundary as to how far the NHA can go.

The report said the NHA tried to have a dialogue with the group in the area but Kadamay refused to leave the housing units.

The Bulacan Philippine National Police is on standby in Pandi II in case the NHA seeks their assistance when the eviction notice is served.

More than 4,000 housing units have been occupied by more than 6,000 Kadamay members across five government housing sites in Pandi, the report said.

The NHA said it will serve the eviction notice within the week, noting that occupants will be given seven days to peacefully vacate the housing units.

The units in the town of Pandi are intended for informal settlers staying at flood-prone areas in Metro Manila and low-salaried uniformed personnel. —Joseph Tristan Roxas/KG, GMA News

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