Majority of the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) “invaders” illegally occupying housing units in six resettlement sites of the National Housing Authority (NHA) in Pandi, Bulacan, have refused to leave in spite of eviction notices posted late on Monday afternoon on the units.
Some of them tore down the posted notices.
The NHA teams posted the notices on more than 300 houses at Villa Elise in Barangay Masuso, one of six housing projects that Kadamay members took over last March 8.
The teams were accompanied by armed policemen in bullet-proof vests headed by Senior Insp. Michael Bernardo, Pandi deputy police chief, with operatives of Bulacan SWAT team and the Provincial Public Safety Company.
Eviction notices were subsequently posted at Padre Pio housing project in Barangay Cacarong Bata; Barangay Cacarong Matanda; Villa Louise in Barangay Siling Matanda; and Pandi Heights 2 and 3 in Barangay Mapulang Lupa.
The Kadamay members were given seven days to vacate the housing units from the date the notices of eviction were served or they will be ejected.
Some illegal occupants said they are not honoring the eviction notices and will not vacate the units they have claimed.
Last Sunday, Kadamay members put up barricades and issued identification cards to distinguish them from infiltrators.
Gloria Arellano, Kadamay national president, said they will stay in the units, insisting that the urban poor have the right to free housing from the government.
Meanwhile, the NHA said it will exhaust all “legal and peaceful” means to proceed with the eviction of Kadamay members.
NHA General Manager Marcelino Escalada, in a statement, reiterated their agency will come up with housing programs and projects that will be able to meet Kadamay’s needs with necessary budget from the government in “2018 and beyond.”
The statement said 324 Kadamay members from more than 2,000 families had already signed up for the Housing Information Form and that dialogues between the agency and the militant group continues.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) released 2,100 family food packs last March 16 to 3,000 urban poor relocatees in Pandi, a move that was criticized by some who said the agency is tolerating the illegal occupants.
DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, however, said the urban poor in Pandi are “facing a crisis situation” and for her, whether their occupation of the housing projects was illegal is “not the immediate concern” of the department.
WITH A REPORT FROM DEMPSEY REYES