Pandi, Bulacan: Some 600 militants on Saturday morning staged a people’s caravan of 40 passenger jeepneys and stormed one of the occupied housing units of the National Housing Authority (NHA) in Barangay Mapulang Lupa here as a show of support to the urban poor who forcibly occupied various shelter projects in the municipality.
The militant groups composed of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), Akbayan, Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Anak Pawis and Kabataan Partylist took turns assailing government housing programs and vowed to support members of the leftist group Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) who have been occupying at least 6,000 “idle” housing units in different resettlement areas here since March 8.
The five housing projects forcibly occupied by Kadamay were Villa Elise in Barangay Masuso; Villa Lois in Barangay Siling Bata; NHA Village Heights 2; Pandi Resident 3 in Barangay Mapulang Lupa, Padre Pio Housing Project and Pandi Heights I in Barangay Cacarong Bata.
Rep. Sarah Elago of the Kabataan Partylist said their group and four other partylist organizations belonging to the Makabayan Block already filed a resolution in Congress aiming to investigate the idle housing projects of the government.
“The poor has the right to proper shelter and public funds intended for the poor should go to the poor, but unfortunately it will only be heard after the session break,” she said.
Elago added it is high time to probe the incidents so that it will not have spill-over effects in other provinces where NHA housing units are located.
She added that NHA should speed up the processing of papers for the poor since many of them have no means to follow up the requirements. She said President Duterte himself does not want people lining up in government offices.
Rep. Antonio Tinio of ACT Partylist said t the police and military should not be allowed in the community and diverted his speech to the alleged offensive moves of the government against communist insurgents.
Asked for their action when the NHA serves the notice of eviction on Monday, Carlito Badioc, Kadamay secretary general, said their group will not leave the occupied housing units and will continue to fight for the right of the poor to have their own dwelling place.
He said Kadamay is willing to provide the masterlist of the group who took over the NHA housing units but NHA officials refused to accept it.
“What they want is we leave the houses we occupied first before they start processing our papers. We want them to remove the police from the area, remove the food blockade and provide electricity, water and other basic needs in the housing sites,” Badioc said.
The NHA explained that the units Kadamay occupied have already been awarded to the Philippine National Police housing board while the other units have been awarded to informal settlers whose houses have been demolished and families who where relocated from geological hazard zones.
The NHA also issued statements they are following instructions of the President who ordered them to provide adequate living conditions for the people by providing them with water and electric supply.
It was learned that the Kadamay and Makabayan Block will visit one after another all the six NHA housing projects to stage a rally.