No NPA units near Pandi occupation, misleading news should not be used to deploy more troops
KADAMAY welcomes house probe into occupation.
Reference: Michael Beltran 09554571061, Carlito Badion, Secretary General - 09283508777
Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap assailed the news reports which alleged NPA presence guarding the occupation and threatening violence. The urban poor group says the spread of this malicious news can be used as a justification to increase the military and police presence around the occupied areas. This would not be the first time, corrupt authorities have used or even posed as rebels for their own agenda.
Progressive groups say that the even in past administrations, the pretend presence of rebels has been used for red tagging, human rights violations and greater militarization of poor communities. The Communist Party of the Philippines has already publicly come out by categorically denying the presence of NPA units in or around the area.
“Spreading misinformation, fear and panic is preparation for more repressive measures against the occupation. We hope it does not come to that despite the Presidents inclination to do so. The occupation is just and highlights a crises experienced by the poor, hungry and homeless. Instead of gearing up for war and fascism, the government must look into the failures of its own policies. Socialized housing is worsening the housing question. Forcing people to pay even without hardly any income is ridiculous,” said Carlito Badion, KADAMAY Secretary General.
KADAMAY welcomed the move by Rep. Albee Benitez in seeking a probe into the housing situation of resettlement sites. “We agree that there is an urgent need to look into the housing problem for the poor. This should be extended to all urban poor Filipinos, resettlement sites and informal settlements nationwide. The question of housing is not only about the number of idle homes but why the setup for shelter in the country is inherently inaccessible to the poorest sections of the country,” said Badion.
“The probe should help outline a solution for the demands of the poor for free and mass housing. At the moment, the NHA is justifying the eviction by pitting the poor against each other. Paano raw iyung mga galing danger zones? In fact, much of the 'relocation' done the results in violent demolitions, urban poor Filipinos having to pay for dire conditions in resettlement sites while Public-private partnerships benefit. Never has the NHA or the national government taken the path towards on-site development and mass housing/recognition of housing rights.” stressed Badion.
KADAMAY cited on case study they came across. Out of 54 families relocated to four resettlement sites in Bulacan last 2013, only 20 families were able to stay until 2016. Most had sold, pawned, rented their units due to the high costs and some had just gone absent leaving the units idle.