Duterte lets Kadamay have Bulacan homes

Ivy Jean Vibar, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 04 2017 05:12 PM | Updated as of Apr 10 2017 05:25 PM

MANILA – Members of the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) may now live in homes they occupied in Bulacan, as long as they do not oust police officers and soldiers currently occupying houses there, President Rodrigo Duterte announced Tuesday. 

It was not the fault of illegal settlers that they are poor, Duterte said, and asked soldiers and police officers to let over 5,000 units in 6 housing projects in Bulacan go because he already asked the National Housing Authority (NHA) to build “better” residences for them by December.

“I have asked the NHA to look for suitable land. Papalitan ko na lang iyan in equal numbers. Huwag na lang natin guluhin mga tao diyan kasi lumalaban sila. Ang only sin [nila], mahirap sila kagaya natin. Bibigyan ko kayo ng mas maganda, mas konting mahal, mas komportable, at mas malaki,” Duterte said in a speech during the Philippine Army's 120th Founding Anniversary in Fort Bonifacio.

Members of the Armed Forces and the police who occupy homes in Bulacan will be transferred to new homes once the NHA completes them, the president said.

"Ang mga Kadamay diyan, huwag ninyong galawin ang mga sundalo at mga pulis...do not create trouble, avoid chaos, and we will try to solve what ails this country," he said.

In March, members of the Kadamay group occupied houses intended for NHA beneficiaries in a protest dubbed "Occupy Pabahay," to compel government to address housing problems in the country.

Duterte earlier said the government won't tolerate Occupy Pabahay, as it placed officials in an embarrassing situation. He even warned illegal occupants that the government might eventually use force to move them out of the property. 

But the NHA in March halted the eviction of Kadamay members from the homes in Bulacan, following a 3-hour dialogue with Kadamay leaders and members of the Makabayan bloc.