Trillanes seeks probe of Kadamay housing 'takeover'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 24 2017 08:20 PM

MANILA - Sen. Antonio Trillanes on Monday moved for an investigation into the security repercussions of a left-linked urban poor group's recent takeover of housing units in Pandi, Bulacan. 

Trillanes filed a resolution seeking an inquiry on Kadamay's "illegal occupation" of the housing units intended for military and police personnel, and the implications of the said takeover on national security, a press release from his office said Sunday.

He also tagged several administration officials as communists.

"Aside from setting a bad and dangerous precedent, the decision to allow the members of Kadamay to occupy an entire community has national security implications since intelligence reports suggest that Kadamay is a front organization of the communist groups," said Trillanes, former military officer.

The Senate Committee on Urban Planning, Housing, and Resettlement had earlier initiated an investigation into the housing takeover. Committee chair Sen. JV Ejercito described as "unfair" the grant of free housing for Kadamay after it took over unoccupied units meant for police officers and soldiers. 

[UNFAIR: http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/04/18/17/free-housing-for-kadamay-unfair-says-jv]

Members of Kadamay occupied houses intended for National Housing Authority (NHA) beneficiaries in a protest dubbed "Occupy Pabahay," a move meant to compel government to address housing problems in the country.

President Rodrigo Duterte in April then said he would allow the turnover of housing units to Kadamay members after their takeover. 

[embed link in 'allow': http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/04/04/17/duterte-lets-kadamay-have-bulacan-homes]

Trillanes identified three government officials, who he said "are involved with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)" according to information he has received.

Among them are Secretary to the Cabinet Leoncio Evasco Jr., NHA General Manager Marcelino P. Escalada Jr., and Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor Chairman James Mark Terry Ridon.

"If said reports are true, the wholesale takeover of several communities by Kadamay may mean the creation of sanctuaries for communist groups in Bulacan, which is strategically located near the National Capital Region," he said.

According to Trillanes, Evasco, who sits as chairperson of Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), is allegedly a member of the CPP and was elected as CPP Central Committee member in the Central Committee Plenum in 1981. 

Escalada meanwhile, was supposedly a "CPP full member," and Ridon was elected as CPP Central Committee Member in the Central Committee Plenum in 2012.

"There is an immediate need to look into and to conduct an in-depth investigation on this illegal occupation, particularly on its procedural and security repercussions," Trillanes said further in his resolution.

"We need to enact a remedial legislation to ensure that use of force and violence is not resorted to in the future by groups seeking housing assistance from the government," he added.