Malacañang on Tuesday remained mum on how it will act upon President Rodrigo Duterte's order to evict families who illegally occupied idle government housing units in Bulacan.
"Let us leave it to proper authorities," presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said when pressed for the government's plan against the illegal occupation.
Duterte earlier said that the protest dubbed as the "Occupy Pabahay" will not be tolerated, and warned that force may eventually be used to settle the dispute, but his official mouthpiece thought otherwise.
"The NHA (National Housing Authority) has exercised patience. Let us hope the Kadamay will be faithful to their contract. Let us not use force," Abella told reporters.
Duterte earlier said the incident has placed the government in an embarrassing position, which is why he will not think twice about using force to settle the issue even if it costs him his popularity.
“If you want to ignore the law, you cannot do that. I will the force the issue with eviction. Tutal, kung gusto man niyo, huwag mo lang akong ipalagay sa alanganin,” Duterte said.
The National Housing Authority (NHA) has since served about 600 eviction notices to Kadamay members who illegally took over several housing units in Pandi and in San Jose Del Monte City in Bulacan.
Data from Bulacan police show that Kadamay members have occupied a total of 5,107 housing units.
But Kadamay reiterated its call for the government to just give them the homes, which they said were unoccupied to begin with.