Kadamay turns tables on former members
PANDI, Bulacan — Members of Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) staged on Monday their own march against a breakaway group that had accused them of being a communist front.
Kadamay was the urban poor group which led in March last year about 8,000 families in taking over 6,000 idle low-cost houses in Bulacan province that were meant for soldiers, policemen, firemen and jail personnel.
Gloria Arellano, Kadamay chair, and Patricio Tupaz, Kadamay leader in Pandi, led the march of 200 members near the government housing sites in Atlantica and Pandi Residence 3 in Barangay Mapulang Lupa.
In her talk with the marchers, Arellano accused President Rodrigo Duterte of turning his back on the urban poor.
The President had initially urged the beneficiaries of the units forcibly taken by poor families to drop their claims and avoid a bloodbath should the government enforce their eviction.
But on Sunday night in Davao City, the President said he would order the police to shoot Kadamay members who would force any new takeover of government houses.
Earlier, former Kadamay families led by Jeffrey Ariz assembled at a park here and burned a cardboard coffin labeled as “CPP-NPA” (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army) as they accused their former group of links with the communists.
Arellano said the breakaway group has started to act as “goons of the Duterte administration.”
She also said the President should “make up his mind” on his issues with the urban poor and farmers.
Addressing the President, Arellano said: “Whether communist or not, the point is that millions of farmers and urban poor are in peril because of policies that you yourself have put in place.”
“Philippine independence? But your administration coddles Chinese and American foreign interests over our own. Combat corruption? But your agencies and the police are doing the opposite,” she said. —Carmela Reyes-Estrope
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