‘Land grabber’ tag hurts Kadamay members
PANDI, Bulacan — It hurts to be called a land grabber, members of the urban poor group Kadamay, said on Tuesday.
“Tinatawag kaming magnanakaw. Masakit na matawag ka na magnanakaw,” Marilou Francisco, an occupant at Pandi Heights project, told reporters during a joint ocular inspection conducted by the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, chair of the Senate committee on urban planning, housing, and resettlement, and his counterpart in the House of Representatives, Negros Occidental Representative Alfred Benitez, led the inspection of the government’s housing projects for military and police personnel in this province.
“Marami po, marami pong tumatawag sa amin (na magnanakaw),” Francisco, and three other female members of Kadamay said in unison.
One of the women, Teresita Abiles, recalled an incident where they were heckled after learning they belong to the group.
“Kumuha daw sila ng postal ID, sinabihan daw sila, ano sa Kadamay na naman? Nag react ako, bakit wala namang postal ID na ni-require sa Kadamay,” Abiles said.
“Bakit galit kayo sa Kadamay? Mga kadamay mang-aagaw ng bahay. Yun ang sabi,” she said.
Asked if they got in a fight for being called land grabbers, Francisco said: “Hindi naman away ang hanap namin e, bahay.”
Contrary to what other people think, Abiles said getting a home for their family did not come easy for them.
“Dami naming pinaghirapan. Doon kami natulog sa NHA (National Housing Authority) dalawang gabi. Naglakad kami galing Litex papunta ng NHA,” she said.
Abiles said they decided to occupy the government projects because their call for help to have an affordable house had been taking so long.
So they took it as an opportunity when Kadamay asked them if they wanted to occupy the Pandi housing units./ac