Ejercito appeals to Kadamay members to stop trespassing

Vivienne Gulla,, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 15 2018 12:43 AM

MANILA—Senator JV Ejercito on Thursday appealed to Kadamay members to wait for the passage of the measure seeking to address issues on housing projects, instead of trespassing.

The bill creating the Department of Housing is expected to be passed on its third reading by August, Ejercito said during a committee hearing.

“Hintayin na lang nila (they should just wait). We won’t only increase the production, but will also improve quality of projects. Lahat naman magkakaroon from government employees to informal settler families,” said Ejercito, who also chairs the Senate committee on housing.

The plea was made after members of the Kadamay local chapter Montalban Homeless Association trooped to the La Solidaridad-Avilon Zoo housing project on Wednesday supposedly to occupy idle housing units. They dispersed later in the afternoon.

Meanwhile, the government should hold liable those behind Kadamay’s takeover of the housing project for uniformed personnel in Rodriguez, Rizal, Ejercito said.

“That’s public disturbance and trespassing, dapat siguro talagang may kasuhan na,” he said. (That's public disturbance and trespassing. Somebody should be sued.)

The group said its members were only asserting their rights based on the Congressional Joint Resolution No. 2, signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last May, which allows the awarding of unoccupied housing units to other qualified beneficiaries.

But Ejercito clarified that the resolution authorized the National Housing Authority (NHA) to redistribute unoccupied housing units only to “qualified” beneficiaries, who are willing to pay amortization.

“Hindi pwedeng libre dahil it will be very unfair du'n sa ibang nabigyan ng pabahay na nagsisikap at nagtatrabaho para mahulugan ng P200, P300. It will be unfair na libre ang isang grupo. Wala ho dapat libre,” Ejercito said.

(It can't be free because it will be unfair to those recipients who are working hard to pay the amortization of P200, P300. It will be unfair if it's free for one group. Nothing should be free.) 

Kadamay members had previously occupied a government housing project intended for soldiers in Pandi, Bulacan, and the president allowed them to do so, noting it would be the last.

“Naawa si presidente noon. Kaya talagang binigay na lang. 'Yan ang worry namin. Baka akalain lahat pwedeng gawin 'yun. Sabi ko nga bad precedent. Pero naging maliwanag naman ang pangulo na 'yun lang ang ibibigay,” Ejercito said.