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'Invaders' of gov't housing units in Bulacan vow to defy NHA's notice of eviction

PANDI, Bulacan — Hundreds of militants belonging to the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) urban poor group on Monday braved the heat of the noon day sun as they fortified their crude barricade and vowed not to leave the place which they have occupied since March 8, even if the National Housing Authority (NHA) or any government agencies serves the "notice of eviction."
The only entrance to the housing unit in Atlantic Village, which is adjacent to the also occupied NHA Village Heights 2 in Barangay Mapulang Lupa here, is a small opening at the barricade made up of steel bars, wooden planks and the hundreds of ID-wearing Kadamay members who formed the security of the urban poor group.
Norman dela Cruz, who claimed to be one of the security details at the Atlantic resettlement area where 1,200 housing units have been occupied since March 8, said their leaders headed by Gloria Arellano, Kadamay national chairperson, and Carlito Badion, Kadamay secretary general , are having a meeting on Monday with officials of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and instructed them not to let anybody in except Kadamay members.
However, before 2 p. m. Monday, dela Cruz and other members have allowed a 10-member team from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), inside the barricaded Atlantic resettlement site.
"They are helping us. They are giving us relief goods, water and medicines," dela Cruz explained.
A member of the DSWD, who requested not to be named, said they are there to assist the "invaders" because of their poor and unsanitary living condition at the occupied government housing units.
Dela Cruz said their group, together with others who barged inside NHA housing units in Villa Elise in Barangay Masuso, Villa Louise in Barangay Cacarong Matanda and Padre Pio in Cacarong Bata and some units in San Jose Heights in City of San Jose del Monte last March 8, will fight for their rights to have their own houses from the government.
Meanwhile, at the government resettlement site in Villa Elise in Barangay Masuso, the situation is quite peaceful despite the presence of bullet-proof clad and heavily armed policemen in the area.
Unlike in Atlantic Village and NHA Village Heights II in Barangay Mapulang Lupa, there are no barricades in the occupied parts of Villa Elise.
According to Marissa Palomeno, the Kadamay leader in Villa Elise, said they know that the notice of eviction will be served to them anytime Monday by NHA officials but they did not put up any barricades because they do not want trouble to erupt.
"Our sole desire is the housing and not to get into trouble. It is our right to have our own house under the program of the government and we have gone through the process for a long time but we are being ignored," she said.
She added that the government must not punish them because they only wanted to have their own home.
At the moment, at least 275 Kadamay members have occupied the still "idle" government housing units in Villa Elise.
Senior Inspector Michael Bernardo, deputy police chief of Pandi police station, said that they were positioned at Villa Elise to protect and secure officials of the NHA who were scheduled to serve the notice of eviction Monday.
As of 3:30 p.m. Monday, no notice of eviction has been served. (PNA)
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Last Modified: 2017-Mar-21 14.00.02 UTC+0800