Urban poor group Kadamay launched a campout to protest attacks on their communities and members at the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Thursday, January 23.
“Mapanganib ang buhay ng mahihirap sa ilalim ni Duterte, kami’y sinasabing mga terorista pero kinakatwiran lamang ito ng mga awtoridad para itulak ang mga atake at demolisyon sa maraming komunidad sa buong bansa,” Kadamay chairperson Gloria “Ka Bea” Arellano said.
CHR chairperson Chito Gascon welcomed members of the group Kadamay and joined them in a boodle fight.
Kadamay said that widespread demolitions and displacement due to the government’s aggressive infrastructure campaign “Build Build Build” is one of the reasons for attacks against the civil liberties of the poor.
The camp, supported by the CHR and the University of the Philippines, is intended to serve as a sanctuary for urban poor Filipinos whose lives are in danger for opposing the unjust policies of the regime.
Kadamay decried the harassment, assaults, fake charges, wrongful arrests, violence and extortion of fake surrenderees by law enforcement.
Other attacks have been tallied in communities across the nation. In Navotas, Kadamay said its members are routinely hounded by personnel of the Philippine Navy. Leaders and members are also charged with bogus criminal cases.
In Bulacan, Kadamay said two of urban poor organizers are detained on fabricated charges. They have also masterminded the creation of alternate groups dubbed “pro-government’ to combat Kadamay and spread violence in Pandi, Bulacan.
“Palibhasa sa taong 2019 at lalo sa 2020, malawakang ipapatupad ang maraming demolisyon para sa BBB. Hindi naman nireresolba ang matinding kawalan ng tahanan sa ating bayan, pararamihin pa ang homeless, inaatake pa sila ng mga pulis at sundalo. Kaya kami naglunsad ng kampuhan upang isiwalat ang katotohanang ito sa mamamayan. Hindi kaunlaran ang dulot ng BBB, ibayong kahirapan at homelessness ang epekto,” explained Arellano.
Around 506, 495 will be displaced from 15 (out of 100) of the flagship projects under the BBB, Kadamay said.
The group also disputed the fact that the government will be able to provide relocation for all the displaced. In the last five years, only 58% of whole target of homes for Yolanda victims was made. In addition, the housing budget has plummeted under Duterte, with a 76% reduction.
Kadamay called to resolve the homeless crisis, not aggravate it. “Karapatan ang paninirahan, ibig sabihin, dapat responsibilidad ng pamahalaan na harapin at resolbahin ito.”
“Ang kailangan ng maralita at homeless, disente, abot-kaya at pangmasang pabahay. Lilikha ito ng trabaho, paninirahan at ganansya para sa buong ekonomiya. At imbes na gibain ang mga komunidad, paunlarin. Tanging mga malalaking negosyante at mga kapitalista ng China ang makikinabang sa mga proyekto ng BBB,” said Arellano. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)