Kadamay: NHA framed us in Pandi unit sale

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 2) — It was the National Housing Authority (NHA) who supposedly framed a member of Kadamay into selling an unoccupied unit, the urban poor organization said Friday.

Kadamay members began residing without authorization in unoccupied government housing units in Pandi, Bulacan last year. In April 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte allowed them to live in the houses, which were originally built for police and military personnel.

But the NHA alleged Kadamay was renting out their units as seen in a Facebook video post on January 29.

The man in the video, Jerry Lavado, explained he was not selling his unit, but helping a neighbor who needed money to pay for his son's hospital bills.

This is why they pawned an idle housing unit nearby to a buyer named Leo Bautista, who no longer surfaced after giving them the down payment.

Lavado apologized, but he also said the NHA, through Bautista, set him up to make Kadamay look bad.

"Hindi po namin alam na yung Leo Bautista na nagbigay sa amin ng pera eh isa lang pong pain, hindi po namin alam na ganito ang mangyayari," he said. "Naframe up lang kami ng NHA."

[We didn't know this Leo Bautista who gave us money was just bait. We didn't think this would happen. NHA framed us.]

Palace: Unfair for Kadamay to accuse gov't

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Saturday called it "grossly unfair" for any Kadamay member to accuse the government of setting them up.

"I don't think it is the President's intention to evict them because he has in fact given them title to their homes already," Roque told CNN Philippines' Newsroom Weekend.

Lavado has claimed it was the NHA who framed them up.

The NHA has yet to respond to the allegations.

Roque is, however, convinced Lavado is guilty of selling his unit, "regardless of the justification."

"To me the statement of the person caught on video confirms that he pawned the house. It's very clear he attempted to sell the house as well," he said.

He said those found to be selling their housing units will be evicted.

"I think they will be deprived of their individual units but there will be no public condemnation (over the supposed sale) as far as the rest of the Kadamay members are concerned," he said.

Related: Malacañang to study actions on alleged sale of Pandi units by Kadamay

He added, Kadamay members should not make profit from the houses given to them by the President.

The group on Tuesday said selling units was prohibited and they would take measures to prevent such transactions.

Kadamay Chairperson Gloria Arellano said Lavado will face disciplinary action.

Kadamay decries harassment

Tension was evident in the community as a Kadamay officer followed the CNN Philippines crew when they took shots of the community. They said this was to prevent authorities from harassing them or maligning their name.

"Minsan nahaharass po kami... lalo po yung mga ano ng gobyerno na tinatakot, panggigipit po dito," said Pat Tupaz, Chairperson of Kadamay's Pandi, Bulacan chapter. "Kaya po para hindi matrauma ang mga tao kung bakit namin hinihigpitan."

[We're sometimes harassed... especially by those from government who scare us here. That's why we're tightening security so people don't get traumatized.]

Arellano also slammed the government for manufacturing allegations as part of a plan to evict them in favor of beneficiaries from the police and military forces.

"Alam ho natin gumagawa ng paraan ang gobyernong ito dahil alam ho natin benggador ho ang pangulo natin ngayon," Arellano said.

"Hanggang sa kasalukuyan, wala man lang naitutulong ang gobyerno sa mga maralitang tulad namin lalo na dito sa relokasyon," she added.

[Translation: We know the government is making a way, because we now our President is vengeful... They still haven't done anything for the poor here in the relocation site.]

Roque on Saturday hit Kadamay for saying the government is not helping them.

"Binigyan na nga sila ng libreng pabahay wala pa bang tulong yun, wag naman tayong ingrato (They were already given free housing, isn't that considered help? Let us not be ingrates)," he said.