Duterte orders PNP to block all Kadamay housing takeover – Roque

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 14) — President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the police to stop all attempts of urban poor group Kadamay to take over the housing units intended for them.

"Given this latest attempt, the President has given directives to the police that Kadamay should not be allowed to takeover these housing units," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in his regular media briefing noon Thursday.

"I will give you until noon tomorrow, umalis kayo (leave) and I will order the Special Action Force (SAF) to go in," Duterte said to Kadamay during a speech delivered to newly elected barangay officials of Region IV-A Thursday afternoon.

The President added that the police should not hesitate to kill if it means implementing the law.

"Kung kailangan pumatay kayo para i-implement ang legal na regulasyon, gawin ninyo," Duterte said.

[Translation: If you need to kill to implement the law, then do it.]

Duterte, during his speech added that there is only one instance when killing is justified: "If your life is placed in danger at baka ikaw ang maunahan [and they might kill you first]."

CNN Philippines can not confirm if Kadamay members are still occupying said police housing.

Around 700 members of the Montalban Homeless Association (MHA), a local chapter of the militant Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay), stormed the La Solidaridad-Avilon Zoo housing project in Rodriguez, Rizal on Wednesday. Kadamay said these PNP housing sites are idle and should be given to homeless people so they don't go to waste.

Kadamay, in a statement on Thursday said the government has to address the issue of unoccupied housing units that reach over 114,000 units.

"At the heart of the issue is still the persistence of idle housing and all that comes with it. Contractors that have not been put to justice along with the NHA officials that allowed for this to happen. Significant changes to the policies of the housing sector that would swiftly rectify this among others," it said.

According to Kadamay, there is still 114,409 idle housing units based on the latest report of the Commission on Audit, contrary to the 55,000 units floated by the NHA.

Roque also said Duterte will talk to the National Housing Authority (NHA) to ask why the housing units remain idle.

He reiterated Duterte earlier allowed Kadamay to occupy government housing projects intended for soldiers in Pandi, Bulacan, but the president said it will be the first and last.

The warning has been given by the president, "Nagbigay na ako noong minsan, that will be the last and they cannot take the law into their own hands,'" he said.

In April, Duterte asked soldiers and policemen to give up their houses in a resettlement area in Pandi, Bulacan to give way to members of Kadamay. Duterte said he will build bigger and better houses with water and power supply near the Pandi resettlement area.

About 24,000 Kadamay members have occupied around 5,740 vacant units in six project sites since March 8.