“We are but ants to these businessmen, ants they can crush,” Tatay Ricky would later on tell me of their struggle for their homes. “The government should be focusing on us.”
At a time when Filipino families are being told to stay at home, urban poor families in Intramuros said they have not received any relocation program at all. Residents also lamented that the Manila police has been assisting the private company in carrying out the demolition.
With the Philippine government set to provide the next wave of aid for pandemic-hit Filipinos, residents of urban poor community Payatas in Quezon City said they received none since March.
Kadamay stated that the four were forced to sign a form “voluntarily waiving their rights under Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code,” as well as having a “gag order” placed on them, preventing them from talking to anyone, including their families.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said that the raid is just ‘a preview’ of future abuses that can be done under the Anti-Terrorism Law of 2020.
“Basta aksyon, Bad yon” tawa naming lahat. Siguro nga, kung si Ka Bea, bilang chairperson ang ‘nanay’ ng organisasyon, si Ka Inday iyung tita mong makulit, si Karlets naman ang inabutan kong tito na ‘bad boy’ ng kilusan ng maralitang lungsod. Hindi dahil pasaway siya o mahirap pakisamahan, pero dahil may taglay lang siyang swabeng angas na maganda kasama mapakwentuhan, sa init ng pagtuligsa sa bulok na gobyerno, at syempre sa pagharap sa masa.
“Badion championed the cause of the homeless and the informally settled. He was instrumental in Kadamay’s housing occupation campaigns and community barricades against demolition.”
Letter to the Editor April 4, 2020 Much as we thank our friends in the media for highlighting the reality of uncertainty, some suggestions should be made in reporting the plight of the urban poor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Feel-good stories that highlight resiliency help sell more papers, provide higher broadcast ratings and generate more…
“The people are getting hungry. The answer to their fervent wish is simple. And yet they were violently dispersed and arrested all because this gathering is prohibited?”
“They have long been trying to divide our ranks and our unity in our struggle. They (pro-government forces) have been convincing our members to leave Kadamay.”
Kadamay called for a dialogue with Domagoso and the vendors association in the city.