KABATAAN Party-list condemns the unjust and illegal arrest of urban poor citizens who attempted to “re-occupy” their land in Apollo Street, Tandang Sora, Quezon City, after being forcibly and unjustly evicted nine months ago.
Fifty-seven (57) members of the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (KADAMAY) were arrested are detained at the QCPD Headquarters in Camp Karingal yesterday. Of the 57, 16 are minors and 8 are senior citizens, according the Kabataan Party-list Rep. Sarah Elago.
“We vehemently condemn the use of fascist force on our fellow urban poor who merely wanted to get back to their homes. This after the QC government unjustly forced evicted them to give way to big businesses,” Elago said.
According to KADAMAY, the residents of Apollo were forcibly evicted by the QC government, despite the claimant losing in disputes and court cases over the said area. The place was even labeled as fire hazard, despite the non-occurrence of fires in the area, to justify the forced evictions.
“This shows how the government would easily prefer businesses over the poor’s livelihoods. Sobra-sobra na ang dahas ng kapulisan at estado sa ating mamamayan! Kung hindi papatayin at pararatangang nanlaban, palalayasin ng sapilitan sa mga bahay nila, o kaya’y bubulukin naman sa kulungan,” Elago exclaimed.
“We demand the immediate release and custody of the 57 KADAMAY members who were unjustly and illegally arrested. Homelessness and being poor is not a crime, it is the skewed priority of the government over business elites that is,” Elago said.
The youth party also calls on the Filipino youth and the poor to hold Duterte accountable for his lack of urgency in addressing the housing problem in the country. According the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), at least 4,209 families were forcefully evicted in Metro Manila alone during the Duterte administration’s first eight months.
“We hope that both parties tackle the housing question on the ongoing fourth round of the peace talks. Meanwhile, if Duterte insists on answering the urban poor’s just demands with silence or force, he should expect more occupations and reoccupations to happen, together with the solidarity and the rising resistance of the youth,” Elago concluded. ###