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‘Let us in!’

by Jullie Y. Daza

It’s been a colossal failure that was decades in the making. Like the traffic crises and the transportation disasters that didn’t happen overnight, the spectacle of Kadamay’s “occupy” movement was a slow burn that grew into a bonfire. Threatening to disrupt the public housing system, not to mention the overturning of the principle of legal over illegal, it’s no longer just a housing problem, it’s now a matter of upholding justice and fairness, and defending the right of every citizen, not only Kadamay, to shelter, life, liberty, happiness.

And yet how does one sympathize with a group of 5,000 families after they have effectively deprived other, equally deprived citizens of their rightful homes, now and in the near future? A few days after the invasion of a project in Pandi, Bulacan, Sen. JV Ejercito recounted how Kadamay occupiers were sent food packs by DSWD, something the original tenants had never experienced for themselves. They blocked the gates, disallowing even the barangay captain to enter and talk to them. They argued against paying R200 a month, prompting the senator to wring his hands and report, “Now the pioneers are warning us that they will stop paying also.” What’s to stop other groups from knocking on the door of NHA and shouting from their (nonexistent) rooftops, “Let us in!”?

The fever’s spreading, but being the dutiful soldiers that they are, AFP personnel who lost their unused (unusable?) units to Kadamay have not uttered a word of hurt or protest since their Commander-in-Chief said it was only prudent to let Kadamay have their way while the men in uniform wait for better facilities.

JV said it is imperative that the Senate and House prod NHA to award, pronto, still unoccupied houses to soldiers, policemen, teachers, and other public servants. Imagine if our army of government workers were already in the thick of plotting a reprise of Kadamay! By the way, a little research on “damay” as the root of “kadamay”shows that it means “sympathy” in English. You have to hand it to Kadamay: Their p.r. is as sharp as their homing instincts.