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Duterte says Kadamay being used for 'anarchical' activities

Informal settlers fetch water from a busted pipe as they continue to occupy a mass housing project for police for almost a month now in Pandi township, Bulacan province, about 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of Manila, Philippines Wednesday, April 5, 2017. AP/Bullit Marquez

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday accused members of urban poor group Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) of involvement in "anarchical activities" as he vowed to prevent any effort to occupy other government housing projects.

Speaking to troopers of the Western Command in Palawan, Duterte reiterated his call for soldiers and policemen to let go of the housing units illegally occupied by Kadamay to avoid violent confrontations.

"I would want to make first the report that your housing units were seized by poor people like us. But those are the guys used by the Left and they are into such anarchical activities and I cannot force them to leave because some of the awardees (of housing units) were policemen and soldiers," Duterte said.

The accusation was despite having earlier allowed the settlers to have the housing units. Kadamay argued that the units remained unoccupied due to inefficient government processing.

"I said if this thing continue and the soldiers and policemen stop them, some people may get killed. So I urge you as your president, let's just give it to them, to the Kadamay. And do not worry because I will build you a better one," he added.

Better housing for troops, cops

Duterte said the houses to be provided to soldiers and policemen would have access to electricity and water, utilities that he said are lacking in the houses seized by the urban poor group.

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"Do not feel bad. After all, the houses were given to our fellow Filipinos who are also poor. That is your consolation. But it doesn't mean to say that the government, I, have forgotten you," the president said.

"You will have new, better houses. The faucets have water and you have electricity…Hayaan mo iyong mga gago…nang-aagaw, kandila lang iyong kanila (Just let those fools be, those who seize houses. They only have candles)," he added.

Kadamay members forcibly occupied close to 6,000 housing units in Bulacan last month as they decried the alleged failure of the government to implement an effective housing program for the poor. Members of the group said they only occupied houses that have remained idle for five years.

Duterte vowed to make sure that Kadamay would not be able to occupy other housing projects. 

"Anarchy? Hanggang diyan lang 'yan sa Bulacan (It will only happen in Bulacan)," Duterte said.

Informal settlers continue to occupy a mass housing project for police for almost a month now in Pandi township, Bulacan province, about 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of Manila, Philippines Wednesday, April 5, 2017. AP/Bullit Marquez

"They won't be able to repeat it next time. I will build houses…and I will have them guarded with five M60 (machine gun) and bazooka. Unang entrada pa lang bitawan mo na (we will use them upon their first entry)," he said in jest.

New pistols

In the same speech, Duterte said he would buy 30,000 Glock 30 caliber .45 pistols to bolster soldiers' "sense of security and vigilance." He said the pistols may be delivered within the year.

He reiterated his advice for soldiers not to allow themselves to be captured by enemies.

"Mag-surrender ka, bababuyin ka lang, gawain kang t******** (If you surrender, they will dishonor you, turn you into fools)… or you'll be treated like a pig only to be executed just like the Marine before," Duterte said.

"Kasi 'pagka nagkaubusan na ng tropa pati bala, ilagay mo na lang 'yan sa ulo, tapos ganonin mo 'yung kalaban mo. F*** you… (If you run out of troops or bullets, just point the gun at your head, tell your enemy 'f*** you') You might as well die with dignity."

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