Urban poor community in Mandaue City fights harassment

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Nagkahiusang Kabus nga taga Dakbayan sa Mandaue (The NAKADAMA) condemned state forces for putting up posters declaring national-democratic organizations as “terrorists.” The posters were pasted around the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC). These posters maliciously implicated Kadamay, PISTON, Anakbayan, BAYAN, and AMA Sugbo-KMU in the armed movement.

“It is not new in Mandaue City, especially in the poor communities within the CICC, that residents are intimidated to prevent them from organizing and collectively resisting the demolition and inhumane eviction in accordance with Mandaue City LGU’s plan to build a One Stop Shop Center (in the area),” according to NAKADAMA in a May 3 statement.

It said that 14th CMO Battalion soldiers and NTF-Elcac have been present in the community throughout the month of April to profile the residents. State forces specifically targeted the Tipolo Residents’ Association (TRA) which was set up under the Panaghugpong Kadamay.

“[They] repeatedly went to the houses of old and new members to get information related to the organizers, forcing them to get “clearance” so that (allegedly) it would not be difficult for them to find a job and for their children to go to school,” the group stated. The soldiers even closed some gates of the CICC to monitor the people passing through the community.

The group condemned the city’s mayor, Jonas Cortes, who is conspiring with the NTF-Elcac to suppress the residents’ legitimate grievances against his administration’s neglect of housing services.

Among others, the group condemned the expensive and anti-poor housing built by the local government for the victims of fire at CICC in 2019. They said the “on-site” housing was deliberately priced beyond the reach of residents to force them to leave and grant the units to those who can afford it.

“This is proof that the orientation of ‘on-site development’ is not housing, but commercialization, which the local government is desperately pushing through,” it said.

AB: Urban poor community in Mandaue City fights harassment