Fed up of being used and manipulated, around 300 Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap or Kadamay members have called it quits, bringing into the open alleged corrupt practices of the pro-urban poor organization.
In a fit of anger, the former members, who occupy a government housing project in Pandi, Bulacan, threw their Kadamay identification cards to the ground, stomping them while chanting President Duterte’s name.
“Nagkakaisa po kami rito dahil sa mga panloloko ng mga Kadamay na yan,” said Bueno Cayman, one of the leaders of the group that broke away from Kadamay.
The splinter group said they have had enough of being forced to join protest actions which were mostly aimed at Duterte.
But the worst part, they claimed, Kadamay had turned them into milking cows.
“Yung sinisingil po kami ng 150, 200, 300, makapag rally lang po. Hindi libre, kami pa po ang nagbabayad nun,” Jeffrey Ariz told GMA News.
Ariz, who also leads the breakaway faction, alleged that shelling out money for what they call as “lakbayin” or rally wasn’t voluntary. It’s either you cough up or face the specter of threats and harassment from Kadamay officials and their henchmen, he said.
Some were told to just simply pay up. “Minsan sinasabi ‘wag na kayo sumali sa rally magbigay na lang kayo ng 300,” said Julieta Dela Cruz.
A former Kadamay member, who requested anonymity, divulged that he got the unit he now occupies after giving in to the monetary demand of a Kadamay official whose name he didn’t mention.
At the onset of Kadamay’s takeover in Pandi, Bulacan in May 2017, he was asked to produce P15,000 in exchange for a guaranteed slot in a vacant housing project. After bargaining, it was reduced to P10,000. A final deal was made, he would pay P7,000 and settle the P3,000 balance later.
“Ang palabas nyan, sir, bayad para sa “lakbayin” pero hindi totally “lakbayin,” binibenta po sa amin yun,sir, he said.
Charlene Andesa couldn’t hold back her tears as she spoke to GMA News. She was also promised a housing unit. But up to now that remains just that.
“Nagbigay po ako ng isang buong baboy po. Hangggang ngayon wala pa po akong bahay. Pinapangakuan lang po ako,” she said crying.
But the Kadamay Pandi, Bulacan Chapter has shrugged off the apparent exodus, denying the corruption allegations.
“Voluntary po ang paghingi ng suporta para sa mga “lakbayin,” said Pat Tupas, chairperson of Kadamay Pandi, Bulacan.
He turned the tables on one of the leaders of the breakaway group, claiming that Ariz was first stripped of authority as Kadamay official after he was caught acting as an “agent” in the illegal sale of vacant housing units in Pandi.
Tupas said “hindi tinotolerate ng organisasyong Kadamay ang ganitong mga taong nagtitiwalag at nilalabag ang batas.”
Ariz belied the allegation, promising to expose other wrongdoings being perpetrated by Kadamay. — RSJ, GMA News