Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) Metro Manila protested on Thursday in front of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) head office in Quezon City to condemn the order of clearing operations.
The group pointed out that the DILG Memorandum Circular 2019-121 and President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to clear sidewalks are attacks against their homes and livelihoods.
“Ang DILG memorandum na ito ay siyang nagsusupil pa lalo sa karapatan ng mga maliliit na manininda para mabuhay ang kanilang mga pamilya. Mula nang maipatupad ito, sa pamamagitan ng utos ni Duterte na linisin ang mga kalsada, linisin ang mga manininda doon sa kanilang mga pinagkakabuhayan, napakarami nang manininda, maralita ang nawalan ng hanapbuhay. At ang pag-alis sa kanilang hanabuhay ay isang klase ng pagpatay sa mga maralita, pagpatay sa mga manininda at pagpatay sa kanilang mga pamilya,” said Maristel Garcia, Kadamay Metro Manila Chairperson.
[This DILG memorandum curtails the rights of small vendors to provide a living for their families. Since this has been carried out through Duterte’s directives to clear the roads, and steer the vendors away from their livelihood, a lot of vendors and urban poor have lost their livelihood. Taking away their livelihood is a dform of killing the urban poor, killing the vendors and their families.]
The DILG Memorandum Circular 2019-121signed by Secretary Eduardo Año came from a directive from President Rodrigo Duterte during his 4thState of the Nation Address.
The order entails clearing of roads of illegal structures and constructions. In the said memorandum, all provincial, city, and municipal mayors, punong barangays, heads of local sanggunians, DILG regional directors and all concerned need to achieve, document and report significant results within 60 calendar days from the July 29 order. It also encouraged concerned government officials “to develop and implement strategies that will address the displacement issued caused by the implementation of this directive.”
The urban poor group also pointed out that this memorandum is being used to clear houses of the poor. They said that in some cases, the clearing operations were being used to justify and legitimize demolition plans of the government.
“Hanggat hindi tayo nagtatagumpay ay patuloy nating kukundenahin ang anti-mamamayan na polisiya na pinapatupad na lalong lalo na sa ating mga mahihirap na siya lamang kaya ng DILG,” Garcia ended.
[Until the time comes that we have triumphed in our cause, we shall continue to condemn these anti-people policies being implemented especially for us poor people that the DILG is keen to pick on.]
They were joined by members of Bagong Alyansa Makabayan Metro Manila, Kilusang Mayo Uno Metro Manila, and Anakbayan Metro Manila.