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Taguiwalo appeals for release of detained elderly Kadamay members

FREE THE ELDERLY. DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo calls on Quezon City authorities to release the detained senior citizens who are among those arrested in a movement organized by Kadamay.

MANILA, Philippines – Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy Taguiwalo called on the authorities to release the 8 elderly members of Kadamay who were arrested for re-occupying a site in Quezon City from which they were earlier evicted.

“We appeal to the local government officials of Quezon City and the court authorities, who are now handling the case of the senior citizens and their neighbors, to release the 8 seniors,” Taguiwalo said in a statement Wednesday, April 5.

On Monday, April 3, some 80 members of Kadamay were arrested in Barangay Apollo, Tandang Sora, after they occupied the housing area that was demolished last year before President Rodrigo Duterte took his oath.

Kadamay chairperson Gloria Arellano said that the area was occupied because no development had been done in the area since their shanties were demolished 9 months ago.

The following are the seniors currently in detention in Camp Karingal:

Of the 57 detained, 41 are now facing charges of trespassing and coercion. 

The social welfare secretary acknowledged that housing is not part of her agency's mandate, but protecting the rights of the senior citizens is, especially that these persons were made to sleep on pavements and wooden planks while in detention.

“The senior citizens are particularly vulnerable because most of them have pre-existing health conditions, like hypertension, asthma, weak lungs, and other diseases connected to old age,” said Taguiwalo.

“We appeal for the immediate release of the seniors because their health, and therefore their very lives, are threatened by their incarceration,” she added.

The agency on Wednesday turned over to the detained Kadamay members plastic sleeping mats, blankets, and clothes donated by DSWD employees and some clothes from their Crisis Intervention Unit (CIU). – Rappler.com

Patty Pasion

Patty leads the Rappler+ membership program. She used to be a Rappler multimedia reporter who covered politics, labor, and development issues of vulnerable sectors.

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