THE Office of the Chairman, CDA has received numerous complaints and sentiments from the abused AMVA cooperative members ranging from massive corruption, gross mismanagement to abuse and harassments.
In fact, the Reform AMVA Movement (RAM), the courageous cooperative members who stand against chairperson Catayong have sent a letter to the President, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (through Senator Bong Go) to inform him issues and concerns on conflict of interest committed by Ms. Catayong; gross violation of generally accepted accounting rules and principles in the management of cooperative funds and reports; mismanagement of the cooperative and lack of transparency and democracy in the cooperative; amassment of questionable wealth and properties in the limited time that she became a coop officer and arrogates her influence with government agencies and groups.
She even brags about having connection with the Duterte Administration; in front of the general public, Ms. Catayong inflicted physical harm, restriction of movements and verbal abuse to members who raised valid issues and earned her ire.
More than these complaints, I feel the agony of the residents and cooperative members upon hearing their sentiments and experiences on their unlivable units that they are living.
Their comfort room no longer gave them comfort because when they flush it, the water will bounce in their lavatory, or even in the toilet bowls and lavatories of the adjacent units. Yes, when it rains, it pours... but in their situation, the rain does not just pour, it enters in their units and runs through the electrical wirings.
Worse, in the afternoon of July 24, 2019, Steffi Rose Buising, a 6-year old child and daughter of a cooperative member fell from the second floor of the broken fire exit.
The innocent child suffered head injury-Epidura Hematoma, hospitalized at Fatima University Medical Center and yet the contractor of the building whose responsible for the weak construction of that fire exit would not to help pay the hospital bill that reached up to Php1.3M until the parents signed a waiver on its accountability for the fall.
How can these corrupt, abusive, and irresponsible people and even government officials soundly sleep at the expense of the poor and vulnerable?
This issue might be just one of the corrupt practices in the country and chairperson Catayong might be just the tip of the iceberg. However, the CDA is assuring that it will not allow nor tolerate anyone to take advantage of the cooperative to be their tool in advancing their self-interest.
What happened to the planned world class sanctuary for the poor and the oppressed amidst the threats of ecological disasters? A teacher resident in the cooperative housing project who was brave enough to ask then had already leaped to the Great Beyond with all the miseries she faced to lead in liberating the oppressed residents. Until now, these question remains unanswered.
The pains of the residents must now be given the right remedies. The Lord Himself has said that "serve the least of your brethren and you serve the Lord."
The least of our brethren are now begging us to end their agonies. When the Hon. Mayor of Valenzuela, Mr. Rex Gatchalian, who took the initiatives to help, is now facing a case in the Ombudsman together with those residents who are standing up for their rights. We salute his Eminence and Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, for taking the cudgels for the oppressed residents.
It has been our favorite slogan, "Veritas Liberabit Vos,"(The Truth Shall Set Us Free), may we know how that "People's Plan" originally designed to show case how government gives refuge to informal settler families (ISF) threatened by climate change only served to expose the ISFs to greater calamities?
This bitter reality was summarized by a sobbing boy in one of the buildings telling his mother, "Alis na po tayo Inay, balik na lang po tayo sa Tullahan, kahit na wala tayong bahay pero tayo po ay may kalayaan."
Freedom from fear, from poverty and from corruption is what really matters to that boy.
Well, if in fact some hidden hands have made some rakings, please remember the biblical lines, "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"