By Joseph Almer Pedrajas
A barangay executive officer in Caloocan City is facing investigation after allegedly forcing a resident who just gave birth to leave her rented house as she could not pay for the rental fee.
Councilors of Barangay 162, Sta. Quitera disclosed that they have issued Resolution No. 029, which imposes preventive suspension against ex-o Melvin Ramos while he is under investigation.
“[A] social media post has already reached various government agencies so it’s necessary for the barangay council to conduct an investigation,” part of the resolution signed on May 3 read, “As a government employee, we must set a good example for our constituents.”
The said resolution came after a five-minute video uploaded by Gabriela South Caloocan on their Facebook page showed that tenant Jodelyn Parco was seen crying as she was pleading to authorities not to force her to vacate her house. She said, she could not pay for her one-month rental fee yet as she has no job.
“Hindi pa po kasi ako bayad sa upa. Ngayong araw lang. Isang buwan lang. Maayos pakiusap ko sa kanila. Wala nga akong pera, kasi wala akong trabaho,” Parco told the barangay officials, adding that Ramos had been going to their house from time to time to ask for her rental fee.
“Sabi ko, makiusap lang, wala akong pera. Ang sabi ko, ang makukuha ko sa DSWD sa kanya na. Maayos naman pakiusap ko sa kanya, bakit kailangan ikandado, patayan kami ng ilaw, tubig, eh may bata,” she added.
Parco said that she went to the barangay hall to seek help but when she returned home, her house was already locked. Her one-month old baby was also being forcibly taken away from her, she added.
Caloocan City Police Station Investigation Unit head Lt. Joe Mar Ronquillo said they would file charges for grave coercion against the barangay officer.
“We will check with the BIR. Magrequest kami sa Business Permit (office) kung talagang legal ang pagpapaupa (ng may-ari). Subject for closure pag napatunayang walang business permit, walang BIR,” Ronquillo said in a GMA News report. It was learned that the landlord was not issuing receipts.
In April, President Duterte warned landlords not to pressure tenants, especially those who have lost their sources of income due to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), to pay.
“Maghintay kayo lessors, nagpaparenta. Huwag ninyong madaliin. Huwag mong pahirapan ang mga tao,” Duterte said.