Family of slain Philippine commando to get free housing

The three children of PO3 Kibete and relatives carry his picture outside the multi purpose hall of Camp Bagong Diwa.

CITY OF SAN JOSE DEL MONTE, Bulacan-The family of slain P03 Jun Rel Kibete, who are informal settlers here, will be given a free housing unit by the government, the National Housing Authority (NHA) said on Monday.

Chito Cruz, NHA general manager, told the Inquirer that the housing grant was discussed in a meeting with President Benigno Aquino III last week.

Government agencies are discussing where the family will be relocated, Cruz said in a text message. "For the family of our man killed in action, the housing unit is free," he said.

Kibete was one of the 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos slaughtered in Mamasapano, Maguindanao province, on Jan. 25. He was buried at Providence Memorial Park, Barangay Gayagaya, on Feb. 5.

Kibete's wake was held in his older brother Rey's shanty at Barangay Minuyan Proper. Rey said he had been staying there for more than 20 years together with his wife and children.

He said the Kibete family decided to hold the wake there because the rented house of their elder sister in Meycauayan City was too small to receive grieving friends and relatives.

Irene, Kibete's widow, and their three children used to reside in

Cebu province, but have decided to stay in San Jose Del Monte to be close to their father's grave.

Rey said the Kibete family migrated here from Dumaguete City about 30 years ago.

Senate inquiry

Earlier, Mary Constancy Barrameda, a retired University of the Philippines professor, criticised the government for moving Metro Manila's squatter families to San Jose del Monte without resolving the city's own squatter crisis.

Irene had not responded to queries as to whether she joined the Senate inquiry into the Mamasapano mission, which was attended by the widows and relatives of 13 slain members of the SAF from the Cordillera.

One of the SAF members who was expected to testify at the hearing is a survivor of the Mamasapano clash from Ifugao province, is under tight security.

Ifugao Rep. Teodoro Baguilat Jr. said the policeman had requested for protection, saying he was fearful of reprisals from Moro rebels, because he may have been responsible for the deaths of four of their fighters.