Duterte warns of possible violence if poor seize houses

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine president has warned a pro-poor group not to take over a government housing project and said he will deploy police commandos to remove them instead of tolerating the move, as he did in a similar case last year.

President Rodrigo Duterte ordered Kadamay and other groups to leave the low-cost housing area in Rodriguez town east of Manila by Friday noon or he will send in special police forces to drive them away.

Duterte told police not to start any violence "but if you need to kill in order to implement the legal regulations, do it. If it leads to five, six, seven deaths, I don't care."

Kadamay members forcibly occupied vacant houses in another town last year. Duterte condoned that takeover out of compassion.