Fisherfolk denounced the bloody dispersal in Kidapawan City
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) condemned the brutal and bloody dispersal perpetrated to the protesting farmers in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato yesterday.
Around 6,000 farmers are protesting in front of the National Food Authority (NFA) to demand the release of 15,000 sacks of rice as subsidy to the farmers who are victims of the 7-month El Nino or prolonged dry spell in the province.
But instead of rice and subsidy, the government through the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) responded with bullets and stones thrown to protesters, resulting to five farmers dead and 30 others wounded.
“The 7-month El Nino phenomenon is wreaking havoc to agriculture. Farmers and indigenous people depending on agriculture are gravely affected by its onslaught. El Nino victims stormed to government to demand food subsidy not knowing thatthere is more merciless and ruthless than ElNiño awaiting them; the gunshots they received from the government.” Salvador France, Pamalakaya vice-chairperson said in a statement.
Rural people like fishers and peasants are the front line casualties of dry season and this equates to hunger. But instead of direct support to the rural people during these hard times, government’s responses were always incompetency and worse violence.
Pamalakaya said that the PNP, AFP together with the local officials who ordered the dispersal should be held accountable to give the necessary justice to the slain victims.
“Involved in this bloody carnage must be scourge accordingly and no one should get away with this. President Aquino will leave the farmers and the Filipino people with a gory legacy. We will assure that this will be included to the charges that he will face right after he steps out of Malacanang.”
“Together with the enraged nation, we stand with the farmers in their plight for justice in these trying times – when the government supposedly assisting us sprays bullets in our wanting mouths.” France ended. ###