Another Aquino Born Nightmare For Farmers In The Philippines

Hunter S Thompson - AvatarIs it just me. Or has the Aquino family name suddenly become associated with blatant, out and out murder? During the administration of Cory Aquino, there was the Mendiola Massacre that left 14 dead. Then in 2004, Hacienda Luisita, with 7 dead. In 2010 Aquino was pretty much to blame for the Bus hostage crisis and 9 dead. We started 2015 with the Mamasapano Massacre and 44 dead SAF Officers. And now we close another Aquino legacy with Kidapawan. And 3 dead – at this point.

KIDAPAWAN CITY – One farmer was killed and eight others wounded when police fired their M16 rifles on them to disperse the 6,000-strong barricade demanding for the delayed food relief and calamity funds. [1]

As of this writing, the farmer is yet to be identified.

Farmers and lumads came down from their respective villages last Wednesday morning and barricaded the North Cotabato to Davao Highway. Their demand was for the North Cotabato local government the release of relief after the province declared a state of calamity last January due to the drought brought by El Niño. Many brought their children along not wanting to leave them in their dried up farms.

Negotiations failed in the past two days as provincial officials failed to bring the demands of the farmers such as rice. Police warned that the barricade will be dispersed.

Lumad PNPThe barricade dispersal happened around 11 am. Shots were fired at the farmers, causing them to break the barricade and scamper to safety. Most of them crammed into the compound of the United Methodist Church which was assisting the farmers.

The initial list of relevant casualties and wounded, as of this writing are as follows [2]:

  • 3 Dead – Rotello Daelto of Arakan. Victor Lumandang of Magpet. And Enrico Pabrica of Kidapawan.
  • 116 Wounded – 18 of which are in critical condition.
  • 89 Missing – This includes a number of women, children and elderly.
  • 2 Tortured – Ondo and Leonora Paonel. Both are unaccounted for at this time.

A Bayan Southern Mindanao spokesperson was struck in the head with a rock.

Some 30 farmers were reported missing as police were seen accosting them into vehicles.

Lumad HurtThe incident was condemned by Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas Southern Mindanao spokesperson, Pedro Arnado, a resident of Arakan, North Cotabato.

“I come from Arakan in this province and many of these farmers I have worked and struggled together for our land and life. Now I lost a fellow farmer, and others are wounded, and many are hungry,” Arnado said.

Arnado said the farmers have suffered from El Niño for seven months and demanded for government intervention.

“This protest is legitimate as the North Cotabato government promised to give them food relief and calamity funds after declaring the province under a state of calamity in January, yet nothing has been delivered,” he said.

Arnado blamed the Aquino government and the Liberal Party, which North Cotabato Governor Lala Taliño-Mendoza belongs, for its history of trampling on farmers.

This is a condemnable act by the police and we hold Governor Lala Taliño-Mendoza accountable to this loss. This violence continues the bloody legacy of the Aquinos who massacred 13 farmers in Mendiola in 1987 and scores in Hacienda Luisita, and is still carried on with the Liberal Party which the governor belongs to.”

Makabayan Senatorial candidate and Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares also condemned the government’s insincerity.

“They say they are pro-farmers and would help them, but instead of giving them rice and food they are being shot. What kind of government is this? They are responding to a calamity with a more bloody calamity,” said Colmenares.

[1] Original Text by: Barry ohaylan. Photo by: Jaja Necosia & Bhong del Rosario, Kilab Multimedia

[2] As documented by the Quick Response Team, through Solidarity Action Group for Indigenous People and Peasents (SAGIPP).

Lance

Just a regular "Joe" who decided the rat-race in the states was getting to ridiculous for words, and made the move to the Asian side of life.

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