The Philippine disease symptoms: Farmers have no rice to eat

Photo courtesy of GMA network

The November 2004 Hacienda Luisita Massacre,

And now the bloody dispersal of the farmers in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato on Friday, April 1.

All happened under the rule of Aquino. The farmers were just asking for assistance from the local government particularly rice support and calamity funds.

For three months the local government has not been providing any support to aide the state of calamity in North Cotabato cause by drought or El Nino. The state of calamity is declared on January but up until now no helps from the government.

Because the issue broke out and Governor of North Cotabato, Gov. Mendoza said 15,000 sacks of rice demanded by the protesters would be released soon through the local governments.

She also denied earlier that the provincial government was remiss in its obligation to the farmers, but said she was following procedures. And what legal procedure is she talking. Is the Legal procedure for the state calamity supposed totake that long?

The farmers had their reason and rights to hold a rally. Their motives is to pressure the local government to give them subsidy, a support particularly rice that will aide for the starvation of their families.

And when they protested for their rights they had been dispersed by the Philippine National Police and the Arm Forces of the Philippines brutally and some presidentiables have labeled it as barbaric way. Dispersing the protesters by gunshots will never be said, maximum tolerance – what the PNP was saying. Farmers are not a threat to the defense of this country. They don’t need the presence of AFP. PNP is to serve and protect the Philippines – its people. But what is happening now?

It’s been several decades that our farmers have been fighting for their rights against to the feudal lords. The government should give equal rights to the farmers. Does the government know that Philippines is an agricultural country? Why can’t we use our comparative advantage to other countries?

Another question to be raised is, why has the national government been amiss in providing support? Why is the government underspending? For what reasons? Certainly the funds are there but why are they not giving them to the farmers? And it seems like the Aquino administration is not paying attention to this issue.

Don’t be appalled if the government is on this ‘massacre’. The governor of the Cotabato and the mayor are part of Liberal party. Even on the day of bloody dispersal the standard bearer of the LP was near at the location. His campaign team was at South Cotabato begging for votes.

The ironic thing  is, the PNP is trying to justify what they did. Now 6 farmers have died and hundreds are injured.

“One of the dead rallyist yielded positive results during the paraffin test. The SOCO team also recovered 2 empty shells of calibre .45 at the area previously occupied by the rallyists and a deformed slug of calibre .38 at a makeshift station previously occupied by our police,” Mayor said in a statement ( And they strongly believe that NPA has its part in the rally. Are they not convince that there was no presence of NPA after searching the Methodist church and found no traces of weapons?

However, the mayor, just after the help of Robin Padilla to the farmers, had the audacity to say that the help of private sectors were an insult to her government. Well, she should be insulted because she failed her people. And she should expect more defamation. Better off the private sector has a heart for the farmers than her government; well, in fact it is her responsibility.

Another ridiculous thing is, the fact finding team to investigate the dispersal is by the government  –  the SOCO and PNP. Are we expecting transparent results? How do you expect a no-bias result if the stake holders that were part of the bloody dispersal are going to investigate? It should be third party. SOCO is not a third party, so is the PNP.

Let’s just pray that the result of the Commission of Human Rights findings and hope they are sincere on what they have said that no biased investigation. And now more youth has been awakening on their sympathy to the farmers, conducting rallies and candle lighting. There’s no way the history would forget this tragedy.

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