Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) strongly condemns the heinous, violent dispersal of protesting farmers in North Cotabato affected by drought who are demanding for food aid and immediate government assistance.
“This violence against farmers and Lumad people will be the mark of BS Aquino administration. Farmers are demanding for food and land but the haciendero government responded with bullets,” said KMP chairperson Rafael Mariano.
“We are calling for nationwide peasant indignation protests and barricades to condemn this violence and injustice towards farmers and the Filipino people,” Mariano said.
Before 11AM today, combined forces of the North Cotabato police and soldiers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, violently dispersed the barricade and fired shots at the protesting farmers and Lumad. Shots from M-16 rifles were allegedly fired.
According to initial information from Kilab Multimedia, at least 30 protesters were injured. Mayor Joseph Evangelista ordered the PNP to disperse the barricading farmers.
KMP and Anakpawis Partylist will lead an indignation rally at the Department of Agriculture Office in Quezon City at 1PM today.
The protest in Kidapawan City, led by the Kilusang Magbubukid sa Kotabato (KMK), local chapter of KMP in North Cotabato, are on the third day of their barricade at the local National Food Authority to demand the release of 15,000 sacks of rice subsidy to farmers severely affected by drought. They are demanding North Cotabato provincial governor Lala Talino-Mendoza to immediately release the food aid and provide immediate assistance to farmers. ###
(In Kidapawan City) Pedro Arnado, KMP Vice President for Mindanao, 0909-6457494
(Manila) Antonio Flores, KMP Secretary General, 0921-2726682