The militant peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) today hailed Mindanao farmers for its island-wide protests against hunger saying “the escalating protests in Mindanao is a result of the Aquino administration’s apathy and total ineptitude.”
More than 3,000 farmers are in now protesting at the Department of Agriculture Region 12 Sub Office in Koronadal City in South Cotabato, more than 2,000 farmers are in Cagayan De Oro, and 5,000 more are joining mass actions in Bukidnon in Northern Mindanao.
“We reiterate our calls on farmers across the country to intensify protests against hunger. The worsening hunger that farmers are experiencing in the face of drought clearly demonstrate the haciendero Aquino government ‘s apathy against farmers and total ineptitude,” says KMP chair Rafael Mariano.
“Until now, Aquino and agriculture secretary Proceso Alcala shamelessly reject starving farmers demand for food aid and direct release of calamity funds to victims. Instead of addressing farmers demand, Aquino and Alcala are busy obscuring and covering up the issues of prolonged drought, hunger, and the government’s criminal negligence,” Mariano said.
He said “the famine suffered by the Filipino peasantry today betrays the irony that the landless tillers themselves have nothing to eat while parasitic big landlords like the President and his gang of thieves like Alcala feasts over billions of pesos of El Niño funds.”
“Worse, it reveals the day-to-day exploitation and oppression suffered by landless tillers. It is a testament to the reality of forced exaction of agricultural surpluses from the people behind the plow,” Mariano said.
The KMP warned that Aquino’s continuing refusal to give the farmers’ demand for food aid in the face of the prolonged drought is now leading to a “spill over of peasants protest in the Luzon.”
“Anti-drought and hunger peasants protests are also happening today in Calamaniugan in Cagayan province, Cordon in Isabela, and Bayombong in Nueva Vizcaya,” Mariano announced.
“Farmers across the country should not rely on the current electoral circus and should instead assert and challenge Aquino and all aspiring candidates on their just and legitimate demand for land, food, and justice,” Mariano said.
“Intensified protest actions nationwide should be the Filipino peasantry’s response to Aquino’s continuing rejection of our demands and all presidential aspirants’ obvious political posturing and lack of concrete answers to our demand,” the KMP leader said. #