“The Aquino government will pay for this carnage, and it will pay dearly. The history of peasant movements of the world is nothing if not instructive.”
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
MANILA — International groups assailed the infamous massacre of hungry protesting farmers in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato.
Yesterday, April 1, police shoot protesting farmers at around 11 a.m. to disperse their three-day barricade. Farmers have been demanding the release of at least 15,000 sacks of rice as they have long been going hungry with their farms all dried up due to drought.
The Asian Peasant Coalition, which had earlier assailed the massacre, said the drought in North Cotabato alone has already destroyed crops amounting to P238 million. The peasants group noted that most affected are small farmers who have no alternative livelihoods. Their crops include rice, corn, banana, rubber, coconut, oil palm and vegetables.
In a statement, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle Commission 6 said this is not the first time that an Aquino was involved in killing of farmers. The group said, “the hands of the landlord clan Cojuangco-Aquino have been stained with blood of peasants since time immemorial,” citing the massacres in Mendiola under former President Corazon Aquino and in Hacienda Luisita, the country’s largest agrarian dispute.
“The Aquino government will pay for this carnage, and it will pay dearly. The history of peasant movements of the world is nothing if not instructive,” the ILPS Commission 6 said.
The APC urged both the Commission on Human Rights and the Department of Justice to conduct investigation on the incident.
The Indian Federation of Toiling Peasants, through the APC, also strongly condemned the attack against Kidapawan farmers.
Meanwhile, Anakbayan-New York also called on the Filipino youth to intensify its fight to end repression in the country.
“It is business as usual for the people who benefit from our people’s poverty. The same system of oppression and exploitation that forced the farmers to act in the first place is the same system that is continuously upheld by the Aquino puppet government and its US imperialist master,” Anakbayan-New York said in a statement.
The group added that the killing of the farmers in Kidapawan “exposes the cowardice” of the Aquino government and its “desperation to hold onto their power.”