“With a few weeks left for BS Aquino’s presidency, the administration continues to reach for its targets on rights violations through Oplan Bayanihan, while desperately campaigning for Liberal Party bets to escape accountability,” Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general said.
“Instead of providing for the drought-stricken farmers or holding government authorities accountable for ordering police to carry guns and fire at the protesters, BS Aquino, as expected, took the escape route by absolving the police of ANY responsibility. Instead, he blamed the farmers’ movement for the Kidapawan carnage on April 1,” Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said, referring to the belated statement of BS Aquino on the Kidapawan bloody dispersal.
“I never thought I could reach Manila. I was only after the rice subsidy, but this need for rice has taken me to jail and now in Manila,” an exasperated Valentina Berdin said in Cebuano. The 78-year-old woman was charged with direct assault after the police dispersed the farmers on April 1. She was among the farmers detained after the bloody dispersal which, included elderly and pregnant women.
Whereas, the Aquino government takes no effort to curb human rights violations, but instead commits human rights abuses against the poor majority of the Filipinos and tolerates impunity to persist;
Whereas, Neri Colmenares is a human rights lawyer and activist. He is the president of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), a nongovernment organization lawyering for victims of human rights, especially the disadvantaged and marginalized.
Karapatan calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Kidapawan farmers who were illegally arrested and detained after demanding from the provincial government of North Cotabato in Mindanao the release of rice supply as aid to farmers in drought-stricken communities.
Join us as we strongly denounce the bloody dispersal of a farmers’ rally in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato last April 1, 2016. The three-day protest, which started in March 30, 2016, ended violently when state security forces openly fired at protesters.
The incident left two persons dead, at least 37 hurt and wounded. Many are still unaccounted for after the violent dispersal, including women, elderly and six minors. At least 45 men were illegally arrested and are now under police custody at the Kidapawan Gym, while 27 women (three are pregnant and two senior citizens) were and are now at the Kidapawan City Convention Center.
“In a desperate attempt to dodge accountability, the Aquino government is pulling all stops on the ground to cover-up the role of the Philippine National Police, the local government units and the powers-that-be in the violent dispersal of the farmers’ protest action in Kidapawan,” said Cristina Palabay, Secretary General of Karapatan, and one of the co-heads of the delegation of the National Fact Finding Mission (NFFM) in Kidapawan City.
“Just like in the crisis brought about by typhoons Yolanda and Pablo, BS Aquino’s daang matuwid has again proven itself worthless and the ultimate disaster in the lives of the Filipino people. The farmer-victims of the El Niño phenomenon in North Cotabato who are starving because of the government’s incompetence in handling the calamity have become victims of state terrorism,” Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general, said.
Karapatan denounces police's violent dispersal of North Cotabato farmer, negligence of BS Aquino governmentSubmitted on Sat, 04/02/2016 - 14:31
1 April 2016 - Karapatan strongly denounces the violent dispersal of the rally of farmers in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato this morning. According to Karapatan member organization Kawagib, as of this writing, two were killed, eighteen persons were wounded, and around 100 were arrested in the said dispersal. At present, the farmers and members of support organizations seeking sanctuary at the United Methodist Church in Kidapawan are being cordoned by members of the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.