Farmers’ harvests this year are disappointingly smaller than before – not just in amount but in size also of the grains itself.
The farmers filed charges of murder, frustrated and attempted murder, torture and physical injuries, illegal arrest and detention and other violations of civil and political rights, including the right to peaceful assembly and redress of grievances.
“The thousands of farmers will only be affirming to the government officials what they actually already know – that the extreme drought results in death not only of the crops but also the people who plant them!”
There is enough supply of rice and there are funds that can be used to help the farmers.
“They were even maligned by the local government who told them, ‘mga patay gutom kayo hindi nyo alam kung pano pagtrabahuan ang mga ito. Dapat rice for work,’” (You starving to death people; you didn’t even work for this. We should have asked you to work in exchange for this rice.)
“Didn’t the farmers of Escalante shout for land, rice, and better working conditions? And what did the government do? Just like the Kidapawan farmers, they were fed with bullets.
“We deplore the culture of impunity perpetuated by the Aquino administration where even the provision of health services is treated as a criminal act.”
“The impunity promoted by Aquino underscores his accountability on the Kidapawan carnage. The President is allowing farmers to starve and die of hunger. He is guilty of incompetence, criminal negligence and genocide.”
“Bumaba na sila dahil wala naman slang nagagawang kabutihan para sa mamamayan lalo na sa mga mahihirap na tao… Nagmasaker sila ng mga taong walang ibang kahilingan kundi bigas.” (They should step down because they are not doing anything good for the people, especially the poor…They massacred those who were only asking for rice.) — Nora Aunor
“What they needed is rice and not the spin of the Liberal Party or the administration.”
A gathering in solidarity of protesting Cotabato farmers wants to hold the whole Aquino administration accountable for the bloody dispersal.