The Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) vehemently condemns the bloody dispersal by Philippine National Police (PNP) forces that led to the killing of one protester and the wounding of scores of others in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato this morning.
UMA Secretary General Danilo “Ka Daning” Ramos demanded that those who are responsible for the carnage especially those who ordered the shooting down of protesters should be held criminally liable for this brazen offense. This includes national government officials, mainly President Benigno S. Aquino.
“Aquino himself is indifferent to the plight of the common people already suffering severely because of El Nino. You do not shoot people who are merely asking immediate assistance from the government,” said Ramos.
“Most of the country is hit by drought including rubber plantations in Mindanao and sugar plantations in the whole country. Will this government murder peasants and indigenous peoples in other places when they decide to assert their rights including cultivating lands for food consumption out of necessity?” Ramos added.
The history of the Philippine government in dealing with peasants issues is bloody. This includes, among others the Escalante, Mendiola, and Hacienda Luisita massacres. If this is how the present government and the next one will handle issues of peasants in the coming days and months, they should prepare for the wrath of the common people whose options are not only limited to asserting their democratic rights in the streets.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 1, 2016