People Surge, the biggest alliance of disaster survivors in the country, condemns in strongest terms the brutal dispersal of fellow calamity victims in Kidapawan, North Cotabato, resulting to the death of three farmers and injury to 30 others.
“What is 15,000 sacks of rice compared to the billions of pesos of cash donations still missing under Aquino’s watch? What is 15,000 sacks of much-needed rice compared to the rice donations they failed to deliver to Yolanda victims—the 45,000 sacks of rotten rice discovered as stored at the Subic Freeport in Zambales and December last year, the 284 sacks of rice found buried in Dagami, Leyte? What is 15,000 sacks of rice to the millions Liberal Party bet Mar Roxas has spent for his candidacy?,” Marissa Cabaljao, Secretary-General of People Surge asked.
“We say, the greater disaster here is neither Yolanda nor El Nino. It is the Aquino government and his minions in the local government and the police who were up in arms to contain the climate victims’ escalating anger caused by long months of drought and injustice,” she added.
Instead of addressing the farmers’ demands, the government rubbed salt into the protesting El Nino victims’ wounds by launching a smear campaign—tagging them as NPAs or were “organized” by the Left. To recall, then rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson also tagged People Surge as “communist pawns” whose intention is to destabilize the government.
“But both Yolanda and Kidapawan massacre show that the government is destabilizing itself by their ineptitude,” she said.
“For us Yolanda survivors, the Kidapawan massacre is a reminder of the Haciendero President’s ruthlessness against farmers and his vindictiveness against calamity victims who assail his gross incompetence and criminal negligence,” she said.
“We recall the shooting of People Surge member and peasant leader in Samar, Rodolfo Basada, after a picket-rally that yielded their farmers organization 600 sacks of rice aid. We are reminded of People Surge volunteer Jefferson Custodio who was shot dead while delivering farm tools in a farming community in Carigara, Leyte.”
Local human rights group Katungod Sinirangan Bisayas has documented at least 13 extrajudicial killings (EJK), 3 frustrated EJKs, 12 illegal arrests and 6 tortures against disaster survivors in Eastern Visayas. All cases point to the military as the perpetrator.
“Yolanda and Kidapawan massacre is a tale of two disasters, indicative of government’s pattern of systemic fascist response in the face of calamities. Calamity victims should unite for prompt aid, for climate justice, fight against state fascism and hold the Aquino government ultimately accountable,” she ended.
Victims of calamity and negligence, unite! Fight state fascism, take justice!