Militant group hits Aquino admin over Kidapawan violence | Inquirer News
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Militant group hits Aquino admin over Kidapawan violence

By: - Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
/ 10:12 PM April 07, 2016

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The question was raised by a militant group after the Aquino administration allegedly failed to respond to the need of protesting farmers in Kidapawan City, which led to the bloody police dispersal last April 1.

Jerome Succor Aba, national spokesperson of Suara Bangsamoro, criticized President Benigno Aquino III for keeping mum on Kidapawan violence.

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“Ilang araw na ang nakalipas pero wala pa po tayong naririnig mula sa ating mahal na Pangulo,” Aba said during a “night of songs and prayers” for the victims of the Kidapawan incident at the University of the Philippines in Diliman on Thursday.

Aba, who said he was with the protesting farmers during the dispersal, blasted the police for resorting to violence instead of listening to the grievances of the peasants.

“Hindi po naganap yung dispersal kung ibinigay yung hinihiling ng mga magsasaka,” he said.

The bloody dispersal, he said, was a clear “criminal negligence” of the Aquino administration.

Despite the early warning from the state weather bureau, Aba said the government allegedly did nothing to mitigate the ill-effects of El Nino.

“Six months na po yung magsasaka na nakakaranas ng patuloy na tagtuyot at and six months na din na hindi umaksyon ang gobyerno,” he said.

He likened this alleged inaction of the government to its supposed negligence during the onslaught of supertyphoon “Yolanda” in the Visayas, which claimed at least 6,000 lives.

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“Mismong ang national government, hindi sila pinakinggan,” he said, describing the President Aquino as “useless.”

Aba also wondered why the government did not use its calamity fund to help drought-hit farmers.

He said he witnessed how Kidapawan farmers were violently dispersed by baton-wielding policemen.

Even the rally was infiltrated by leftists, Aba said this should not be justification to kill the farmers.

He said their group was afraid that the Kidapawan incident may suffer the same fate of the Mendiola Massacre and the Hacienda Luisita incident, where justice for the slain farmers remains elusive.

“Nananawagan kami ng hustisya at nangangamba kami na baka walang mapanagot,” he said.

Shari Oliquino, convenor, Rise of Education Alliance in UP Diliman, decried how the government responded to the demands of the farmers.

“Hindi dapat yun ang naging tugon nila,” Oliquino said, referring to the bloody dispersal.

She said the incident should be a wake-up call for the government to end the injustice in the country, especially to the marginalized sectors.

Meanwhile, Bryle Leano, secretary general of STAND UP, called on the Aquino government to hold accountable the individuals behind the bloody dispersal.

“We would like to register our dissent to the Aquino government na ngayon lang sila nagkaroon ng pansin sa ating mga magsasaka after na may namatay na sa hanay nila,” Leano said.

He slammed the administration’s apathy toward the needs of the farmers.

However, he said that the fight should not be among Filipinos but should rather focus on the repressive policies of the government.

“Hindi tayong mga Pilipino ang magkakalalaban. Ang ating kalaban ay yung repressive na policy na kailangan natin baguhin dahil hindi binibigay sa atin yung ating basic rights,” he said.

He urged the government to provide immediate relief to the farmers to avoid further chaos.

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