From: amie dural [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Sunday, 3 April 2016 7:45 a.m.
Subject: International Alert * How can we help as more violence threatens drought-stricken Kidapawan farmers
Sharing with you info below on the Kidapawan crisis. The lives of more
farmers and supporters are at risk as police forces are poised to raid
the local Methodist church where they sought refuge. Please keep them
in your prayers and consider sending letters of appeal to call on PH
government to heed the farmers’ plea for immediate relief now and
allow them to safely return to their homes.
Thanks and regards
Churches condemn Kidapawan violence
What we should know about the crisis in Kidapawan
ON March 30, farmers from different parts of North Cotabato, reeling
from the debilitating effects of the drought brought about by El Nino,
occupied the Kidapawan highway to demand from government immediate
rice support and the releases of much needed calamity funds. They were
demanding 15,000 sacks of rice for 6 municipalities, for the duration
of the drought, until the farmers are able to recover. The root cause
of the protest was government neglect of starving farmers and their
#WHAT WE CAN DO?
1. SHOW OR CONVEY YOUR SOLIDARITY with the farmers & lumad in North Cotabato.
The farmers, our food producers, have peaceably assembled as a ‘human
blockade.’ It was an organized action of 6,000 citizens pleading on
the provincial government for subsidy of 15,000 sacks of rice in order
to feed their hungry and drought-stricken families due to the 6 months
El Nino calamity.
The North Cotabato Provincial Governor, partymate of PNoy Aquino,
responded to the farmers’ plea not with RICE but with BULLETS.
As a result, hundreds of peaceful rallyists got killed, wounded and missing.
To secure themselves from further police brutality, the thousands
farmers sought refuge at the Church Compound and facilities of the
United Methodist Church in Kidapawan.
Bishop Ciriaco Francisco has opted to open the Church property as an
emergency refuge to sanctuary the helpless and brutalized farmers and
Not content with shooting the farmers during the violent dispersal,
the Provincial Commander of the Philippine National Police (PNP)
hastily secured a dubious Search Warrant from the Regional Trial Court
on the suspicion that those 6,000 farmers sanctuaried at the Methodist
Church compound are carrying illegal firearms & ammunitions.
The Governor herself wrote Bishop Francisco to threaten him of legal
assault for opening the Church doors to sanctuary the terrorized
2. JOIN THE MASSIVE CONDEMNATION OF THE GOVERNMENT’S RESPONSE TO THE
FARMERS LEGITIMATE DEMANDS
The violent dispersal by the police forces of the peaceful blockade of
the organized citizens is unjustifiable.
The actions of Governor Emmylou Talino-Mendoza, the PNP Provincial
Commander and the Regional Trial Court Judge are naked political
harrassments! They abuse their authorities to clearly harrass and
intimidate the farmers and the Methodist Church Bishop.
We must condemn in the strongest terms this State IMPUNITY of
violating the rights of the citizens to peaceably assemble to petition
the government on legitimate demands, and for trampling upon the
sacred duty of the Church to sanctuary the poor and brutalized.
3. SEND OR PERSONALLY DELIVER your material, monetary and moral
SUPPORT to the farmers and the Methodist Church as it continues to
sanctuary the 6,000 farmers and lumads.
The UCCP local churches, especially in North Cotabato, are encouraged
to show their concern and solidarity. They may organize a delegation
to visit the Methodist Compound in Kidapawan and offer their
solidarity support of prayers and something helpful.
Let us uphold the struggling farmers and lumads in their quest for
food & justice.
Let us lift up in prayers and action the United Methodist Church,
especially Bishop Ciriaco Francisco who is harrassed, for opening its
property to sanctuary the helpless and btutalized.
Let us condemn and politically isolate or junk the government
officials and agencies who brutally abuse the citizens.
Let us continue to act and pray that justice is served for the benefit
of the victims and downtroden.
May the God of life and history abide with us in this quest for
justice and righteousness amid impunity and injustice.
#RICE, not BULLETS
repost from UCCP Pastor Rannieh Mercado