Human Rights Matter (HRM) is deeply distraught by the outrageous attack and KILLING of innocent FARMERS AND Lumad indigenous people IN KIDAPAWAN, NORTH COTABATO by the PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE.
Notwithstanding the persistently ongoing repression and tyrannical killings, assaults, forced disappearances and other inhuman treatments against FARMERS, INDIGENOUS PEOPLES and against human rights defenders and activists who have been campaigning to expose such frequent happenings and sought for justice to prevail impunity, the recent killing and bodily attack was operationalized on the 1st of April 2016, on the streets of the Kidapawan highway in Mindanao, where, over 6000 unarmed civilian farmers gathered to protest against the shortage of food and starvation they are suffering for.
These people, who have been looking for an urgent release of minimum amount of emergency rice aid were, instead, CONFRONTED WITH direct shootings and attacks by the PHILIPPINE National Police, which RESULTED TO the killing of TWO, over 160 serious PHYSICAL injuries. Since then, all DECEITFUL measures and legislatively backed false-positives have been manifestly applied to VILLIFY and dismantle legitimate claims of THE FARMERS AND indigenous people by arrests and assaults – with no sympathy even to pregnant women.
It is apparent that neither international human rights nor domestic law could endure such a horrendous and dreadful actions. No moral, religious or cultural thought would welcome these trend of frenzied ATTACKS against an innocent peasant or farmer whose daily hard work is preserving our survival and up-keeping the nature.
HRM is increasingly frustrated by the passive taciturnity of the international community and we strongly believe that these FARMERS AND indigenous people deserve IMMEDIATE attention and swift action from all the concerned national and international stakeholders.
Accordingly, we urge the President of the Philippines government to take the following immediate actions:
– Instantaneously release, without any bail-bond or related condition, of those who are in jail in connection with the incident, and are detained without any criminal charge.
– Remove the militarized police force from the surrounding area of the United Methodist Church, where these forces who are in charge of sieging most peasants who shelter in the church and let them freely region their locality.
– Take an immediate action to form an independent body and investigate all the killings and injuries caused to the protestors and bring the perpetrators to justice.
– Provide adequate food and urgent subsistence for the Lumad indigenous people and farmers who are currently starving, triggered by the current climate change and irresponsibly designed government policies discarding their economic and land interest.