Tag Archives: Kidapawan

[Right-up] Pagpupugay at Pagsaludo sa mga Totoong Artista at Alagad ng Sining ng Bayan by Jose Mario De Vega

Pagpupugay at Pagsaludo sa mga Totoong Artista at Alagad ng Sining ng Bayan
Mario De VegaAng munting sanaysay na ito ay aking pagbibigay pugay at pagsaludo sa mga makataong artista ng bayan na sa aking paningin ay mga totoong alagad ng sining.

Batid na nang karamihan ang nangyaring kabalintunaan at kagaguhan sa Kidapawan.

Saan ka nakakita ng bansa na nagdedemonstrasyon ang mga magsasaka na ilang buwan nang gutom at tunay na hikahos gawa ng pagtuyot na dulot ng EL Nino, upang humingi ng tulong, ayuda at bigas sa pamahalaan, ngunit sa halip na sila ay tulungan ay karahasan at kalupitan ang kanilang natanggap?

Onli in the Pelipins!

Sila ay nanghihingi ng bigas, ngunit bala ang kanilang natamo!

Hindi na sila nakakuha ng bigas, sila pa’y dinahas at ngayon, bukod sa kagutuman ay marami sa kanila ang kinasuhan ng putang-inang pamahalaan ng iba’t-iba at samu-saring mga kaso.

Tingnan po ninyo ang kababuyan at inhustisya ng gagong estado na ito.

Kamakailan ay pinayagan nila si satanistang napoles (siya ang prinsipal na utak sa likod ng PDAF Scam) na magpiyansa, pero ang mga patay-gutom at hikahos na mga magsasaka at Lumad (na bigas at ayuda lamang ang hinihingi) ng Kidapawan ay hinahabol nila ng mga patong-patong na mga kaso’t asulto!

Delubyo, indulto at pahirap ang punyetang pamahalaang ito sa mga tao, lalong-lalo na sa mga maliliit!

This is indeed a fucking “republic”, to say the least!

May mga gago at mangmang at tukmol naman na sa halip na makiisa sa mga kapatid nating mga magsasaka at Lumad ay sinisi pa sila. Kesyo may NPA daw sa kanilang hanay, kesyo sila daw ang nagpasimula ng kaguluhan at tensyon at kung ano-ano pang katarantaduhan at nutnutang estupidong mga pahayag na hindi mapapasubaliang magmumula lamang sa mga malalansang bunganga sa hanay at uri ng mga pun—– haciendero, burgesya, ilustrado, elitista, creole, mga alta sosyedad, mga kapitalista at higit sa lahat, mga kampon ni Satanas at mga inapo ni Lucifer.

Sumasang-ayon ako kay Propesor at tumatakbong Senador Walden Bello sa kanyang tugon hinggil sa kesyo kasalanan daw ng mga Komunista at mga Makakaliwa ang buong pangyayari, para bang ang mga ito ang gumawa ng kagutuman at siyang sanhi ng pagiging manhid, tanga, hindi handa, hindi makatao, baliko at huwad na pamahalaang ito na nagpapanggap na tuwid, ngunit ang buong katotohanan ay tuwad at sagad sa kakupalan.

Ito ang pahayag ni Ka Walden:

“External agitator? I beg your pardon, sir. That’s me.

“If ever there was a demonstration that was driven by hunger, to which so-called “leftist agitators” were incidental, it was the Kidapawan rally of hungry peasants and Lumads. When even the mainstream press has discounted the role of “extreme leftists,” it is disconcerting that some supposedly progressive voices continue to insinuate the “provocative role” of “external agitators.” If I had been in Kidapawan, I would have helped organize our hungry compatriots into a march and rally for food in the teeth of threats by the police and the local administration to disperse us with force. That is what progressives do, and such actions on our part will always be labelled as “provocative” by the establishment. A rally of the hungry is no dinner party: one takes risks, one pushes the envelope, one aggressively asserts the right to rice.

“To say that farmers and their families are manipulated by organizers is to claim they have no minds of their own. It is rank elitism and it’s a lie. So once and for all, let’s bury the external agitator theory and lay the blame where it belongs: an undisciplined police force that did the bidding of a callous local administration and a bungling national government. And while we’re at it, we might as well also bury the Daang Matuwid and make sure it’s hypocritical promoters pay dearly for their deeds in four weeks’ time.” (Akin ang sukdulang diin)

Ito naman ang direkta at simpleng sagot ni kapatid na Aiza Seguerra na tuluyang dumurog sa mga lapastangan, hindot at kupal na kontensyon ng lahat ng mga hangal, sinungaling, palalo, mga dayukdok at mga oportunistang ito.

Ito ang kanyang pahayag laban kay kupal at oportunistang talakerang gobernadora daw at mga kampon at kauri niya:

“Dear Governor Lala Mendoza:

“Hindi po nakakain ang pride. Now that the Filipino people are stepping up to help sasabihin nyo insulto sa inyo. Propaganda naman dahil ibang kandidato ang nagbigay ng pledge ng bigas. Kung yung kandidato mo kaya ang nagbigay ng bigas, will you say the same thing? Yan ang hirap sa inyo at mga kampon ninyo eh. Sa gitna ng sakuha eh ang iniisip nyo pa rin ay politika. Kung binigay nyo lang yung hinihiling nila, hindi mangyayari to.

“You were elected to serve the people. They trusted you. But now, there blood is in your hands.

“Tao ang dapat nauuna. Hindi politika.” (Akin ang diin)

Isang linggo na ang lumipas, ang pang-gulo daw ng bansang ito ay ni hindi pa din nagpapahayag ng kung anuman hinggil sa nangyaring Mendiola Massacre Part II. Ito ay nagtulak kay Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles upang sabihin ng tuwiran at direkta na:

“Kakulangan sa pag-aasikaso natin sa pagtulong sa mga mahihirap, na nagpapakain naman sa atin. Sila ang nagdadala ng pagkain sa ating mga hapag – ang mga magsasaka. We should care for them…”

Idinagdag pa ng nasabing pari na:

“Our government will not be a legitimate government unless they make it a priority to protect yun mga kawawa…” (Akin ang sukdulang diin)

Muli, hayaan po ninyong muli kong itanong ang aking katanungan sa itaas:

“Saan ka nakakita ng bansa na nagdedemonstrasyon ang mga magsasaka na ilang buwan nang gutom at tunay na hikahos gawa ng pagtuyot na dulot ng EL Nino, upang humingi ng tulong, ayuda at bigas sa pamahalaan, ngunit sa halip na sila ay tulungan ay karahasan at kalupitan ang kanilang natanggap?”

Ibig ko ding idagdag na, bakit lagpas isang linggo na matapos ang nasabing madugong pangyayari ay ni wala man lamang pahayag na personal ang tinatawag na “presidente” daw ng bayang ito?

Ganun ba siya ka-busy? Ganun ba siya kaabala sa kanyang pag-iintindi sa buong kalalagayan ng bansa?

Ganito ba ang turing nya sa sinasabi nyang mga boss daw niya, diumano?

Putang-ina to the max!

Onli in the Pelipins!

Kakatwa, ngunit tunay na nakatutuwa at nakatataba ng puso na matapos ang pangyayari sa Kidapawan ay agad na nagsiresponde’t tumugon, tumulong at nakiisa ang mga artista’t mga tunay na mga alagad ng sining ng Bayan.

Dagling nagtungo roon si kapatid na Robin Padilla, hindi lamang para makiisa’t dumamay sa ating mga kapatid na mga magsasaka, kundi upang bigyan din sila ng mga sako-sakong mga bigas.

Mabuhay ka, kapatid na Binoe!

Hindi din matatawaran ang ambag at pakikiisang tunay ng mag-asawang Aiza Segurra at Lisa Dino.

Bukod sa kanilang suportang-moral mula pa noong umpisa, sila din ang nanguna’t nagpasimula ng pagkuha’t paglikom ng mga tulong at donasyong salapi na siyang gagamiting pangpiyansa ng mga kapatid nating patay-gutom na mga magsasaka’t Lumad na sa halip na tulungan ng gagong pamahalaan ay kinasuhan pa!

Mabuhay kayo!

Pagpupugay din ang ibig kong ipaabot kay Binibining Nora Aunor! Mabuhay ka Ate Guy! Tama ka, kahit noon pa! Walang himala, sapagkat ang himala ay nasa puso ng tao, nasa puso nating lahat! Mabuhay po kayo! Kayo ay hindi lamang tunay na artista ng Bayan, kundi lantay na Pambasang Alagad ng Sining! Mabuhay po kayo!

Pasasalamat at pagpupugay din kina kapatid na Angel Locsin, magkapatid na Anne at Jasmine Curtis, Daniel Padilla at sa lahat po nang nagbigay suporta’t pakikisa para sa labang ito. Mabuhay po kayo!

Maliwanag na ipinapakita ng inyong akto’t gawi na madilim man ang mga alapaap at ulap na dumaraan sa aking papawirin, ay tunay na may pag-asa at muling sisilab ang maluwalhati at makatarungang sikat ni Amang Araw.

Muli, mabuhay kayo mga kapatid! Mabuhay po kayo! Mabuhay po kayo! Mabuhay po kayo!!!!

Tuloy ang Himagsikan!

Padayon!

#BIGASHINDIBALA!

#MAYPAGASA!!!!
Jose Mario Dolor De Vega
Unibersidad de Manila
Instruktor ng Pilosopiya at Agham-Panlipunan

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[Statement] Food not Bullets, Justice not Violence -TFDP

Food not Bullets, Justice not Violence

TFDP logo smallTask Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) strongly condemns the extrajudicial killings committed against protesting farmers and indigenous peoples by authorities in Kidapawan last April 1, 2016.  We call for an independent investigation in order to hold those accountable, jail the perpetrators, and give justice to all victims of government-perpetrated violence.

There are no acceptable reasons, be it a suspected infiltration nor aggression, that would justify the use of guns and violence by government forces to quash the protest that killed three, while many were badly injured, arrested, and manhandled.

In the first place, the people of El Nino-stricken areas’ legitimate demand for government to solve hunger merits immediate action; and in its absence, they have the right to seek redress and remedy. The neglect and inaction of concerned agencies caused the farmers to manifest their demands and hold a protest action that led to this tragic event.

Not only the protesters’ freedom of assembly, expression, and speech were assaulted, their right to life which is non-derogable or a right that cannot be compromised at any time was blatantly violated. What happened was a massacre, an overkill where all involved must be held accountable.

The authorities’ actions were non-compliant to the maximum tolerance policy of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in handling protest actions such as this. PNP standard rules prohibit the carrying of firearms by policemen within 100 meters from the demonstration.  Authorities always have the greater responsibility for keeping the peace and not breaking it.

May we remind the government of their obligation to fulfill, respect, and protect at all times human rights of the people. These obligations reside on their shoulders as duty bearers, and victims have all the right to claim and act for their rights.

Government’s failure to resolve and diligently act on problems caused by El Nino combined with corruption and politicking were the root causes of all these. Violence will never answer hunger. It not only worsened the situation of the victims, but exposes more how the government perpetuates violence and injustice.

—–

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) is a mission partner of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in The Philippines (AMRSP).

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[Press Release] Women WISE joins calls for justice for Kidapawan farmers -Women WISE

Women WISE joins calls for justice for Kidapawan farmers

“We are one with the farmers, and the Filipino people in calling for justice for the victims in the Kidapawan. There is no justification for the violent dispersal and use of high caliber firearms against the farmers especially because their demand for food is legitimate,” said Kamille Deligente, coordinator of Women Workers in Struggle for Employment Empowerment and Emancipation (Women WISE3) in a candle lighting activity held by the group last April 8, a week after the violent dispersal of protesting farmers in Kidapawan.

Women WISE3 members gathered to hold a short program on the grounds of Camarin Residence I and lighted candles as sign of grief and call for justice for the farmers and victims in Kidapawan. The group held placards containing popular calls #BigasHindiBala and condemned the violent dispersal and demanded justice for the victims of the violent dispersal.

On April 1, close to 6,000 North Cotabato farmers barricading the national hi-way were violently dispersed by the police resulting in two casualties and 10 fatally injured. The farmers have been on the streets since March 29 demanding the release of rice subsidy as their farmlands were heavily stricken by drought due to El Nino.  On January, the provincial government placed the entire North Cotabato province under the state of calamity.

“We condemn the continuing harassment of the farmers and we demand those detained be immediately released and their case dismissed. We find it desperate that government is accusing the farmers to have been infiltrated by the rebels to justify the dispersal.  Isn’t this the same justification that Arroyo government used in Hacienda Luisita massacre? There can be no justification to shoot the hungry farmers and the poor asking for rice badly stricken by climate change,” Deligente added.

About 79 individuals including senior citizens and women, were arrested and charged with direct  assault upon person in authority. Three out of 28 women now detained in Kidapawan Convention Hall are pregnant.  The court handling the case recently lowered the amount of bail from 12,000 per person to 2,000 per person.

“From one disaster to another, we have seen how the Aquino administration neglected the needs of the poor, yet it placed them in prominence if they serve the election campaign. To the government the much-needed food that farmers were asking was something that can be sidelined and delayed or tempered by pronouncements that the government is prepared for the drought. Such pronouncements only aggravate the pain of rumbling stomachs.”

The group added that they share the anger of many towards the indifference of PNoy and the national government who “has not done anything” to expedite disbursement of the calamity fund to aid the victims of drought. “Is it because the fund was already spent on something else?” Deligente asked.

The group also pointed out that under Aquino, the farmers, workers and the urban poor endured too much poverty and violence. With at least 25 victims of extra-judicial killings of workers and the urban poor and numerous cases of violent dispersal of workers strikes and demolition of urban poor communities, Aquino’s record in human rights is a bloody one.

“We hold the Aquino government, the PNP and the local government of Kidapawan and North Cotabato accountable for what transpired in Kidapawan. Ultimately, we hold the Aquino government accountable for its exemplary record of violence and continuing attacks on the lives of the poor,” Deligente ended.###

For reference: Ms. Kamille Deligente, Women WISE3 Coordinator, 0998.478.8574

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[From the web] Witnesses, Victims Recount Shooting, Beating by Police Apparent Excessive Force Used at Kidapawan Protest -HRW

Philippines: Witnesses, Victims Recount Shooting, Beating by Police
Apparent Excessive Force Used at Kidapawan Protest

200px-Hrw_logo.svg(Kidapawan City, the Philippines) – The Philippine police may have used unnecessary lethal force in breaking up a demonstration by farmers in Kidapawan City on April 1, 2016, Human Rights Watch said today. The police used batons and guns against the protesters, including women and children, some of whom threw rocks at the police.

Darwin Sulang, 22, and a bystander, Enrico Fabligar, 30, were fatally shot, and dozens who were injured required hospitalization for gunshot and other wounds. The police also reported injuries to their officers. Police have detained 79 protesters and charged 74 of them with offenses including assaulting a police officer. Three separate investigations into the incident are underway by the official Commission on Human Rights, the Philippines National Police, and the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

“The Philippine government needs to determine why the police found it necessary to fire at protesters,” said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Some protesters were throwing stones, but lethal force may only be used as a last resort to save lives.”

Human Rights Watch interviewed eyewitnesses to the protests, and called for the government to ensure that investigations into police use of force are credible, transparent, and impartial.

Some 6,000 protesters, primarily farmers and supporters from drought-stricken areas in North Cotabato and Bukidnon provinces on the southern island of Mindanao, gathered in Kidapawan City beginning March 28, calling for government food aid and other assistance. On March 30, the group protested by blocking the main highway into the city. On April 1, Philippine National Police personnel, some with riot shields and helmets, led an operation to clear the protesters from the road, backed by a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit equipped with military-style body armor and M-16 assault rifles.

Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that the police began donning their crowd-control gear at about 9 a.m. on April 1. Minutes after the crowd was ordered to disperse, a phalanx of police officers and SWAT unit personnel used batons to push through the crowd. When protesters responded by throwing rocks, fire trucks used water cannons against the stone-throwers. A video shows protesters advancing toward the police followed by apparently uncoordinated gunfire that continues sporadically.

Since the incident, local and national government officials have alleged that groups linked to the insurgent communist New People’s Army organized the protest. Protesters have denied any such links.

The mayor of Kidapawan City, Joseph Evangelista, told Human Rights Watch that he tried to negotiate a peaceful resolution of the protest with the assistance of the local Catholic diocese beginning March 30, but said that protest organizers refused to meet. He described the police decision to fire into the crowd as “warning shots” intended to protect two policemen allegedly “about to be killed” by protesters.

The North Cotabato police chief, Alex Tagum, said that police fired on protesters “to defend the people who are helpless and about to be killed,” but provided no details. Police Superintendent Jerson Berrey, who supervised the police operation, said police had “reliable reports that there were armed elements that [were] maybe accompanying the [protesters].” He said that this concern, along with Kidapawan City’s history of being “very prone to terror attacks and bus burnings and kidnappings,” prompted him to order the deployment of a SWAT unit to help deter potential “terror attacks and [situations in which] the police will be made sitting ducks.” Human Rights Watch has been unable to confirm Berrey’s assertion of possible “armed elements” among the protesters.

The nongovernmental Health Alliance for Human Rights reported at a press conference on April 6, that at least 40 protesters sustained injuries, 30 of them gunshot wounds. Human Rights Watch was not able to corroborate those numbers because police and hospital administrators have blocked access by media and human rights researchers to local hospitals where injured protesters are undergoing treatment. However, Human Rights Watch interviewed six injured protesters who either remained at the scene of the shootings or were held by the police at the city gym. They included two protesters with gunshot wounds to the leg and ankle, and four others with heavily bruised arms, torsos, and faces that they alleged were inflicted by police wielding truncheons and rifle butts.

Neither local government officials nor the Kidapawan City police have released details of the numbers of protesters injured or the type or severity of those injuries. The Philippine National Police in Manila reported on April 3, that nearly 100 policemen were also injured at the protest site on April 1. They include an officer currently in the intensive care unit of the Kidapawan Doctors Hospital with severe head injuries that police allege was the result of a beating by protesters. A video from a police aerial drone appears to show a protester repeatedly striking a policeman with a board.

An estimated 1,500 protesters remain in Kidapawan City and have taken shelter inside the Spottswood Methodist Center (SMC) and are refusing to leave for fear of police harassment and possible arrest. Police blocked the entrance of the center from April 1 to April 5, requiring all those entering and exiting the compound to record their identities in a police logbook and to submit to a body search and examination of their belongings.

On April 1, the municipal and provincial governments threatened the Methodist Church and Methodist Bishop Ciriaco Francisco with possible legal action if protesters continued to be given sanctuary at the SMC compound. On April 5, Philippine military personnel from the 39th Infantry Battalion began patrolling and taking video footage inside the SMC compound in what church officials have called deliberate harassment of the protesters and church workers.

“In Kidapawan, a difficult situation got out of control,” Kine said. “Transparent and impartial investigations are needed to find out what went wrong, who should be held accountable, and what is needed to restore trust in the police.”

For additional information, including accounts from victims and witnesses of the Kidapawan City shootings, please see below.

For more Human Rights Watch reporting on the Philippines, please visit:
https://www.hrw.org/asia/philippines

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

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[From the web] Credibly Investigate Police Shootings of Protesters Apparent Excessive Force Used at Kidapawan Protest -HRW

Philippines: Credibly Investigate Police Shootings of Protesters
Apparent Excessive Force Used at Kidapawan Protest

200px-Hrw_logo.svg(Kidapawan City, April 9, 2016) – The Philippine police may have used unnecessary lethal force in breaking up a demonstration by farmers in Kidapawan City on April 1, 2016, Human Rights Watch said today. The police used batons and guns against the protesters, including women and children, some of whom threw rocks at the police.

Darwin Sulang, 22, and a bystander, Enrico Fabligar, 30, were fatally shot, and dozens who were injured required hospitalization for gunshot and other wounds. The police also reported injuries to their officers. Police have detained 79 protesters and charged 74 of them with offenses including assaulting a police officer. Three separate investigations into the incident are underway by the official Commission on Human Rights, the Philippines National Police, and the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

“The Philippine government needs to determine why the police found it necessary to fire at protesters,” said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Some protesters were throwing stones, but lethal force may only be used as a last resort to save lives.”

Human Rights Watch interviewed eyewitnesses to the protests, and called for the government to ensure that investigations into police use of force are credible, transparent, and impartial.

Some 6,000 protesters, primarily farmers and supporters from drought-stricken areas in North Cotabato and Bukidnon provinces on the southern island of Mindanao, gathered in Kidapawan City beginning March 28, calling for government food aid and other assistance. On March 30, the group protested by blocking the main highway into the city. On April 1, Philippine National Police personnel, some with riot shields and helmets, led an operation to clear the protesters from the road, backed by a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit equipped with military-style body armor and M-16 assault rifles.

Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that the police began donning their crowd-control gear at about 9 a.m. on April 1. Minutes after the crowd was ordered to disperse, a phalanx of police officers and SWAT unit personnel used batons to push through the crowd. When protesters responded by throwing rocks, fire trucks used water cannons against the stone-throwers. A video shows protesters advancing toward the police followed by apparently uncoordinated gunfire that continues sporadically.

Since the incident, local and national government officials have alleged that groups linked to the insurgent communist New People’s Army organized the protest. Protesters have denied any such links.

The mayor of Kidapawan City, Joseph Evangelista, told Human Rights Watch that he tried to negotiate a peaceful resolution of the protest with the assistance of the local Catholic diocese beginning March 30, but said that protest organizers refused to meet. He described the police decision to fire into the crowd as “warning shots” intended to protect two policemen allegedly “about to be killed” by protesters.

The North Cotabato police chief, Alex Tagum, said that police fired on protesters “to defend the people who are helpless and about to be killed,” but provided no details. Police Superintendent Jerson Berrey, who supervised the police operation, said police had “reliable reports that there were armed elements that [were] maybe accompanying the [protesters].” He said that this concern, along with Kidapawan City’s history of being “very prone to terror attacks and bus burnings and kidnappings,” prompted him to order the deployment of a SWAT unit to help deter potential “terror attacks and [situations in which] the police will be made sitting ducks.” Human Rights Watch has been unable to confirm Berrey’s assertion of possible “armed elements” among the protesters.

The nongovernmental Health Alliance for Human Rights reported at a press conference on April 6, that at least 40 protesters sustained injuries, 30 of them gunshot wounds. Human Rights Watch was not able to corroborate those numbers because police and hospital administrators have blocked access by media and human rights researchers to local hospitals where injured protesters are undergoing treatment. However, Human Rights Watch interviewed six injured protesters who either remained at the scene of the shootings or were held by the police at the city gym. They included two protesters with gunshot wounds to the leg and ankle, and four others with heavily bruised arms, torsos, and faces that they alleged were inflicted by police wielding truncheons and rifle butts.

Neither local government officials nor the Kidapawan City police have released details of the numbers of protesters injured or the type or severity of those injuries. The Philippine National Police in Manila reported on April 3, that nearly 100 policemen were also injured at the protest site on April 1. They include an officer currently in the intensive care unit of the Kidapawan Doctors Hospital with severe head injuries that police allege was the result of a beating by protesters. A video from a police aerial drone appears to show a protester repeatedly striking a policeman with a board.

An estimated 1,500 protesters remain in Kidapawan City and have taken shelter inside the Spottswood Methodist Center (SMC) and are refusing to leave for fear of police harassment and possible arrest. Police blocked the entrance of the center from April 1 to April 5, requiring all those entering and exiting the compound to record their identities in a police logbook and to submit to a body search and examination of their belongings.

On April 1, the municipal and provincial governments threatened the Methodist Church and Methodist Bishop Ciriaco Francisco with possible legal action if protesters continued to be given sanctuary at the SMC compound. On April 5, Philippine military personnel from the 39th Infantry Battalion began patrolling and taking video footage inside the SMC compound in what church officials have called deliberate harassment of the protesters and church workers.

“In Kidapawan, a difficult situation got out of control,” Kine said. “Transparent and impartial investigations are needed to find out what went wrong, who should be held accountable, and what is needed to restore trust in the police.”

For more Human Rights Watch reporting on the Philippines, please visit:
https://www.hrw.org/asia/philippines

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Statement] “Violence not an option vs drought-affected protesters”-PMPI

“Violence not an option vs drought-affected protesters”

PMPIPMPI laments the unfortunate incident in Kidapawan. What is happening in the drought affected parts of Mindanao is deeply troubling:

When communities reeling from intense drought still have to rally for days to demand relief after the whole of North Cotabato, has been declared under the state of calamity since January 2016.

When the government offered the farmers 3 kilograms of rice for every quarter, despite enoughfunds allocated to assist the farmers and the affected populations of the province and for all of Region 12.

When the government deployed armed forces in full battle gear to disperse the hungry farmers who are claiming their life support provisions, not only with brute force butwith bullets.

When, after the protest-turned-bloody-mayhem, the arrest and detention of protesters and, without proper investigation of the event,police officers were awarded medal of valor.

When humanitarian donation and support are being rejected and blocked by the local government amid plea from the people and from the Commission on Human rights to allow neighboring towns to avail of rice aid provided by private individuals and organizations.

As reports from our member organizations and different news agencies came in, it wasenough to make us freeze with helplessness. The images of bloodied farmers in TV and social media shuddered our senses. And even as we try to suspend judgement due to the blaming game, we can’t help but feel for the farmers.

No need for violence

Philippine Misereor Partnership, Inc. national coordinator Yoly Esguerra shared that nothing can justify the action of the police using live bullets to disperse protesting civilians. There were many measures that could have been done to prevent violence to happen. Dialogue and tolerance should always be the modes of action of those in power.
“It was not a secret to us that these areas will be heavily impacted by the drought and that funds were earmarked to help them cope. That we had to wait until it reached this point is unacceptable. Measures to mitigate the impact should have been in place. Relief is due to the affected population of El Nino soonest,” she said.

Presidential Communications Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III in an interview shared that the DSWD has since released P133,426,000 including funds to maintain and complete the required or standard stockpiled 30,000-families food pack and initial assistance for the cash-for-work program. This is to cover the 125,228 families or 626,140 persons affected by El Niño in all of Region 12.

“But where are these funds? Why until now it has yet to reach our farmers?” Fr. Joy Pelino of the Social Action of Marbel said.

He stressed that the matter should have not reached this point if the government only did its job.

Drought gone bloody

Notwithstanding the present turmoil, since 2014 PAGASA has provided ample warning of the start of the El Niño cycle. They sternly informed all that the current cycle was the “strongest in modern history” and will be prolonged well into the middle of 2016.

Interface Development Interventions (IDIS Inc.) Executive Director Ann Fuertes said that if the government prepared well for the people in the affected areas, none of the strings of protests would have happened.

“Given the early warning made by the national weather agency, the government should have foreseen this scenario and placed appropriate measures to address this situation,” Fuertes said. “What the local government did to the protesters was unconscionable. They were only asking for food and yet they were met with such brutish violence.”

Geonathan T. Barro of MASIPAG-Mindanao stressed that responses to drought should not only be limited to giving food packs and relief goods, but also by shifting our country’s agricultural system to become drought-tolerant and be adaptive to climate change.

“In this case, the farmers and IPs were just asking for food. It’s for their survival it’s not for anything else. We are able to eat because of the food they produce, but when it’s their time to need food, the least we can do is to give back to them,” he lamented.

Sr. Susan Bolanio of Oblates of Notre Dame Hesed Foundation, Inc. expressed the need to further conduct investigation on the whole matter.

“Even as I don’t agree that the farmers had to block the national highway, paralyzing the major thoroughfares of the province, the violence that erupted must be thoroughly investigated,” she said.

Rev. Fr. Edu Gariguez, NASSA Caritas Executive Secretary and PMPI co-convenor said that “it is the utmost duty of the state to protect the rights of the most vulnerable especially in situation such as drought and other natural calamity, and not to further inflict pain during an already unbearable situation.”

“We call for an independent investigation on this as much as we condemn the act of violent inflicted on our hungry-stricken farmers.  And if real justice should be served, those found guilty should be penalized,” the priest stressed.

For more info, please contact :
Amor J. Tan Singco
Communications and Information Officer
http://www.pmpi.org.ph | +63925.576.7426 | (02) 961.5956
Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc.

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[Statement] Freedom from Debt Coalition Statement On the bloody dispersal of farmers asking for El Niño aid in Mindanao

Freedom from Debt Coalition Statement
On the bloody dispersal of farmers asking for El Niño aid in Mindanao

FDCThe Freedom from Debt Coalition strongly condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the murder of  an innocent protester and the wounding of several more at the barricade line on the Cotabato-Davao Highway allegedly at the hands of members of the Philippine National Police.

The despicable act, perpetrated on unarmed civilians by police officers bearing high-caliber weapons is utterly inexcusable.

The barricade was clearly a peaceful protest action, set up by around 6,000 farmers and lumad from several towns in Cotabato to demand immediate relief from the drought that had ravaged the province since November last year.

The killing is even more abhorrent given that the protesters had put up the blockade merely to demand government support to stave off the near-famine conditions brought about by the El Nino-induced drought. They had braved the scorching summer sun, hoping the government that had failed to prepare for a calamity that had been predicted two years before would finally sense the urgency of the crisis. Instead, they were told to leave or face the government’s wrath. Soon after, the shooting started, leaving over a dozen casualties in its wake.

It is a grave indictment of the prevailing system when the poor and hungry who exercise their legitimate, constitutionally-guaranteed right to demand government aid are instead met with bullets from the very people entrusted with keeping them safe.

We must not let this pass. There must be an immediate and thorough accounting. The ground commander and all PNP personnel who participated in the dispersal must be relieved of their duties pending independent investigations. The local government officials, particularly Kidapawan Mayor Joseph Evangelista who reportedly at the site when the violence erupted must face sanctions. All involved must be brought to justice.

But beyond the police officers and local authorities, P-Noy and his administration must also be held accountable for exacerbating the disastrous impact of El Niño with their equally disastrous handling of preparedness and response efforts. The state’s own meteorological agency, PAGASA had warned of the coming El Niño as early as March 2014. Ultimately, it was the negligence and lack of urgency evident in the slow roll-out of El Niño mitigation measures that set the stage for the tragedy that played out on the road between Cotabato and Davao.

It will be no less of a tragedy if they are allowed to escape responsibility for the calamity that their callousness and ineptitude has brought upon the nation.

 

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[People] Walden Bello on the Violent Dispersal of Farmers and Lumad barricade and killing of one farmer in Kidapawan City

Statement from Walden Bello on the Violent Dispersal of Farmers and Lumad barricade and killing of one farmer in Kidapawan City
April 1, 2016

Walden Bello word.world-citizenship.orgI condemn in the strongest possible terms the violent attack of police and military forces against protestors that resulted in the killing of one farmer and injury to 13 others in Kidapawan City this morning.

The protesters are farmers and Lumads who have been suffering for months now the devastating impacts of El-Niño induced drought. They came and put up the barricade to demand urgent action from government both at the local and national levels. Theirs is a legitimate course of action, as they hope for a response in the form of rice and food to alleviate their hunger, but were met instead with deadly force and violence.

Based on news reports, the number of people affected by drought in North Cotabato alone has reached over 30,000 people, mostly corn, rice, rubber and coconut farmers. In Maguindanao, another 20,000 more suffer the same fate. There are reports of people driven to eating feeds meant for their livestock and toxic root crops just to survive. This is clearly unacceptable. Mindanao today is at a critical turning point with the looming famine induced by El-Niño and yet there has not been a clear, urgent and long-term response from government.

In an election campaign dominated by trapo politics — money driven and based on personalities, rather than the issues of concern to the people — this crisis in Mindanao is being ignored in the most irresponsible manner.

I echo the call by FDC for the immediate relief from duty of the ground commander and PNP personnel, pending independent investigations. and for all those including local government officials, directly involved or complicit in the violent dispersal to face sanctions and brought to justice.

This tragedy is a reflection not just of the failure of government to respond to the urgent needs of its people but a manifestation of the sad and declining state of agriculture in this country, particularly in Mindanao brought about by years of government neglect.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/walden-bello-for-senator-movement/statement-from-walden-bello-on-the-violent-dispersal-of-farmers-and-lumad-barric/10154007645425610

 

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[In the news] USM classes suspended due to protest rally inside campus -MindaNews.com

USM classes suspended due to protest rally inside campus
By Malu Cadelina-Manar
January 17, 2013

MindaNews

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 16 Jan) – Classes have been suspended until Friday at the state-run University of Southern Mindanao (USM) in Kabacan, North Cotabato after a rally staged by protesters, mostly faculty and students of the institution, became “unruly”, a school official said.

USM President Jesus Antonio G. Derije. File photo courtesy of http://www.usm.edu.ph
The rally, according to Dr. Jesus Antonio Derije, university president, will continue until Thursday after the protesters secured a permit from the local government unit (LGU).

The school management decided to suspend the classes, including those in the laboratory high school, to prevent students from being hurt while the rally is going on.

Derije has ordered the university’s security personnel to protect at all cost the school’s premises.

Read full article @www.mindanews.com

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[In the news] Media groups express concern over threats on Kidapawan journalist -MindaNews.com

Media groups express concern over threats on Kidapawan journalist
By Malu Cadelina-Manar , MindaNews.com
January 17, 2013

MindaNewsKIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 16 Jan) – The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has joined its affiliate, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), in expressing concern about reports of a threat against a journalist here.

Reports reaching NUJP said that a texter, who identified himself as a member of the Bagani, was tasked to “silence” Joy Francisco, publisher and editor-in-chief of Southern Voice Journal (SVJ), a weekly tabloid based in this city.

The text, using the mobile phone number 09214095902, was sent to two local radio reporters, one of them Abner Francisco, program director of Charm Radio and columnist of the SVJ, around 8:30 a.m. last Sunday.

When the reporters tried to call the sender, the phone was already out of reach.

It was not clear how the texter was able to get the personal numbers of the reporters.

Read full article @www.mindanews.com

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[From the web] A year after Fr. Pops Tentorio’s murder, no case filed in court -MindaNews.com

A year after Fr. Pops Tentorio’s murder, no case filed in court
By Mindanews
October 18, 2012

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/17 October) – Exactly a year after the murder of Italian missionary Fausto “Pops” Tentorio, no case has been filed in court and the parishioners and indigenous peoples in Arakan, North Cotabato, where he served as parish priest, as well as the Diocese of Kidapawan and his congregation, the Pontificial Institute of Foreign Missionaires (PIME), are still waiting.

Fr. Peter Geremia, also of the PIME and presently the assistant parish priest in Arakan, told MindaNews that one year later, justice has remained elusive.

As of October 17, the first death anniversary of Tentorio, Geremia said they have yet to hear fom the Department of Justice on the status of the case.

He recalled that the last time Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan replied to his follow-up query was on September 13. During that time, he said, Baraan asked him if he received a letter from them (Department of Justice). He replied he didn’t.

He quoted Baraan as saying, “Sorry, Father, to tell you that the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) doubts your witnesses.”

“I replied I also doubt their (NBI) witnesses,” Geremia said.

Read full article @ www.mindanews.com

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[In the news] 10 R12 schools increase tuition fees -MindaNews

MindaNews » 10 R12 schools increase tuition fees.

By Allen V. Estabillo
March 28, 2012

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/27 March) – Ten of the 26 colleges and universities in Region 12 or the Soccsksargen Region have set another round of increases in tuition and other school fees starting June, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) revealed.

Dr. Eloisa Paderanga, CHED Region 12 director, said they were formally informed of the new fee increases based on documents submitted to their office by the concerned colleges and universities.

Region 12 covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

“We’re currently reviewing the submitted documents based on the guidelines set by the Commission,” Paderanga said.

Read full article @ www.mindanews.com

[In the news] Family, pals hail filing of raps vs Father Fausto Tentorio’s killers | Sun.Star

Family, pals hail filing of raps vs Father Fausto Tentorio’s killers | Sun.Star.

By Malu Cadeliña Manar
February 29, 2012

KIDAPAWAN CITY — Relatives and friends of the slain Italian priest doing missionary work in the hinterlands of North Cotabato were elated after learning that murder charges were already filed against those accused in the killing of their kin, said one of the members of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Mission (PIME).

Father Peter Geremiah, PIME, said the relatives and immediate family of slain Father Fausto Tentorio were among those given the information about the filing of murder charges last week against Jimmy Ato, his brother Roberto, Jose Sampulna, and Dima Sampulna.

Tentorio’s family and relatives live in Italy.

Tentorio belonged to PIME, one of the religious congregations doing missionary work in most difficult areas in the Philippines.

Geremiah, parish priest based in Columbio, Sultan Kudarat, said the filing of the cases has long been expected by Tentorio’s family, including their congregation.

“Even the Italian ambassador to the Philippines has waited for it. He’s been asking updates about the killing,” Geremiah said.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

[In the news] Suspects in Fr. Tentorio slay charged -MindaNews.com

Suspects in Fr. Tentorio slay charged
By Malu Cadelina-Manar
February 25, 2012

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/24 February) – Authorities filed this week murder complaints against Jimmy Ato, who was arrested almost two months ago in Arakan town in North Cotabato, and three others, after they were tagged as behind the killing in October 2011 of Italian missionary Fr. Fausto Tentorio.

Also charged, reports said, were Roberto Ato, Jimmy’s younger brother who allegedly served as the driver of the motorcycle used as get-away vehicle after the killing; Jose Sultan Sampulna; and Dima Maligudan Sampulna.

The murder complaints were filed at the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor, this city, by operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and Special Investigating Task Group Fausto led by Chief Supt. Lester Camba of the Police Regional Office in Region 12.

Lawyer Virgilio Mendez, deputy director for regional operations services of the NBI in Northern Mindanao (Region 10), said that after piecing together the evidences and testimonies, the names of the Ato brothers and the Sampulnas came out as primary suspects in the priest’s killing.
“We already have enough evidences as proof these people were involved in the crime,” said Mendez.

Read full article @ www.mindanews.com

[Job announcement] Nonviolent Peaceforce-Philippines is in need of Regional Program Officer

Dear Friends,

I am pleased to inform you that Nonviolent Peaceforce-Philippines, currently in need of a qualified applicants for the position of Regional Program Officer for Zambasulta area. If you have known qualified candidates please share with them the attached JD. They may send ASAP letter of intent along with CV to

The Program Manager
Conflict Prevention Program
Nonviolent Peaceforce-Philippines
House #04, Don Abelardo St.
Poblacion IV, Cotabato City, Philippines

or email the said requirement to: smansoori@nonviolentpeaceforce.org

Thanks.

Lemuel L. Artiaga
Field Coordinator
Conflict Prevention Program
Nonviolent Peaceforce-Philippines
Fort Pikit, Pikit, Cotabato
e-mail: lartiaga@nonviolentpeaceforce.org
mobile: 09088917525

[In the news] DSWD-12 to create more livelihood opportunities for ‘poorest of the poor’ – MindaNews

MindaNews » DSWD-12 to create more livelihood opportunities for ‘poorest of the poor’.
By Allen V. Estabillo
February 2, 2012

 GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/1 Feb) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Region 12 or the Soccsksargen Region plans to create more livelihood opportunities this year for beneficiaries of the national government’s conditional cash transfer program in the area to eventually make them “self-sufficient.”

Bai Zorahayda Taha, DSWD Region 12 director, said they are currently drawing up some viable livelihood projects that would offer stable income opportunities for around 148,000 “poorest of the poor” households in the region that have so far benefited from the initiative, which is also known as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps.

She said the move mainly aims to make the 4Ps beneficiaries in the region become productive and self-reliant once they complete the program’s three-year cycle.

Region 12 covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

Read full article @ www.mindanews.com

[In the news] Cop, trader tagged in Fr. Pops’ slay – INQUIRER.net

Cop, trader tagged in Fr. Pops’ slay
Philippine Daily Inquirer
January 11, 2012

 ARAKAN, North Cotabato—This town’s former police chief, a local businessman and at least two other men have been implicated in the murder of Italian missionary priest Fr. Fausto “Pops” Tentorio by a suspect tagged as the gunman and arrested earlier by authorities.

The alleged masterminds, however, denied involvement in the killing.
In a sworn statement submitted to the National Bureau of Investigation, Jimmy Ato, the alleged gunman, identified William Buenaflor and Senior Insp. Benjamin Rioflorido as masterminds in the killing of the Italian priest on Oct. 17, 2011.

Buenaflor, a businessman who entered politics and lost in the 2010 mayoral race here, said he was surprised at being linked to the murder.

Rioflorido, interviewed by a radio station in Kidapawan City, also denied involvement in the Tentorio murder.

“I am innocent and don’t know why I was being implicated in the priest’s killing,” Rioflorido, now assigned to the provincial police headquarters, said in the radio interview.

Read full article @ newsinfo.inquirer.net

[In the news] NBI returns warrant for Italian priest’s ‘killer’ –

NBI returns warrant for Italian priest’s ‘killer’
By Malu Cadeliña Manar, Sun Star
January 4, 2012

 KIDAPAWAN CITY — Agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) from Northern Mindanao have returned the warrant of arrest to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) branch 13 in Cotabato City against the suspected killer of Italian missionary from North Cotabato originated, a top NBI official said.

However, suspect Jimmy Ato, a Teduray from North Upi, Maguindanao, was not presented to the court, said lawyer Virgil Mendez, deputy chief of the Regional Operations Service of NBI-Davao Region.

Plan your Sinulog week ahead and find out what’s in store for Sinulog 2012.

Mendez said after the court has taken cognizance of the arrest of Ato, they would file a motion or letter request that the accused remain in their protection until such time charges in connection with the killing of Father Fausto Tentorio are filed against him.

“The motion or letter request will follow if the court issued an order directing the NBI to turn over the living person of Jimmy Ato to the issuing RTC court in Cotabato City,” Mendez said.

“Definitely, we would turn over Ato to the court in Cotabato City in due time. That’s the next step we would follow,” he added.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

[Press Release] KIDMADI Bishops Reject the XSTRATA/SMI – Tampakan Copper and Gold Project

The Dioceses of Kidapawan, Marbel and Digos (KIDMADI) reiterate their opposition against the Tampakan Copper and Gold Project by the London based XSTRATA/SMI. As pastors of the flock, they are deeply troubled and concerned on the irreversible damage to the environment particularly to the biodiversity and the last remaining forest, livelihood, food security, health and of the poor communities both of the IPs and the down-stream communities. It is the biggest direct foreign investment to the country at present which amounting to $5.6B, but will it augment its critical damage to agriculture and livelihood of the stakeholders and the country’s economy.

Bishop Romulo dela Cruz, D.D., the ordinary of the diocese of Kidapawan in his letter addressed to the SMI said, “ I have serious reservations about the humongous scale of the project.” And after thorough evaluation and assessment of the EIS  he further noted that, “it fails to convince me that the good which can be expected of the project will outweigh the harm that it brings to man and nature alike. As it stands, I cannot support the project.”

The present mining policies of the Philippines such as Mining Act of 1995 (RA 7942), EO 270 (Revitalization of the Philippine Mining industry) and other statutes are all for the extraction of the countries natural resources. These exploitative and destructive mining activities do not promote neither guarantee a Sustainable Development in those communities.

Our National Patrimony, our mineral reserves are exploited aggressively favoring the foreign investors, and what would be left to the Filipino people? Hazardous Waste? The 2% excise tax and other local taxes in which the mining companies are boasting are all fictitious because of its very minimal contribution of the mining industry to the Gross National Product (GNP).

The countries metallic minerals will be all gone and our laws only provide pitiful taxes will be provided for but its destruction of the watershed, protected areas and agricultural zones are irreversible. This economic condition pushes the poor to be marginalized. The poor will be the most vulnerable sector. ALL OUR PRECIOUS METALS ARE GONE FOR FREE. The Mining Act of 1995 and the EO 270 are inconsistent to the newly approved National Climate Change Adaptation Plan (NCCAP) 2011-2028 signed by President Benigno C. Aquino III last November 22, 2011.

The Tampakan Copper and Gold Project will go against P’noys’ seven (7) strategic priorities to combat climate change: 1) food security, 2) water sufficiency, 3) ecosystem and environmental stability, 4) human security, 5) climate smart industries and services, 6) sustainable energy, and 7) knowledge and capacity development.

Above all, it goes against the Philippine Constitution which declares as a state policy “to promote healthy and balance ecology.” (Art 2, Sect. 16)

One serious emerging condition of the IP communities defending for their ancestral land is the escalation of violence. According to Fr. Rey Ondap, CP of the Catholic Mission on Indigenous Peoples, “because of strong opposition, tension are prevalent.” There was an alleged harassment of the military in the IP communities. Bishop Dinualdo of Marbel has urged the concerned parties that “we must avoid the escalation of violence.”

After 17 to 20 years SMI/XSTRATA will approximately mine 6.375 million tonnes of copper (375, 000 tonnes per annum) and 6.120 million ounces of gold (360, 000 ounces per annum of gold) in concentrate, who will manage those huge infrastructures? We call for a moratorium to seriously adhere to the voice of the communities.

Bishop Jimmy Afable of Digos shows similar concern since the facilities like fresh water dam and tailings dam will be constracted at the Mal River Catchment, but these huge storage facilities are directly under criss-crossing faultlines. This apprehension was seconded by the reviewer of the EIS of the company that “The Tampakan mine has a high potential for loss of life and  high  environmental damage if a failure of  Dams or Rock Storage facilities occurs.”
Even if the company argues that putting this huge structures under international standard.
The $76M Environmental Impact Assessment cost of the XSTRATA/SMI is not enough study the impact of mining on this one of the most bio-diverse area comprehensively.

It still leaves five general impacts that are not adequately answered:  1) the displacement and resettlement of onsite households, 2) the loss of onsite forest lands and biodiversity resources, 3) the diversion of surface and groundwater for the use of the mine and the displacement of existing in-stream and off stream users, 4) the acid drainage, spillage, leakages, overflows and the pollution of natural water source; 5) the risks of a tailings dam failure or collapse.

The letter of request for a meeting with the president sent by the 3 bishops, Bp. Dinualdo D. Guttierrez, Bp. Jimmy Afable and Bp. Romulo dela Cruz was received in Malacañang last Nov. 9, 2011 tend to discuss with the president some serious concern on XSTRATA/SMI Copper and Gold Project. It pertains to the open pit mining that is very destructive and the location of the mine is in the heart of Quezon Mountain Range and at the same time, at the heart of our forest and watershed. Up to the present no reply was heard concerning the request.

The three (3) dioceses of the Roman Catholic Church gathered the strong 108, 424 signatures that signify the validity of the issues and will be submitted to Malacañang on Dec. 14, 2011 through the National Social Action Secretariat (NASSA-CBCP).

PROTECT THE INTEGRITY OF GOD’S CREATION!
PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN THE COMMUNITIES!
THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD PROTECT AND PROMOTE THE INTEREST OF HER PEOPLE!
RESPECT THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLE’S RIGHT TO SELF DETERMINATION!

KIDMADI BISHOPS

(Sgd) Most. Rev. Romulo dela Cruz, D.D.
(Diocese of Kidapawan)

(Sgd) Most Rev. Dinualdo D. Gutierrez, D.D.
(Diocese of Marbel)

(Sgd) Most Rev. Jimmy Affable, D.D.
(Diocese of Digos)

[Statement] ECIP-IP Apostolate Network Condemns the Killing of Fr. Fausto Tentorio, PIME,

“The just man is one who is virtuous, faithful to God and to the law of Moses.” (Mt. 19, 17-20)

The Episcopal Commission on Indigenous Peoples (ECIP), its National Secretariat and the whole Indigenous Peoples Apostolate network join the Diocese of Kidapawan, the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) and the lumads of Arakan in mourning the brutal slaying of Fr. Fausto Tentorio, parish priest of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Arakan Valley, North Cotabato and the Tribal Filipino Program Director of Kidapawan.

File photo source: cbcponline.org

It is very unfortunate that a real advocate and mover for indigenous peoples’ rights suffered this tragic end during the Indigenous Peoples month of October.  We condemn in the strongest possible term the brutal slaying of Fr. Fausto Tentorio.  We are one in calling for the immediate but thorough and transparent investigation surrounding this crime.  We want the perpetrators, particularly the mastermind, be brought to justice for the immediate resolution of the case.

According to Mindanews, Fr. Fausto was gunned down at around 8:30 Monday morning, 17 October 2011, just as he was preparing to leave his convent in Arakan Valley , North Cotabato, for the 9 a.m. clergy meeting in Kidapawan City .  Bishop Romulo dela Cruz  told MindaNews that Fr. Fausto was hit on the left side of his head, chest and side while in his vehicle, preparing to drive for Kidapawan City.  Fr. Tentorio was pronounced dead upon arrival at the Medical Specialists Hospital in neighboring Antipas town at around 9:05 a.m.

Fr. Fausto was a pastor for lumads since the early 80’s.  The third Italian PIME killed after Fr. Tullio Favali and Fr. Salvador Carzedda, whose apostolates were focus on the poor and deprived Lumad and Moro peoples, respectively. Fr. Tentorio had organized the tribal organization called the Tinananon-Kulamanon Lumadnong Panaghiusa or TIKULPA in Arakan Valley . He was appointed Tribal Filipino Program Director of the Diocese of Kidapawan since 2010.

For the ECIP- IPA Network

(SGD) MOST REV. SERGIO L. UTLEG, D.D.
Archbishop of Tuguegarao and ECIP Chairperson

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