KMU Condemns Violent Dispersal of Protesting Farmers and Lumads

PRESS STATEMENT
February 14, 2014

KMU condemns violent dispersal of protesting farmers and lumads

Davao City- Kilusang Mayo Uno in Southern Mindanao Region strongly condemns the brutal dispersal carried by the local police personnel to the lowly farmers and lumads who are just airing their grievances at the Camp Panacan yesterday. The violent dispersal injured several protesters.

Ethyl Rico, a staff of KMU, was one of the seriously injured of the violence when he was beaten by the dispersal team of Philippine National Police. He sustained a serious cut at the top of his head. Even a member of the alternative media group, Kilab Mutimedia, was not spared by blood thirsty PNP personnel that left the said media personnel bleeding from head injury when he was also beaten while he was taking photos at the time of the fracas.

The viciousness of the local police personnel only portrays the current system we have under the administration of Noynoy Aquino. Maximum tolerance is not in the vocabulary of state authorities as rule of brutality is adhered.

Just what the lowly farmers and lumads experienced in their respective communities, they were continuously brutalized and several had been killed by Armed Forces of the Philippines’ personnel. To date, there were already 7 civilians including 2 children were killed by the elements of 71st Infantry Batallion under their jurisdiction in Compostela Valley.

The protesting farmers and lumads who courageously came to the city are just seeking justice of the victims of state personnel and likewise call for the immediate pull-out of 71st I.B. and other military units that are currently wrecking havoc in their respective communities.

We are in strong solidarity with them in their call for the immediate pull-out of military personnel who serve as security guards of big mining corporations in Maco and Pantukan towns in Compostela Valley. Those military personnel who were involved in the extra-judicial killings and other human rights violations should not be left unaccountable.

We are also daring the Commission on Human Rights to look and act immediately on the violent dispersal made by local police personnel and charge them for their abusive actions . The dispersal yesterday is second already after the same police personnel are also responsible of the violent dispersal when Noynoy Aquino visited the city the other day.

However, we cannot expect much will happen in the quest for justice of the victims of state repression under U.S.- Aquino regime and as long as this type of system prevails, but on the other hand, we do not lose hope because we are confident that the oppressed will put justice in their hands through the victory of the national democratic movement. #

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