PRESS ROOM

Title

Justice for the Victims of the Kidapawan Carnage!

JUSTICE FOR THE VICTIMS OF THE KIDAPAWAN CARNAGE!

(A Statement of the Ecumenical Bishops Forum on the Violent Dispersal of Farmers and Indigenous Peoples in Kidapawan on April 1, 2016)

The carnage that happened in Kidapawan, North Cotabato yesterday and the continuing harassment of the people and their supporters is deplorable. Farmers and indigenous peoples who were severely affected by the El Niño drought peacefully assembled along the Kidapawan Highway to seek government support for them and their families. They were reportedly demanding subsidy of 15,000 sacks of rice from the National Food Authority, free distribution of seedlings, increase in crop prices, and the pull out of military forces in their communities.

 

To our mind, these demands are legitimate and are well within the power of the government to grant. The farmers deserve support from their officials; they have nobody else to turn to. 

Ironically, instead of listening to their pleas, they were violently dispersed by the Philippine National Police.  Latest report says that 3 were dead, 116 wounded, 89 missing and 2 tortured.

The local United Methodist Church which responded to the victims of police brutality is also being harassed.

 

The Ecumenical Bishops Forum could not understand this government response to the legitimate peoples’ action. They were unarmed, yet they were met with live bullets.

Governing authorities are supposed to be God’s servants for the good of the people (Romans 13:1, 4). However, their response was the exact opposite as they became terrors to the people (Cf Romans 13:3).

 

In view of the above:

We demand accountability of the part of the authorities who ordered the police to open fire.

We call for an independent investigation by a competent authority to determine accountabilities.

We demand punishment to those who will be found criminally responsible and guilty.

We seek justice for the victims of this unconsciounable act against the people.

Let God’s justice and peace reign in our hapless land!

 

Issued and signed this 2nd day of April, 2016.

 

BISHOP ELMER M. BOLOCON, UCCP
Executive Secretary

MOST REV. DEOGRACIAS S. IñIGUEZ, JR., D.D.
Co-chairperson

BISHOP FELIXBERTO L. CALANG, IFI
Co-chairperson

 

http://nccphilippines.org/blog/2016/04/justice-for-the-victims-of-the-ki...

http://davaotoday.com/main/politics/church-leaders-condemn-violent-dispe...

http://interaksyon.com/article/125937/kidapawan-fiasco--recto-send-aid-h...

http://www.bworldonline.com/content.php?section=Nation&title=accusations...

http://bulatlat.com/main/2016/04/02/united-methodist-church-groups-join-...

http://www.ucanews.com/news/philippine-bishops-call-for-probe-into-shoot...

http://www.sunstar.com.ph/cagayan-de-oro/local-news/2016/04/07/ecumenica...

http://mindanaogoldstardaily.com/church-leaders-lead-rally-seek-justice-...

http://opinion.inquirer.net/94367/justice-kidapawan-victims-protesters

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