Peasant women group warns Lorenzana, AFP against using quake aids to force farmers to surrender as NPAs

Peasant women group warns Lorenzana, AFP against using quake aids to force farmers to surrender as NPAs

The National Federation of Peasant Women (Amihan) today warned Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and the Armed Forces of the Philippines against using the relief distribution to earthquake victims in Mindanao to force farmers and disaster victims to surrender as rebels.

The group issued the statement after Secretary Lorenzana ordered the military to man more checkpoints in earthquake hit areas to regulate relief operations.

“Marami nang karanasan ang mga magsasaka, kababaihang magbubukid, manggagawang bukid at mga mangingisda sa kamay ng mga militar na gumagamit ng pananakot, pagbabanta at panloloko para sapilitang mapasuko ang mga mamamayan sa kanayunan. Hindi malayo na gamitin nila ang kalamidad sa Mindanao para sapilitang pasukuin ang mga biktima ng lindol,” Amihan national chairperson Zenaida Soriano said.

“We have received reports that peasant women and their families are being told to go to military camps in communities to “clear” their names while others are threatened to choose between detention or surrender. May mga kaso pa na pinapangukuan ang mga magsasaka na mabibigyan ng pera at bigas. Nagugulat na lang sila ipinipresenta na sila ng mga sundalo bilang mga surrenderee. Masaklap pa, wala silang natanggap ni katiting na tulong,” Soriano added.

Karapatan has documented at least 2,924 victims of forced and fake surrender under the Duterte government.

According to the latest situation report by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), a total of 37, 716 families or 188,583 individuals were affected in 246 barangays in Regions XI and XII.

A total of 5,614 families or 28,070 individuals are in 32 evacuation centers while 1,493 families or 7,465 individuals in need of help are outside evacuation centers.

NDRRMC reported 21 fatalities, 421 injured and 2 persons missing.

Soriano said, “The Mindanaoans need immediate and quick delivery of relief and assistance. Kailangan ng kongkretong plano at programa kung paano tutulungan ang mamamayan ng Mindanao na bumangon mula sa sakuna. Hindi makakatulong ang pagpapatuloy at pagpapatindi ng Martial Law at militarisasyon sa mga komunidad sa Mindanao sa mga biktima ng lindol na nakakaranas na ng labis na pag-aalala at pagkabalisa dahil sa mga nawalang buhay, bahay at kabuhayan.”

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