Sunday, 3 April 2016

"Of demanding Rice, (and be replied with Bullets)"

"Of demanding Rice, (and be replied with Bullets)"

(Notes on the April 1 actions at Kidapawan)

With 3 killed, 116 wounded, and the rest subjected to arrest orders by the police, these swarthy farmers, tied to the barren soil, and suffering from a dry spell known as "Tiempo Muerto", hath resorted to marching and barricading a government-owned granary for three days, before the authorities forcibly dispersing them resulting to a bloody scuffle, enough to call as "Kidapawan Massacre".

Like any other incident involving these angry and desperate peasants, the authorities rather forcibly disperse them from their three-day barricade near the compound of the National Food Authority, worse, they fired their guns against them, as well as issuing arrest warrants for their "disorderly act" such as "illegal assembly". 
That somehow shows how the state failed to heed the clamour of the hungry, suffering peasant, but instead, killing them and arresting some, all in the name of restoring order given that they're doing "illegal" or perhaps "subversive" given the groups involved in asserting people's clamour.

It may also sound common like those of past revolts, be it the actions against the Principalías to the tragic incident at Hacienda Luisita, that these peasants, driven by hunger and desperate for food, hath been clamouring for aid as well as justice for days if not weeks; while at the same time hearing the system describing them as rebels for being against the authorities with all their statements pointing against them, especially after noticing mass organisations supporting these farmers calls for food and rural development especially in the time of drought.

Worse, to hear a governor's statement justifying blocking a caravan of rice coming from a rival Presidentiable who promised aid (well, the governor happened to be from the administration party) as a "staging ground for their propaganda", if not stating that the protesters had no rally permit for their barricade. True to hear that the governor and the Local Government Units under its side took full responsibility on that incident, including those of having policemen issuing search and arrest warrants towards these protesters for making an "illegal action" be it from the barricade or at the Mission Centre of the Methodist Church they're currently staying, as well as insisting that one of the protesters carried a gun.
So are the system's apologetics. Who afforded to condemn them, from the farmers, mass organisations, and other concerned groups such as the church, as "being supported by Rebels", "supported by a rival Presidentiable" while describing those who directly sympathise as "meddlesome" in case of a Party-List representative who visited these peasantfolk and an actor who afforded to donate sacks of rice.

But all and all, thinking that with these authorities did such actions, this person, as well as others concerned ought to say that what they did is an example of a Tiempo Muerto done by the system, reminiscent of the past actions such as those from the middle ages such as those of peasants clamouring for land, bread, and justice, only to face death, if not imprisonment, or disappearance in those really suffering times. 

And to accuse them for being violent? Or instigating violence? The negligence brought by the system in the middle of El Niño, what more of its Tiempo Muerto is itself violent given the farmers, and its communities' terrible condition! As according to Gerardo Lanuza:

"Paolo Freire is right- 'It is not the unloved who initiate disaffection, but those who cannot love because they love only themselves. It is not the helpless, subject to terror, who initiate terror, but the violent, who with their power create the concrete situation witch begets the 'rejects of life'. It is not the tyrannised who initiate despotism, but the tyrants... Force is used not by those who have become weak under the predominance of the strong, but by the strong who have emasculated them."

Made by Gerilya, shot by Joum Valera
Anyways, is justice truly dispensed under a landlord-led rule? If there is, then why is the peasant question remained still? Sorry to say, but regardless of criticism, these peasantfolks are willing to take arms, if not turning their bolos into a weapon of vengeance, again, reminiscent of the peasant revolts of long ago.