The drought-stricken strugglers of Kidapawan

kidapawan

As of this writing, I just read a news that the Philippine National Police (PNP) is bound to a Methodist Church where our poor, miserable farmers took shelter after they have been chased, sprayed with water cannons and worse, fired with rifles to search for firearms. This is because the PNP claims that the protesting farmers are the ones who started the turmoil. Just yesterday, while having breakfast with my family in Doha, Qatar, I was browsing the web when I suddenly got shaken by a newslink stating ” At least 1 dead, many wounded as Police fire on Cotabato human barricade.” with a heartbreaking photo of a bloodied farmer.

As I read the news article, my mind was in a series of flashbacks. I recalled similar events such as Mendiola and Hacienda Luisita massacre, to which the victims are farmers as well. Then it struck my mind, since I was kid I know, that without our beloved farmers there will be no rice served on every households’ table. But despite that, many farmers are struggling for a bag of rice. Why? simply because the huge majority of our farmers don’t have their own lands. Most farm lands belong to rich families that sadly, most of them are unbending and regards the farmers as slaves. Yes I just did. I called this slavery. And its really heartbreaking because our beloved farmers deserves more rather than suffering.

Imagine an Abaca Farmer, Abaca is used to make money. But the ones who worked their ass off to gather Abaca leaves can’t even remember the last time they felt a thousand peso bill on their blistered palms. As the saying goes, “life is not fair”. And I couldn’t agree more.

And what’s more fist-clenching is this event happened during the campaign season for local and national positions in the government. And based on the reports, candidates have been spending hundreds of millions for their electoral campaigns. And we’re very much sure that these people will cast their statements as if they are the most noble public servants in the history of humanity. God forbid. This poor country has been pested by corrupts for many years and people are getting tired of this nonsensical bullsh*ts over and over. Leaders will point at each other and some nitwits will even have the guts to blame the poor protesters instead.

So what’s the relevance of this tragic event on the candidates campaign expenses? Well, an estimated 6,000 Kidapawan farmers are asking assistance because their farming lands were hit by El Niño (drought). This El Niño phenomenon is spontaneous in our country and every effin year, the government is not ready for situations like this. I don’t know. Maybe they are just incompetent as leaders and public officials or they simply just don’t give a flying f*ck about it since they will not be affected and they can still fill their insatiable stomachs with their money.

One thing I realized yesterday, in some countries, farmers live in prosperity because the government appreciates their hard work and know their value. THEY ARE NOT POOR BECAUSE THEY ARE FARMERS.

While in the Philippines, farmers live miserably and treated as slaves by the elites and greedy pests from the government. THEY ARE POOR. BECAUSE THEY ARE FARMERS.

As a Filipino writer, this is all I can do for them. To write and yell with them to fight for our poor farmers. I’m sorry but I’m just an OFW working my ass off as well to feed my family.All I can offer to you is my words, and my concern.

And for the mainstream media, in behalf of millions of Filipinos hurt in this event. We are begging you to please focus on this issue. Lumads and other indigenous tribes, farmers and laborers. Please focus on this as you had focused on summer getaways and bikini photos of some celebrities last holy week. You should be more powerful than the government. You are here to watch and observe them not be with them. So please. We are counting on you.

-JB

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