March 26, 2017

Students light candles in solidarity with Kidapawan farmers, call for justice and accountability

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Students from the Technological University of the Philippines (TUP) and youth groups held a symbolic candle-lighting action April 7 to demand justice and accountability from the Aquino regime for the death of 7 farmers in the Kidapawan massacre.

“As the tally of victims of the state-initiated Kidapawan massacre rose, the youth will further intensify  the unity we forged with the farmers,” Kevin Castro, National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) Deputy Secretary General, said.

“Massacres involving farmers had been in the bloodline of the Aquinos – Cory with her infamous Mendiola massacre and her son, PNoy, with the Kidapawan massacre. As one of the most prominent family of feudal landlords in the county, the welfare of the oppressed farmers will not be prioritized by a landlord president,” Castro added.

As of writing, 7 farmers has been recorded dead, 116 wounded and injured, 89 still missing and 78 arrested by the state forces.

“Death caused by massacres has been a prominent program of the Aquino administration. With the Mamasapano bloodbath, persistent neoliberal attacks on the youth’s right to education, and now, the Kidapawan massacre, it is just right to hold Aquino accountable of all the deaths under his regime – 6 students, over 60 SAF officers and Moros, 7 farmers, to name a few. Justice can only be achieved once the ‘Massacre King’ Noynoy Aquino was held accountable with all the bloods at his hand,” NUSP – Metro Manila Chairperson  Lianne Timenia stated.

Teddy Angeles, Kabataan Partylist – Metro Manila Coordinator, said, “More than the immediate release of aids and food supplies, what the farmers need are their own land to till. It is ironic that in an agricultural country, the feudal landlords have vast hectares of land at their disposal, while the farmers have nothing.”

TUP University Student Government President Fritz Pinto in her speech stated, “It is only through genuine agrarian reform that we can destroy the power of feudalism over the oppressed farmers.”###

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