Category: KMP

Due to typhoon Milenyo: Farmers demand immediate relief from DA

References: Danilo “Ka Daning” Ramos, secretary general, KMP
Carl Anthony Ala, public information officer

The militant Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) held a picket-dialogue at the Department of Agriculture (DA) to call for immediate relief and support from the department and the National Food Authority (NFA) as well as to demand an increase in the price of palay (unhusked rice). The first demand is immediate and the second one is for the long-term. According to Danilo “Ka Daning” Ramos, secretary general of KMP, “we are here to press our demands for we are the primary ones affected by typhoon Milenyo, P162 million worth of our crops have already been destroyed. It is doubly catastrophic because it is almost harvest season but Milenyo beat us to the punch,”

“Aside from the fact that landlords and retailers buy our products at dirt cheap prices, the typhoon has further worsened our situation. The farm gate price of palay (unhusked rice) is P7-9 a kilo during harvest season, at times it gets as low as P4.50 a kilo. Darak (hogfeed) is even more expensive at P5 a kilo, than the food of us humans. That is why we are pushing for the increase of palay price to P12-15 so that we can earn a little more, because as it is, the ones who only make money are the landlords and the retailers, while we are the ones breaking our backs to put rice on each Filipino family’s table,” added the Ramos.

“It is common knowledge that 80-90% of Filipinos eat rice as a staple and that the crop is a highly political subject. As for the common question of many, if the price of palay increase would the price of rice also increase? The straight answer to this is NO. The price of rice should remain the same; the only thing that should increase is the income of farmers. The increase would be a step to redivert the excessive income of landlords and retailers to impoverished peasants,” said the peasant leader. “We are also asking the DA and the NFA to increase the subsidy for us farmers. Stop the liberalization of Philippine agriculture and our country’s pull-out from the World Trade Organization (WTO). We are also asking the department to help us in our campaign to stop land use conversions and crop conversions so that we can ensure our food security,” ended Ramos.

KMP to Gloria: “Formally invite the UNHRC to RP now!”

References: Danilo “Ka Daning” Ramos, secretary general, KMP
Carl Anthony Ala, public information officer

The militant Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) chided Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo anew for not formally inviting the United Nations Human Rights Council and its special rapporteurs into the country weeks after she said to international media that she already invited the independent international bodies.

According to Danilo “Ka Daning” Ramos, secretary general of KMP, who has just recently returned from Geneva, after filing formal complaints against Gloria, “all that she said in Europe was just for public consumption and purely for media purposes. She has no serious intention of formally inviting the UNHRC here or let alone solve the political killings,”

“If indeed she is serious at her offer then she could have formally invited the UNHRC, Amnesty International (AI) and the European Union team right there and then. But weeks have already passed and she has done nothing. She has even ignored the memo issued by AI for a truly credible and independent inquiry commission. As it is the Melo Commission still is a rubberstamp commission of Gloria, designed for a whitewash of the extrajudicial killings cases,” added Ramos.

“I have talked to the UN Special Rapporteur to Right to Food Mr. Jean Zeigler, UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights Defenders Ms.Hina Jilani and as well as the Team leader of the Petition Unit of the UNHRC High Commissioner on Human Rights Marcus Schmidt and their saying that unless Gloria makes a formal invitation to them then they cannot go to the Philippines on official inquiry business, but the longer she puts this off or if she never formally invites us then her credibility herself would be terribly eroded in the international community,” ended Ramos.