In 2016, thousands of farmers from North Cotabato, Bukidnon, Sultan Kudarat, Davao del Sur, and Compostella Valley protested to demand for sacks of rice, seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides as they struggle during the El Nino Season. The farmers, along with their families, are starving and they only demanded for the governor to provide them their basic needs. Unfortunately, their demand was not heard and the peaceful protest turned into a massacre as protesters were killed, arrested, injured and went missing.
If the people vulnerable to the climate crisis are treated this way for crying for help, one can only imagine what the state can do as our situation worsens. Five years have passed yet these marginalized groups are still on the same situation, asking for the same needs they deserve to receive from the administration. As the climate crisis rises, farmers are prone to the impacts of climate change. We need to put pressure and demand proper governance, uphold farmers’ rights, and ensure this event won’t happen again.
We, at YACAP, stand in solidarity as we remember the farmers who fought for their families’ needs. Alongside the crafting of a better and sustainable system, the government must ensure that no one gets left behind. The growing needs of people must, not only be addressed, but also not approached with violence and impunity.