5,000 protesters commemorate Peasants Month; Calls for lifting of ML in Mindanao

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Cagayan de Oro City (October 23)— At least 5,000 farmers, members of the church, indigenous people, and members of progressive groups, hold a protest and marched the streets of Cagayan de Oro to commemorate the National Peasants Month and to call on the immediate lifting of martial law in Mindanao.

Police sources however said, the actual number of protesters didn’t reach 5,000 as the group claimed.

Fr. Alejandro Abejo, IFI of Movement against Tyranny Northern Mindanao Region (MAT-NMR) said the Mindanao Day of Protest Against Martial Law aims to expose the human rights violations against the people and the legitimate people’s organizations including illegal arrests, filing of trumped-up charges, harassment and intimidation and extrajudicial killing.

According to Fr. Abejo, MAT-NMR has documented five (5) cases of extrajudicial killings, 89 cases of illegal arrests and detention, 90 cases of trumped-up charges and 720 victims of forced or fake surrenders.

IFI Bishop Antonio Ablon, also called out to the government and its authorities not to accuse the church and its fellows as a member of the New People’s Army (NPA).

“Now, because the church is in favor with the exploited farmers; and in favor of the victims of killings; because they accused it first, that is the reason why they also accused the church.” Ablon, said.  “We are not, NPA. It is just a plain propaganda.” Ablon added.

According to Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas-Northern Mindanao Region (KMP-NMR)  their contingents from Valencia Bukidnon were barred yesterday from attending the Kampuhan sa Mag-uuma (Camp-Out of Farmers) while on their way to this city. Two of their members were also illegally arrested and detained. While the members were released and the delegation was able to attend the rally. – Hensell Hebaya/ NewsLine

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