By Joey Natividad
CITY OF NAGA, Bicol Region, 4April2016 (BicolToday.com) – Singer Aiza Seguerra, a singer, reacting to Kidapawan carnage Friday and farmers demand for rice, lambasted North Cotabato Governor Lala Taliño-Mendoza and the society’s elite in her heart-touching, but provocative letter posted in social media.
On Saturday, April 2, action star Robin Padilla, senatorial aspirant Bayan Muna Partylist Representative Neri Colmenares, and Kabataang Partylist Terry Ridon from Manila rushed to Kidapawan City on Saturday and offered assistance.
Padilla donated 200 sacks of rice Saturday. As of Monday afternoon, a total of 420 sacks of rice were donated, 200 sacks of rice from Anne Curtis, and 20 sacks of rice from Jasmine Curtis, latest report from Kidapawan said.
However, presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte of nearby Davao City offered the protesting farmers 15,000 sacks of rice in response to the failure by the North Cotabato Provincial Government to provide food aid assistance coming from the calamity fund arising from the months-long drought caused by El Niño, but this was rejected by North Cotabato Governor Mendoza.
About 6,000 farmers had sought refuge at the United Methodist Church on Friday afternoon, after state troops barged into their barricade Friday morning, and opened fire with Armalite rifles, killing 3 farmers, wounding 116 others, while 87 farmers were considered as missing.
North Cotabato Governor politics of rice
In reaction, North Cotabato Governor Lala Taliño-Mendoza sworn before local media that she will block any outside rice coming as aid for the protesting farmers.
Aiza Seguerra, a well-known singer, wrote Governor Mendoza, reminding her that “pride cannot be eaten, and that many Filipinos are planning to send help to the protesting hungry farmers in Kidapawan City.”
“Is the Governor considering the offered outside help insulting to her administration and to the Provincial Government of North Cotabato”?
“Hindi po nakakain ang pride. Now the Filipino people are stepping up to help sasabihin ninyo insult sa inyo,” the singer wrote in her Facebook account.
Seguerra asks Governor Mendoza if the rice comes from her candidate, would she say the same thing?
The problem is you think of politics first during calamities, but if you have given the farmers their demands, the killings would not happen, the singer wrote in social media.
“Propaganda naman dahil ibang kandidato ang nagbigay baga pledge ng bigas. Kung yung kandidato mo kaya ang nagbigay ng bigas, will you say the same thing? Yan ang hirap sainyo at sa mga kampon ninyo eh. Sa gitna ng sakuna eh ang iniisip niyo pa rin eh politika. Kung ibinigay mo na lang yung hinihiling nila, hindi mangayayari ito,” the singer wrote in her social media account.
Seguerra ended her letter to Governor Mendoza: “You were elected to serve the people. They trusted you. But now, their blood is in your hands. Tao ang dapat nauuna. Hindi politika.”
How cheap is 15,000 sacks of rice?
Meanwhile, #BigasHindiBala, a FB group sympathetic to the Kidapawan farmers, explains on how cheap is the value of 15,000 sacks of rice, in terms of government spending standards:
- Cost of 15, 000 sacks of rice equivalent to less than 10% of calamity fund
- The value of 15,000 sacks of rice equivalent to 37 (thirty-seven) discounted 15-seconder TV political advertisements.
Elite must step down
In a related move, the singer called society’s elite to step down from their thrones and see among themselves the poverty and looming hunger stalking the land.
She calls the elite’s thrones as “pinakamataas na kabayo”
The singer challenges the elite to get out from their homes in exclusive subdivisions and see the actual happenings in the country.
She slams the elite for not knowing the real situation and calling the protesters ‘communists’.
The rich and poor have equal rights. We all have the same right to live decently, enjoy freedom, and live with dignity, she says.
“Sa mga elitista na hindi maintindihan ang sitwasyon, hindi porke nag rally komunista na. obviously, may mga pangangailangan siling hindi naibibigay ng gobyerno. Bumaba muna kayo sa napakataas ninyo mga kabayo ng Makita ninyo ang totoong nangyayari sa Pilipinas sa labas ng mga esklusibong mga village ninyo. Lahat tayo may karapatan mabuhay ng maayos. May karapatan makahanap ng hanapbuhay. May karapatan mag-aklas. May karapatan mabuhay ng Malaya,” Seguerra wrote in Facebook.
Hindi lang ang mga mayayamang tulad ninyo ang Pilipino na dapat nakikinabang at kinikilala at binibigyan ng importansya sa bansang ito. Dapat lahat tayo, the singer ended her FB post. [BicolToday.com]