Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sumilao Update: Metro Manila Leg - Day 16

The farmers have marched back to DAR early today. They were disappointed by the unclear order of Malacañang. Several points were not addressed and only one thin is clear, the 144 hectares is declared as agricultural land. They intend to ask DAR for a cease and desist order to stop SMFI land development. They will also ask for a notice of coverage. Malacanang also failed to recognize them as the real owners of the lad. Whatever the outcome, they will seek the help of Cardinal Rosales who is unhappy with the EO.

Tomorrow, the farmers will march from DAR for the 8AM mass at the Paco Catholic School. Assembly time is at 4:30AM. They will also meet with Cardinal Rosales for consultation. I am asking all concerned to join the march and show your support for the farmers. They intend to stay at the DAR until all their demands are met.

Personal Notes: The mudslinging has broadened and the farmers are now being put in a bad light. Some quarters say that they should be happy with what GMA gave them. Gloria never gave them anything. GMA covered her ass. There was nothing decisive with the order. I suppose some people will never understand what this issue is all about. It's not about emotions, it's not about culture, it's not tied only to the land.

What is at stake here is the life of a people. If only their detractors could see for themselves the farmers. They are very typical "natives". They are as simple as they can be. Very naive and innocent. One would wonder what would become of them when you take away the land. I suppose their detractors will never see the entire picture. All they will see is discontent. I hope they try to speak with these people. I hope they find the time to interact with them. Maybe if they do these, they would understand what these farmers are fighting for.

I saw for myself their resolve, their hopes. It saddens me that even some media personalities were quick to denounce these people without even seeing them face to face. I did not even engage them in any way, I merely observed them up close. Yet I understood why they marched for 2 months and more than 1,700kms. I invite you all to spend even a few minutes with the farmers. I am sure they will touch your hearts.

"Bloggers Call for Boycotting of Monterey/Purefoods Products in support of Sumilao farmers. This Christmas season, December 15, 2007 to January 2, 2008. Bring down the sales of San Miguel Food, Inc. to show public support to the farmers of Bukidnon who were denied of their 144 hectares of land. Please pass to all bloggers."

Bloggers' Voice Update:

Pedestrian Observer
AWB-Arbet Bernardo: Sumilao Sa Metro Manila
The Equalizer: Boss Danding
The Four-eyed Journal
Oddball by Mayor Jesse Robredo: Sumilao Walk
Manila Bay Watch
Loves an Ocean
Planet Naga
Postcard Headlines
The Antisocial
Thirty Thousand Fishes
The Citizen On Mars
Ellen Tordesillas
Gari Lazaro
Uniffors: On Patricia Evangelsita's Column
Ibangon Ang Bayan: Ang Makabagong Lumad
The Equalizer:Boycott SMC's Monterey Meat
Ang Sa Wari Ko
AWB-Arbet Bernardo: A Nation of Crackpots and Nuts
Viking: The Skeptical Subversive
Manila Bay Watch: Boycott San Miguel Products
Messages From Balatucan
AWB-Arbet Bernardo: Kababuyan
The Antisocial: So, Who's Afraid of the Lumads? The Same Plight
The Nutbox: Supports Boycott
You can show your support for the Sumilao Farmers here.