Friday, December 07, 2007

Sumilao Update: Metro Manila Leg - Day 5

The Sumilao farmers today marched to Malacañang. Members of the Manila police first blocked the farmers at the foot of the Nagtahan bridge, a mere 300 meters from the gates of the palace. The farmers wanted to present their petition to Sec. Eduardo Ermita and to tell him that despite the orders from Gloria, DAR sec. Pangandaman has not acted on their case. The palace had ordered the police not to allow the farmers through.

After waiting for 3 hours and with the assistance of Fr. Anton Pascual, executive director of Caritas Manila, the marchers were allowed to reach at last the palace gate. Fr. Pascual prepared lunch for the marchers. A feverish and now suffering from skin asthma, Gari Lazaro sent regular updates of the progress of the march. He described the mood and demeanor of the marchers.

Messages from Gari Lazaro:

The Sumilao farmers were blocked by the police at the intersection of Nagtahand and Lacson. They just sat peacefully. Some cried out of frustration for the unnecessary forced blockade and it seems that they would not even see the gates of Malacañang.

We're marching back to the Dept. of Agrarian Reform. "Sumilao farmers demands for land, not for for food (personally served By Col. Querol). They hunger for justice, they thirst for their rights. The farmers cried their hearts out because of frustration."

There will be an indignation rally at the DAR tonight at 6PM for its insensitivity and inaction to issue a cease and desist order. 1,700kms of walk with all hopes crumbled when they reached Malacañang.

The sad group looked more like a funeral march from Gari's description on their way back to DAR.

The group has been joined by 50 more farmers. The Sumilao farmers will be camping out again in front of DAR office at the Quezon Memorial Circle. If ever you are in the area, I implore you to show your support for our hapless brothers. The need moral support now more than ever as it seems their's is a losing cause as they are up against a giant.

What bloggers had to say:

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
You can show your support for the Sumilao Farmers here.