KMP Affirms Mass Evacuation in Philippines Village

Apr. 17, 2007

News Release
April 16, 2007
References: Danilo Ka Daning Ramos, secretary general, KMP
Diane Ragub, campaign officer SAGUPA-SB
Carl Anthony Ala, public information officer

Mass evacuation in Samar village true!-KMP
Military and police further harassing peasants

The militant Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and its regional chapter SAGUPA-SB lambasted the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) particularly the 34th Infantry Battalion and Mayor Mateo Biong of Giporos town in Eastern Samar for lying to the media that there was no mass evacuation of at least 80 families from Barangay Huknan.
According to Danilo Ka Daning Ramos, secretary general of KMP, it is true that a massive evacuation of peasant families occurred in Barangay Huknan when elements of the 34th IB threatened the whole village of dire consequences if they do not report on fellow villagers who sympathize with the New Peoples Army (NPA). On April 1 the 34th IB also mauled and almost killed Enrique Gelio, a peasant resident of the barangay, when soldiers arbitrarily said that he is an NPA,
The farmers in Barangay Huknan are not NPA; they are members of our Eastern Samar provincial chapter KAMASISA. This is another case of pure military harassment and terrorism which forced the peasants to flee their homes. In fact now the 34th IB and the police are further harassing Enrique Gelio not to testify against the soldiers and not to file a complaint. The police did not even write the mauling case on their blotter when Gelio and Huknan Barangay captain Napoleon Lacdao came to report it to the police, said the peasant leader.
As for her part Diane Ragub, campaign officer of SAGUPA-SB said I myself went and talked to the residents of Barangay Huknan and found out what really happened to them and how the 34th IB threatened them. The military is indeed creating mass terror in the village, it would take this much to force peasants to leave their homes and farms just to get out of harms way,
We are asking Mayor Mateo Biong to tell the truth and stand up for his constituents, by mouthing the lies of the military then he will definitely lose the support of the people in his town, a fact which is very relevant now considering that the election is coming fast. Mayor Biong should also call for the pull out of troops in the villages of his town so that they could not terrorize his constituents anymore, ended Ragub. # # #

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