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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, July 11, 2016
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Silay farmers plead for help

The Kawad-on Farmers Alliance is pleading to the city government of Sipalay for help to recover from the effects of the long drought.

Rina Tabat, Kawad-on Alliance spokesperson, said even after their three-day picket at the Sipalay City Hall on June 13-15, recently inaugurated Mayor Oscar Montilla Jr. has refused to meet with them and help has not reached the farmers.

Tabat said the farmers are having a hard time cultivating the corn they are planting. Some of them have to bear having corn for their meals.

The residents of Sitio Cambugui-ot in Brgy. Camindangan, where the base of Kawad-on is located, are also being unsettled by the military presence, she said.

She claimed that the infantry division detachment has been staying in Camindangan for more than two months since April 18.

The detachment seems to be monitoring some members of the alliance for connections with the rebel groups near the area, she said.

She also claimed that the military are monitoring 28 people on a list that includes 16 Kawad-on members.

“We are not, in any way, connected with these rebel groups. We were just holding a picket at the Sipalay City Hall to ask for rice and farming assistance from the government,” she said.

The military presence in Sitio Cambugui-ot has been a reason for uneasiness among the residents, she said. “We are worried that we will be caught in between in a crossfire.”

She said the personnel from the detachment have assured them of their safety, but the alliance members are staying vigilant while trying to survive with less food and income.*KBC


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