Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Filipino farmers hold rally, denounce mayor

Photos released by the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas to the Mindanao Examiner show farmers protesting in front of the municipal hall of Boston in Davao Oriental province on Tuesday, March 1, 2011 after the town mayor Rebico Rosit rejected a planned general assembly of coconut farmers in Boston. Armed policemen also took photographs and profiles of the protesting farmers.

A farm worker in the southern Philippines drinks water as he takes a break from the harsh condition in the field. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)

DAVAO ORIENTAL, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Mar. 1, 2011) – Filipino coconut farmers held a rally on Tuesday in the southern Philippines and protested local government officials who are opposing a planned general assembly in Davao Oriental province.

More than 500 people marched in front of the Boston municipal hall and denounced the local officials.

They said the Farmers’ General Assembly aims to discuss their problems on exploitative usury and the continued decrease in the prices of copra products in the market.

The leader of the United Farmers of Boston criticized the town mayor, Rebico Rosit, who turned down the farmers’ request to grant them a permit and to use the public gymnasium for the assembly.

"We are very disappointed with our Mayor as his declarations show that we were denied of our right to use public facilities and the right to peaceful assembly. It is quite obvious that they are doing everything so that we won’t be able to push through with our activity," said Ruben Cotic, the group’s interim chairman.

The mayor said the police would not allow the assembly. It was not immediately known why the mayor denied the assembly.

Cotic said the politician last year also banned a similar assembly by the farmers’ group called Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas. Policemen also harassed the farmers. (Mindanao Examiner)

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