Groups hold donation drive for Samar children affected by militarization
This is a press release from Amihan or National Federation of Peasant Women
MANILA, Philippines – AMIHAN (National Federation of Peasant Women), Gantala Press, and the All UP Academic Employees Union initiated a donation drive for school supplies for peasants’ children in Northern Samar and Samar.
“Suplay Pang-suhay sa Kabataang Nayon,” aimed to help peasant families cope with rising costs of educational needs for this year's school opening. The drive will benefit 180 elementary and high school students from the Samar provinces.
“This is little, but a noble beginning and we could hold this periodically, as long as various sectors commit to support. This is significant to poor peasant families whose children usually go to school without any supply, due to lack of sources of livelihood, surging prices and worse, disrupted farm work due to mass military operations,” said AMIHAN National Chairperson Zenaida Soriano, who personally bought the supplies in Manila.
In San Jorge town, Samar, ongoing operations of the Philippine Army's 63rd Infantry Battalion have affected the lives and livelihood of peasant families. About 37 families earlier fled their community as a military helicopter hovered above their village and reportedly fired indiscriminately at their hillside farms.
Since 2017, peasants in Northern Samar have been victims of militarization. There have been cases of reported extrajudicial killings, military encampment in public schools and in barangays, forcible mass evacuation affecting 2,423 people, illegal arrest and detention, series of aerial bombing, psywar and surveillance, destruction of properties, and sexual harassment.
“We are one with the farmers and peasant women in Samar island, in demanding the stop to militarization in peasant communities, and in condemning the onslaught brought about by Duterte’s counter-insurgency program and Memorandum Order No. 32 that targets primarily poor peasants who are asserting their rights to land and livelihood, against land grabbing and displacement,” Soriano said. (READ: Duterte orders more soldiers, cops in Bicol, Samar, Negros Island)
The groups are accepting donations of pad papers and composition notebooks (for Grade 1, 2, 3) sharpeners, crayons (box of 16), pencils (number 2), erasers, and rulers. School supplies may be sent to: Amihan Office, 80A Mapang-akit Street, Barangay Pinyahan, Quezon City.
AMIHAN is also accepting cash donations via bank deposit:
Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Kamias - Anonas Branch (Peso Account)
AMIHAN National Ferederation of Peasant Women
Account No. 3323297397
The donations will be accepted until the end of June 2019. – Rappler.com