Police officers forcibly demolished the temporary camp set up by delegates to the Stand with Samar campaign currently camping out in front of the Department of Agriculture national office. The 50-delegate congregation of farmers from Eastern Visayas arrived in Manila on the 22nd of February to call for the end of militarization in their communities, and for the granting of agricultural aid denied by the government after severe destruction brought about by consecutive storms. The farmers initially went to hold a protest outside the premises of the DA office earlier today and later on conduct a dialogue with DA Secretary Manny Piñol but were barred on the gates by security guards despite holding an appointment letter submitted two weeks prior the event. The General Services Department of the DA, after insisting that the farmers cannot hold camp outside the compound due to possible threats of causing traffic, prompted the attention of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) which conducted the demolition.
Northern Samar Small Farmers Association (NSSFA) member lamented on the harassment done by members of the Philippine National Police (PNP). “Nagambag-ambag kami para maka-pamasahe kami papunta dito pagkatapos ganito ang aabutin namin?” (Each of us contributed for the fare just to be able to come here and this is what we get?) Likewise, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN)- Eastern Visayas Spokesperson Joshua Sagdullas, urged the support of the people for the farmers of Eastern Visayas due to the intensifying fascism experienced by the people of Eastern Visayas, especially the farmers.
As of this posting, the delegates were able to rebuild their camp through collective effort.