Radyo Tacloban Tackles the Ongoing Man-Made Crisis in Mindanao

Radyo Tacloban Tackles the Ongoing Man-Made Crisis in Mindanao

Cebu City – A special narrowcast episode of Radyo Tacloban last August 23, 2017 tackled on the situation of the Muslims and Indigenous People in Mindanao who have been affected by the ongoing war in Marawi City and the subsequent declaration of Martial law in the entire Mindanao.

One of the guests, Settie Rahma Harim from Marawi City said, she and her family had to flee their home when military airstrikes began.  She stayed in an evacuation center despite its dismal conditions and was forced to send her children to some relatives.

Because of the war, Rahma Harim lost her job. She relied on donations from kind-hearted individuals and from relatives to survive every single day.

“I only brought with me few clothes as I thought the war would end soon. I was wrong” Rahma Harim said.

Narrowcast episode of Radyo Tacloban in Fuente Osmeña Circle, August 23, 2017. FARDEC Photo

The war in Marawi City began on May 23, 2017 after a military-initiated surgical operation against Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, who according to their intelligence report, was in the city on that day.  Since then, the clash between the military and ISIS-linked Maute group has been ongoing, with the Philippine Armed Forces launching airstrikes to clear the city of the terrorists. Late night on May 23, 2017, President Duterte placed the entire Mindanao under Martial Law.

Rahma Harim is one of the delegates to the “Lakbayan 2017 (People’s Journey)”, a nationwide campaign of the national minorities to expose their situation and to express their sentiments and demands to the national government amid the ongoing war in Marawi City and Martial law in Mindanao that terribly affected their lives. Together with her were 500 Muslims and Indigenous People from five different regions in Mindanao who traveled to Cebu City for a stop-over before heading to Manila.

Meanwhile, guests Sarry Campos, Esel Libora and Julito Ofacan from the Indigenous People talked about their resistance movement against big mining operations within their ancestral lands. They noted that they already have quite a number of fellows and sympathizers who have been killed during the course of their struggle. They also related how they were affected by Martial Law.

Campos, a student of Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV), a school for indigent indigenous youth in the Caraga region, shared that their school and teachers were accused of being rebels and that there have been threats to bomb their school. She recalled that last Septermber 1, 2015,  their executive director was brutally killed inside their school while their community leader was shot dead by paramilitary elements in front of her and some community members.

At the end of the narrowcast, the guests expressed their call to the national government to end the aerial bombings and to lift Martial Law.  They also called for respect to their right to self-determination.

The narrowcast is a product of Radyo Tacloban, a community radio of International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) in cooperation with Kodao Productions and Central Visayas Farmers Development, Inc. (FARDEC).

Peasants Launched The First Community Radio In Cebu

Peasants Launched The First Community Radio In Cebu

PATAO, BANTAYAN, CEBU — March 25, 2017 was a momentous day for the members of the Patao Drivers, Farmers, and Fishermen Association (PADFFA) for it was the day they launched the first ever community radio in the province of Cebu.

Residents attend the first airing of the community radio

Amidst the sweltering heat, the radio program, Agos sa Katilingban (Flow of Society), was successfully launched. Fisherfolks Freddie Valendez and Geralyn Golisao were the guests in the morning segment that tackled the issue of the Joint Memorandum Circular 2014-01 or the No Build Zone Policy which prohibits the construction of any establishment within 40 metres from the shore. The memorandum was pushed forth and implemented after Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) hit the country which left massive destruction and thousands of deaths in its wake.

The fisherfolks registered that they don’t agree to the memorandum primarily because it would displace them and take them away from their main source of livelihood which is fishing. Freddie and Jera are residents of Panangatan and Mambacayao, respectively, small islands located in Bantayan in which the primary livelihood of the people are fishing, coupled with bits of farming.

Valendez also noted that the exception found in the Memorandum that was biased towards businesses. In it, the construction of establishments are allowed within 40 metres from the shore if the local government deems it to contribute to the local economy. Examples of this are hotels and beach resorts, commercial ports among many others.

Geralyn Golisao on other hand, emphasized the effect of the Memorandum to the women since the women are the ones who run the family and take care of whatever limited budget they have to spend for the needs of the family. She said that the loss of livelihood will force the women to take up extra jobs to help their husbands and therefore spend more time away from family.

The second segment of the podcast happened in the afternoon, tackling the ongoing peace process between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front and its importance to the farmers and fisherfolks. Dennis Michael Abarientos from the human rights group Karapatan was the guest speaker.

The community radio project originated from Tacloban, Leyte after Typhoon Yolanda devastated the province. It was founded by the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) with Kodao Productions as its partner from the national and Central Visayas Farmers Development Center, Inc. (FARDEC) as its local partner.

IAWRT Phils President, Jola Mamangun gives a brief background of IAWRT and the community radio

The fisherfolks and farmers of Barangay Patao, Bantayan were all grateful to have been given the opportunity to be  part of this project and are all eager for its nex airings.

Hosted by Charity Olete and Jenelyn Santillan, the community radio is scheduled to go on air every month.