Hunger drives Maguindanao farmer to commit suicide


DISTRAUGHT that his family was starving, a farmer from a remote village in South Upi, Maguindanao apparently decided to kill himself on Wednesday.

Jimmy Sabia Takilid, 37 years old, had reportedly declined any food for a week before being found hanging inside in his shack in Barangay Kigan.

Takilid had appeared depressed for his failure to provide food for his wife and three children. Takilid lost his crops due to a prolonged dry spell resulting from El Niño that has been ravaging central Mindanao.

Municipal officer Lynette Estandarte said they are monitoring Takilid’s family for further assessment and for the provision of other support services. Estandarte heads the medical team that dispatches relief goods to drought-affected areas in the province,
Around 600 individuals in Barangay Kigan have been given food packs—10 kilos of rice, canned goods, noodles, coffee and rice.

Estandarte said a truckload of fresh milkfish (bangus) was distributed yesterday in Kigan and in nearby Barangay Kuya and Barangay San Jose in South Upi. These three villages are among the worst hit by drought among the province’s 36 towns.

The Philippine Army’s 1st Mechanize Brigade, 40th Infantry Battalion and Civil Military Operation of the 6th Infantry Division based in Maguindanao assisted in the operation.

The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries in Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DAF-ARMM) initially reported that Maguindanao has so far suffered P124-million in agricultural loss while over 23,000 agricultural workers have been affected by the drought.
The losses translate to some 47,381 metric tons or P117,053,625 worth of crops wasted, threatening to plunge the province into starvation.

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan last week issued a resolution declaring Maguindanao under state of calamity as a result of the worsening drought.

The nearby province of North Cotabato and Kidapawan City also declared state of calamity because of the dry spell.


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