NGOs cry foul on false accusations

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NGOs cry foul on false accusations

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Two legitimate non-government organizations cried foul on how they were maliciously described by a Cebu based NGO which issued a press release to The Chronicle and other local papers last month.

Maria Ira Pamat, executive director of the Women’s Development Center of Tagbilaran City, Inc. branded as purely malicious the allegation that there was no training center for the residents of barangay Tinibgan in Maribojoc town belonging to the Tinibgan Farmers Organization (TFO).

Pamat in a letter to The Chronicle said the press release of the Community Empowerment Resource Network (CERNET) was of “pure malice and intent to malign my person in an attempt to tarnish my integrity as a longtime human rights and development worker serving the poorest of the poor in this province.”

She defended the Tinibgan residents saying that they are among the members of the progressive farmers organization Hugpong sa Mag-uumang Bol-anon (HUMABOL), who has been unfairly accused as fronts of the CPP-NPA by the military and the Countryside Development Program-Purok Power Movement (CDP-PPM) of the provincial government.

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Pamat said it was not the first time that she was maligned by the attack dogs of the government. She recalled that In 2010, the commanding officer of the 2nd Special Forces Batallion, in a press statement also accused her as the head of the “District White Area of the CPP” in Bohol for merely giving livelihood and other services to people’s organizations they deemed fronts or had connections with the underground movement.

She challenged the source of the information to reveal his/her identity and take responsibility for a very serious, unfounded accusation against her.

“I am not even a resident of Brgy. Tinibgan and has never owned a house there,” Ms. Pamat stressed.
She clarified that the 23 year-old Women’s Development Center, Inc. (WDC) of which she is the Executive Director, has been supporting the Tinibgan Farmers Organization (TFO-HUMABOL) in Brgy. Tinibgan, Maribojoc in their effort to re-till their once arid land with the massive application of sustainable agriculture. Five years since its birth, TFO has now developed a 1-hectare demonstration farm using Diversified Integrated Farming System where agro-forest, cultivation of livestock and different edible crops are combined.

Pamat likewise clarified that Inside the farm is a training center where members hold their meetings and other activities. She told The Chronicle that she is more than willing to let the writer of the malicious news article, get a tour around this WDC-supported farm.

She revealed that the TFO-HUMABOL  has been continually pestered by the CDP.

Meanwhile, Pio T. Aleria, Sr., chairman of the Tinibgan Farmers Organization (TFO) separately made an Open Letter to the board of trustees of the Community Empowerment Resource Network (CERNET) through its executive director Dr. Oliver Gimenez. He stated that there was no coercion on the part of Ira Pamat.

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In his letter sent to The Chronicle, Aleria clarified that they were not forced to have the scythe or “lagaraw.”  He said the 60 scythes were voluntarily claimed by the residents and were not distributed to their houses as reported.

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He stood firm on his clarification that Pamat did not in any way  forced them to have the scythe.

He said his group, TFO was the first to organize the meager farmers into an action driven group which aim to help those victimized by the strong quake and the typhoon which hit the province.

Aleria also revealed that there was a staff from the provincial Capitol who asked residents to sign a document stating whether they receive or not the scythe.  But to their surprise, the paper they signed their names was “transformed” into a petition to denounce CERNET and the alleged distribution of the scythe linked to the HUMABOL and Ms. Pamat. He said the allegation was purely fabricated and meant to malign personalities.

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Both NGO asked the media to validate first any accusation as to their actual operation and growth in pursuit of truth and fairness.

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