Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie has turned down an invitation from the militant Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) for the famed celebrity to personally see the plight of Filipino peasants, their dependents and the national minorities in the countryside.
An e-mail received by the KMP from Geyer Kosinski, Jolie’s agent, read: “Thank you for thinking of Angelina Jolie for this…unfortunately, she is not available at the time.”
The message was forwarded to the KMP by Rev. Larry Emery of the Community Presbyterian Church from Walnut Grove, California who helped them facilitate the request.
KMP is hoping to find the next best schedule for Jolie for a visit and once again lobby the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees.
The KMP earlier made its appeal to the the UNHCR High Commissioner António Guterres to send Jolie, an ambassador of goodwill, to see the real situation of internally displaced persons (IDP).
Danilo “Ka Daning” Ramos, secretary general of KMP, said “since our last letter to the UN body this December 7, the number of internal refugees have further increased due to indiscriminate military operations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Citing statistics from Karapatan-Southern Tagalog, Ramos said more than 9,000 children have been displaced from their homes since the first week of this month.
“They were forced to flee because of the excessive military abuses to their families like threats, harassment and torture. The soldiers summon their parents three times a month for interrogation and torture. If they fail to come to the military camp, they will be branded as a member of the New People’s Army,” Ramos said.
Further, Ramos said that in Surigao del Sur, over 400 residents, including children from sub-village Kilomter 22 in Tago town; and more than a hundred Lumads from Parina village have been added to about 3,000 displaced people due to the military offensive in the area.
“So in the span of less than a month the cases of internally displaced persons have doubled from 10,000 to almost 20,000 victims,” he said.
“This situation really needs the United Nations to step in because if this continues, in less than a year we fear that at least a hundred thousand people will be displaced.plea would be granted at the soonest time possible,” Ramos added.
On Thursday, a militant fishermen’s group sought the help of actor George Clooney in convincing the Philippine government to resume peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front.
The NDF is the umbrella group of the mainstream communist movement in the Philippines.