Lakbayan 2010:

Nationwide farmers’ caravan
Rolling… sailing… marching for land and justice


Davao City


January 12, 2010  Posted January 15, 2010


■   Video clips     ■   Caravan log




Photos courtesy of BAYAN-KMP-SMR


January 12, 2010

Nationwide farmers’ caravan
Rolling… sailing… marching for land and justice

The nationwide farmers’ caravan dubbed “Lakbayan ng Anakpawis para sa Lupa at Katarungan” simultaneously kicked-off in Davao City and Cagayan De Oro City today with farmer delegates from Mindanao determined to reach Malacanang Palace to demand genuine land reform and justice on January 22 – the 23rd anniversary of Mendiola Massacre.

In a statement in Manila, Anakpawis party-list Representative Rafael Mariano said farmer-delegates of the nationwide Lakbayan “will roll, sail, and march for ten (10) days to underscore the worsening landlessness, massacre of the peasantry, and plunder of agricultural funds under the Arroyo administration.”

“The Filipino peasantry are about to deliver their strongest indictment to the anti-peasant, fascist and corrupt Arroyo regime,” says Mariano, who also chairs the peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas.

“This caravan marks the beginning of the Arroyo regime’s end,” Mariano stressed.

The Lakbayan delegates from Southern Mindanao held a send-off protest at the Freedom Park and held a torch march to Speaker Prospero Nograles’ Davao City office and symbolically set on fire the law extending the “sham” Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.

The Visayas contingent composed of farmers from Panay, Negros, Cebu, and Bohol will start their send-off protests and caravan tomorrow. They are expected to be joined by the 50-farmer Mindanao contingent on January 14 in Calbayog City.

“This is history in the making”, the KMP and Anakpawis said.

“Land monopoly in the country has further aggravated and intensified the exploitation of our farmers. Imagine, because of landlessness, they are perennially subjected to pay 50 percent, or 1/3 or 1/4 of their gross harvest as land rent. But only 19 to 21 percent of the total produce goes to farmers. This sorry state of agrarian reform in the country will be vividly depicted during the 10-day farmers’ march from all over the country,” they said.

Organizers said the Lakbayan will also engage in mobile dissemination and propaganda campaign about the sorry condition of farm workers all over the country. They said daily income of rice farmers for the entire cropping season ranges from P 23 to P 40 per day.

Latest data from Karapatan human rights group also revealed that 561 farmers were victims of extrajudicial killings, 119 of them were leaders and members of KMP, while scores of internally displaced peasants due to all-out war, militarization and massacre; and cases of abducted farmers and falsely charged rural activists continue to flood the monitoring bulletins of human rights groups and the concerned public. #



Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas - Southern Mindanao Region (KMP-SMR)
January 11, 2010

Militant farmers hit Nogie-Arroyo in anti-Concon rally

Davao City --- Militant farmers organizations from the Davao and North Cotabato region staged a torch parade from Freedom Park and held a protest rally in front of the office of Speaker Prospero Nograles to junk Malacanang's attempt for Constitutional Convention (CON-CON).

“The Arroyo-Nograles charter change agenda threatens the future of the farmers as well as the agricultural industry as a whole. This regime has caused the people nothing but a plague of economic, political and moral crisis. We cannot allow Mrs. Arroyo and her puppets to stay in power beyond 2010,” said Pedro Arnado, chairperson of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas – Southern Mindanao and Regional Coordinator of Anakpawis Partylist.

Arnado said farmers will mount bigger protest actions against any maneuver to change the Constitution.

“Cha-cha spells further disenfranchisement of peasant rights to land as the Nogie – Arroyo tandem promises to remove the restrictions of the Constitution to allow unbridled foreign control of Filipino owns," Arnado said.

A caravan for land from mindanao to luzon

The protesters form part of the Mindanao delegation to the nationwide caravan and march for land and justice.

Today’s activities signal the start of the nationwide farmers’ caravan launched by the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas and Anakpawis Partylist to highlight the Hacienda Luisita and the Mendiola massacre commemoration on January 22.

On January 13, Mindanao delegates will travel to Butuan and Surigao where they will board the ferry to join the rest of the lakbayan delegates in Visayas

Landless farmers in Marilog

Arnado noted that 70 % of Filipino farmers have no land to till. He pointed out the case of the farmers in Lomundao, Marilog wherein 90% of the farmers are merely holding “stewardship rights” over the land they have tilled for more than 70 years.

He added, “Land conversion will intensify through Chacha and the Nograles Resolution (HR 737) which may be revived once the chacha trains get going. To date, foreign transnational companies such as DOLE Stanfilco occupy vast tracts of agricultural lands in Marilog.”

The groups also called for the junking of Republic Act 9700 which paved the way for the extension of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) that was fasttracked by Speaker Nograles.

Arnado pointed out that like Chacha, the extended CARP has worsened the conflict between the landed elites and the farmers since it allowed landlords to determine who are to be entitled to CARP. He added that through this provision alone, it is clear that the CARPER law will further disenfranchise farmers of their right to till. #




12 January 2010

Workers support nationwide Lakbayan for land and justice

As the nationwide Lakbayan of farmers kick off today, labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno and its regional formations vow full support to the 10-day march for land and justice, saying “workers are one with farmers in pushing for genuine land reform and fighting for justice for all victims of state terrorism.”

KMU said workers will be joining the Lakbayan contingents from Mindanao and Northern Luzon at various key points as expression of their solidarity and support for peasants victimized by massive land-grabbing and military repression under past and present regimes.

“Those who stand in the way of the struggle for land and justice should be warned: thousands of workers are uniting with throngs of farmers to deliver a strong and militant statement against their schemes. The historic march across the archipelago shall expose their decades-old monopoly of land in this country,” said KMU chairperson Elmer “Bong” Labog.

“We, workers, are uniting with peasants because we are well-aware that the foreign-dominated economy that we have today can only be changed by pushing for land distribution to farmers to ensure sustainable agriculture for Filipinos,” he added.

Labog said Lakbayan contingents will also be welcomed by thousands of workers upon their entry to Metro Manila. The nationwide Lakbayan will be capped by a long march from the Department of Agrarian Reform to Mendiola on Jan. 22 in commemoration of the 1987 Mendiola Massacre, wherein 13 protesting farmers were brutally killed by police forces.

“Workers are one with peasants in seeking justice for all slain farmers who fought for genuine land reform. We are also one with them in fighting massive land-grabbing, as many of us were displaced from our homes in the countryside and were forced to resort to low-quality work in cities due to land conversions and military occupation and harassments,” the labor leader said.

Labog said workers are also victims of state-sponsored violence, the most notable case of which is the brutal dispersal and killing of seven striking workers in Cojuangco-owned Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac.

“At this point in history, workers and farmers have a common enemy – and that is no other than the anti-farmer, anti-people regime of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,” Labog added. #

Reference: Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU Chairperson, 0929-629-3234

13 January 2010

Juan in ‘hungerland’ due to mass joblessness, shrinking agri – KMU
New round of price hikes bodes even higher hunger stat

Double-digit unemployment, stagnant wages and shrinking agricultural growth pushed hunger to historic levels, making the Philippines a “hungerland” despite efforts by the Arroyo regime to portray a “wonderland,” labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno said today.

KMU said the recent SWS survey, which showed that one out of four Filipino families experienced hunger in the previous month, cannot be simply blamed on the damage wrought by typhoons “Ondoy” and “Pepeng,” as the Arroyo government failed to create decent jobs and boost agricultural growth at the onset.

“How can the Arroyo government expect Filipinos to escape the pangs of hunger if one out of four Filipinos is either jobless or employed in low-paying and temporary work? How can food be sufficient if the country’s agriculture is geared towards producing non-food crops for export while we rely on rice imports?” said KMU chairperson Elmer “Bong” Labog.

“It is absurd to say that more Filipinos are hungry because of typhoons. In reality, Arroyo caused the greatest damage to the livelihood of Filipinos by facilitating widescale job cuts and being an accomplice to massive land-grabbing in the coutryside,” he added.

Labog also said minimum wage rates nationwide have been stagnant for almost two years now even as prices of basic commodities and gasoline have soared several times, making workers incapable of eating even twice a day.

Meanwhile, farmers are driven away from their source of livelihood as agricultural lands are being converted into subdivisions and leisure areas – endeavors that cannot alleviate hunger. This partly explains why growth of agricultural output has shrunk 1.5 percent in 2009.

Higher hunger stats ahead

KMU also warned that the new round of price hikes in gasoline, rice and flour forebodes a more dismal hunger data in the coming weeks.

“With the recent hikes in prices of basic commodities, the neoliberal policies of deregulation, privatization and liberalization once again show their teeth, eating away at what is left in our pockets.”

“But Gloria Arroyo should be warned: her inaction over recent price hikes is teaching Filipinos that rising up in revolt is the only way to ease growling stomachs,” he said.

Reference: Elmer "Bong" Labog, KMU Chairperson, 0929-629-3234





Mindanaoan farmers to march against their dreadful experience of rights abuses by the Arroyo government

January 12, 2009, Davao City - Leaders of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas – Southern Mindanao Region (KMP-SMR) geared for their nationwide “Lakbayan ng Anakpawis para sa Lupa at Katarungan” (Toiling Masses’ March for Land and Justice) with their announcement of activities, kicked off with the peasant rally at the Freedom Park of Davao City and torch parade in front of the Office of House Speaker Prospero Nograles. This is in commemoration of the 23rd anniversary of the Mendiola Massacre that killed 13 peasants on January 22, 1987 during the Aquino regime.

KMP National Secretary-General, Danilo Ramos accompanied the regional and provincial leaders and said that the march and nationally-coordinated protest would be participated by tens of thousands of farmers nationwide. On January 21, they are expected to converge in front of the office of the Dept. of Agrarian Reform, coming from the north in Tarlac City and south from Davao City.

The protest is to drum up the fundamental call of Filipino farmers for genuine land reform and justice for countless victims of human rights violations.

“There is no justice served for the victims of Mendiola Massacre, worse, past and present governments continue their fascist attack on peasants struggling for genuine land reform, a concrete example is the Hacienda Luisita Massacre on Nov. 16, 2004,” said Ramos.

In addition, KMP-SMR Chair Pedro Arnado that they would join the full-size protest to put a halt on the systematic militarization on peasant communities at the region and violations of their basic rights.

“Since 2001 when the Arroyo regime sat in power, 32 peasant leaders and activists became victims of extra-judicial killings (EJK) as part of its implementation of Oplan Bantay Laya 1 and 2. Aside from these, more than 30,000 farmers have been subjected to militarization, hamletting, forced evacuation and other human rights abuses,” said Arnado.

He also mentioned the 32 peasant victims, namely, Roy Laitban, Roberto Nipa, Olando Renosa, Rolando Bacos, Rosita Icatan, Supronio Enoc, Charles Bayanban, Edgar Blas, Jaime Daculo, Warlito Bayanban, Mustilio Gabay, Ricardo Dulay, Henerio Banez, Esther Patiga, Egnacio Ecoy, Alvino Tacadao, George Antolin, Filimon Quilanti, Boy Navaris, Conrado Canete, Joseph Saradpan, Domingo Spaklayal, Nolie Lianos, Diego Encarnacion, Rodrigo Panogan, Sr., Rodrigo Panogan, Jr., Pedro Montoy, William Masibid, Bubit Budadona, Rasil Tandog, Rodil Andoy and Celso Pojas.

“They have become victims as they continue the peasants’ fight for genuine land reform,” said Arnado.

“Southern Mindanao has been under massive expansion of banana plantations owned by foreign and local agro-corporations, using deceptive measures on small peasants to grab lands. Also, the rich mountains have been targets of mining applications which peasants totally opposed,” he added.

“Because of these struggles, the government reacts with fascist attacks on peasants,” Arnado said.

Also, Jimmy Saipan, Chair Compostela Farmers’ Association (CFA) have shared their systematic experience of militarization and rights abuses.

“On May of 2008, 370 of us were forced to evacuate our farms at Bgy. Ngan, Nabunturan town of Compostela Valley province and take refuge at the gym of Bgy. Bangkerohan in Davao City,” said Saipan.

“Elements of the 25th and 65th Infantry Battalion of the Phil. Army, under the 10th Infantry Division have militarized our farms, thus, no one could work normally,” he added.

He added that militarization is combined with extra-judicial killings which victimized peasant leader Celso Pojas of Farmers’ Association of Davao City (FADC), Danny Qualbar, peasant leader opposing mining operations, Rebelyn Pitao, teacher and daughter of NPA leader Leonardo Pitao, Conrador Canete, an elderly and father of another NPA leader. Last year, the region was again subjected to massive militarization which was described as “garrison communities,” a nickname for hamletting and forced evacuation.

Generally, the experience and struggle of farmers from the region is identical with other regions. Ramos exampled the case of Hacienda Luisita, where agri-workers have been working on the lands for decades, but the Cojuangco family has avoided land reform and fabricated non-land transfer schemes such as the Stock Distribution Option (SDO) of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

Also, House Speaker Prospero Nograles has to answer to Mindanao farmers when he led the passage of Joint Resolution No. 1 on December of 2008, and CARP Extension with “Reforms” or CARPer on August last year. Worse, he has proposed the economic provision of 100% foreign ownership of land, encapsulated on the Arroyo regime’s efforts for Charter Change (Chacha).

“Rep. Nograles has to answer not just to Mindanaoan farmers but to all Filipino farmers who are clamoring for genuine land reform,” said Ramos.

“We condemn the revived Chacha efforts of the Arroyo-Nograles clique, thus, on our nationwide march and nationally-coordinated protests, we are calling for the passage of law pursuing genuine land reform, junking CARPer and Chacha. Support us on our struggle,” called Ramos.#


Press Release
January 12, 2009

Christine Macabetcha (contact # 09291342394 / (049) 576-6795)
BAYAN-ST Deputy Secretary General

Southern Tagalog militants gear-up for nationwide Lakbayan,
Intensified protests to commemorate peasant massacre

Militant groups led by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan Southern Tagalog (BAYAN-ST) and Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (KASAMA-TK) are all-hands preparing to conduct the nationwide protest march called “Pambansang Lakbayan ng Anakpawis para sa Lupa at Katarungan”.

The Lakbayan kicked-off today in Davao City and is expected to merge with the Southern Tagalog marchers on January 17 in Lucena City. The 10-day epic protest will culminate in January 22 in time with the 23rd commemorating year of the Mendiola Massacre and calling for the long-deprived justice of the farmer victims.

In 1987, farmer protesters were brutally murdered by Malacañang security at Mendiola bridge while decrying the rampant landlessness during Corazon Aquino’s regime. According to Imelda Lacandazo KASAMA-TK Spokesperson, 23 years later, farmers continue to experience these kinds of state atrocities.

“The basic problem of farmers on agrarian reform is still neglected by the government with as low as 19 to 21 percent being left from their produce because of high land rent. Under the Arroyo dictatorship, land-grabbing has even been legitimized with the enactment of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Bill with Extension and Reforms,” Lacandazo stressed.

Southern Tagalog marchers, considered as “Lakbayan veterans” greet the Arroyo government with a bash of strong protests early this new year. At least 1,500 delegates from Southern Tagalog will march the streets to reach the National Capital Region, enduring the heat of the sun, drench of the rain or even overcome blockades by police and military forces.

Less than a week before the Vizayas and Mindanao marchers will set foot to Southern Tagalog soil, build-up activities are already raring to go. On the list of activities include the filing of Human Rights Violations to the Commission on Human Rights due to the surging number of victims of areas where Civil Military Operations and Urban Militarization projects are posed.

“All sectors of Southern Tagalog are united with the peasants’ struggle as Arroyo’s grand plans such as the CALABARZON project and the R1 Coastal Road extension has not only tormented the farmers but also fisher folk, workers and urban poor communities,” Christine Macabetcha BAYAN-ST Deputy Secretary General said.

The R1 Coastal Road extension in Cavite is estimated to displace at least 100,000 families of the province depriving the residents from their homes and source of livelihood. Local protest centers and camp-outs will also be set-up in at least 10 key areas in the provinces of Southern Tagalog which will include a protest camp to be situated in front of the Department of Agrarian Reform on January 18.

“This regime shall expect more intensified protest until the end of its term and will serve as a warning and prelude to the people’s anger because of the upcoming dirty elections,” Macabetcha ended.#

For inquiries contact Roge @ 09272421508 or Alpha @ 09291342394 / 049-576-6795


Press release
January 7, 2009

Reference: Lito Bais, Spokesperson, Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura [UMA]
Acting Chairperson, United Luisita Workers Union [ULWU]

Foreclosre of the 170 hectares Luisita land by Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, a covert ops of the Cojuangco family to regain hold of farmers lands.

According to Lito Bais, spokesperson of the militant Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura and acting chairperson of the United Luisita Workers Union said that "Hacienda Luisita farmers will file contempt charges against Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation and Luisita Estate Management [LEM] for violating the Temporary Restraining Order issued by the Supreme Court by foreclosing a hefty 170 hectares of Luisita land. This move of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation is an outright and blatant violation of a status quo between the Luisita management and the farmers saying that no action should be taken regarding the used or selling of the former sugar state as long as legal issues are not been resolved"

The acting ULWU chair added that "Luisita Estate Management had no legal and moral rights to dip into the issue because they are not one of the party involved. LEM should stay away from our issue, we think that this shadow management created by no other less by the Cojuangco family to brought confusion among Luisita farmers and to sabotage our legitimate fight which is the distribution of land to bonafide farm workers. September last year when RCBC started putting up fences on the 170 hectares located in Baranggay Balete. The RCBC representative said that this farm lot had been foreclosed as payment for the Cojuangco's debt. At first they hired the farmers to put fences not saying its real purpose, then we learned later that RCBC has already owned the land we planned to cultivate".

"We think that this move of RCBC is in cohoot with the LEM's attempt of persuading Luisita farmers to engage in an non antagonistic tactic creating a covincing environment that the Cojuangco's will not going reclaim the land to them. But this is the same LEM that issued a memo dating December 2008 which is threatening Luisita farm workers to vacate the lands that they cultivated after the infamous Hacienda Luisita massacre. It seems that they changed tactics knowing that the Luisita farmers will not be cowed over their memo.. In fact right after RCBC put up the fence, LEM release a statement through "Balitaan sa Luisita", the management publication bannering series of dialogues between them and the farm beneficiaries in different baranggays whereas the farmers are agreeing on land use program' Bais said

He also said that `If we traced back the satements of presidential wannabe NoyNoy Aquino, their family are having a hard time coping on Luisita's expenses that is why they're considering the selling of the former sugar land state. On our part, as "co-owner" we think on what NoyNoy, the LEM creation and RCBC move is part of a grand dubious scheme design to reclaim the lands that we painstakingly fought with our sweat and blood. We also received a report that Hacienda Luisita Incorporated will be dissolved in liue to the creation of the LEM. According to Atty. Jobert Pahilga, one of our people's lawyer from SENTRA, In order to legalized LEM, the Cojuangco's will also seek the approval of the Department of Agrarian Reform. And if HLI will be dissolved, Stock Distribution Option will be implemented no more. Thus automatic distribution of the whats is left to be distributed in accordance with Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program's provision".

"The farm workers turned farmers of Hacienda Luisita are determined to fight for land and justice. We will not be hindered by this illegal and immoral impedements. We call on the Supreme Court to act on this renewed attack on our legitimate rights. We see the hands of he Cojuangco family operating behind the unjust and crystal clear violation of Luisita Estate Management and RCBC to reclaim the land that is due to us in the first place. And also urge our justice clinging justices of Supreme Court to lift the Temporary Restraining Order so that social justice will finally be realized in favor of the Luisita farmers". Bais ended


12 January 2010
Reference: Gary Martinez, Chairperson, 09393914418

OFWs in solidarity with farmers in historic nationwide caravan for land and justice

Migrante International, representing Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in various countries, today expressed solidarity with the first-ever nationwide farmers caravan for land and justice, which kicked off today in Davao and Cagayan de Oro City, and is expected to culminate with thousands of farmers marching to Mendiola on January 22.

“We hail our farmers for their resolve to travel all the way from remote provinces in order to register their call for genuine land reform, which the Arroyo government has left unheeded. OFWs, majority of whom come from poor agricultural provinces, know what it means to be landless. Landlessness is one of the root causes of migration, and thus Migrante supports this historic protest action,” said Garry Martinez, Migrante International chairperson.

Migrante, currently campaigning for the repatriation of more than 300 stranded OFWs, said that the misery faced by Filipino victims of human rights abuses abroad can be traced to the lack of opportunities in the country brought about by landlessness and lack of national industrial development.

“For instance, some of the 88 OFWs in Riyadh currently on a hunger strike come from poor farmer families. It is most tragic when OFWs escape hunger here in the Philippines, only to be faced with hunger abroad because of government neglect and indifference to their welfare,” said Martinez.

Migrante International will join several groups that will welcome the farmers when they arrive in Metro Manila on January 19. The group will also mobilize for the march to Mendiola on January 22, the 23rd anniversary of the Mendiola massacre.

“Farmers, just like OFWs, are heroes, struggling to survive and fight amidst poverty brought about by the government’s neo-liberal policies that serve to benefit big landlords and employers first. They serve as an inspiration to OFWs all over the world,” Martinez added.###


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Telefax: 9114910


Video Clips of Lakbayan 2010




KMP Secretary General Danilo "Ka Daning" Ramos delivers his message in a protest rally in front of House Speaker Nograles' office in Davao City. Lakbayan ng Anakpawis para sa Lupa at Katarungan is now on its way to Butuan City


Today at 9:49am · View video


Caravan Log of the Lakbayan ng Anakpawis

January 15

At around 10:07 this morning, 500 Lakbayanis rally around Catarman in Northern Samar to demand genuine agrarian reform and oppose militarization and human rights violations in the region. Roy Morilla of KMP filed this report

10:37 am- Lakbayanis resumed caravan from Catarman to Allen, Northern Samar for ferry ride to Matnog.

11:01 am- Accounting of Lakbayanis: Central Visayas 92 farmers and fisherfolk, Mindanao 40 farmers, Eastern Visayas 33 farmers and fisherfolk and the national contingent headed by Danilo Ramos, KMP secretary general, Roy Morilla, KMP information officer and the mighty duo of King and Jun of May Day productions

11:19 am- Gerry Albert received a text from Ka Daning of KMP: Kumusta na kayo dyan? Pasakay na kami ng barko papuntang Bikol. Matagumpay ang Lakbayan, agit ang mga magsasaka.

12:19 pm- Lakbayanis held an agent of MIG 8. Turned him over to PNP

1:13 pm-170 Lakbayanis boarding on ferry in Allen to Matnog, Sorsogon

1:52 pm- Roy Morilla of KMP filed this report: Lakbayanis just boarded MV Penafrancia bound to Matnog, amidst high waves and strong winds. When Gerry received the text, he was finalizing the paid ad for Lakbayan.


Gerry Albert Corpuz Lakbayan breaking news#1: In a report filed by KMP information officer Roy Morilla, the 170-strong Lakbayan contingent was stopped by PNP Sorsogon for an undisclosed reason. Anakpawis party list Rep. Joel Maglunsod who led the "salubong contingent in Sorsogon" led the negotiation. After short negotiation, the PNP let t...he Lakbayanis proceed to city proper. By 8:14 this evening, the Lakbayanis reached Sorsogon City.

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Gerry Albert Corpuz Lakbayan mini- shoutout: At 2:00 p.m. today, a Low Pressure Area (LPA) was estimated based on satellite and surface data at 840 kms East of Visayas (12.5°N 133.3°E). Southwest monsoon affecting Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. sana okay lang ang mga kasama- from the weather man of all season, Vince Cinches, FIDEC Executive Director