Negros Farmers & Farmworkers Continue
Hunger Strike against
Criminalization of Agrarian problem and Extra judicial Killing
January 19, 2010
Isidro Castillo, NFSW Chair
Mobile phone: +639082571678
Greg Ratin, KMP NEGROS Media Liason Officer
Mobile phone: +639214550046
Initial documents revealing the rise in the criminalization of land cases
were recently supplied by members of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas
and the National Federation of Sugar Workers, as they enter the second day
of their hunger strike today.
The number of cases documented by the group totaled to 374 covering
malicious mischief (51), Libel (17), Grave Coercion (103), Unjust
Vexation: (17), Usurpation of Real Property (51), Forcible Entry (31),
Robbery in Band (41), Qualified Theft (52), Ejectment (11). At present 80
members of the group have pending arrest warrants, while 13 are currently
being detained in various detention cells in the province.
In addition, Karapatan has recorded a total of 11 cases of extra-judicial
killings in 2009 alone.
“We went on hunger strike because we want food, land and justice for
farmers and sugarworkers. Our legitimate struggle for land in sugarlandia
are being attack by big planters in order to re-concentrate their lands
and deny us our basic right for land to till,” said Isidro Castillo,
National Federation of Sugar Workers Negros Chairman.
In addition to the protest against extra-judicial killings and the
criminalization of agrarian problems, Castillo revealed that the group is
also calling on the passing of House Bill 3059 (Genuine Agrarian Reform
Bill), passed by Anakpawis Party-list. They reasoned that they are pushing
for the passing of the bill because huge land especially big sugar
plantation in Negros was exempted under CARP coverage.
“CARP is a failure story of agrarian reform in sugarlandia instead it’s a
story of land reconcentration of big planters in Negros especially of
Danding Cojuanco, Jr,” said Greg Ratin KMP Negros Spokesperson.
The group is calling on the public to support their struggle for land,
food and justice by participating their gahod sang gutom held every 6:00PM
at Lacson St. infront of the Provincial Lagoon everyday.
“We ask the motorist to honk their horn and the public commuters to make a
noise when they passed Lacson st. every 6:00PM as a signed that they do
not agree to the killings and criminalization of agrarian problem done to
the farmers and farmworkers which are the producers of the food of the
nation,” Greg Ratin explained Kilusag Magbubukid ng Pilipinas Negros media
Nine of the strikers refused to take in solid food, insisting on starving
themselves to symbolize the hunger that the present unfair land policies
of the Arroyo Administration. Those who are on hunger strike are
Floredelona Dablos (43), Elizabeth Hortellosa (44), Theres Villarte (39),
Modesto Villaganas (46), Junjie Balenaryo (35), Tanie Umadlaw (33),
Romnick Montinola (19), and Carlos Cansis (19). ###