January 21, 2010 - Makati to Quezon
City Dept of Agrarian Office
Photo by Gege Pido
MESSAGE OF SOLIDARITY AND SUPPORT
THE NATIONAL LAKBAYAN IN THE PHILIPPINES
Prof. Jose Maria Sison
International League of Peoples' Struggle
January 17, 2010
We of the International
League of Peoples' Struggle are in firm solidarity with Anakpawis (Toiling
Masses) and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (Peasant Movement of the
Philippines) in the carrying out of the National Lakbayan (caravan and
long march) for Land and Justice from the southern and northern regions of
the Philippines to the national capital in ten days, from January 12 to
We applaud and
congratulate you for resolutely and militantly organizing this unique mass
undertaking which traverses more than 1000 kilometers. We are elated that
this mass mobilization has started from the south in Davao City on January
12 and from the north in Tarlac city on January 16.
We strongly support the
broad masses of the people, especially the peasants, farm workers and
fisherfolk, who are involved in this historic event. We eagerly await the
convergence of the caravans and long marchers in front of the Department
of Agrarian Reform on January 21 and the march to Mendiola, near the
presidential palace, on January 22. We agree with all your objectives.
It is just to demand
genuine land reform and the free distribution of land to the tillers as
the solution to the land problem. Land reform must be realized on the
strength of the peasant movement and for the purpose of attaining the
economic, social and political liberation of the peasant masses. It must
not be limited to the confines of reactionary legislation.
The so-called Agrarian
Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER) is essentially intended
to dampen the peasant demand for land and preserve the feudal and
semifeudal forms of exploitation. As in previous bogus land reform
programs, CARPER retains the same loopholes and tricks for the landlords
to prevent or evade land reform.
It is necessary to bring
to national and international attention the local struggles for land and
take up the most outstanding cases of land accumulation and landgrabbing
at the expense of the peasants and the farm workers. The people want to
know more about the land greed, rapacity and brutality of certain landlord
families that dominate the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system.
Two major presidential
candidates, Benigno Conjuangco-Aquino III and Gilberto Cojuangco-Teodoro
belong to the same big comprador-landlord clan which owns vast haciendas
in Tarlac, Pangasinan, Isabela, Negros, Caraga, Palawan and elsewhere in
the country. The land question must be in the agenda of the current
electoral struggle. The progressive parties and candidates who espouse
land reform deserve support.
It is necessary to
expose, oppose and frustrate the escalating militarization of the
countryside under the Oplan Bantay Laya of the US-Arroyo regime. The
gross and systematic human rights violations perpetrated by the regime are
instigated and provided with logistics by US imperialism, especially under
its policy of global war of terrorism. The official military, police and
paramilitary forces collaborate with the private armies and gangs of
foreign monopoly enterprises, the big compradors and landlords.
In their struggle
against the imperialists and the local reactionaries, the toiling masses
of workers and peasants must engage the active support of the middle
social strata and middle forces of Philippine society. It is necessary to
heighten the unity of the broad masses of the people and intensify their
militant struggle against the rotten ruling system and the rapidly
worsening socio-economic and political crisis.
We the International
League of Peoples' Struggle support the broad masses of the Filipino
people in their struggle for national independence and empowerment of the
toiling masses, development through national industrialization and land
reform, social justice, a national, scientific and mass culture and
international solidarity against imperialism and war.
We are determined to
coordinate the anti-imperialist and democratic struggles of the Filipino
people with those of all other peoples of the world in order to help raise
to a new and higher level the struggle of humankind for greater freedom,
democracy, all-round development, social justice and world peace.###
LAKBAYAN NG ANAKPAWIS DAY 7
Southern Tagalog Holds Grand Welcome Program For Bicol-Viz-Min Marchers
The Katipunan ng Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (KASAMA-TK)
together with all the provincial sectors of the Southern Tagalog Region
warmly welcomed the Bicol, Vizayas and Mindanao marchers today at
Crossing, Calamba City, Laguna and staged a grand program for their fellow
peasants. This is in spite of the numerous delays caused by military
checkpoints during the marathon protest march and caravan.
KASAMA-TK Spokesperson Imelda Lacandazo said that no matter how many
blockades the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine
National Police (PNP) will impose on the protesters; these efforts are
already futile in putting a stop to the Lakbayan’s already great momentum.
She shared the recent experience of the marchers in the Southern Luzon
Command (SolCom) in Lucena City, Quezon where the military’s answer to the
protesters’ anger and call for justice was literally playing “Cha-cha”
music at full-radio blast. After the noise barrage, the AFP and PNP
delayed the caravan, taking pictures of the plate numbers of the
protesters’ vehicles without permission. A certain chief of police with a
surname of “Moreno” also harassed the leaders and spokesperson of the
caravan saying he “only wanted to talk to the drivers”. The protesters
where again blocked by military elements upon leaving Candelaria shortly
after having stationed in the area for lunch and then delayed again upon
“Today marks one-week of the Lakbayan, marching through the scorching heat
of the sun or under the patter of the rain. We can no longer see any more
reasons to hold back. The military and police’s unwelcoming attitude
towards the Lakbayan is a desperate move by the Arroyo government to
silence the legitimate rights of the farmers to air their grievances in
public,” Lacandazo stressed.
The Lakbayan ng Anakpawis Para sa Lupa at Katarungan reached Calamba City
this evening where the marchers were welcomed with a festive mood from the
Southern Tagalog main contingent. The 1,000 –throng Lakbayan delegates
from Bicol-Vizayas-Mindanao merged with at least 1,500 rallyists coming
from different wings of the Southern Tagalog region.
The contingents also held lit-up torches which, according to Lacandazo,
symbolized the “ignition of unity in the peasants’ struggle throughout the
country”. A short fireworks display and a flaming “LAKBAYAN 2010” were
also some of the highlights of the welcoming event.
To showcase the cultural diversity, leaders of different regions led the
chanting of their calls for genuine land reform and justice using
different dialects. Filipino folk dances and different cultural
performances also took place.
“We are here to commemorate our oneness in fury for experiencing the same
conditions of poverty and injustice under this government’s continued
exploitation to the poor. Particularly here in Southern Tagalog, the
CALABARZON project can be considered as a man-made disaster comparable to
the Haiti earthquake, yet the only difference is that the state causes the
prolonged sufferings of the people,” Lacandazo stated.
The CALABARZON project was incidentally started by Corazon Aquino’s
administration, almost the same period as the Mendiola Massacre. Decades
later, the Arroyo regime still urges the ambitious multi-billion plan
which is set to allegedly “urbanize the region”. Yet the project’s
implications due to land use conversions include the displacement and loss
of livelihood of at least 300,000 families including farmers, urban poor,
fisher folks and indigenous people; according to Tin Macabetcha, Bagong
Alyansang Makabayan – Southern Tagalog deputy secretary general.
“The people of Southern Tagalog have had enough of this regime’s disregard
to the toiling masses, we will reach Mendiola and call for an end to this
injustice no matter what the costs are,” Macabetcha said.
January 22, 2010
Militant farmers mark 23rd Commemoration of Mendiola Massacre
35 peasant victims of Oplan Bantay Laya 2 named in a tribute
Davao City --- In commemoration of the 23rd year of the Mendiola Massacre,
hundreds of farmers belonging to the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP)
and Anakpawis partylist staged a march rally here today highlighting the
farmers' quest for justice and the genuine agrarian reform in the country.
“Today we mark history as we deliver the strongest condemnation against
the continuing exploitation of the poor Filipino peasants and the
worsening landlessness within the framework of the bogus and inutile
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER),”
said Pedro Arnado, chairperson of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas -
Southern Mindanao and regional coordinator of Anakpawis partylist.
As a form of protest against the government's counter-insurgency strategy
Oplan Bantay Laya 2, a die-in of more than 700 farmers from Davao City,
Davao Oriental and Davao Del Sur together with other sectoral and
cause-oriented groups was held to reenact the Mendiola Massacre which
happened 23 years ago. The action also emphasized the farmers' demand for
genuine land reform.
The groups’ protest march ended at the Office of Speaker Prospero Nograles
whom they hold responsible for the passage of the extended CARP and for
authoring the unpopular HR 737 which seeks to allow 100% foreign ownership
of Filipino land.
“Speaker Nograles has committed the worst crimes against the Filipino
farmers when he allowed the passage of CARPER and have initiated a
resolution that wants to sell out our lands and resources to foreign
capitalists. He has further betrayed the country by conniving with Gloria
Arroyo's attempt to change the constitution,” said Arnado.
Parallel protest actions are also being held by more than 1000 farmers in
Tagum City, Caraga region, and more than 1000 farmers will be picketing
DAR Region X in North Cotobato.
In the National Capital region more than 7,000 farmers are marching for
Mendiola Bridge where the culminating protest of the 10-day Caravan for
Land and Justice will be held.
35 peasant victims of Oplan Bantay Laya 2 named in a tribute
On the eve of the Mendiola Massacre commemoration, farmers held a vigil -
cum - tribute at the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) for the peasants
martyred under the Arroyo regime.
“This regime will be remembered for the killing of more than 561 peasant
leaders and civilians, 35 of which are from the Davao region. Farmers
throughout history will remember Mrs. Arroyo’s legacy of massacring those
who fight for their rights, for peace and justice,” said Arnado.
From 2001 to 2009, KMP names the victims of the Arroyo regimes’ Oplan
Bantay Laya 2 in Southern Mindanao alone:
Roy Latiban, Roberto Nepa, Olando Nerosa, Rolando Bacus, Ronel Bacus,
Rosita Icatan, Sofronio Enoc, Charles Bayanban, Edgar Blas, Jaimae Daculo,
Warlito Bayanban, Mostello Gabay, Ricardo Dulay, Bobit Budadong, Racel
Tandog, Rodel Andoy, Abdulbayan Cervantes, Henerio Ynanez, Adronico Pudpud,
Esther Patiga, Felimon Quirante, Recardo Canete, Joseph Saradpan, Rose
dela Cruz, Domingo Layal, Nolie Llanoz, Diego Encarnacion, Rodrigo Panugan
Sr., Rodrigo Panugan Jr., Dario Somoza, William Masibid, Marcial Latiban,
Celso Pojas and lumad leaders Ludenio Monzon and Datu Dominador Diarog.
“The fact that these killings remain unresolved until now proves all the
more that this regime shuns all venues where justice could be claimed and
that it is the mastermind behind these gruesome deaths,” Arnado said.
Stop blaming typhoons for reduced rice
production – KMU
Nationwide peasant caravan calls for genuine solutions to food crisis
Militant labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno today called on the government to
stop blaming previous typhoons for reduced rice production in 2009, saying
natural calamities merely highlight bigger problems in Philippine
The Department of Agriculture said Wednesday that domestic rice production
fell by more 3.31 percent in 2009. It said typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng,
which battered the country in October and November last year, were
responsible for the reduction. But KMU noted that the Philippines remains
one of the world’s biggest importer of rice for more than a decade.
“The problem is the orientation of domestic agriculture, and of the
economy as whole. The Philippine economy remains export-oriented,
import-dependent. Local agricultural production is geared to meeting the
cash-crop demands of the international market, not the food needs of the
Filipino people,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
“The typhoons, while devastating indeed, are being used as scapegoats.
They are not the main causes of problems in the country’s rice production.
They merely highlight far bigger man-made problems in Philippine
agriculture,” he added.
Labog said the agriculture’s orientation to foreign demands can be seen in
the reduction of actual rice production through the years, especially with
the advent of economic globalization. In 1989, the country produced almost
9.5 billion tons of palay, while in 2009, the figure is only 16.26 million
“The figures show just how mindlessly anti-people the orientation of rice
production in the country is. As a rice-eating people, we have reduced
palay production in the face of a growing population, reduced rice
exportation of other countries, and recent problems such as climate
change,” Labog said.
“In blaming the recent typhoons, the government is being criminally
negligent at best. What course of action does that analysis suggest? That
we should pray harder, perhaps give more offering to saints, so typhoons
won’t hit the country? Even religious people will not like that. Nasa
Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa,” said the labor leader.
KMU said the export orientation of Philippine agriculture is being
implemented by big foreign agro-businesses and landlords, who monopolize
land in the country, in connivance with the government.
“They are the ones responsible for prioritizing cash crops over rice and
other products needed by Filipinos. They cannot be expected to prioritize
the needs of the people over the needs of the global market. That’s
another reason why their landholdings should either be nationalized or
subjected to land reform and distributed to the tillers,” Labog said.
KMU said the ongoing nationwide caravan of farmers, dubbed as “Pambansang
Lakbayan ng Anakpawis para sa Lupa at Katarungan,” articulates the call to
end dependence on rice imports and to push for the development of
agriculture through genuine land reform.
“Farmers in the nationwide Lakbayan are convinced that the festering
problems of rice shortage and hunger can only be solved by dismantling the
monopoly of lands and foreign domination over the economy,” Labog said.
The caravan will climax with a mobilization to Mendiola on Jan. 22, the
23rd anniversary of the Mendiola. #
January 22, 2010
Reference: Garry Martinez / Chairperson/ 09393914418
Ailyn Abdula/ Media Liaison/ 09212708994
Filipino migrant groups join ‘Lakbayanis’quest for land and justice
“Genuine land reform will reunite us with our families and country.”
This was the statement of Filipino migrant organizations from all across
the globe in expression of their solidarity to the ‘lakbayanis’ from all
across the nation who held a 10-day march to Mendiola to demand genuine
“The Filipino migrant community believes that the government’s labor
export program is not the solution to the economic crisis, and it is
landlessness experienced by farmers in the communities we came from and in
which our families back home are still struggling to survive that should
be addressed. Because of our situation abroad, which ranges from being
financially tight to downright dehumanizing, most of us have been unable
to pay off our debts, much less secure a good future for our families
despite years of hard toil. The global financial economic crisis continues
to be a threat. It has forced and will continue to force thousands of us
back to the countryside, which we believe will continue to be bereft of
opportunities,” said in the statement.
The unity statement, which was given to the media, was signed by various
Filipino migrant organizations based in fourteen (14) countries –
Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Korea, New
Zealand, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Taiwan and the
The declaration further stated that “only genuine land reform and national
industrial development will uplift the Filipino people from poverty and
address the root of forced migration. Indeed, only genuine land reform and
national industrial development has the potential to reunite us with our
families and enable us to truly offer our lives and labor in service of
The protest march, which was also in commemoration of the Mendiola
Massacre, was attended by OFW victims and their families, vacationing
members of Migrante International from Saudi Arabia and Australia, and
members from the Ilocos and Southern Tagalog regions.
Since last Sunday, the different migrant organizations held various
activities such as forum, film showings and assemblies to propagate the
plight and struggle of the Filipino farmers. ###
Genuine land reform will reunite us with our families and country
Filipino migrants’ unity statement on the Nationwide Peasant Caravan for
Land and Justice
The Filipino migrant community expresses its solidarity with the ongoing
10-day Nationwide Caravan for Land and Justice, wherein thousands of
Filipino peasants are traveling from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao to reach
Mendiola Bridge in Manila by January 22, the 23rd anniversary of the
Mendiola Massacre. This historic caravan is a collective protest against
the worsening landlessness, human rights violations against peasants, and
plunder of agricultural funds under the administration of Pres. Gloria
Majority of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) hail from backward rural
communities that offer no decent livelihoods or opportunities for its
impoverished people. It is estimated that seven out of 10 peasants do not
own the land they till, and give around one half to two-thirds of their
harvest to wealthy landowners. Meanwhile, agricultural workers (mostly
victims of landgrabbing by corporations, the government, and landowners),
receive less than US$1 per day during cropping season, and left to fend
for themselves doing odd jobs for the rest of the year.
This situation has forced many of us to seek overseas work, in the hope
that we may be able to provide for our families’ basic needs. We incur
huge debts in the process of applying for work abroad, the amount needed
for which ranges from US$ 2,000 to 4,000, including exorbitant placement
fees and state exactions. However, upon reaching foreign shores, many of
us realize that we are unable to fulfill our dreams after all. We realize
that we have become victims of exploitation and abuse by our recruiters
and employers. We realize that the government has sold us out to employers
and foreign governments, which it shamelessly woos to open up their labor
market even at the expense of our most basic human rights. The number of
distressed OFWs increases by the day; so does the number of new
deployments. The Arroyo administration has made it a point to break
previous records of OFW deployment (currently at 4,500 workers per day)
and OFW remittances (at US$1.5 billion in October 2009), clearly using
labor export as an artificial means to sustain the perennially bankrupt
The Filipino migrant community believes that the government’s labor export
program is not the solution to the economic crisis, and landlessness
experienced by farmers in the communities we came from and in which our
families back home are still struggling to survive. Because of our
situation abroad, which ranges from being financially tight to downright
dehumanizing, most of us have been unable to pay off our debts, much less
secure a good future for our families despite years of hard toil. The
global financial economic crisis continues to be a threat. It has forced
and will continue to force thousands of us back to the countryside, which
we believe will continue to be bereft of opportunities.
It will be bereft of opportunities until lands are handed over to farmers
instead of agricultural or mining corporations that merely extract natural
resources and exploit labor for profit. It will be bereft of opportunities
until the Arroyo administration puts an end to militarization, which only
serves wealthy landowners and corporations, while terrorizing rural
communities. Since 2001, there have been 561 civilian farmers
extra-judicially killed, while hundreds more have been abducted and remain
missing or illegally arrested and detained. The deaths of our farmers,
such as in Hacienda Luisita, grieve us like we grieve the unjust deaths of
our fellow OFWs at the hands of employers and foreign governments.
We salute the Filipino peasantry for undertaking this long march for land
and justice. We urge the government to heed their calls, as well as ours,
that only genuine land reform and national industrial development will
uplift the Filipino people from poverty and address the root of forced
migration. Indeed, only genuine land reform and national industrial
development has the potential to reunite us with our families and enable
us to truly offer our lives and labor in service of the country.
Philippine Australia Solidarity Association
Pinoy In Austrian Society For Integrity, Reforms and Social Transformation
KASAMMAKO-(Katipunan ng mga Samahan ng Migranteng Manggagawa sa Korea)
PINAY-The Filipino Women's Organization in Quebec
Migrante Saudi Arabia
Migrante Partylist - KSA Chapter
Kapatiran sa Gitnang Silangan - Riyadh
Migrante Al Khobar
Kapatiran sa Gitnang Silangan - Dawadmi
Kapatiran sa Gitnang Silangan - Al Jouf
Samahang Manggagawa sa Saudi Arabia (MASA)
Migrante Eastern Province
Jeddah Filipino Society
Makabayan Saudi Arabia
MIGRANTE-Ras Al Kaimah
United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK)
Abra Tinguian Ilocano Society - Hong Kong (ATIS-HK)
Filipino Migrant Workers' Union - Hong Kong (FMWU-HK)
Cordillera Alliance in Hong Kong (CORALL-HK)
Association of Concerned Filipinos in Hong Kong (ACFIL-HK)
Abra Migrant Workers Welfare Association (AMWWA-HK)
Friends of Bethune House in Hong Kong (FBH-HK)
Filipino Migrants' Association - Hong Kong (FMA-HK)
LIKHA Filipino Migrants Cultural Organization (LIKHA)
Mission Volunteers (MOVERS) Hong Kong
MIGRANTE Sectoral Party - Hong Kong
GABRIELA Hong Kong
Migrante - Shatin
Migrante - HSBC
Migrante - Chater Rd.
Migrante - Naguilian (Isabela) Hong Kong
Pinatud a Saleng ti Umili (PSU)
Filipino Friends in Hong Kong (FFHK)
Cuyapo Association in Hong Kong
Pangasinan Organization for Welfare, Empowerment and Rights (POWER)
MIGRANTE Netherlands (Amsterdam)
MIGRANTE Netherlands (Den Haag)
Filipina Circle for Advancement and Progress (FICAP)
Filipino Migrant Center (FMC)
Center for Japanese-Filipino Families (CJFF)
Kafin Migrant Center
Philippine Society in Japan (PSJ)
Migrante international-taiwan chapter
Migranteng Ilonggo sa Taiwan
Gabriela womens party_Taiwan chapter
Migrante Aotearoa New Zealand
January 22, 2010 - Quezon City
Dept of Agrarian Office to Mendiola
January 22, 2010
MENSAHE NG PAKIKIISA NG KABATAAN PARTY-LIST SA PAMBANSANG LAKBAYAN NG
Ipinaaabot ng Kabataan Party-list ang pakikiisa sa hanay ng mga magsasaka,
manggagawang-bukid at mangingisda sa buong bansa sa pangunguna ng Kilusang
Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) at Anakpawis Party-list sa pagdaraos ng
Kasama at katuwang ng mga magsasaka, manggagawang-bukid at mangingisda ang
sektor ng kabataan sa patuloy na pagpapanawagan at pakikipaglaban para sa
tunay na reporma sa lupa, hustisya, at pagkakapantay-pantay. Pagpupugay at
paghanga ang iginagawad ng Kabataan Party-list sa ating mga dakilang
Lakbayani na hindi inalintana ang mahabang paglalakbay patungong Maynila
para lang igiit ang kanilang mga karapatan sa lupa at kabuhayan, at upang
singilin ang pamahalaan sa mga atake nito sa mamamayan sa ekonomiya at
Kasabay ng pagkilos ng mga magsasaka ay ang ating pag-alala sa ika-23
taong anibersaryo ng Mendiola Massacre. Dalawampu’t tatlong taon na ang
nakakaraan ngunit nananatiling ilap ang hustisya at huwad pa rin ang
repormang agraryo ng gobyerno.
Wasto ang paniningil ng ating mga Lakbayani sa rehimeng Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
dahil sa mga kasalanan nito sa mga magasasaka. Ang pagkakapasa sa CARPER
(Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Revisions) ay lalo
lamang pinalalala ang sitwasyong agraryo sa Pilipinas. Ipinagpapatuloy
lamang nito ang bulok at kontra-magsasakang mga patakaran sa ilalim ng
matagal na panahong pagsasapatupad ng huwad na CARP. Wala itong ibang
pinagsisilbihan kundi ang mga malalaking panginoong maylupa at negosyong
interes sa kanayunan.
Naniniwala ang Kabataan Party-list, na siya rin namang adhikain ng ating
mga Lakbayani, na upang makamit ang tunay na repormang agraryo, hindi
dapat pagbayaran ng mga magsasaka ang lupang kanilang binubungkal – ito
ang pinakamalaking pagkakamali ng CARP noon at CARPER ngayon. Sa ganitong
kaayusan, mananatiling lugmok sa pasakit at utang ang ating mga magsasaka
para lamang mapag-arian ang lupang sila naman ang nagbubungkal at
Sa bahagi ng Kabataan Party-list, ipagpapatuloy nito ang pagsusulong sa
Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) kasama ang iba pang mga progresibong
party-list at makabayang mambabatas sa kongreso.
Marapat ding alalahanin ngayong araw na ito ang mga biktima ng Hacienda
Luisita Massacre. Tulad ng mga biktima ng Mendiola Massacre, hindi pa rin
nakakamit ang hustisya para sa kanila. Ang kanilang mga pamilya at
kasamahan ay patuloy pa ring pinagsasamantalahan at pinagkakaitan ng
lupang sakahan at kabuhayan. Dapat silang pagpugayan dahil sa kabila ng
lahat, sila ay naririto pa rin at patuloy na lumalaban.
Nagsisilbing inspirasyon ang mga Lakbayani sa kabataan na, gaano man
kasalimuot ang paglalakbay, sa sama-samang pagkilos, matutunton rin ang
landas ng pagbabago.
Mabuhay ang mga makabayang magsasaka!
Office of Rep. Raymond ‘Mong’ Palatino
Temporary Office at 3rd Floor, Main Building
House of Representatives, Batasan Complex, Quezon City
9th day of Lakbayan ng Anakpawis Para Sa
Lupa at Katarungan Farmer marchers say DAR is joking on 200K hectare
target for land di
Manila, Philippines- “It is a joke and a bad one.”
Peasant leaders of the 10-day Pambansang Lakbayan ng Anakpawis Para Sa
Lupa at Katarungan on Thursday slammed the announcement of the Department
of Agrarian Reform (DAR) that agrarian reform agency is ready to
distribute some 200,000 hectares of land to qualified farmer beneficiaries
this year under the extended Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program with
Reforms (CARPer) with the return of the compulsory acquisition scheme in
the five year extended land reform law.
In a press statement, Lakbayan organizers Anakpawis party list, Kilusang
Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), the Katipunan ng Samahang Magbubukid sa
Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK) and the Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Gitnang
Luzon (AMGL) said Agrarian reform secretary Nasser Pangandaman is joking
and treating landless farmers and agrarian reform beneficiaries into an
outrageous roller coaster ride when he announced DAR target for
distribution in 2010.
“Secretary Pangandaman is the point person of landgrabbers and the land
speculators in and out of Malacanang and in and out of the agrarian reform
department. His statement suggests false hopes and political blackmail
rolled into. He wants to convince landless farmers that everything is ok
under CARPer which is not true,” said KMP secretary general Danilo Ramos
and Anakpawis secretary general Cherry Clemente in a joint statement.
In its website (www.dar.gov.ph) the agrarian reform agency expressed
optimism that the department will attain 200,000 hectare land distribution
target for 2010 due largely to the restoration of compulsory acquisition
as one of the modes of acquiring lands under Republic Act 9700 or the
CARPer law. He said the increase in the budget of DAR will hasten the
distribution of land to agrarian reform beneficiaries.
“First the target is too low compared to the more than 6 million hectares
of prime agricultural lands concentrated in the hands of landed monopolies
like big landlords, private corporations and multinational plantations and
military landlords in AFP military reservations,” the Lakbayan leaders
KMP’s Ramos said DAR never mentioned that while the compulsory acquisition
(CA) as a mode was restored in CARPer law, it evaded citing the other mode
of land acquisition, which is voluntary offer to sell (VOS), which big
landlords can range against compulsory acquisition to maintain their
control over vast tracts of lands. The farmer leader said the VOS will
also be used by landed monopolies to sell their lands at a price
acceptable to them.
“Mr. Pangandaman is engaged in massive disinformation. He is not telling
the truth about CARPer and the bankruptcy and anti-farmer character of
this law,” added Ramos.
Anakpawis’ Clemente urged the House of Representatives to undertake a
complete inventory and performance assessment of DAR since CARP was
implemented in 1987, asserting that DAR’s accomplish reports were not
verified and highly questionable.
The party list official said based on the data provided by the Bureau of
Agricultural Statistics (BAS), the country has 14.1 million hectares of
prime agricultural lands, of said total 9.9 million hectares are farmlands
and about 4 million hectares more or less are devoted to livestock
production which were exempted from land distribution since 1988.
“There are about 7 million hectares of prime agricultural lands or more
are concentrated in the hands of the few, and we DAR has no proof that
five million hectares or more of these lands were already distributed to
farmer beneficiaries under the reactionary CARP regime” said Clemente.
KMP noted that in the September 2007 report of DAR, that following data
were uncovered: 5,049 emancipation patents (EPs) and 103, 092 certificates
of land ownership awards (CLOAs) were cancelled by the agrarian department
covering 204,579 hectares of land. But think tank Ibon Foundation said at
the middle of 2004, DAR cancelled 2,000 land titles of farmers involving
380,000 hectares of land.
Meanwhile, the 87-year old Damasa “Naynay Masang” de Castro, survivor of
the 1987 Mendiola Massacre, now on wheel chair, will lead 2,000 marchers
from Mindanao, Panay, Negros, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Bicol,
Southern Tagalog, Ilocos provinces, La Union, Cordillera, Isabela, Cagayan
and Central Luzon provinces will converge at DAR ‘s national office early
this evening for the People’s Concert and Vigil for Land and Justice.
The Mendiola Massacre survivor and veteran of numerous fights on agrarian
reform led the community of farmers in Barangay Langkaan 1 and Pala-pala
in Dasmarinas, Cavite against the Japanese giant Marubeni in the mid 80s
and early 90s --whom the old woman and her farmer colleagues accused of
landgrabbing and violations of peasant land rights.
Tomorrow, the 10,000 marching farmers , fisherfolk, farmworkers and
peasant women will be joined by 8,000 Manila based activists belonging to
Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay),
Gabriela, Bayan, Bayan Muna, Kabataan Party, League of Filipino Students (LFS)
and eight militant party list congressmen—Bayan Muna Reps. Satur Ocampo,
Atty. Neri Javier Colmenares and Teddy Casino, Anakpawis party list Reps.
Rafael Mariano and Joel Maglunsod, Kabataan Party Rep. Raymond Palatino
and Gabriela lawmakers Liza Maza and Luzviminda Ilagan. #
8th day of Lakbayan ng Anakpawis Para Sa
Lupa at Katarungan Presidentiables asked: “How do you solve a problem like
Manila, Philippines- Arriving in Metro Manila for the 8th day of
Pambansang Lakbayan ng Anakpawis Para sa Lupa at Katarungan (National
Journey of Toiling Masses for Land and Justice), organizers of the 10-day
long march posed this question to all presidential candidates, except
Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Sen. Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino
III: “How do you solve a problem like Hacienda Luisita.”
Lakbayan organizers Danilo Ramos, secretary general of Kilusang Magbubukid
ng Pilipinas (KMP) and party list group Anakpawis secretary general Cherry
Clemente in a joint statement asked presidential candidates Sen. Manuel
Villar (Nacionalista Party), Sen. Dick Gordon, Lakas-Kampi merger party
bet Gilbert Teodoro, independent candidates JC de los Reyes and Nicanor
Perlas and Bro. Eddie Villanueva of Bangon Pilipinas to declare their
position on Hacienda Luisita.
“Senator Aquino believes Hacienda Luisita is God’s gift to
Cojuangco-Aquino clan, and therefore only God can take it back from them.
So it is useless to ask this moral, legal and political question to him.
It is obvious, Noynoy and the patriarchs and matriarchs of Cojuangco
landed clan will not give up their immoral and unlawful claim on Luisita”,
the Lakbayan leaders said in a joint statement.
KMP’s Ramos said the problems in Hacienda Luisita will not find a long
lasting and just settlement under a Noynoy Aquino presidency, asserting
that the 6,453-hectare sugar estate is the bread and butter and the source
of economic and political power of the Cojuangco-Aquino for near century.
“So the 64-dollar question mark remains—how these presidentiables except
Noynoy solve a problem like Hacienda Luisita?” the KMP leader reiterated.
KMP said Hacienda Luisita is only one of the more than 200 cases being
handled by the group’s para-legal committee, adding that agrarian cases in
different regions and provinces will also be carried by Lakbayan for
concrete action and resolution including but not limited to cases of
landgrabbing in Southern Tagalog orchestrated by landlord and developers
identified with Ayala group of companies and the 3,100 hectare
landgrabbing spree inside Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation in Laur,
Ramos said the Lakbayan will also bring up issues of landgrabbing and land
reform reversals with the expansion of plantations and mining in Mindanao
island which he said have displaced thousands of farmers and indigenous
peasants, the problems of coconut farmers in Bicol region and the
widespread cancellation of farmer land titles in Central Visayas, Eastern
Visayas, Panay and Negros island.
The KMP leader said the biggest gainer among the landlords during the nine
years of Arroyo administration is business tycoon Eduardo “Danding”
Cojuangco, who was able to control the P 130-billion coconut levy fund and
enlarged landholdings from 3,000 hectares to 30,000 hectares in the span
of 9 to 10 years.
Ramos said Danding has vast landholdings in Negros (3,000 hectares),
Palawan, Tarlac, Caraga and Isabela provinces.
For her part, Clemente of Anakpawis party list announced that it will
co-sponsor with KMP a presidential forum next month to present the farmers
and the rural people’s agenda in the May 2010 elections.
The Anakpawis official said aside from Hacienda Luisita, the other
highlight cases of agrarian problems to be discussed and debated during
the forum will include controversial issues surrounding Hacienda Looc in
Nasugbu, Batangas, the land reform reversals engineered by Calabarzon
program in Southern Tagalog and other land issues in Mindanao, Visayas,
Bicol, Northern and Central Luzon.
As of press time, the South contingent composed of 1,500 farmers from
Mindanao, Panay, Negros, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Bicol and
Southern Tagalog regions led by the Katipunan ng Samahang Magbubukid sa
Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK) are still marching from San Pedro Laguna to
Alabang in Muntinlupa City. They marchers are expected to arrive in
Alabang by 10:00 a.m.
The 500-strong North contingent led by Alyansa ng Magbubukid ng Gitnang
Luzon (AMGL) will arrive in Monumento, Caloocan by 2: 00 pm, and will
proceed to Our Lady of Grace past 3:00 pm, where they will hold a
solidarity night and vigil. On January 22, organizers expect to mobilize
7,000 people for the long march from the Department of Agrarian Reform
(DAR) to Mendiola.
The 10-kilometer march from DAR to Don Chino Roces bridge in Manila will
be spearheaded by senatorial candidates Rep. Satur Ocampo (Bayan Muna) and
Rep. Liza Maza (Gabriela), Anakpawis party list Reps. Rafael Mariano and
Joel Maglunsod, and leaders of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP),
Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), Pamalakaya fisherfolk alliance, Unyon ng mga
Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA), the urban poor group Kadamay, the
militant driver’s group Piston and other sectoral groups affiliated with
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), the Katipunan ng Samahang Magbubukid
sa Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK) and Alyansa ng Mga Magbubukid sa Gitnang
Luzon (AMGL). #
Justice Veloso pushes through
misinformation on his landgrabbing in Leyte
The militant Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP, Peasant Movement of
the Philippines ) lambasted the recent misinformation drive by Court of
Appeals Associate Justice Vicente Veloso on his landgrabbing of the
429-hectare lands at the tri-boundary of Alangalang and San Miguel towns,
and Tacloban City in Leyte . The said area are part of the Marcos-declared
Leyte Sab-a Basin, then administered by the defunct Leyte Sab-a Basin
Dev't. Authority (LSBDA). LSBDA turned over the lands in 1991 to be
subjected to land reform program but in 2002, Justice Veloso claimed that
he owned the said lands.
"How can he say that the lands in question are not those occupied by his
goons and the military, when we ourselves saw on our very eyes that his
men are now cultivating the lands of victim Erlinda Bermudo at Bgy.
Tabangohay, Alangalang, Leyte ," said Wilfredo Marbella, KMP Deputy
Secretary-General in a press statement.
The Dept. of Agrarian Reform Region 8 (DAR 8) office recently corresponded
that the lands claimed by the farmers under Sagupa-SB (KMP Eastern Visayas)
are not those grabbed by Veloso and now being offered to be under
Voluntary-Offer- to-Sell (VOS) of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform
Program Extension with "Reforms" (CARPer).
"When we held a dialogue with DAR in Tacloban City last October 9, 2009,
they could not immediately present any proof of Veloso's ownership, when
it is the very basic issue. We were with Anakpawis Rep. and KMP Chair
Rafael Mariano and Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño," said Marbella .
"Officials of DAR 8 promised to survey the lands but instead they became
peddlers of Veloso's offer of VOS," he added.
"Officials of DAR 8 should not be afraid of Justice Veloso, instead should
start doing their mandate and serve the peasants, they should not be the
apologists of Veloso. We know that he is very influential and powerful,
but the issue would escalate if they continue to side with Veloso and
remain unresolved," Marbella said.
"The peasants from Eastern Visayas , including from Bgy. Tabangohay,
joined the recent nationwide Lakbayan ng Anakpawis para sa Lupa at
Katarungan, and they were able to share their issues to different sectors
here in Manila, such as the youth-students, church people, workers,
teachers, gov't employees and more. Support for them are now growing,
thus, Justice Veloso should immediately return the lands he grabbed and
pull-out his goons at the area," Marbella shared.
"Last January 14, peasants from Mindanao and Leyte rallied in front of DAR
8 office, officials invited KMP Secretary-General Danilo Ramos but simply
excused themselves as they are in transition of changing officials, thus,
no resolution was offered. The PNP was even called ready to disperse the
Lakbayanis. Hence, they should not be surprised if peasants regularly
rally at their office to call against Veloso's landgrabbing, " said
"Also, in the recent plenary assembly of Catholic Bishops Conference of
the Philippines (CBCP), we have asked for support for the issue and they
are now studying the case. We are also in coordination with other church
bodies to fully support the peasant victims," Marbella added.
"Thus, we continue our resolute campaign against Justice Veloso's
landgrabbing, our call for land and justice. We will not forget that his
goons has killed a peasant activist at the area on September 2008," called
Lakbayan marchers hurdle PNP checkpoints
Organizers of the 10-day Pambansang Lakbayan ng Anakpawis Para Sa Lupa at
Katarungan on Saturday said the 170 marching farmers from Mindanao, Panay
and Negros islands, Eastern Visayas and Central Visayas have been
subjected to series of police checkpoints just to pass towns and
municipalities on their way to the National Capital Region.
In text messages sent to Manila, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP)
secretary general Danilo Ramos said since day one of the Lakbayan, which
officially kicked off in Davao City and Cagayan de Oro City, the peasant
caravan and march frequently encountered checkpoints, and their vehicles
were searched and checked by firearms carrying policemen and government
troops as if the farmers are carrying high power rifles and explosives
“The checkpoints are practically everywhere, as if this government is
gearing for another all-out war and not for the May 2010 elections,” the
KMP leader added. According to Ramos, the Lakbayan caravan and march
hurdled checkpoints from Davao City to Butuan City and Surigao City, and
from Surigao City to Liloan and Tacloban City in Leyte, and in Calbayog,
Catbalogan and Catarman in Samar island before they reached the port in
Allen, Northern Samar.
Last night, the PNP Sorsogon stopped the caravan from reaching the city. A
negotiation was held between the police authorities and leaders of
Lakbayan headed by Anakpawis party list Rep. Joel Maglunsod. After 20
minutes of negotiation, the Lakbayan was finally allowed to proceed in
Sorsogon City past 8:00 last night.
This morning, the Lakbayan was stopped by policemen manning the PNP
checkpoint in Castilla, Sorsogon, but through the intercession of Rep.
Maglunsod and the insistence of caravan and march organizers, the marching
peasants were allowed to proceed to Daraga and Legaspi City. The incident
happened between 9:00 am and 10:00 am.
However, in Barangay Bascaran, Daraga, Albay, 11 caravan vehicles were
stopped by military and police checkpoint. As of press time, negotiations
are ongoing between the police officials and Lakbayan organizers.
Anakpawis Rep. Maglunsod said the 10-day Lakbayan was announced a week
ahead of the schedule and the police and the military were all informed
about the legal and legitimate activity of the farmers. “This long running
nightmare of checkpoints, harassment and not so intelligence gathering
adventures of the PNP and the AFP have been the usual staples of the
Arroyo government to frustrate the people’s assertion of their rights,”
the militant lawmaker observed.
Rep. Maglunsod said the organizers are expecting more of the same when
they reach Tagkawayan, Quezon by 10:00 am tomorrow.
In a related development, the KMP, the fisherfolk alliance Pambansang
Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) and Anakpawis
party list said the Comelec decision exempting Citizen Armed Forces
Geographical Units (CAFGUs) from gun and perform checkpoint functions is
“The Comelec decision exempting CAFGUs from the total gun ban is a major
political, legal and moral blunder. The poll body merely puts a legal
blanket to the killing spree and human rights violation activities of
these paramilitary units, which they perform in accordance with the cruel
intention and sinister agenda of the sitting presidency in Malacanang, the
pro-Arroyo military clique and their warlord allies,” the groups said in
They said the Comelec should disband these paramilitary groups due to
their long-running violations of human rights at any given period. “The
best way to address the issue is to call for the immediate and
unconditional disbandment of CAFGUs, period, period, period,” the groups
“Please allow us to reiterate the record straight--57 people were
massacred by CAFGU forces in Maguindanao last year. Is that a joke or a
remote incident to Comelec? Where is their sense of human rights, justice
and political sensibility?” Anakpawis secretary general Cherry Clemente
Comelec commissioner Lucenito Tagle yesterday said the CAAs are allowed to
carry firearms because they are considered units of the Armed Forces of
the Philippines, which are exempted from the nationwide gun ban imposed by
the poll body during election period.
Organizers of Pambansang Lakbayan ng Anakpawis Para sa Lupa at Katarungan
said aside from land and justice and concrete issues and struggles on
agrarian reform, the grueling 10-day long caravan and long march from
different parts of Mindanao, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Panay,
Negros, Bicol, Southern Tagalog, Central Luzon, Ilocos, Cordillera and
Cagayan Valley regions to the National Capital Region will also call for
the dismantling of CAFGU units across the country.
Under Comelec resolution 8742 made effective last January 11, amending
Resolution 8714, the CAFGU was exempted from gun ban along with members of
the Presidential Security Group, Bureau of Fire Protection, Optical Media
Board, the treasurers and deputy treasurers and members of the Internal
Security Division of the Bureau of Treasury.
Prior to Comelec promulgation of Resolution 8714, Rear Admiral Alexander
Pama, commander of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao opposed the disarming
of CAAs because these paramilitary groups are tapped by fishing companies
to secure their venture in the South. For his part, Lt. Gen. Ben Dolorfino,
chief of Western Command said as far as the military is concerned, the
CAFGUs are part of the military organization and not all CAFGUs are
utilized by private companies operating in far flung areas.
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
“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
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.#
Militant farmers hit Nogie-Arroyo in anti-Concon
rally Submitted by Admin on Mon, 01/11/2010 - 09:37.
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KILUSANG MAGBUBUKID NG PILIPINAS - Southern Mindanao Region (KMP-SMR)
PRESS RELEASE January 11, 2010
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
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
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
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. #
Peasant groups affirm
landlessness, poverty root causes of migration
KMP supports Migrante, international groups against Global Forum on
Migration and Development
About 200 members of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP),
Pamalakaya-Pilipinas, UMA and Amihan protested in front of the Department
of Agrarian Reform – Central Office to protest against the coming Global
Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), an informal international body
led by the World Bank and US to focus on how to manage and exploit fully
international migrants who reach to about 205 million and who remit about
$ 2.26 trillion. The GFMD will be held at the PICC, Manila on October 29.
“We, peasant groups are against this move by the World Bank and US to
exploit further migrants, now they know how valuable they are to the world
economy,” opened Danilo Ramos, KMP Secretary-General. He added, “In the
countryside, landlessness and poverty are the root causes of why people
from the barrios go abroad and continue to dream of it. Moreover, this
World Bank is also the mastermind that puppet governments such as
Arroyo’s, implement market-oriented ‘land reform’ programs who in
real-life serve the interests of rich countries and foreign-monopoly
“It is a sad fact that there are many who come from the countryside who go
abroad, such as those sons and daughters of peasant families who even sold
or pawned their lands, carabaos and other properties just to be able to
pay for placement fees and everything,” Ramos shared. Adding, “This is all
due to landlessness that creates the deep poverty they are in.”
As the GFMD nears, the group Migrante International plans a series of
actions to go up against the said forum. “We fully support Migrante
International’s campaign against the GFMD, we believed that this is to
systematize further the already-exploitative and oppressive practices of
governments and capitalists of rich countries of their migrant workers,”
added Ramos. He mentioned, “We support the internationally-coordinated
action of Zero-Remittance on October 29, Arroyo should feel the united
effort of Filipino migrants around the world, who the government pay
lip-service when they infuse US dollars to the economy but neglect in
times of crisis.”
“We are here at DAR, fundamentally because this office is the main
proponent of CARP, the government program that never served the interests
of the landless peasants in the country, Arroyo is exploiting us Filipino
peasants and migrants,” Ramos explained of the protest venue.
In support of the Zero-Remittance Day on October 29, KMP then relays the
plan to all its regional and provincial chapters, for their member peasant
families to remind their OFW relatives abroad to observe of the plan.
“This is to remind the public that Arroyo’s management of the country is
very volatile and totally dependent to the remittances of the OFWs. The
fundamentals she is blabbering about is nil, the real modern day heroes of
the economy are the working and sacrificing OFWs abroad, and she is just
enjoying the fruits of their labor, like us the peasants here, who
cultivate and produce our food supply but her programs are to displace us
from our farms and import rice that compete directly with our produce.
This zero-remittance day should be more often, to shake up Arroyo,” Ramos
DANILO RAMOS, KMP Secretary-General
ROY MORILLA, KMP Public Information Officer (+63-905-421-73-05)
Video clips and slideshows
Axel Pinpin reads his poem
Message of Prof. Jose Maria
Sison, read by Rita Baua of ILPS PHilippine