Lakbayan ng Magsasaka para sa lupa at hustisya

laban sa hacienderong rehimen ni Noynoy Aquino

 

Day 3

 

■   Day 1-2      ■   Day 4

 

From Baclaran church to DAR

 

October 20, 2010

 

 

Video

 

 

   
   
   
/p

/p
Photos courtesy of Arkibong Bayan,  KASAMA-TK, Sarah Raymundo and  Vladimeri Gonzales as indicated by the filenames
     
     
  March through Makati offices of the Cojuangco and the Yulos  
           
           

Militant farmers want CARPer law repealed
Submitted by Admin on Thu, 10/21/2010 - 08:11.
Printer-friendly versionSend to friendPDF version

ONLY 81K OUT OF 1.7 M HECTARES DISTRIBUTED IN YEAR ONE
Militant farmers want CARPer law repealed

Manila, Philippines- Eight of the biggest rural based organizations in the country today led by Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), the left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), the agricultural labor group Unyon ng Mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) and Amihan peasant women federation urged senators and congressmen to repeal the extended Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program with reforms (CARPer) or Republic Act 9700 for its comprehensive and far-reaching failures in delivering social justice to millions of landless farmers across-the-country.

The position of KMP and its allies was supported by the Hacienda Luisita farm worker groups Alyansa ng Mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (Ambala) and United Luisita Workers Union (ULWU), the Alyansa ng mga Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon (AMGL), the Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK) and the National Federation of Sugar Workers in Negros (NFSW).

KMP secretary general Danilo Ramos said a signature campaign calling for the repeal of CARPer or RA 9700 and the congressional passage of the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) or House Bill 374 authored by Anakpawis party list Rep. Mariano and 6 other militant party list lawmakers will be launched beginning today to compel lawmakers to correct the grave historical injustice by previous land reform programs including the extended CARP.

On the other hand GARB, which militant farmer groups claimed is a progressive and social justice driven land reform law will put all agricultural lands, including lands leased to multinational corporations under the coverage of land reform and will have these lands distributed for free to agrarian reform beneficiaries.

In HB 374 or GARB, just compensation will be provided to landlords, however lands acquired through coercive and fraudulent means will not receive just compensation from the government. Aside from free distribution, GARB will ensure sufficient subsidies and support to farmer beneficiaries to prevent lands from reverting back to previous and new generations of landlords.

The KMP official did not say how many signatures his group and allied organizations would target for the anti- CARPer, however, Ramos said a memo will be sent to regional and provincial chapters of KMP in 55 provinces and 17 regions to gather signatures at the grassroots level calling for congressional repeal of RA 9700.

Ramos said the signatures would be soon submitted to Senate and the House of Representatives for appropriate legislative action. “We will bring CARPer back to the halls of Congress for extensive debate and discussion. We will assert our previous assessment that this law is a menace to the Filipino farmers. It is time to open the debate once more on why GARB is social justice driven and necessary and why CARPer is a inimical to the collective interest of land tillers and why RA 9700 is undoubtedly a land reform for big landlords,” the KMP leader added.

Citing a study released by independent think tank Ibon Foundation, KMP spokesperson Antonio Flores noticed that CARPer which was passed by Congress last year only managed to distribute 64,329 hectares out of the 163,014 target hectares for disposal in the second semester of 2009.

Of the 64, 329 hectares, only 1,777 hectares were acquired by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) under compulsory acquisition (CA), and huge sum of money were shelled for more than 41,000 hectares of private agricultural lands under voluntary offer to sell (VOS) scheme.

“Big landlords who want money for their lands made big money from CARPer last year under the financial slogan and condition of “if the price is right” Those landlords who wanted to keep the lands ranged VOS scheme as agrarian instrument to evade land distribution as seen the case of other big land owners who retained control over 99, 000 hectares which were target for acquisition by DAR last year. Now tell us where is land reform and social justice in CARPer. Those who are going gaga with the extended land reform are dreaming in broad daylight,” Flores noted.

The same Ibon study also revealed that from January 2010 to June 2010 only 17,501 hectares were distributed but only 1,061 hectares were acquired through CA, while 1,340 hectares were covered through VOS scheme. Still a huge number of landlords managed to evade land distribution by choosing VOS and imposing their own price on just compensation to FAIL DAR from placing the lands for coverage of pro-landlord CARPer.

KMP said the Landbank of the Philippines from 1972 to 2008 had spent P 289 B to acquire 1.6 million hectares of land from landlords in the name of previous land reform programs including the extended CARP. In the first year of CARPer, the KMP said, DAR only managed to distribute 81,000 hectares of the still undistributed 1.7 million hectares of land which is about 4 percent accomplishment rate and still 96 percent of the 1.7 million target hectares are in the hands of landed monopolies and saved from land distribution under the CARPer law.

Peasant enemy no.1
Meanwhile peasant activists belonging to Kasama-TK, AMGL, NFSW-Negros and Luisita farm worker groups will lead the public burning of President Aquino’s effigy at Mendiola Bridge whom they tagged as Peasant Enemy No.1.

The effigy made of scrap materials shows Aquino as the chief political representative of the Haciendero Republic and no.1 puppet of the United States (US) will be collectively set on fire by 20 leaders of peasant and fisherfolk groups from Southern Tagalog region, Central Luzon, Cagayan Valley, Ilocos region, Bicol, Negros Island and sectoral leaders of the umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan.

Kasama-TK spokesperson Nestor Villanueva said President Aquino is coddling big landlords in Southern Tagalog like the Ayala-Zobel family which control or maintain majority stake in a number of haciendas in the region particularly the 10,000 hectare Hacienda Zobel in Calatagan, Batangas, the 8,650 hectare prime agricultural estate in Hacienda Looc, Nasugbu, Batangas, 10,000 hectare sugar estate of Don Pedro Roxas also in Calatagan, Batangas and the 7,100 hectare estate in Hacienda Yulo in Calamba, Laguna.

“Aquino’s political attitude on Hacienda Luisita has become the model of land reform denials, land reform reversals and ultimate land reform grabbing by big landlords in Southern Tagalog region. It is only politically and morally correct to brand this 50-year old bachelor president as peasant enemy no.1,” the Hacienda Yulo based leader said.

Akbayan’s P 4 B pork barrel
Villanueva also slammed the P 4.05 B awarded by Aquino’s allies to Akbayan party list, referring to the budget lobbied by Akbayan party list Rep. Kaka Bag-ao for support infrastructure to agrarian reform communities (ARCs) which are members of the moderate and pro-Aquino party list group.

“Akbayan party list acted as partners in crime of big landlords who want to avail of separate pork barrel from Congress. The P 4 billion support fund will go to agrarian reform communities controlled or influenced by big agro-corporations own by landlords and foreign companies. Let me set the record straight, these ARCs are nothing but mere showrooms or token land reform projects just to make it appear that land reform still exists in the country. The four billion peso budget is chiefly pork barrel to all-time feudal exploiters,” the Kasama-TK spokesperson added. #
 

Throwing paint on the  DND wall;
     
     
 .... amd pm tp tje Department of Agrarian Reform offices atQC Circle ▼
     
           
     
     
     

 

Militant farmers want CARPer law repealed
Submitted by Admin on Thu, 10/21/2010 - 08:11.
Printer-friendly versionSend to friendPDF version

ONLY 81K OUT OF 1.7 M HECTARES DISTRIBUTED IN YEAR ONE
Militant farmers want CARPer law repealed

Manila, Philippines- Eight of the biggest rural based organizations in the country today led by Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), the left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), the agricultural labor group Unyon ng Mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) and Amihan peasant women federation urged senators and congressmen to repeal the extended Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program with reforms (CARPer) or Republic Act 9700 for its comprehensive and far-reaching failures in delivering social justice to millions of landless farmers across-the-country.

The position of KMP and its allies was supported by the Hacienda Luisita farm worker groups Alyansa ng Mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (Ambala) and United Luisita Workers Union (ULWU), the Alyansa ng mga Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon (AMGL), the Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK) and the National Federation of Sugar Workers in Negros (NFSW).

KMP secretary general Danilo Ramos said a signature campaign calling for the repeal of CARPer or RA 9700 and the congressional passage of the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) or House Bill 374 authored by Anakpawis party list Rep. Mariano and 6 other militant party list lawmakers will be launched beginning today to compel lawmakers to correct the grave historical injustice by previous land reform programs including the extended CARP.

On the other hand GARB, which militant farmer groups claimed is a progressive and social justice driven land reform law will put all agricultural lands, including lands leased to multinational corporations under the coverage of land reform and will have these lands distributed for free to agrarian reform beneficiaries.

In HB 374 or GARB, just compensation will be provided to landlords, however lands acquired through coercive and fraudulent means will not receive just compensation from the government. Aside from free distribution, GARB will ensure sufficient subsidies and support to farmer beneficiaries to prevent lands from reverting back to previous and new generations of landlords.

The KMP official did not say how many signatures his group and allied organizations would target for the anti- CARPer, however, Ramos said a memo will be sent to regional and provincial chapters of KMP in 55 provinces and 17 regions to gather signatures at the grassroots level calling for congressional repeal of RA 9700.

Ramos said the signatures would be soon submitted to Senate and the House of Representatives for appropriate legislative action. “We will bring CARPer back to the halls of Congress for extensive debate and discussion. We will assert our previous assessment that this law is a menace to the Filipino farmers. It is time to open the debate once more on why GARB is social justice driven and necessary and why CARPer is a inimical to the collective interest of land tillers and why RA 9700 is undoubtedly a land reform for big landlords,” the KMP leader added.

Citing a study released by independent think tank Ibon Foundation, KMP spokesperson Antonio Flores noticed that CARPer which was passed by Congress last year only managed to distribute 64,329 hectares out of the 163,014 target hectares for disposal in the second semester of 2009.

Of the 64, 329 hectares, only 1,777 hectares were acquired by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) under compulsory acquisition (CA), and huge sum of money were shelled for more than 41,000 hectares of private agricultural lands under voluntary offer to sell (VOS) scheme.

“Big landlords who want money for their lands made big money from CARPer last year under the financial slogan and condition of “if the price is right” Those landlords who wanted to keep the lands ranged VOS scheme as agrarian instrument to evade land distribution as seen the case of other big land owners who retained control over 99, 000 hectares which were target for acquisition by DAR last year. Now tell us where is land reform and social justice in CARPer. Those who are going gaga with the extended land reform are dreaming in broad daylight,” Flores noted.

The same Ibon study also revealed that from January 2010 to June 2010 only 17,501 hectares were distributed but only 1,061 hectares were acquired through CA, while 1,340 hectares were covered through VOS scheme. Still a huge number of landlords managed to evade land distribution by choosing VOS and imposing their own price on just compensation to FAIL DAR from placing the lands for coverage of pro-landlord CARPer.

KMP said the Landbank of the Philippines from 1972 to 2008 had spent P 289 B to acquire 1.6 million hectares of land from landlords in the name of previous land reform programs including the extended CARP. In the first year of CARPer, the KMP said, DAR only managed to distribute 81,000 hectares of the still undistributed 1.7 million hectares of land which is about 4 percent accomplishment rate and still 96 percent of the 1.7 million target hectares are in the hands of landed monopolies and saved from land distribution under the CARPer law.

Peasant enemy no.1
Meanwhile peasant activists belonging to Kasama-TK, AMGL, NFSW-Negros and Luisita farm worker groups will lead the public burning of President Aquino’s effigy at Mendiola Bridge whom they tagged as Peasant Enemy No.1.

The effigy made of scrap materials shows Aquino as the chief political representative of the Haciendero Republic and no.1 puppet of the United States (US) will be collectively set on fire by 20 leaders of peasant and fisherfolk groups from Southern Tagalog region, Central Luzon, Cagayan Valley, Ilocos region, Bicol, Negros Island and sectoral leaders of the umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan.

Kasama-TK spokesperson Nestor Villanueva said President Aquino is coddling big landlords in Southern Tagalog like the Ayala-Zobel family which control or maintain majority stake in a number of haciendas in the region particularly the 10,000 hectare Hacienda Zobel in Calatagan, Batangas, the 8,650 hectare prime agricultural estate in Hacienda Looc, Nasugbu, Batangas, 10,000 hectare sugar estate of Don Pedro Roxas also in Calatagan, Batangas and the 7,100 hectare estate in Hacienda Yulo in Calamba, Laguna.

“Aquino’s political attitude on Hacienda Luisita has become the model of land reform denials, land reform reversals and ultimate land reform grabbing by big landlords in Southern Tagalog region. It is only politically and morally correct to brand this 50-year old bachelor president as peasant enemy no.1,” the Hacienda Yulo based leader said.

Akbayan’s P 4 B pork barrel
Villanueva also slammed the P 4.05 B awarded by Aquino’s allies to Akbayan party list, referring to the budget lobbied by Akbayan party list Rep. Kaka Bag-ao for support infrastructure to agrarian reform communities (ARCs) which are members of the moderate and pro-Aquino party list group.

“Akbayan party list acted as partners in crime of big landlords who want to avail of separate pork barrel from Congress. The P 4 billion support fund will go to agrarian reform communities controlled or influenced by big agro-corporations own by landlords and foreign companies. Let me set the record straight, these ARCs are nothing but mere showrooms or token land reform projects just to make it appear that land reform still exists in the country. The four billion peso budget is chiefly pork barrel to all-time feudal exploiters,” the Kasama-TK spokesperson added. #
 

     
     
     
           
     
     
     

 

Farmers told SC chief justice: “Decide Luisita land row now”
Submitted by Admin on Wed, 10/20/2010 - 09:41.
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Manila, Philippines - Leaders of Hacienda Luisita based groups United Luisita Workers Union (ULWU) and Alyansa ng Mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (Ambala) on Wednesday told Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona that the prolonged legal battle at the high tribunal has become a perpetual nightmare to 10,000 farmer worker beneficiaries and that the Supreme Court should now have rendered a decision to correct the bizarre sins of the Cojuangco-Aquino feudal aristocracy for over half- century since 1957.

In a joint statement, Lito Bais, chairperson of ULWU and Felix Nacpil, chairperson of Ambala appealed to chief magistrate to resolve with dispatch and sense of social justice the decades long agrarian dispute inside the 6,453 hectare sugar estate.

“There is an urgency to speak of. The family of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III continues to commit the cardinal sins started by his ancestors way back 1957 like the denial of peasant rights to land and the continuing state sponsored terrorism inside the 6,453 hectare sugar estate the rightfully belongs to farm workers,” Bais and Nacpil said.

“The SC has no option but to render justice to agrarian victims in Hacienda Luisita. That’s their calling,” the Luisita farmer leaders added.

In concrete terms, the two farm worker leaders urged the Chief Justice to lift the temporary restraining order filed by the Luisita management against the decision of the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) revoking the Stock Distribution Option (SDO), declare the non-land transfer scheme illegal and unconstitutional and order the Cojuangco-Aquino clique to let go the 6,453 hectare sugar estate and have the land distributed for free to all qualified farm worker beneficiaries.

“In the name our farm workers’ collective interest on the Luisita case, we submit this humble appeal to Chief Justice Corona. The case should be decided by now and we see no legal obstacles that will stop the high court from issuing a define judgment. At this point, all we can say is that we are ready for the next chapter of this long running battle for land and justice,” the Luisita farmer leaders said.

Bais and Nacpil issued the joint statement during a program in Monumento in Caloocan City, shortly before a contingent of 500 farm workers from Cojuangco-Aquino estate who marched from the assembly site to Supreme Court in Padre Faura in Manila.

The long march which started from Tarlac City on Oct.18 was supported by the Solidarity of Peasants Against Exploitation (Stop-Ex) in Ilocos and La Union provinces and the Alyansa ng mga Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon (AMGL) chapters in Pangasinan, Tarlac, Pampanga, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija and Aurora provinces, which are all affiliates of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP).

Meanwhile, peasant activists belonging to KMP affiliated Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK) are set march today from Baclaran Redemptorist Church in Paranaque City to DAR national office in Quezon City.

The 1,000 farmers from the region will pass through EDSA on their way to Ayala Avenue in Makati City to condemn the alleged landgrabbing sprees by big landlords like the Ayala family as evidenced by agrarian cases in the region including but not limited to the 7,100 hectare land dispute in Hacienda Yulo in Calamba City, the 8,650 hectare land row in Hacienda Looc in Nasugbu, Batangas and the 10,000 hectare agrarian case in Hacienda Zobel in Calatagan, also in Batangas province.

Kasama-TK spokesperson Nestor Villanueva the marchers will also staged a short demonstration at main camp of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Camp Aguinaldo to demand the release of all political prisoners from Southern Tagalog, the latest of these political prisoners is Darwin Liwag, vice-chair of Kasama-TK who was two weeks ago over charges of illegal possession of fire arms and explosives, which Villanueva said was planted by the military men who arrested him and his two other companions.

One of the highlights of the Southern Tagalog march is the parade of effigy of President Benigno Aquino III where activists depict him as president of Haciendero Republic. The 20 feet effigy of the 50-year old bachelor president will be burned during the rally at Mendiola Bridge tomorrow.

“Aquino is certified peasant enemy no.1. The burning of his effigy symbolizes the collective outrage of farmers against this regime of landgrabbers, regime of feudal aristocrats and regime of extrajudicial killers,” said Villanueva. #
 

     
     
           
     
     
     

 

Big landlords will benefit from P 4-B pork barrel fund to Akbayan, says farmer groups
Submitted by Admin on Tue, 10/19/2010 - 09:21.
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Leaders of various farmer groups from Negros Island and Hacienda Luisita sugar estate in Tarlac province today questioned the P 4.05 B pork barrel fund awarded by allies of President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III in the House of Representatives to Akbayan party list, a staunch supporter of the present administration.

The Akbayan party list group said the P 4-B fund they sought from Congress was meant to provide support infrastructures and agricultural support and credit to agrarian reform communities (ARCs) and new farmer beneficiaries of the extended land reform program.

But in press conference held at Serye Café and Restaurant in Quezon City, farmer groups Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), the National Federation of Sugar Workers in Negros (NFSW-Negros), the Luisita based farm worker groups United Luisita Workers Union (ULWU) and Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (Ambala) and Unyon ng mga Mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) rebuked Akbayan party list.

The activist peasant leaders asserted only big landlords and foreign agribusiness groups engaged in production of export crops and who control and dictate the operations of ARCs will benefit from the P 4 B pork barrel fund sought by Akbayan party list.

“And that made the four-billion peso fund a pork barrel for big agribusiness, contrary to claim of Akbayan party list that the funds were meant to uplift the poor condition of new farmer beneficiaries under the extended land reform program,” they said.

The KMP and its staunch allies reminded Akbayan party list that land ownership in ARCs are only nominal and that the landlords and foreign agro-corporations still dictate what kind of crops should be planted in these agrarian reform areas.

They also said Akbayan should be reminded that even family of President Benigno Aquino III who controls the 6,453 hectare Hacienda Luisita and Danding Cojuangco who operates at least 11 haciendas in Negros Island are also exploiting the ARC mode as a supplement to non-land transfer schemes such as Stock Distribution Option (SDO), joint venture and corporative farming to evade free land distribution and keep their lands for lifetime.

“Representatives of Akbayan party list are fooling millions of farmers across the country when they claimed that the P 4 billion infrastructure fund is meant to support fresh agrarian reform beneficiaries under the bankrupt CARPer regime. The ARCs operate under the whims and caprices of feudal lords and big agro-corporations, so it is a pork barrel set aside for these all time greedy entities. There is also no land reform to speak of under CARPer,” leaders of KMP-Negros, NFSW-Negros and UMA said during the press conference.

The KMP and its staunch allies said the ARCs are bogus land reform models, adding that land ownership in these communities are nominal because the farmers who possessed the lands are coerced to lease their lands to landlords and big agribusiness corporations for the production of cash crops and export crops.
For his part, KMP deputy secretary general Willy Marbella dismissed the P 4-B pork barrel fund to Akbayan party list a product of politics of payback to the highest order.

“The P 4 billion in total cash prize for Akbayan party list is an exchange deal for Akbayan support to the candidacy of President Aquino in May 2010 election. It is grandslam prize money for Akbayan for acting as the fourth communications group of Malacanang in the House of Representatives. In a nutshell, the P 4 billion Akbayan pork barrel is another form of government procurement of P 4 billion worth of political loyalty and patronage,” the KMP official said.

Marbella urged the House of Representatives to recall the P 4-B agrarian infrastructure fund to prevent big landlords and other groups with sinister agenda from the partaking fund and instead re-channel the four billion peso fund to support and production subsidies for rural producers across the country.

The KMP leader said the P 4-billion Akbayan pork barrel fund for agrarian infrastructure could be added to the palay procurement program of the National Food Authority (NFA) to enable the food agency to raise its palay buying capacity to 10 percent from the current 4 percent.

“We don’t want that P 4 billion worth of hard-earned taxes to go to big landlords and people with cruel intentions against the farmers. It is only politically, morally and legally correct for Congress to recall the highly questionable
P 4 billion and re-channel it to other social justice measures such as direct production subsidies to farmers and other rural producers,” added Marbella.

The P 4 B fund awarded to Akbayan will be sourced from the P 110.6 B given to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). According to Cavite Rep. Jose Emilio Abaya, chair of the House Committee on Appropriation, Akbayan Rep. Kaka Bag-Ao lobbied for the P 4 billion pork barrel agrarian fund for fresh beneficiaries under CARPer.

The KMP believed the P 4 billion pork barrel fund for Akbayan party list was in exchange for the support of the party list group to the proposed P 21-B budget of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for its conditional cash transfer (CCT) program currently being questioned by over 100 congressmen and Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago at the upper chamber of the House.

The KMP also assailed Akbayan for drumbeating the success of CARPer as basis for its agrarian advocacy. Citing a recent study made by independent think tank Ibon Foundation, the KMP noted that last year, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) only managed to distribute 64,329 hectares of land out of the official target of 163,014 hectares under the extended land reform, and therefore big chunks of agricultural lands are still in the hands of big landlords and corporate groups, asserting further the P 4.05 B agrarian infrastructure fund will go to the hands of landed few.

Of the 64, 329 hectares distributed, 42, 428 hectares are private agricultural lands, but only 1,777 hectares or 4 percent of the total private agricultural lands were distributed through compulsory acquisition, and 96 percent were acquired under the voluntary offer to sell scheme.

Citing the same Ibon study, the KMP argued that only 17,501 hectares were distributed from January 2010 to June 2010, and that only 1,061.51 hectares or 6% were distributed through compulsory acquisition. Meanwhile, land distributed through the voluntary offer to sell mode – which landlords used to their advantage by dictating the price – covered a bigger 7.7% or 1,340.44 hectares.

The activist farmer group also said land distributed through the voluntary land transfer (VLT) mode – which allows landlords to retain control over their landownings by choosing whom to transfer land ownership to – covered the largest percentage at 40.7% or 7,119.14 hectares, all of which are landholdings over 50 hectares.

“The lands are still in the hands of the landed elite based on the own records of DAR. By design, by orientation and by practical means, the P 4 billion pork barrel fund alloted to fresh agrarian beneficiaries is a misnomer, a wholesale fraud and a triple platinum fund raising campaign for near future high crimes of corruption. It will only benefit the 11 haciendas of Danding in Negros and the President’s feudal empire in Hacienda Luisita,” the KMP added. #

 

     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     
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NEWS RELEASE
October 21, 2010
For Reference: Fr. Dionito Cabillas, SELDA National Secretary General
(0917-5965859)

SELDA CALLS FOR RELEASE PEASANT POLITICAL PRISONERS

“Criminalization of the peasants’ exercise of their right to land and their right to organize is a dangerous indication of the rabid anti-peasant and anti-people character of the Aquino government.”

Thus said Fr. Dionito Cabillas, Secretary General of the Samahan ng Ex-detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA), as the organization of former political prisoners today joined thousands of peasants in a march-rally at Manila. The activity is a culmination of a two-week Lakbayan of peasants led by the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) from Southern Tagalaog, Bicol, Central Luzon and Cagayan Valley, despite heavy rains the past days.

Cabillas said there are already four peasant victims of illegal arrests, trumped up charges and detention under the Aquino government. They are Dario Tomada, a former peasant leader of SAGUPA-SB (KMP Eastern Visayas), Darwin Liwag, Vice Chairperson of the Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (KASAMA-TK, KMP Southern Tagalog) and two staff members Reynaldo Malaborbor and Aries Cuazo who are from the same organization.

Tomada was illegally arrested on July 22 on charges of murder, based on a case against Prof. Jose Maria Sison, former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo, and others. He was tortured and is currently detained at Camp Caringal in Quezon City. Liwag and his colleagues were arrested recently on October 5, based on accusations of their membership in the New People’s Army (NPA) and illegal possession of firearms and explosives. Liwag recently attended a protest rally on September 23 and spoke at a press conference on September 29 in Quezon City, as both activities are part of the Lakbayan.

“Fabricated charges are being hurled against peasant leaders who are very vocal in condemning the continuous landgrabbing, deception and displacement of peasants, and land conversion under the new administration of Pres. Benigno Aquino III. This is a clear sign that the Oplan Bantay Laya, the counter-insurgency program of the Arroyo administration, is being pursued under the Aquino government. It is thus no surprise that such an anti-peasant and anti-people position is being carried on by a haciendero president,” Cabillas asserted.

SELDA is calling for the immediate release of all political prisoners including the forty three health workers known as the Morong 43, Tomada, Liwag, Malaborbor and Cuazo. They are likewise supporting the demand of the peasants for the release of all peasant political prisoners such as Felicidad Caparal, an organizer of Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA), Eddie Cruz, a member of KASAMA – Rizal, the Antipolo 4 (Rizal), the Talisay 3 (Batangas), the Cadiz 4 and the Guihulngan 2 (Negros). They likewise called for the release of Myrna Cruz, a former teacher and consultant of peasant organizations in Cagayan Valley, who was arrested on March 6 on charges of murder, illegal possession of firearms and violations of the COMELEC gun ban.

“Without the freedom of all political prisoners, the current administration has miserably failed in proving its loud but empty claims on adherence to human rights principles,” Cabillas ended.

The Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) - Philippines is an organization of former political detainees in the country. Founded in December 4, 1984, SELDA was initiated by former political prisoners during the Martial Law period. It works for the unconditional release of all political prisoners and humane treatment of those who are still in detention; for the advocacy on the conditions of political prisoners, the fundamental reasons for their arrest and detention, and their struggle for justice; mobilization of resources for political prisoners and their families; legislative actions on the indemnification and rehabilitation of political detainees; and promotion of partnerships and solidarity with organizations for the freedom and welfare of political prisoners and victims of tyranny.
--
The Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) - Philippines is an organization of former political detainees in the country. Founded in December 4, 1984, SELDA was initiated by former political prisoners during the Martial Law period. It works for the unconditional release of all political prisoners and humane treatment of those who are still in detention; for the advocacy on the conditions of political prisoners, the fundamental reasons for their arrest and detention, and their struggle for justice; mobilization of resources for political prisoners and their families; legislative actions on the indemnification and rehabilitation of political detainees; and promotion of partnerships and solidarity with organizations for the freedom and welfare of political prisoners and victims of tyranny.

     
     
           
     
     
     

 

PRESS RELEASE
October 19, 2010

References:
Nestor Villanueva (09104552054) | Spokesperson | KASAMA-TK
Andrianne Mark Ng (09993696639) |Spokesperson | BAYAN - ST

Mga magsasaka inusig si Noynoy na bigyang pondo ang mga magsasakang sinalanta ni Juan

Sa ikalawang araw ng Lakbayan ng mga Magsasaka para sa Lupa at Hustiya, Laban sa Hacienderong Rehime ni Aquino, nanawagan ang mga magsasaka ng paglalaan ng subisdyo mula sa Philippine Calamity Fund para sa mga magsasaka ng Hilaga at Gitnang Luzon na labis-labis na sinalanta ng bagyong Juan.

“Ang lupang sakahan na batayang pinagkukunan ng pagkain ng mga mamamayan sa bansa, ang pinakakawawa sa tuwing hahagupit ang mga kalamidad kaya’t marapat lamang na ang mga magsasaka ang makatanggap ng malaking parte mula sa calamity fund,” ani Andrianne Mark Ng, tagapagsalita ng Bagong Alyansang Makabyan-Southern Tagalog (BAYAN-ST).

Saad ni Ng, bago pa man dumating ang bagyo ay labis-labis na ang kahirapan at “higit pa sa Signal No. 4” ang dinaranas ng mga magsasaka dahil sa kawalan ng lupa at hindi pantay na kasunduan sa pagitan na panginoong maylupa at magsasaka.

Sa pagdaan ng mga araw, patuloy na sinasalanta ng Supertyphoon Juan ang Cagayan at Isabela maging ilang bahagi ng Kamaynilaan lalo na ang mga kanayunang panirahan at pangunahing pinagkukunan ng kabuhayan ng mga magsasaka.

Saad ni Nestor Villanueva, tagapagsalita ng KASAMA-TK, ang pagsalanta ng bagyong Juan ay banta sa mga magsasaka na lalong mawalan ng lupang sinasaka. Aniya, noong nakaraan taon sa bagyong Ondoy, pinalikas ang mga magsasaka sa mga komunidad ng Pakil at Pangil, Laguna dahil sa baha. Subalit nang matapos ang bagyo, hindi na sila nakabalik sa kanilang lupain dahil sa pangangamkam ng mga negosyante dito sa pamamagitan umano ng “rehabilition” o “development programs.”

Bagaman makulimlim ang kalangitan nang magsimula ang unang araw ng Lakbayan, bumuhos naman ang malakas na ulan simula kagabi at hanggang ngayong araw. Gayunpaman, hindi natinag ang mga mamamayan, bagkus ay magiting na nagpatuloy sa kanilang martsa. Ginamit ng mga ito ang mahahabang trapal, mga plakard at iba pa upang sanggahan ang kanilang mga sarili sa ulan.

“Sa nasasaksihan kong determinasyon namin ngayon harangin man kami ng bagyo o kahit pa ng mga militar, walang makapipigil sa aming kagustuhang makarating ng Mendiola upang muling paalalahanan si Noynoy ng kanyang mga binitiwang pangako,” ani Villanueva. Dagdag pa niya, ang paghihirap na dinanas ng mga magsasaka sa Lakbayang ito ay “wala pa sa kalingkingan ng araw-araw na panggigipit ng rehimeng Aquino” sa kanilang sektor kapag nanatili itong kibit-balikat sa mga panawagan ng mga magsasaka.

“Tanging ang pagpapatupad ng tunay na reporma sa lupa ang pinakamainam na disaster prevention na bubunot sa lugmok naming kalagayan na pinalalawig ni Aquino dahil sa patuloy na pagtataguyod ng maka-Hacienderong mga polisiya tulad ng Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER) at panunupil gamit ang Oplan Batay Laya,” ani Villanueva. #

Para sa karagdagang impormasyon, kumontak kina Roge (09394635689) o Jonelle (09168785153)

     
     
           
           
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