Calls for Land, Livelihood and Social Justice

Davao City


April 21, 2011



and the calvary of the families and friends of victims of extra judicial killings continues.....








Photos courtesy of Jonald Mahinay


April 19, 2011

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan’s Holy Week Reflections for PNoy :
“Behold the cross of the Filipino people and end their calvary ...”

The patriotic alliance of progressive forces Bagong Alyansang Makabayan in Southern Mindanao Region (Bayan-SMR) joins the entire Christendom in the observance of Lent.

The conditions faced by Filipino people are akin to Christ’s sufferings on the cross.

Runaway inflation, incessant oil price hikes, joblessness and lack of economic opportunities have nailed our people leaving them bereft in helpless agony. The yoke is passed from generation, and borne by majority of the Filipinos, the working class, the peasantry, the urban poor, the exploited professionals, youths and students, the national minorities, the women.

More of our countrymen are driven to find work abroad. They enter all sorts of jobs where they are most vulnerable. They are supposed to be contributing to the country’s productivity but they are out and away from home and their families because their country could not provide jobs and better opportunities.

Injustices abound. The disparity between the rich and the poor remained. The 20 richest earn the combined income of 52 million families in a year of work, while top corporations’ profits increase by many hundredfold.

Wages are oppressive while social services are left at the exploit of private hands. Budget for education, health and housing are very low compared to military spending and debt payment. The economy is falling. We have been ever dependent on export of cheap labor and raw materials, as all these benefit a few who get richer.

Filipino workers are overworked and underpaid without due benefits. Their tenure is largely unprotected and while they struggle to form unions so they can collectively bargain for their rights, they are instead met with repression.

The peasants slave themselves to work in lands they do not usually own and yet are ironically, most vulnerable to hunger. They find that the money they make could not keep pace with the steady increases in the price of goods and basic commodities. They can hardly buy their own tools and farm inputs that have been overpriced. As always, they live in danger of being driven out from their lands, by landlords, if not, by the large mining companies and plantations that lay claims on the land they till.

The urban poor lack employment, and if they are lucky, they work in jobs whose incomes are wanting and irregular. They squeeze themselves along the city’s sewers and slums. The toll of incessant oil price increases fall heavily on them, and they are mostly hungry, and homeless and in perpetual danger of cruel eviction.

The women are in oppressed economic conditions and have yet to break free from discrimination of their gender wrought by society’s male-dominated outlook. They suffer much from the crisis being the ones at the center of running the household. They have health needs specific to their gender that remain neglected by the government. They are not free and safe.

Our professionals are poorly paid and hit most by corruption and neglect in the bureaucracy while our youths and students, largely uncared for, are not given better chances of developing into becoming productive citizens. Many of them could not go to school because education is unaffordable. Poverty has pushed most of them to misery instead of growing healthy, productive and supposedly become the country’s reliable productive human resource.

The widening and deepening crisis manifested in the way people’s suffering have worsened behooves reflection, especially on the part of the President upon whom the greater responsibility to govern the nation’s life greatly rests.

We are asking Pnoy to heed the people’s call for meaningful change, and not to take the path of short-term, temporary solution that only waste people’s money.

We are tired of an economy tied to imperialist domination. We bear the burden of a country subjected to the role as providers of cheap raw materials and cheap labor to the economies of superpowers. We are tired of the fact that our people are overworked and exploited, that land and capital are in the monopoly of a few who benefit from the existing social order, and that government is run by them who comprised the few who own much of the wealth.

We urge Pnoy at this time of reflection to start lifting the cross of its people borne by reconsidering changes: the choice to carve the path of the country to national industrialization where government controls and develops our economy to serve the needs its own people rather than the dictates of the outside; the choice to uphold national sovereignty instead of supporting foreign control; the choice to ally yourself with the poor who voted for you instead of the ruling class and exacting accountability on them who committed crimes against the nation; the choice to uphold your people’s rights instead of intensifying repression of their political and human rights.

To decisively end the Filipinos’ calvary is your good chance of redemption.

For Reference:
Secretary General
Mobile Number: 09106671009


Farmers under KMP joins BAYAN in staging KALBARYO sa KABUS calling for Land, Livelihood and Social Justice in time for the Lenten Season along the streets of Magallanes, Claveria going to Freedom Park in Roxas, Davao City on April 20, 2011. (PHOTOS By: JONALD MAHINAY)

Sining Alay sa Bayan (SILAB), a lumad & peasant support and cultural group, presented a cultural presentation showing protest against large-scale mining and coal fired power plant which causes environmental destruction during the BAYAN’s Kalbaryo sa Kabus 2011. (PHOTOS By: JONALD MAHINAY)



April 20, 2011

Bayan to Aquino: “Stop playing Pontius Pilate in the oil price increases!”

DAVAO CITY – “Stop playing Pontius Pilate in the oil price increases! The people have suffered enough!” This was Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Southern Mindanao Region (Bayan-SMR)’s lenten message to President Benigno Aquino III in the wake of another round of oil price increase.

Pump price of gasoline in Davao City last January was at P49. Now, it is closed to P59, or an increase by P10 in the last four months after it spiked anew, for the 13th time, yesterday.The mark up for diesel pump prices yesterday was 25 cents, and for gasoline, 60 cents.

Energy officials have put the blame on the changes of prices of oil in the global market amid talks of a possible shortage. “But, we all know, and even the President knows, that these are mere speculations. His act of condoning these increases is a betrayal to the Filipino people, betrayal to his messianic promise of bringing change in the lives of the Filipino people,” Franchie Buhayan, secretary general of Bayan-SMR said.

Buhayan cited that there is also no reason to believe that the unrest in Libya, as energy officials of the Aquino administration would like Filipinos to believe, will impair the Philippine’s oil supply since Libya accounts only 2% of the Philippines’ oil requirements.

She said, even Saudi Arabia, where much of the country’s oil is sourced, has assured enough supply of oil. Even the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have declared adequate spare capacity and inventory.

Speculations, Buhayan pointed out, are what these big oil companies in the country, like Petron, Shell and Chevron, feed on to amass big profits, a thing they were able to easily do since the Oil Deregulation Law was passed in 1996.

“Such speculations always precede overpricing schemes by these companies which gobble up millions of additional revenues every day, such as the P124.49 million that Petron, which controls 38% of the supply of oil in the Philippine market, gets as additional profits in a day; Shell, which holds 28% of the market share at an additional P91.41 million per day, and Chevron, which controls 12%, an additional P40.66 million each day,” she added.

On top of these overpricing schemes, Buhayan said the government also exacts 12% on the prices of petroleum products that consumers pay through Value Added Tax (VAT). VAT on petroleum products bleeds P44 million from Filipinos every day.

Buhayan said Aquino has choices to stop these oil companies from bleeding more Filipinos. One is by scrapping the 12% VAT; by invoking the Price Control Act, or junking of the Oil Deregulation Law. “But apparently, President Aquino chose to side with these profit-driven beasts,” Buhayan said.

Adding fury to the fire, she added, is Aquino’s responses to the people’s growing clamor against continuing price hikes and calls for substantial wages.

On the day oil prices increased the 12th time last April 12, Aquino warned drivers of being punished if they conduct protests.

Buhayan said at the rate the prices are increasing, a public utility jeepney (PUJ) driver which requires an average of 15-20 liters a day will need P150-P200 more to cope with the increase.

“This means that the fuel subsidy for every PUJ and tricycle driver announced by President Aquino on the day of the transport strike end of March which amounts only to P1,050 will last for only a week,” she said

The government has announced distribution of the subsidy through the so-called smart cards starting May 1. “But even then, there is no assurance that PUJ and tricycle drivers will get their share of the insignificant subsidy since beneficiaries will have to be determined yet by the franchise owners,” she said.

“It is also suspicious why the Aquino government required smart card holders to refuel only at Petron, Caltex or Shell pump stations. If this is true, then, the subsidy is not really meant to help the drivers, but to keep money coming in for the Big 3 oil cartel,” added Buhayan.###


Secretary General
Mobile Number: 09106671009


SILAB, peasant advocates’ cultural group, presented a cultural presentation on the recent situation of Bagobo-C’lata in Sitio Kahusayan, Brgy. Manuel Guianga, Tugbok Dist. in their struggle to regain and defend their ancestral lands against the land grabbers during KALBARYO SA KABUS 2011 in the streets of Magallanes going to Freedom Park, Davao City, April 20, 2011. (PHOTOS By: JONALD MAHINAY)

BAYAN led KALBARYO sa KABUS 2011 bearing the theme: Tapuson ang Kalbaryo sa Katawhan ilalom sa Rehimeng US-Aquino! Makigbisog alang sa Yuta, Panginabuhian ug katilingbanong Hustisya! Various multi-sectoral groups join the alternative version of the station of the cross along the streets of magallanes, Claveri going to Freedom Park in Roxas, Davao City. (PHOTOS By: JONALD MAHINAY)




and the calvary of the families and friends of victims of extra judicial killings continues.....




APRIL 8, 2010

For reference:
HUSTISYA Spokesperson

40th day after activists’ killing in Sta. Cruz
Rights group holds liturgy service

DAVAO CITY – Forty days after the brutal killing of father and son Dejos from Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, human rights advocates and the families of the victims lamented over the snail-paced justice system that has stricken the victims’ families. In commemoration of the victims 40 days of death, Hustisya together with Karapatan and other human rights advocates offered a liturgy service and protest action.

“Until now, the authorities have yet to resolve the issue of the killing of Rody and Rodyrick Dejos,” said Bayan Intise, spokesperson of Hustisya, an alliance of victims of extrajudicial killings.

On February 27, Rudy Dejos, 50 years old. and his son Rody Rick Dejos, 26 years old, residents of Sitio Malusing, Brgy. Zone 1, Sta. Cruz, Davao Del Sur, were stabbed and shot dead. Found at past noon time within the premises of their home, their nails and fingers crushed, and their bodies bore several bruises and hematoma which indicated signs of torture.

The father and son Dejos were both members of Patulangon Farmers Association - Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas.

Hustisya reiterated its belief that the police attempted to cover up the case by easily dismissing the culpability of 39th IB soldiers of the Phil. Army who have been harassing the victims last year. Davao Del Sur Philippine National Police earlier pointed out personal grudge as the main motive of the killing, with members of the New People’s Army as the main perpetrators.

On June and December last year, the Dejoses filed two separate complaints of harassment, threat and intimidation against the 39th IB at the Commission on Human Rights.

“We appeal to the Aquino government to resolutely prioritize the cases of political killings and give justice to the victims and their families,” Intise said.

Intise also hit Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan saying the said counter insurgency plan gives license to the Armed Forces of the Philippines to carry out harassment, threat, intimidation and killing of ordinary civilians.#



March 24, 2011

Promotion of 39th IB soldiers an insult to killed peasant leaders in Sta Cruz

DAVAO CITY – Hustisya, an alliance of victims of human rights violations and their families, lambasted the recent promotion of twelve soldiers of the 39th Infantry Battalion (IB) saying this is a blatant insult to the victims and families of militarization under the counter-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan.

“Their career promotion merely shows the fascist culture and tradition of the Philippine Army – abuse, kill civilians and they get the medals and accolades,” said Bayan Intise, Spokesperson of Hustisya-Southern Mindanao.

Intise cited the recent extrajudicial killing of father and son, Rody and Rody Rick Dejos, both members of the progressive Zone 1 Farmers Association under the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas. “ Wala pa gani ang 40 days sa mga Dejos, na-promote na hinuon ang mga ginailang suspetsado sa pagpatay,” Intise lamented.

Before their brutal death, the Dejoses have been victims of human rights violations perpetrated by the 39th IB and such cases were filed at the Commission on Human Rights.

The families of the victims strongly believe that only the 39th Infantry Battalion has the motive in killing the two.Hustisya believes that the 39th IB elements, who are primary suspects of the killing should be included in an impartial investigation.

“Kung anaay tinuod nga hustisya, pagtaral dili promosyon dapat ang angay sa mga elemento sa 39th IB,” Intise said.

Mobile No. 0999-668-4249

Families and relatives of the EJK victims, farmers under United Farmers Association of Sta. Cruz (UFASAC)- Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) together with Karapatan, Hustisya and Bayan marks the 40th day of Dejos Killing with a Liturgy calling Justice for Rudyric and Rudy Dejos at Patulangon Cemetery. Brgy. Zone 1, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur on April 8, 2011. (PHOTO BY: JONALD MAHINAY)  ▼


Wife of Rudy Dejos and mother of Rudyric Dejos condemns the barbaric killing of her husband and son, allegedly perpetrated by military soldiers under 39th Infantry Battalion, saying that after 40 days, justice is still elusive for the victims of P-NOY's Oplan Bayahihan being implemented by the AFP in davao del Sur. (PHOTO BY: JONALD MAHINAY)



Media Release
15 March 2011

Hustisya slams Army’s charges against rights advocates

Davao City - A group of families and relatives of victims of political killings, HUSTISYA! denounced today Lt. Col. Oliver Artuz of the 39th Infantry Batallion for desperately trying to divert the military’s accountability to the death of Rudy Dejos and his son Rudyric Dejos of Brgy. Zone-1, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur.

The group said that Artuz has revealed this by threatening to file cases against leaders of human rights and progressive organizations for illegal assembly during a funeral march last 09 March 2011.

“This is a clear harassment against human rights defenders. The 39th IB under Lt. Col. Artuz are desperate because the people of Sta. Cruz have spoken and have pinpointed to them as the perpetrators of the brutal killing of the Dejoses,” said Bayan Intise, spokesperson of HUSTISTYA! Southern Mindanao.

Intise said that initial result of the fact finding mission revealed that circumstantial evidence would point to the military’s culpability in this recent case of extra-judicial killing.

Intise added that documentation records of human rights group KARAPATAN showed that the military had previously threatened the victims to stop their activities in the peasant organizations that is asserting for their rights. Rudy Dejos was listed in the order of battle by the 39th IB soldiers who forced him to go to the military detachment for tactical interrogation. Last year, he was threatened by the military after knowing his involvement in a local chapter of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP).

“Despite the repeated attempts to intimidate and harass him, Rudy Dejos continued to work with the KMP and its campaigns for land and livelihood, and against the military’s barangay defense system (BDS),” Intese said.

“The BDS regulated and limited the movement of community folks and local food supply. Residents have been made to write about their whereabouts in a journal. Those who enter and leave the area are obliged to give their names. Community folks have been forced to watch the military posts. Further, leaders and members of progressive organizations have been subjected to intensive surveillance and vilification which have turned the whole community into a military garrison,” Intise added.

The group also cited KARAPATAN’s documentation showing that there were already twelve (12) victims of extra-judicial killings (EJKs) all over the country perpetrated by state security agents from January to February this year. There are already 40 victims of EJKs since Pres. Aquino took office eight months ago. Five of these victims were peasants in Southern Mindanao.

“The average incident of extra-judicial killings is more than once a week under Aquino which is very alarming despite the regime’s promise of upholding human rights. Political killings must be stopped now,” Intise added.###


Spokesperson, HUSTISYA-SMR


Farmers' children in Zone 1, Sta. Cruz joins the liturgical service held on the 40th day of the Dejos killing, calling for the pull-out of the 39th Infantry Battalion in Davao del Sur as this unit bears record of perpetrating massive human rights violation in the area. (PHOTO BY: JONALD MAHINAY)

Joleto Diarog, Deputy Secretary General of PASAKA Confederation of Lumad Organizations in Southern Mindanao led the lumad ritual during the 40th day of the (lumad and farmer leaders) Dejos Killing in Patulangon Cemetery, Zone 1, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur on April 8, 2011. (PHOTO BY: JONALD MAHINAY)