The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP, Peasant Movement of the Philippines) and its local chapter Sandigang Samahan ng Magsasaka (organization of farmers or SASAMAG) in Tungkong Mangga, San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan denounced Nov. 13 the Marcos-Araneta clan for the alleged repeated harassment of the farmers in the area.
“It seems that after their initial deal with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo regarding Rep. Imee Marcos’ boycott of the impeachment vote, the Marcos-Araneta clan is now launching an all-out drive to harass and eventually evict the peasants in the 311-hectare land the farmers have been tilling for decades,” said KMP internal deputy secretary general Willy Marbella.
Marbella said that they have been receiving reports of soldiers operating in the area. Manuel Edano, SASAMAG secretary-general, received at least two death threats this November alone. The first was through a letter dated Nov. 2 stating, “Kung ayaw mong may masamang mangyari sa iyo tigilan mo na ang pagsuporta sa teroristang komunista. Habang maaga pa mag-isip-isip ka na kung ayaw mong matulad sa mga nauna (If you do not want anything bad to happen to you, stop supporting terrorist-communists. Think, while it is not yet too late, if you don’t want to suffer the same fate as those who preceded you).”
The next threat was sent Nov. 11 through a text message: “Pare paunahan na lang tayo balita ko armado kakampi mo tibayan ng dibdib pare (Let us see who gets to kill the other person first. I heard that your supporters are armed. Let us see who has the guts). ”
Edano said that even if they have already reported it to the barangay (village) captain, the harassment continued. On Nov. 11, more than 200 banana trees planted by the peasants were cut down by still unknown persons.
“Although these acts were done to sabotage our livelihood and cow us into submission,” Edano said “we will not stop until justice is served and we own the land we till.” (Bulatlat.com)