BY JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
Farmers, fisherfolk and their families were forced out from the premises of the Batasan Complex on their 40th day of the Rural People’s Camp Out for Genuine Agrarian Reform yesterday afternoon around 2:00 p.m.
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) secretary general Danilo Ramos said they did not expect the demolition. “Inaasahan namin na wala nang magaganap na demolish dahil tinanggal na namin ang kabilang side ng kampuhan” (We thought that there would no longer be a demolition because we have already agreed to remove the other tent, referring to the one found at the right side of the South Gate of Batasan Complex.) Ramos said. “Kaya nagtataka kami nang biglang dumami ang pulis at dumating ang bombero” (So we were very surprised when more police officers and fire fighters came.)
The tension heightened when a group of men inside the House of Representatives pointed their high-powered guns at the participants of the camp-out. “Dapat yun ang alamin ng police leaderships (kung sino ang mga iyon)” (Police officers should investigate the identity of these men) Ramos said.
Anakpawis(Toiling Masses) Rep. and KMP Chairperson Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano confirmed that there were nine people injured from tension during the dispersal.
Mariano said, “Ito [ang demolisyon] ay lalong magpapalakas lang sa determinasyon ng masang magsasaka na ipaglaban ang kanilang mga lehitimo at demokratikong karapatan,” (The demolition will only strengthen the determination of the farmers to fight for their legitimate and democratic rights)
“Malaking dungis yan sa imahe, integridad at kredibilidad ng House of Representatives,” (It is a big shame on the image, integrity and credibility of the House of Representatives leadership.) Mariano said.
“Hindi naman mapipigil yan eh. Ang mga magsasaka na iyan ay babalik nang babalik pa rin sa harap ng House of Representatives,” (You cannot keep the farmers from protesting. They will eventually go back here at the House of Representatives to express their grievances.) Mariano said.(Bulatlat.com)