Updated: January 28, 2:46 p.m.
By EMILY VITAL
MANILA — Security guards and armed goons opened fire at farmers in Sitio Ricafort, Barangay Tungkong Mangga, San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, according to Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas.
Security guards armed with high-powered rifles fired at the members of a fact-finding team and 20 farmers, including seven minors at around noon today, Jan. 28. According to peasant women’s group Amihan, more than 20 shots were heard which lasted for more than 10 minutes. Cellphones, bags, wallets and relief goods for the peasant families were taken by the guards.
Two days ago, four houses were demolished by the security guards.
“These series of harassment and rights violations should be investigated and hold the perpetrators accountable. We are calling for democracy loving Filipinos to stand with farmers in asserting their rights to land and livelihood,” Amihan National Chairperson Zenaida Soriano said.
Local farmers group said that Araneta Properties Inc., led by Gregorio “Greggy” Araneta III, has been trying to evict the farmers of Lupang Teresa since January 2013.
The farmers have been asserting for their rights to the land since 1997 after the Department of Agrarian Reform issued an exemption order from land reform coverage.
Greggy Araneta is the brother in law of convicted tax evader and presidentiable Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.
Araneta, the brother-in-law of presidential aspirant Ferdinand Marcos Jr., reportedly plans to construct a private subdivision in the disputed land.