Groups denounce harassment vs red-tagged Panay peasant leader

“The attack against Nay Lucia is an attack against our farmers who are suffering from the effect of the economic crisis this government has created and failed to resolve.”

By DANIEL ASIDO
Bulatlat.com

MANILA – Groups decried the harassment of red-tagged peasant leader Lucia Capaducio, who is at the forefront of seeking government assistance for the food producers of Panay.

Capaducio is a known peasant leader and the current chairperson of the peasant group Paghugpong sang Mangunguma sa Panay kag Guimaras (PAMANGGAS).

According to Panay Alliance Karapatan, on Sept. 3, three men who introduced themselves as personnel of Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR) went to Capaducio residence and asked her whereabouts. Capaducio’s husband Felix, 72, who was in the house that day was interrogated by these men and accused her wife as a leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) and that their family are supporters of the rebel group. Their daughter was also interrogated, the group said.

Capaducio was not in the house when the three men came. Panay Karapatan Alliance said Capaducio was in the community gathering signatures for a petition against golden rice and aid for farmers.

A day before the incident, another red-tagged development worker Linalyn Jaynos was also arrested.

Read: Ailing dev’t worker arrested in Roxas City

Panay Alliance Karapatan believes that the recent incidents are an attack against farmers who are only demanding help from the government. They assert that allegations against Capaducio are all lies.

“The attack against Nay Lucia is an attack against our farmers who are suffering from the effect of the economic crisis this government has created and failed to resolve,” Panay Alliance Karapatan said in a statement.

“It is the latest assault on local peasant communities that, for years, have been harassed for calling out the government for its negligence and incompetence in tackling the issues confronting their sector. Under a sham democracy, those who are on the “laylayan” have become victims severalfold,” it added.

Magsasaka at Siyentipiko para sa Pag-unlad ng Agrikultura (MASIPAG), a farmer-led network, urged the government to stop the harassments against Capaducio’s family and demanded that the government use their resources to help farmers instead.

“MASIPAG urges the government to honor their mandated duty of supporting our local farmers and not to abuse their powers as duty bearers in forwarding their own exclusive agenda in agriculture,” the organization said in a statement.

“We in MASIPAG enjoins everyone in condemning this recent attack on Nay Lucia and to all the farmers experiencing structural harassment and persecution. MASIPAG rally behind in full solidarity and support to Nay Lucia and others who have exemplified that in times of hardship, it is our duty to help,” it added.

Capaducio has been working to champion the rights of peasants and human rights in cases of indigenous people against the military and humanitarian initiatives during calamities

She is also a long time MASIPAG member.

“For decades, Nay Lucia has been sharing her wide array of skills in sustainable organic farming by training farmers across the country both in the technical and advocacy and lobbying aspect of sustainable organic agriculture,” MASIPAG said.

Panay Alliance Karapatan said Capaducio has participated and assisted in fact-finding missions, particularly on the attacks against the Tumandok people.

“The attack against Nay Lucia is an attack against our farmers who are suffering from the effect of the economic crisis this government has created and failed to resolve. It is the latest assault on local peasant communities that, for years, have been harassed for calling out the government for its negligence and incompetence in tackling the issues confronting their sector. Under a sham democracy, those who are on the “laylayan” have become victims several fold,” Panay Alliance Karapatan said.

In 2021, Capaducio was awarded the Gawad Ben Ramos Award for her efforts in championing pro-farmer and pro-people agriculture and food system. (AMU, JJE) (https://www.bulatlat.org)

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