Farmers in Buntog have been struggling for decades to assert their rights to the land, which they and their ancestors have lived in since 1911.
Category: Agrarian Reform
“This is a big victory for us because we were able to defend our rights to the land that our families have owned for generations.”
The season of advent calls us to continue to participate in the establishment of God’s kingdom in the here and now of the Philippine society, to be firm in our resolve to live in righteousness by being vigilant, ever awake and responsible of our God given duties to nurture and protect his household – the Philippine society from the evil schemes of the fake “Lords.”
“The strict lockdown crippled us. On top of the ongoing militarization in our community, it is difficult to survive. Many of us only have a handful of our produce.”
Reports from Samahan ng Mamamayang Nagkakaisa sa Sitio Buntog (SAMANA-Buntog) claim that Buntog is being “fenced off”, and goons are destroying farm plots they come across. “They’re even stealing fruits from our trees,” said Jojo de Leon, SAMANA-Buntog spokesperson, in a text message.
All six farmers are members of Samahan ng Magsasaka sa Coral Ni Lopez (SAMACOLO), a farmers’ organization that has been asserting the farmers’ rights to the 233-hectare farmland owned by landlord Luis Lopez from Balayan, Batangas.
In particular, two countries, Colombia and the Philippines, continue to top PANAP’s list of deadliest places for land rights defenders.
“Throughout the past regimes, Danding was able to amass great wealth, power, and influence after plundering the coco levy fund collected from small coconut farmers during Martial Law.”
“Regional inequalities in the country can be reduced by providing economic dynamism in rural areas, which have lagged behind the urban areas and growth centers in the previous decades, leading to serious regional disparities.”
How would a small poor village be faring in the time of the coronavirus? In a community in the central Philippines, the farmers’ struggle against land grabs amid threats of food insecurity has taken on greater urgency.
Amihan urged the local government units and concerned government agencies to ensure that farmers and their families will be protected against displacement and other forms of exploitation by landlords and private traders in this time of crisis.