Indeed, there is a need, as the Asia Peasant Coalition puts it, for the farmers “to organize and mobilize for our own people’s summit together with other marginalized and oppressed sectors that suffer the gravest hunger and poverty because of imperialist control and domination over the world’s food and agriculture.”
Category: Agrarian Reform
Joseph Canlas is a peasant leader and community organizer based in Central Luzon, where he led various campaigns and struggles against landgrabbing and land-use conversion in many farming communities in the region.
The stories in Sitio Compra and Sitio Buntog share many sad parallels. They are both stories of land-use conversion and violence against the nation’s dwindling agricultural communities. While peasants clamor for land reform, the Philippine government has deemed land-use conversion by large corporations as an acceptable substitute.
“The DAR should be more proactive in resolving land dispute cases, especially when the entities involved employ violence and terror. In this case, instead of protecting the farmers and ensuring their right to the land, DAR watched from afar. The hands of DAR Secretary John Castriciones are stained with blood.”
“The only thing we can pass on to our children is our land. We already lost everything else. We have nothing left to lose. Why should we be afraid?”
“Royal Mollucan and their Villar bosses should drop the trumped-up charges against the farmers. They should stop tormenting the farmers and let them plant and harvest their crops in peace.”
“Duterte can easily surpass the gruesome record of previous administrations in terms of peasant killings and massacres.”
“The situation of Filipino peasants when they marched from Central Luzon to Mendiola in 1987 remains unchanged, and even worse this 2021, especially with the rising cases of peasant massacres and mass killings under the Duterte administration.” – KMP
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.
“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.”