Farmers group said the proposed P30.46 billion budget for the government’s counterinsurgency arm should instead be used to subsidize food production.
Category: Agrarian Reform
A farmers’ group debunked claims of Agrarian Reform Undersecretary Elmer Distor that “landlords and capitalists” no longer “hold sway over vast tracts of agricultural lands.”
The National Network of Agrarian Reform Advocates (Nnara Youth) said that under the Duterte administration, 42 of the 326 farmers killed and 63 of the 80 political prisoners jailed are women.
“The state’s brutal fascism killed Canlas who was exposed to COVID while in detention and under the custody of the BJMP [Bureau of Jail Management and Penology]. His unjust detention led to the swift deterioration of his health condition.”
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.”
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.”