Saturday, November 18, 2017

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Militant farmers’ group, Danggayan Dagiti Mannalon ti Cagayan Valley-KMP (Danggayan-CV), its local chapter AMARI-DAGAMI and Anakpawis–Isabela condemns in strongest possible terms the brutal killing of Virgilio Leotorco, a farm worker who was gunned down in the evening of March 16, 2015 while he was catching frogs for dinner at the irrigation canal of Brgy. Matusalem, Roxas, Isabela.

Leotorco was shot three times at close range by armed men using a .45-caliber pistol. The 56-year old Leotorco is an active member of AMARI-DAGAMI and a Kalinga migrant who has built his humble abode in Brgy. Matusalem which is part of the Mallig Plains Reservation, a proclaimed resettlement site. “This resettlement site, currently possessed, occupied and already being developed by many homeless and landless settlers as well as former and current employees and teachers of ISU-Roxas, is being falsely claimed by the Isabela State University-Roxas”, says Bino Abrogena, chairperson of Danggayan-CV.

“The land dispute became increasingly violent as the ISU-Roxas, an academic institution which should be a bastion of human rights advocacy, resorted to illegal demolition and burning of hundreds of houses, shooting of residents, indiscriminate firing of guns, destruction of plants, housing materials and house perimeter walls as well as verbal assaults, threats and intimidation by its security personnel,” added Abrogena.

“These barbaric acts were capped by the successive killings of Ben Chinangan and Junior Ponce in 2013, other attempted killings of witnesses and the abduction of Romulo dela Cruz last year, in the place already touted as the “university killing fields”, said Vic Feliciano of AMARI-DAGAMI.

ISU-Roxas security guards have escalated harassment, threats and indiscriminate firing of guns in recent months after a deadlock in negotiations regarding the land dispute.

Soldiers of the 5th Infantry Division AFP also entered the community, violating the International Humanitarian Law and conducted a public forum at the community school.

DENR Region II refused to recognize the land rights of the settlers and wrongly favored ISU-Roxas while the LGU turned a blind eye to the increasing violence in the area.

The militant farmers’ groups alleged that Leotorco’s killing was done to terrorize the poor settlers and force them to give up their home sites and leave the area. Days before Leotorco’s killing, security guards have been threatening settlers who were constructing houses or improving their dwellings.

Last February 20, peasant leader Junior Cureg’s house was partially burned and when he was repairing it, five security guards arrived and tried to stop him. Edmundo Calanday was also ordered by ISU security guards to stop constructing his house. Coming from a drinking spree at the house of ISU security guard Carding Corpuz’ son, a man wearing a bonnet, was seen with three other men destroying Calanday’s hollow blocks last March 5. The house fence of Vilma Buang was also destroyed last March 15. A day after Leotorco’s killing, Corpuz was seen brandishing an armalite rifle while making his rounds around the settlers’ houses.

Farmers, agricultural workers and other sectors held a protest march during the burial of Virgilio Leotorco on March 22 from Brgy. Matusalem towards the town center of Roxas to demand justice and condemn the brutal kiling. Farmers slammed the incapacity of the LGU to protect its constituents and the inaction of the DENR in solving the land conflict.

The ISU settlers said that the hardships they endure in barely making a living as farmworkers, vendors, laundrywomen and laborers, are compounded by the continuing harassment at the hands of security guards and armed goons of the ISU-Roxas. “We assert our call that the Mallig Plains resettlement site should be distributed immediately to poor landless and homeless settlers.

“Isabela State University should develop the lands that it truly owns but are now used for the personal benefit of some of its employees. It should stop encroaching on the resettlement site awarded to poor settlers. We demand justice for Virgilio Leotorco and all other victims of human rights abuses. We hold the Isabela State University, the DENR, the LGU, the Aquino regime and its Oplan Bayanihan program accountable for these atrocities,” Abrogena said.

“The Aquino government failed to respond to these poor settlers’ plight despite their petitions sent to Malacanang years ago. Instead, it favored the interest of hacienderos, institutional land grabbers and their business partners,” said DAGAMI peasant leader Reynaldo Gameng, “But we are determined to fight for our rights to land and justice,” added Gameng.

“We call on President Aquino to resign for utterly failing to protect the human rights of farmers and settlers and solve the brewing land problems in the countryside through genuine agrarian reform,” Gameng ended. ###

Ang Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) ay demokratiko at militanteng kilusan ng mga magsasaka, manggagawang bukid, kababaihang magsasaka at kabataang magbubukid. Ito ay may animnapu’t limang panlalawigang balangay (65 provincial chapters) sa labinlimang panrehiyong balangay (15 regional chapters) na binubuo ng mahigit dalawang milyong kasapian mula sa Luzon, Visayas at Mindanao.

Livestreaming will be available here on the launching of the Philippine Land Reform Movement on May 28, 2015, 9 AM-4 PM (Philippine Standard Time)

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Adyenda ng mga Magsasaka sa gobyernong Duterte

Isang taon ni Duterte: Puro pangako, walang pagbabago

Sa pag-uumpisa ng panunungkulan ni Pangulong Rodrigo Dutere noong nakaraang taon, tinipon ng malawak na hanay ng magbubukid, mangingisda, manggagawa sa agrikultura, kababaihan at kabataang magsasaka, at iba pang masang anakpawis sa kanayunan,ang kanilang pangkalahatan at partikular na mga kahilingan bilang bahagi ng kabuuang People’s Agenda ng mamamayan na isinumite sa Malacanang.

Lalo na sa panahong na nagtapos na ang bisa ng bigo at huwad na Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), isang mayor na kahilingan ng kilusang magbubukid at ng mamamayan sa administrasyong Duterte ang pagdideklarang urgent o kagyat ng pagsasabatas ng Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) na naglalayong saklawin ang lahat ng lupaing agrikultural sa bansa at ipamahagi nang libre sa mga magsasakang wala o kulang ang lupa. Sa una pa lang, alam ni Pangulong Duterte ang pangangailangan ng isang bago at tunay na programa sa reporma sa lupa.

Matagal nang ipinaglalaban ng mga magsasaka ang isang reporma sa lupa na tunay na magbibigay ng katarungang panlipunan sa masang anakpawis sa kanayunan at magwawakas sa monopolyo sa lupa at sa iba’t ibang tipo ng pyudal at malapydudal na pagsasamantala na siyang pinag-uugatan ng  kanilang kahirapan at kagutuman.

Ang mga pangako ni Duterte para sa makabuluhang reporma noong panahon ng eleksyon, ang kanyang bakgrawnd sa pakikipagmabutihan sa hayag na demokratikong kilusang masa at maging sa mga rebolusyonaryo noong alkalde pa lamang siya ng Davao City, ang kanyang pagpipresentang sosyalista, makakaliwa, o kontra sa dayuhang kapangyarihan, ang paghirang ng mga progresibo sa ilang ahensya ng gobyerno at ang ibinigay niyang komitment sa muling pagbubukas ng usapang pangkapayapaan, ang naging tungtungan para seryosong hamunin ng kilusang magbubukid ang bagong administrasyon na magpatupad ng tunay na reporma sa lupa at pambansang industriayalisasyon.

Ilan sa mga kaugnay na panawagan ng militanteng mga organisasayong magbubukid para sa unang 100 araw ng gobyernong Duterte ang pagbabasura sa mga tangka na palawigin o muling buhayin ang kontra-magsasakang CARP o CARPER;  ang pag-rebyu at pagpapatigil sa mga inilabas na Land Use Conversion Order;ang pagwawasto sa bogus na pagpapatupad ng nakaraang administrasyon sa pamamahagi ng Hacienda Luisita sa mga magsasaka; at ang kagyat na pamamahagi ng iba pang mayor na hacienda at landholdings sa bansa, gaya ng 2,900 ektaryang Hacienda Dolores sa Pampanga, 3,100 ektaryang Fort Magsaysay sa Nueva Ecija, 8,650 ektaryang Hacienda Looc sa Batangas, 40,000 ektaryang Yulo King Ranch sa Palawan, 5,000 ektaryang Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. Estate sa Negros, at marami pang iba.

Ilang ulit nang lumagpas ang unang isang daang araw ng gobyernong Duterte at papatapos na nga unang taon nito. Para sa mga Pilipinong magbubukid, malinaw na hanggang ngayon ay wala pa ring makabuluhan o tiyak na pambansang patakarang naitatakda ang Pangulo para sa isang bago at tunay na programa sa reporma sa lupa. Nakatayo pa rin ang malalawak na hacienda at plantasyon sa bansa kagaya ng Hacienda Luisita. Wala pa ring malinaw o kategorikal na deklarasyon ang Malacanang na kinikilala nito ang karapatan ng mga magsasaka na magbungkal ng lupa at magtanim nang ayon sa kanilang pangangailangan.

Sa isang banda, malugod na sinalubong ng mga magbubukid at ng demokratikong kilusang masa ang pagkakahirang kay Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano bilang kalihim ng Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). Sa kauna-unahang pagkakataon, isang lider-magsasaka ang naitalaga para pamunuan ang departamentong nakilala sa mahabang panahon bilang tagapagpatupad ng kontra-magsasakang mga programa. Ibinukas ng bagong pambansang pamunuan ng DAR ang tarangkahan nito sa mga samahan ng magsasaka at nagsikap na i-ayon ang mga gawain nito sa pagtataguyod sa karapatan sa lupa ng mga nagbubungkal.

Gayunman, malalim na nakaangkla pa rin sa imperyalistang neoliberal na mga patakaran ang pangkalahatang tunguhin sa ekonomya ng gobyernong Duterte. Ang pakete ng mga programang itinutulak ng mga economic manager ng Malacanang para sa pagsusubasta ng malalawak na lupain sa dayuhang mga korporasyon, pagpapatupad ng mga Private-Public Partnership project sa imprastraktura, ekoturismo at enerhiya, pagsusulong sa pinasyalisasyon sa agrikultura, pagtataguyod sa liberalisasyon sa kalakalan ng produktong agrikultural, pagkunsinti sa mapanirang pagmimina at pagtotroso, ay nananatiling malalaking balakid sa makatarungang mga mithiin ng mga magsasaka at sa anumang positibong pagsisikap ng bagong DAR.

Gayundin, ang patuloy na kawalan ng isang bago at tunay na batas at programa para sa reporma sa lupa, o ang pag-iral pa rin ng maka-panginoong-maylupang mga probisyon ng CARP, ay nakapagtatakda ng kongretong mga limitasyon sa pagpapatupad ng maka-magsasakang mga layunin ng DAR sa ilalim ni Secretary Mariano. Idagdag pa rito ang tahasan at marahas na pagsuway ng malalaking panginoong maylupa at dayuhang agro-korporasyon, kasapakat ng mga lokal na burukrata, pulis at militar, sa mga kautusan ng bagong DAR.

Sa tulak na rin ng kilusang magbubukid, positibong naipatatawag ngayon ni Duterte ang mga pulong ng Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) matapos ang sampung taong pagkakabalaho ng mga ito sa ilalim ng dalawang nagdaang administrasyon. Subalit, kapansin-pansin ang mabagal pa ring paglalabas nito ng mahahalagang desisyong pumapabor sa mga magsasaka.

Hindi pa rin, halimbawa, naipipinal ang ipinangako ni Duterte na Executive Order na nagtatakda ng dalawang-taong moratoryum sa kumbersyon ng mga lupang sakahan, habang agresibo namang nangangampanya ang malalaking panginoong maylupa at ang mga economic manager ng Malacanang laban dito. Nakabinbin pa rin ang desisyon sa panawagan ng mga agrarian reform beneficiary para sa kondonasyon ng mga utang sa amortisasyon sa lupa.

Samantala, bagama’t binawi na ng PARC ang isang iskemang Stock Distribution Option (SDO) sa Negros at isang kontratang Agribusiness Venture Agreement (AVA) sa Mindanao, nananatili ang pagsasamantala at pagpapahirap sa libu-libong magsasaka at manggagawang bukid sa marami pang SDO, AVA, leaseback, contract growing, corporative scheme, block farming, at aryendo. Ang malalawak na tubuhan at plantasyon ng saging, pinya,  palm oil, rubber, at iba pa, ay karaniwang umiiral pa rin sa ilalim ng ganitong mapanlinlang, mapanghati, at mapangamkam na mga kalakaran.

Ang usapang pangkapayapaan sa pagitan ng gobyernong Duterte at ng National Democratic Front of the Philippines na napasimulan noong nakaraang Agosto 2016 ay kinilala ng kilusang magbubukid bilang isang mahusay na pagkakataon para maisulong ang mga panawagan ng sektor. Ang pagsasalubong ng magkabilang panig sa prinsipyo ng libreng pamamahagi ng lupa noong ikaapat na round ng peace talks ay isang mahalagang pag-usad sa pagbabalangkas ng Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) partikular kaugnay ng mga probisyon nito sa Agrarian Reform and Rural Development.

Ang pagkakaudlot, kung gayon, ng ikalimang round ng pormal na negosasyon noong nakaraang buwan, na dulot ng maniobra ng mga militarista at tutang neoliberal sa gobyerno, ay isang malinaw na paghadlang sa pagbubuo ng mahahalagang repormang sosyo-ekonomiko. Nagbibigay ito ng malaking dahilan para pagdudahan ang sinseridad ng gobyernong Duterte sa pagresolba sa ugat ng armadong tunggalian sa bansa at sa paghahangad ng tunay at makatarungang kapayapaan para sa mamamayan.

Isa lamang ito sa mga palatandaan ng sistematikong pagbigo ng kampo ng malalaking panginoong maylupa, burgesya komprador at imperyalistang kapangyarihan sa mga panawagan ng mga magsasaka at mamamayan para sa tunay na reporma sa lupa at pambansang industriyalisasyon.

Sa kabila ng mga postura ni Duterte na tumutuligsa sa dominasyon ng imperyalistang US at ng mga salita sa plano di umano ng gobyerno na magsulong ng nagsasariling patakaran sa ekonomya at relasyong panlabas,  walang pang makitang kongretong mga hakbang kaugnay nito ang mamamayan. Nakapaloob pa rin ang bansa sa di-pantay ng mga kasunduang panlabas sa kalakalan at militar gaya ng Worl Trade Organization (WTO),  Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA), ASEAN Integration, Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, at iba pa.

Bagama’t nag-isyu na kamakailan ng isang Executive Order ang Malacanang na nagpapalawig sa bisa ng Quantitative Restriction sa imported na bigas, nananatili ang pagsandig ng gobyerno sa importasyon ng pangunahing pagkain ng Pilipino. Imbes na magsulong ng komprehensibong programa sa pagpapaunlad sa pambansang produksyon ng palay, pagbibigay ng suportang serbisyo sa sakahan tulad ng subsidyo sa butil, libreng irigasyon, at pagpapababa ng presyo ng langis at iba pang gastos sa produksyon, patuloy ang pagtalima ng gobyerno sa neoliberal na imposisyon ng WTO sa kalakalan at agrikultura. Patuloy nitong sinasadlak ang kabuhayan ng mga magsasaka, nilalagay sa panganib ang seguridad sa pagkain ng bansa, habang pinasasahol ang operasyon ng kartel sa bigas at ismagling.  Dagdag pa, saklaw pa rin ng papasahol na patakaran sa importasyon ang iba pangproduktong agrikultural gaya ng asukal, gulay, isda, manok, karneng baboy at baka, na patuloy na nagpapaliit sa kita ng lokal na mga prodyuser at nagpataas pang lalo sa presyo ng pagkain.

Sa puspusang pangangampanya ng kilusang magbubukid, naitulak ang Kongreso na magtaktakda ng pambansang badyet sa libreng serbisyong irigasyon para sa taong 2017 habang nakasalang naman sa Senado at Mababang Kapulungan ang mga panukalang batas para rito. Gayunman, sistematikong nanlilito ang National Irrigation Authority para maikutan ang alituntunin sa pagpapatupad sa libreng irigasyon na siya rin mismo ang nagbalangkas. Bukod dito, obligado pa ring bayaran ng mga magsasaka ang nagpatung-patong nang back account sa irigasyon sa kabila ng malakas na panawagan para burahin na ang mga ito.

Ang P85 bilyong coco levy fund ay hindi pa rin naibabalik sa mga magsasaka sa niyugan habang tusong itinutulak pa rin ang pribatisasyon nito ng mga maka-panginoong-maylupang mambabatas at ng mga kroni at oligarko na dati nang nagpasasa sa pondong ito. Patuloy pa ring kinukopo ng malalaking plantador at negosyante sa produksyon ng asukal ang Sugar Amelioration Fund na dapat ay nakalaan para sa mga manggagawa sa tubuhan at asukarera.

Ang mga biktima ng kalamidad gaya ng Yolanda ay hindi pa rin nabibigyan ng tunay na ayuda. Mas masaklap, patuloy silang naitataboy sa dati nilang mga komunidad sa baybayin at iba pang lugar dahil sa mga patakarang gaya ng no-build-no-dwelling-zone na pawang kasangkapan ng mga pribadong negosyo sa pangisdaan, ekoturismo at pagmimina para sa pangangamkam ng lupa at katubigan.

Patuloy na pinahihirapan ng mga umiiral na patakaran at batas sa pangisdaan ang masang mangingisda sa buong kapuluan. Ang inamyendahang Fisheries Code ay ginagamit pa rin para sa pagkontrol at pagmonopolyo sa karagatan at iba pang pangisdaan ng malalaki at dayuhang negosyante sa pangisdaan. Dumarami ang proyektong PPP sa reklamasyon sa mga baybayin na di lamang nagpapalikas sa mga mangingisda kundi nagpapahamak sa kalikasan.

Hanggang sa ngayon, wala pa ring aktuwal na napaparusahan sa mga nagpakana at kasapakat ng dating Pangulong BS Aquino sa pork barrel scam na walang-kahihiyang ginamit ang ngalan ng mga magsasaka para dambungin ang pera ng bayan. Ganito rin ang lagay ng iba pang mga kaso ng korapsyon kagaya ng maanomalyang Emergency Shelter Assistance na dapat ay para sa mga biktima ng Yolanda.

Ang lahat ng ito ay sapat na upang isalarawan ang kabiguan ng administrayong Duterte sa maagap at mapagpasyang pagpapatupad ng reporma para sa kagalingan ng mga magsasaka at mamamayan. Kaya naman nagpapatuloy ang militanteng kilusan ng mga magbubukid sa kanayunan upang igiit ang kanilang karapatan sa lupa at kabuhayan.

Subalit, gaya ng kalagayan sa ilalim ng nagdaang administrasyon, ang mga nakikibakang magsasaka sa kanayunan ang pangunahin ding target ng nagpapatuloy na pasismo ng estado. Ang Oplan Kapayapaan ng rehimeng Duterte ay gaya lamang din ng pinalitan nitong Oplan Bayanihan ng rehimeng US-Aquino o ng Oplan Bantay Laya sa panahon ni Arroyo. Nagpapatuloy ang militarisasyon sa kanayunan lalo na mula nang magdeklara ang Armed Forces of the Philippines ng all-out war noong Pebrero. Sa kasalukuyan, humigit-kumulang ay 65 na ang magsasakang biktima ng pamamaslang. May mga naiulat na ring mga kaso kung paano ginagamit ang gera kontra droga laban sa hanay ng mga magsasaka.Nagpapatung-patong na rin ang mga kaso ng harasment, iligal na pang-aaresto at pagpapakulong, at pagpapalikas sa mga buu-buong komunidad ng magsasaka at katutubo dahil sa tumitinding operasyong militar sa mga nayon.

Ibayo pa itong lumala matapos magdeklara ng batas militar si Duterte sa buong Mindanao noong Mayo 23. Terorismo ng mga grupong Maute at iba pang ikinakabit sa ISIS di umano ang target ng martial law subalit malinaw na ang terorimo mismo ng AFP at PNP ang pangunahing siyang nagdudulot ng karahasan at kaguluhan sa Marawi at karatig na mga lugar. Ilang daang sibilyang Moro, magsasaka at mamamayan ang nasalanta ng araw-araw na pambobomba na humantong na sa isang krisis humanitarian at ekonomiko. Ang presensya ngayon ng pwersang Amerikano sa Mindanao para di umano tumulong sa laban sa terorismo ay lubhang nakababahala at nagpapatunay lamang sa gawa ni hindi pa nakakawala ang rehimeng Duterte sa tanikala ng imperyalistang US.

Noong Mayo, pinuri ng marami ang pagpunta ni Duterte sa Mendiola para sabihin sa mga nagkakampuhang magsasaka mula sa Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Inc. (MARBAI) mula sa Tagum City na suportado niya ang kanilang pagkilos para ma-okupa ang lupa sa Lapanday na matagal nang ipinagkakait sa kanila. Ilang araw matapos nito, matagumpay na napasok ng daan-daang magsasaka ang lupain sa Lapanday at hanggang ngayon ay nakapusisyon sila doon at naglulunsad ng kilusang bungkalan. Ang tagumpay na ito ay hindi makakamit kung hind naging malawak at malakas ang pagkilos ng mga magsasaka at ang suporta sa kanila ng iba pang sektor. Ang sustenidong pagkilos na ito ang nagtulak kay Duterte na sumang-ayon sa kanilang kahilingan.

Sa ganitong diwa isinusulong sa pambansang saklaw ng kilusang magbubukid ang kasalukuyang kampanya at kilusan para buwagin ang mga hacienda at plantasyon sa bansa at sama-sama itong bungkalin at pakinabangan. Bagamama’t puspusang ikinakampanya ang pagsasabatas sa GARB o ang pagtitibay ng CASER, o ang patuloy na paghamon kay Duterte at paniningil sa kanyang mga pangako, sadyang hindi na hihintayin pa ng mga magsasaka, manggagawang bukid, katutubo, at iba pang masang anakpawis sa kanayunan, ang aktuwal na mga batas, programa o kasunduang ito upang maisakatuparan ang panawagan para sa libreng pamamahagi ng lupa.

Sa pamamagitan ng sama-sama at mapangahas na pagkilos sa mga kampuhan, barikada, welga, okupasyon at bungkalan, nagiging kagyat at materyal na pwersa ang mga kahilingan ng mga magsasaka para sa tunay na repormang agraryo. Nakita na natin ito sa pagbubuwag ng mga taga-Hacienda Luisita sa pader ng RCBC noong Abril at sa pagpasok ng mga manggawang bukid sa Lapanday noong Mayo. Sunud-sunod na ring naikakasa ang ganitong mga laban sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng Luzon, Visayas, at Mindanao.

Bahagi ang mga pagkilos na ito sa pangkalahatang pagpapalawak ng pambansa demokratikong kilusan na siya ring marapat na tahakin upang higit pang makumbinsi o mapuwersa ang rehimeng Duterte na maghunos-dili sa kanyang tunguhing pasista at maka-imperyalista.  Sakaling hindi na mangimi ang rehimeng Duterte na tuluyan nang maging pangunahing kasangkapan ng imperyalistang US at ng lokal na naghaharing uri sa Pilipinas, nakahanda ang kilusan ng magbubukid, kasama ang mga manggagawa at iba pang api at pinagsasamantalahang sektor na paigtingin ang laban sa pyudalismo, burukrata kapitalismo, pasismo, at imperyalismo. ###

 

 

 

 

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) said the moratorium on land use conversion and the condonation of bank penalties would provide a respite to “tens of thousands of farmers who are facing threats of eviction” due to projects in agricultural lands and the Land Bank foreclosure.

The KMP cited as examples land use conversion cases at Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac, Hacienda Looc in Batangas and the agricultural lands affected by the MRT-7 project in Bulacan.


On September 12, 2016, the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) approved a Two-Year Moratorium on Land Use Conversion (LUC) and started preparing an Executive Order for its implementation.

According to DAR Secretary Rafael Mariano, “the Executive Order Declaring a Moratorium on the Processing and Approval of All Applications  for Land Use Conversion of Agricultural Lands to Non-Agricultural Purposes shall cover the following:”

– all awarded lands under RA 6657 as amended, PD 27 and other agrarian reform laws

– all agricultural lands with Notices of Coverage (NOCs)

– all irrigated and irrigable lands

– all prime agricultural lands

– retention areas of landowners which are tenanted or occupied by tenant-farmers.

– all agricultural lands with presence of agricultural activities and cultivated by farmers, individually or collectively.

– the moratorium shall cover the 4.7 million hectares agricultural lands distributed or awarded to agrarian reform beneficiaries, landholdings under premature or illegal conversion and landholdings without conversion order issued by DAR which has the exclusive authority to approve and disapprove of land use conversion.

– PARC will create a Task Force to assess the situation of Land Use Conversion in the country.

– DAR will promulgate the rules and regulations for the Land Use Conversion moratorium order.

 

MANILA — An international peasant fact-finding mission (IFFM) decried “massive landgrabbing,” land use conversion and human rights violations by government and private companies in two “big-ticket development projects” in the provinces of Tarlac and Pampanga in the Central Luzon region.

The peasant mission urged President Aquino to stop the Clark Green City of the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) and the Alviera Project of the Ayala Land Inc. which have both already affected the people’s livelihood, and will eventually displace thousands of peasants and indigenous peoples.

Clark Green City – which falls under the Aquino administration’s Public-Private Partnership scheme — will rise in the former US Air Force base Camp O’Donnel in Capas, Tarlac. The Alviera project is in the village of Hacienda Dolores in Porac, Pampanga. Both areas are part of the Zambales mountains.

One of the women farmers of Hacienda Dolores. (Photo by Ronalyn V. Olea / Bulatlat.com)
Both projects aim to develop integrated mixed-use megazones, which will serve as an extension of the already-congested Metro Manila.

The IFFM reported that the two projects encroach into thousands of hectares of ancestral lands of the Aeta tribes, as well as productive and abundant farm lands, which peasants have cultivated for decades, some of which were already covered by government agrarian reform.

The IFFM report said that, in Hacienda Dolores, the residents are suffering because their farms – their only source of livelihood — have been fenced off and they have been prohibited to enter.

Two peasant leaders have been shot dead in Hacienda Dolores this year and the killings were suspected to be linked to their opposition to the Alviera projects.

“Productive agricultural forces .. are being destroyed in the name of anti-people and pro-business real estate developments,” said the IFFM report presented on Nov. 20 at the Balay Kalinaw in the University of the Philippines. “These projects are nothing but bane and curse to the lives of farmers and Aetas,” the report said.

The IFFM, “in defense of farmers and indigenous peoples’ right to land in Clark Green City and Hacienda Dolores” was led by the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), the Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luson and the Asian Peasant Coalition (APC). It was held from Nov. 17 to 19, and participated in by peasant leaders and organizers from India, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Venezuela.

Hacienda Dolores

The village of Hacienda Dolores is the site of 1,125 hectare-Alviera project, which will develop a commercial, business, industrial district, university and research zone, residential and recreational areas. The project covers six of the eight sub-villages of Hacienda Dolores, affecting more than 1,000 households, which are mostly peasants.

The project proponent is the Ayala Land Inc., together with Leonio Land of the Leonardo Lachenal-Leonio Holdings (LLL) and its affiliate FL Property Management Corp. (FL).

The IFFM report said that in 2005, the Ayala Land and the other corporations started to claim ownership of the land, saying that they bought it from the Overseas Bank of Manila.

The FL Development Corporation also applied for an exemption from the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (Carp), which the Department of Agrarian Reform approved based on “a deceptive local ordinance declaring the lands as non-agricultural,” said the IFFM.

In 2004, farmers and village residents had tried to question the construction of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (Sctex), which ate up farms covered by Carp. Little did they know that the road was meant to open the area to more landgrabbing.

As soon as the Ayala Land entered, fences and signs saying “No trespassing, private property” were put up, depriving farmers entry to their farms, livelihood and food.

A national fact-finding mission led by KMP gave the same finding last year, which shows that the situation has been prolonged, and is worsening.

This has pushed the farmers to put up a resistance, to which the private companies responded.

“Since the inception of the Alviera project, the local residents and farmers of Hacienda Dolores were met with violence and attacks,” said the IFFM. The mission said it documented “grave human rights violations perpetrated by the giant real estate corporations aided by state security forces and hired goons.”

These include attacks against members of the Aniban ng Nagkakaisang Mamamayan sa Hacienda Dolores (Aniban) such as the shooting of Modesto Posadas by motorcycle-riding men, and the lobbing of a grenade at the house of Jessel Orgas, both in December 2013. The two men were wounded in the attacks.

The killings of two peasant leaders this year remain unresolved.

On Jan. 12, Arman Padiño, 33 was killed after he and two other farmers were shot at by security guard allegedly employed by the project proponents. “The same incident was used by the corporations to arrest and imprison the village chieftain Antonio Tolentino,” said the IFFM report.

On May 2, Aniban leader and village councillor Nemelao “Melon” Garcia was shot dead when he and his wife were ambushed on their way home.

AMGL chair Joseph Canlas said there is a PNP detachment in the village, and soldiers of the 56th Infantry Battalion regularly patrol and sometimes stay in the area. The security guards of the private companies are based in nearby Sapang Uwak village, which is mostly populated by Aetas.

Clark Green City

The Master Development Plan for Clark Green City spans 9,450 hectares “of vast, productive and abundant agricultural lands, the IFFM said. The Kilusang Nagtatanggol sa Inang Kalikasan (KNIK), a local alliance opposed to the project, said the project will displace some 20,000 Aeta and farmer families.

Based on the its master plan, the project intends to develop five districts: the government district, central business district, academic district, agri-forestry research and development district, and the wellness and eco-tourism district.

The mission said that while the government is “actively enticing private business and international investors” for the project, there is no plan for the indigenous peoples and farmers that they will evict. The BCDA actually considers them “squatters.”

Ironically, the IFFM said the Aeta and farmer communities have long inhabited the site of what became the US military reservation in 1947. After the Military Bases Agreement expired in 1991, the Corazon Aquino administration formed the BCDA to maintain government ownership of the vast tracts of lands.

The IFFM report said farmer and Aeta communities in Capas and Bamban had relied mainly on the land for income, planting rice, corn, root crops like purple yam and cassava and various fruit-bearing trees. In spite of this, the BCDA claimed that 36,000 hectares of land in the area is “barren and isolated.”

KMP chairman Rafael Mariano said the government authorized the BCDA “to accelerate development” and make the area productive.

“The land is cultivated for food production. Is that not productive?” said Mariano.

Mariano also suspected that Clark Green City might be one of the “agreed locations” being eyed under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca). The Crow Valley Gunnery Range is one of the venue for Balikatan exercises. Mariano said the planned “wellness area” may actually be for rest and recreation (RnR) of US servicemen. He said that among those who had visited the area was Randal Yim, former official of the US Department of Defense.

The IFFM reported that the farmers and Aetas are being divested of the lands not only by the government, but also by landlords and sugar planters, who use their land “in exchange for a meagre income.”

“During the mission, it was revealed that sugarcanes produced in Sitio Mauricia, Bamban village are brought to the Central Azucarera de Tarlac (CAT), the sugar mill owned by the Cojuangco-Aquinos,” said the IFFM report.

Negligence

Some of the IFFM delegates observed that the people in the two project areas have made their place productive and have subsisted, in spite of decades of government neglect. And now they are being even more disregarded.

Makabayan president Satur Ocampo said the government has “failed to get the side of the people and look at their problems.” He said the government must strike a balance between the people and the private sector.

“The land frontier has been exhausted, there are no more uncultivated land,” Ocampo said. “Haphazard, arbitrary land use conversion constricts the land available for food production, whereas the population is increasing.”

“The indigenous peoples are living in peace, with no support from government, no potable water,” said Raja Reddy, of the Agricultural Workers’ Union (APVVU) of India.

“They are worried, with more fear than anger. ‘Where will we go? Are we not human beings? Are we not citizens of this country,”Reddy quoted those interviewed by the mission.

Reddy called the area “a beautiful place, with its tall trees reaching the sky.” But everything will be destroyed by the project, he said. “People give power to government to support this environment, not destroy.”

The Indonesian leader from the Alliance of Agrarian Reform (Agra) said: “People there are not anti-development, but development must solve the people’s problems, not just bring infrastructure.”

Elmon David of Bayan Muna-Tarlac called the project “Black City,” since it forebodes a dark future for the affected indigenous peoples and farmers of Pampanga and Tarlac.
Ocampo said the two projects show the urgency of enacting a genuine land reform program, which will study which lands should remain for food production, and which should be for urban development.

Inquiry

Anakpawis partylist Rep. Fernando Hicap said the IFFM report will help him and other progressive lawmakers in the House of Representatives as they push for a congressional investigation on the effects of destructive projects in agicultural areas. Hicap said he had filed a resolution in January this year but it is still at the Committee on Rules and is yet to be delegated to an investigating committee.

Hicap mentioned that in the Nov. 19 congressional hearing for the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (Garb) or House Bill 252, the AFP representative from the Judge Advocate General Office said that there are 187 military reservations covering 179,000 has., but there are no more lands to be distributed to farmers.

Ocampo said that congress investigated a similar case during his time as Bayan Muna representative, in Capiz, where indigenous peoples tried to reclaim their ancestral lands covered by a military reservation. He said the military refused to turn over thousands of hectares of the reservation even though only a small part of it was being used for artillery practice.

“When the national government doesn’t take a decisive position, the people have to carry on the struggle,” he said.

Delegates came from APC member organizations: the KMP, the Agricultural Workers’ Union (APVVU) of India, Bangladesh Landless Association, Agricultural Farm Labour Federation of Bangladesh, and the Alliance of Agrarian Reform of Indonesia.

The IFFM interviewed farmers and indigenous peoples in five villages, namely Sta. Juliana, Arunguren, and Patling in Capas, and Anupul and San Vicente in Bamban, which are affected by the Clark Green City, and also made interviews in Hacienda Dolores village which is affected by the Alviera project.

See more at Bulatlat.com.

Stop political killings vs. farmers; justice for the victims of Paquibato Massacre

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) today picketed in front of Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City to condemn the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for the Paquibato Massacre in Davao City and the state’s militarization campaign that victimizes civilians, mostly farmers and indigenous peoples.

KMP holds accountable the Aquino administration for more than 150 cases of extrajudicial killings of peasant leaders, farmers and indigenous peoples in the country. “Farmers are easy targets of the regime’s intense militarization and counter-insurgency campaign that claimed the lives of hundreds of civilians and continue to sow terror and violence among peasant communities in the countryside,” said KMP secretary-general Antonio Flores.

From July 2010 to March 2015, under Aquino’s watch, 145 farmers became victims of summary executions perpetrated by government forces, particularly the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

The latest victims were tribal leader Datu Ruben Enlog, 54 years old, Chairman of the Nagkahiusang Lumad sa Paquibato (Nagkalupa), local village leader Randy Carnasa, 49 and Oligario Quimbo, 41, a member of Paquibato District Peasants Alliance (PADIPA).

They were massacred last June 14 in Purok 7, Barangay Paradise Embac in Paquibato District, Davao City by state security forces belonging to the Philippine Army’s 69th Infantry Battalion.

Still unaccounted for and missing as of today are local farmer leader Aida Siesa and her husband Henry. Siesa is the spokesperson of PADIPA and the Secretary-General of KMP in Southern Mindanao Region.

According to initial reports gathered by human rights group KARAPATAN, men in full military uniform, wearing bonnets, without nameplates and armed with high powered guns attacked Purok 7, Barangay Paradise Embac, a residential community, and strafed Siesa’s house at past midnight on Sunday. The strafing incident lasted for 30 minutes. The armed men kept on firing even if the residents shouted that they are civilians and minors are inside the house.

The Paquibato massacre is believed to be in retaliation to a fact-finding mission led by local farmers and Lumads.

It was known that on June 10 to 12, KMP-SMR and PADIPA led a fact-finding and humanitarian mission to investigate the aerial bombings and series of human rights violations in Sitio Quimotod, Barangay Fatima, Paquibato District, Davao City as result of the military encampment of the 69th Infantry Battalion Philippine Army (IBPA) in the civilian communities. The team conducted medical and psycho-social intervention for the distressed children and on-site investigation, respectively.

The mission’s initial report revealed that military-grade bombs were dropped on farmsteads based on shrapnels and ammunition cartridges retrieved from the area, damaged plants like bananas, coconuts, and durians, and bullet holes on the roofs and walls of houses, were all confirmed and documented. The incidents were perpetrated by the 69th IBPA.

Enlog, Carnasa and Siesa were previously vilified and harassed by the military. Siesa is facing trumped-up charges while leaders and members of the PADIPA are accused of being a members of the New People’s Army (NPA).

“We demand the immediate pull-out of the 69th IB in Paquibato District and to stop the human rights abuses against peasant farmers and peasant leaders,” said Flores adding that “the AFP and the government should be held responsible for the unending list of farmers killed under the Aquino administration.”

Meanwhile, farmers’ group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) will fast on Jan. 15 and 16 as a way of expressing to the pope their need for genuine land reform.
KMP chairman Rafael Mariano clarified that “the farmers’ fasting is not a protest against the pope.”

READ: http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2015/01/08/1410658/noy-wants-papal-visit-security-improved

Ang Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) ay demokratiko at militanteng kilusan ng mga magsasaka, manggagawang bukid, kababaihang magsasaka at kabataang magbubukid. Ito ay may animnapu’t limang panlalawigang balangay (65 provincial chapters) sa labinlimang panrehiyong balangay (15 regional chapters) na binubuo ng mahigit dalawang milyong kasapian mula sa Luzon, Visayas at Mindanao.

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MANILA, Philippines – Activists who protested outside President Aquino’s home late last month filed a complaint against the Quezon City police personnel who allegedly used excessive violence to disperse them.

Thirteen of the “Manilakbayan ng Mindanao” protesters went to the Commission of Human Rights (CHR) on Friday to file a complaint against the Masambong police station commander, Supt. Pedro Sanchez and some 16 fellow Quezon City policemen.

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/657548/group-files-rights-violation-case-vs-qc-cops-over-melee-outside-aquino-home#ixzz3MCtFK7WJ

Ang Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) ay demokratiko at militanteng kilusan ng mga magsasaka, manggagawang bukid, kababaihang magsasaka at kabataang magbubukid. Ito ay may animnapu’t limang panlalawigang balangay (65 provincial chapters) sa labinlimang panrehiyong balangay (15 regional chapters) na binubuo ng mahigit dalawang milyong kasapian mula sa Luzon, Visayas at Mindanao.

35508750-hli-deal-6aug2010

Ang Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) ay demokratiko at militanteng kilusan ng mga magsasaka, manggagawang bukid, kababaihang magsasaka at kabataang magbubukid. Ito ay may animnapu’t limang panlalawigang balangay (65 provincial chapters) sa labinlimang panrehiyong balangay (15 regional chapters) na binubuo ng mahigit dalawang milyong kasapian mula sa Luzon, Visayas at Mindanao.

 

Disarm and arrest Lapanday security guards– KMP

Lapanday, local police, LGU accountable for violence against ARBs and farmworkers

 

Tagum City — The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) said perpetrators in the series of shooting at Lapanday Foods Corporation (Lapanday) in Barangay San Isidro, Madaum, Tagum City that wounded nine (9) farmworkers from the Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Inc. (MARBAI) should be brought to justice. “To ensure the safety of farmworkers and ARBs, we demand the immediate disarming and arrest of all security guards involved in the shootings. We also demand that the Lapanday management, the Lorenzo family, the local police and LGU be held accountable for the violence and injustice against farmers,” said Antonio Flores, secretary general of KMP.

“There is imminent danger and threat to the life of farmworkers as long as armed security guards are inside the banana plantation,” the KMP leader said. On December 9, MARBAI farmworkers decided to launch the mass action and militant assertion to reclaim the 145 hectares of land awarded to them by the government in 1996 but was landgrabbed by Lapanday. The ARBs were not able to utilize the lands for more than six years. Since June 3, 2016, they have set up camp outside the plantation gates to protest Lapanday’s landgrabbing and onerous AVAs. “The exploitative AVA between Lapanday and the ARBs’ cooperatives left farmworkers with only an average of P70 daily income from the banana plantation,” Flores said.

The national fact finding and solidarity mission (NFFSM) initiated by KMP, Unyon ng Manggagawa sa Agrikultura, KARAPATAN, and local organizations from Southern Mindanao Region found several rights violations committed against MARBAI farmworkers. “The security guards intended to kill the farmworkers even without any provocation. Documented accounts reveal that the security guards directly pointed their shotguns at the ARBs,” said Reynante Mantos, chairperson of the Hugpong sa mga Mang-uuma sa Compostela, provincial chapter of KMP.

Initial findings of the NFFSM also showed that security guards, employed by ACDISA security agency, fired shotguns during the period of December 9 to 14. Despite this, the Tagum City police refused to arrest the security guards. The indiscriminate shooting of farmers by the armed security guards on December 12 and December 14, respectively, resulted to the wounding of the following victims: Jose Balucos, 42 years old Rico Saladaga; Jojo Gomez, 26 years old; Belardo Francisco, 53 years old; Emanuel Buladaco, 46 years old; Joseph Bertulfo, 58 years old; Taldan Miparanun, 16 years old; Ronald Patindol, 32 years old and Randy Rana. As of today, Balucos and Saldaga, are still recuperating at the Davao Regional Hospital Tagum City.

Flores said “the continuing absence of a genuine land reform would inevitably compel tillers and farmworkers to launch more militant actions to assert their moral and historical claim to the lands.” In Mindanao, farmworkers are preparing for more land occupation activities and mass actions to press their legitimate demand for land, increase in the farmgate prices of their agricultural produce and genuine land reform. The peasant group also supported the demands of MARBAI farmworkers for their immediate reinstatement on the lands, revocation of the oppressive agribusiness venture agreements (AVAs) with Lapanday, the cancellation of illegitimate debts and loans charged by Lapanday to ARBs amounting to Php800-million; the granting of subsidies and production support to ARBs and the enactment of House Bill 555 or the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) that seeks free land distribution to tillers. ###

Reference: Antonio Flores, KMP SecGen – 0921-2726682