Farmers, Church groups unite for genuine land reform and an end to...

Farmers, Church groups unite for genuine land reform and an end to extrajudicial killings

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Intramuros, Manila – Various farmers organizations, religious leaders, Church-based organizations and land reform advocates gathered today to form the Coalition for Land, Against Martial Law and Oppression (CLAMOR) to express the broad peoples’ unity to advance genuine land reform, social justice and civil liberties amidst current turbulent times.

“The most urgent situation calls upon us all to unite and act collectively for social justice and the common good. We are calling for free land distribution to the tillers. We want to put a stop to the killings of farmers as well as other extra-judicial killings. The peasantry and other sectors will continue to resist the tyrannical acts of the present government and its impending declaration of Martial Law throughout the country,” said Danilo Ramos, chairperson of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and a convenor of CLAMOR.

 

The broad coalition composed of farmers, agricultural workers, fisherfolk, workers, agrarian reform and peasants’ advocates, together with church-people and religious, non-government organizations, artists and other rural development advocates and supporters are calling for a stop to the peasant political killings. As of September, there have been 91 victims of political killings from the peasant and rural sector.

 

According to Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano, former secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform and also a convenor of the coalition, “There is indeed a mounting clamor among the peasant sector and the public in general to end the systematic terror being unleashed by the Duterte government against the rural folk and the people. The tillers, those who produce our food, have no land of their own and are mired in poverty and hunger. The moment they assert their rights, they become targets of repression and state-sponsored killings. The families of the victims are crying for help and shouting for justice. Their loved ones who were killed are not mere statistics in the growing list of victims of extrajudicial killings but also a clear testament to the continuing landlessness of the Filipino peasants and the alarming brutality and impunity with which the government carries out its repressive acts againts the rural folk and the people.”

 

“We also want to reach out to the families of those killed in the name of the government’s anti-drugs war. We are all victims of the killing spree. This rampage needs to stop. Enough is enough. Together, we will seek justice,” Ramos said.

 

The newly-launched coalition announced the holding of a broad rally on Wednesday, October 25 to be led by farmers and rural-based organizations. That day will mark the nationally-coordinated Peasant Caravan or Lakbay Magsasaka actions to demand genuine land reform and an end to the extrajudicial killings, including peasant political killings. Sectors will hold protest programs at Welcome Rotonda, University of Sto. Tomas and Mendiola.  ###

 

CLAMOR is convened by CBCP National Secretariat for Social Actions, Pagkakaisa para sa Tunay na Repormang Agraryo, KMP, United Churches of Christ in the Philippines, Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, Servants of the Holy Spirit, Missionaries of the Sacred Heart,  Bishop Broderick Pabillo, ARISE, Stop the Killings Network, Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform, Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Bulacan, Task Force Mapalad, Bataris-Aurora, KATARUNGAN, Kilusang Magbubukid sa Bondoc Peninsula, AMIHAN Peasant Women Federation, Pamalakaya, National Network of Agrarian Reform Advocates and ARBs One Movement-Southern Mindanao

 

Among the lead convenors of CLAMOR are Mariano and the Auxillary Bishop of Manila, Most. Rev. Broderick Pabillo.##