” Kung ang mga magsasaka ay nagtatanim ng palay at butil, ang PNP at AFP ay bihasa sa tanim-bala, tanim-baril at tanim-explosives.”–Danilo Ramos, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas chairperson
Contrary to her glowing description of her presidency and speakership as she announced her retirement from politics, farmers said House of Representatives (HOR) Speaker and former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s legacy are laws detrimental to the people’s interests.
Responding to her valedictory at the last session of the HOR Tuesday, the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) said Arroyo led the approval of an endless string of anti-people policies and legislation, including the rice tarrification law, the lowering of the age of criminal liability, regressive taxes, revival of mandatory military training for minors, among others.
Arroyo said she will retire from politics after three decades after having been elected as senator, vice president, president and Pampanga representative.
Recalling her presidency and career in Congress with world leaders, Arroyo said she does not think she will have as dramatic a legacy as giants of world history such as United States President John Kennedy.
“I think my legacy will center around restoring our country’s fiscal stability after a storm of financial crisis here and abroad. Our fiscal reforms expanded resources for infrastructure and development, after which, as I said earlier, our poverty level went down from 39% to 26%” she said.
The KMP said they welcome Arroyo’s retirement from politics as “good riddance.”
“She will continue to be known as among the most loathed public officials in history. Arroyo and her enabler Rodrigo Duterte deserve condemnation for all the anti-people policies they are implementing,” KMP chairperson emeritus and Anakpawis President Rafael Mariano said.
Mariano recalled that Arroyo’s speakership did nothing but ignore Anakpawis’ landmark bills.
“Under Arroyo’s helm in Congress, pro-people measures such as the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill and Php750 national minimum wage hike were snubbed and archived,” Mariano said.
Mariano added that Arroyo also
presided in the railroading of the refilled coco levy bill that reduced the
number of farmer-representatives to the Coconut Farmers and Industry
Development Trust Fund Committee from nine to only three last month.
“The coco levy bill approved by Congress will not guarantee the return of the multibillion coco levy fund and assets to farmers. Duterte and his allies will only gain control of the fund,” Mariano said.
Under the new coco levy bill, the trust fund committee will have an annual capitalization budget of Php10-billion, the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Trust Fund Committee to be appointed by the President will be composed of six representatives from government sector, two representatives from the private coconut industry sector, and only three farmer-representatives.
The coco levy assets will be
privatized under the supervision of the Privatization Management Office, the
“These are not the demands of small coconut farmers. Ito ang gusto ni Duterte kaya ito ang sinunod ng Kongreso,” Mariano said.
“This long and drawn out battle for the return of the coco levy fund has burdened millions of small coconut farmers and their families. Many of them have died without actually benefiting from the coco levy fund,” the peasant leader said.
Estimated to be worth up to 150 billion pesos, the fund was levied from coconut farmers by the Ferdinand Marcos regime that the Supreme Court said belonged to them.
Mariano said small coconut farmers will continue to assert the genuine return of the fund.
Arroyo, daughter of former President Diosdado Macapagal, was the Phillippine president for nine years.
She took over the presidency from Joseph Estrada in 2001 after an uprising.
Her election in 2004 to a presidential term of her own was widely believed to be fraudulent, leading to massive protests and even ouster attempts by rebel soldiers.
During her reign, human rights group Karapatan reported 1,205 victims of extrajudicial killings and 206 victims of enforced disappearances.
She was also elected as Pampanga second district representative in 2010.
She was arrested and jailed for plunder in 2011 but was acquitted and freed in 2016.
In July 2017, she was elected as House Speaker in a controversial maneuver alleged to be orchestrated by Davao City mayor Sara Duterte who was at odds with then Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)
“Hindi totoo na dahil may searxh warrant ay kailangan nilang hulihin, Ang kanilang layunin ay patayin ang mga tao doon sa Canlaon City, Manjuyod at Santa Catalina sa Negros Oriental.” — Antonio ‘Ka Tonying’ Flores, secretary general, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas
Sa ika-tatlumpung anibersaryo ng Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), nagmartsa ang mga magsasaka at iba pang anakpawis, sa pangunguna ng Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, patungong Mendiola.
Ipananawagan ng KMP ang tunay na pamamahagi ng lupa sa mga magsasaka at kinondena naman ang kabiguan ng CARP na lutasin ang kawalan ng lupa ng nakararaming magsasaka sa bansa.
Dagdag pa rito ay ang pagpapataw ng mga gawa-gawang kaso at pang-aalipusta sa mga magsasaka at mga manggagawa sa kanayunan, ayon sa KMP.
Ni Jek Alcaraz, Radyo Natin-Guimba
Nagko-cover ako ng kilos protesta ng mga magsasaka sa Baloc, Sto Domingo, Nueva Ecija noong Miyerkules, Abril 25.
Umaga pa lang, mga 9 am, nasa munisipyo na ako para i-cover ang pakikipagharap ng mga magsasaka kay Sto. Domingo mayor Imee de Guzman at chief of police PSupt Abraham Atencio. Inireklamo nila ang gabi-gabing pagpapaputok ng baril ng mga tauhan ng pamilya Jimenez mula sa loob ng kanilang compound. Dagdag pa, layunin din ng mga magsasaka na mag-protesta sa pagbabakod ng mga Jimenez sa 17 ektarya na lupa kung saan tatlong ektarya doon ay may tanim pang palay na kailangan nang anihin.
Dahil may sarili akong motorsiklo, nauna na ako sa area, sa tapat lang ng compound ng mga Jimenez. Ipinarada ko sa tabi ng kalsada ang aking motorsiklo. Kalaunan, doon din huminto ang bulto ng mga nagpo-protestang magsasaka.
Nag-video ako at saka ko nakita ang mga tao sa compound. Marami sila at kasama ang landlord na si Romulo Sangalang Jimenez at kanyang anak na si Jonjon.
Naisip ko agad, “Gulo ito.” Kaya inilihis ko muna ang aking motorsiklo. Saka ko nakita ang dalawang lalaki na papalapit sa bakod sa tabi ng kalsada. Hindi pa ako nakakababa at hindi ko pa napapatay ang makina nang narinig ko na ang putukan. Nakita kong nag-dapaan na ang mga magsasaka. Tiyak akong may nasugatan dahil nasa kabila lamang ng kalsada nanggagaling ang maraming putok.
Tumakbo ako agad sa harap ng bulto para ma-video-han ko ang namamaril. Nakuhanan ko pang nagpaputok ang dalawang lalaki. Nakita ko ring naroon lang sa malapit ang mag-amang Romulo at Jonjon, pinapanood ang pamamaril. Nakita ko na tumakbo na iyong mga namaril papasok ng compound.
Nasugatan sa pamamaril ay si Virginia Galapon Guiang, 65 taong gulang. Tinamaan siya sa hita ng bala ng M16. Kasalukuyan siyang ginagamot sa PJG Hospital sa Cabanatuan City. Dinaplisan din ng bala ng kalibre .45 si Mariafe Orbido Magbanua, 46 years old. Namaga raw ang kanyang sugat kaya kailangan na ring iconfine sa hospital.
Unang naisip ko matapos ang pamamaril ay tumawag na ng pulis, kaya tinawagan ko ang hepe na si PSupt Atencio. Pagdating nila matapos ang limang minuto, hinabol nila iyong isang tricycle na tumatakas.
Lumapit si Jonjon Jimenez. Gusto niyang makausap ang mga pulis. Lumapit ako sa kanya upang tanungin kung puwede ba siyang magbigay ng pahayag tungkol sa pamamaril at kung mga tauhan ba nila ang mga iyon. Tinanong niya ako: “Sino ka ba?” Sinagot ko sya na media ako mula Radyo Natin Guimba. Sinabi niyang huwag ko siyang interbyuhin sa mismong lugar na iyon. Dinagdag niyang sa loob daw kami ng compound para “neutral at walang biases. Ilang beses niya akong kinunan ng litrato at video.
Pagkatapos, ang mga pulis naman ang nagtanong kung kung nakuhanan ko ba yung pamamaril. Ang sabi ko, meron akong footage. Pagkatapos, ini-screen shot namin ang aking kuha ng mga suspect. Saka pumasok ang mga pulis sa loob ng compound para sa hot pursuit. Humarang si Sangalang Jimenez, dahil wala raw ebidensiyang sa loob ng compound tumuloy ang mga namaril. Sinabi pang itinanim lang ng mga magsasaka ang mga basyo ng bala.
Sinabi ng pulis na may actual video kaya huwag na sana siyang magkaila. Tinawag ako palapit doon sa kanila para sabihin sa may ari ng compound na may ebidensya. Sa pangalawang beses,. tinanong ako ni Jonjon kung sino ako at anong ginagawa ko sa lugar. Sinabi ko ulit na media ako at nagko-cover ako ng protesta. Tinanong ako ng pulis kung kaya kong mai-dentify ang suspect. Sabi ko, batay sa video na kuha ko, kaya kong i-identify iyon.
Muling nagtanong si Jonjon na paano ko raw ma-identify ang mga lalaking namaril kung wala naman ako sa actual event. Sinagot ko siya na kitang kita ng dalawang mata ko ang nangyari. Sinabi niyang media lang ako at walang karapatang mag-identify kung sino ang namaril. Dagdag niya: “Patunayan mo sa court ang mga sinasabi mo. Huwag dito dahil hindi ito iyung lugar. Kung gusto niyong mahuli ang mga tauhan ko, kailangan ay may hearing muna. Mag-file kayo ng warrant of arrest at ng search warrant para mahalughog nyo itong compound ko.” Sumagot ako na naroon ako mismo sa pangyayari upang mag-cover ng protesta. Maaring isa ako sa pwedeng naging biktima kung hindi ako nakatabi dahil inilalayo ko ang aking motorsiklo.
Sinabihan na ako ni Jonjon matapos ang aming palitan ng salita na hindi ako pwede sa compound nila at wala akong karapatang mag-cover. Ipinagtulakan niya ako palabas ng gate. Nakita ng mga pulis. Sinabi ng PSupt Atencio: “Huwag mo namang itulak-tulak. Hindi naman na maganda iyan.”
Saka ako inakbayan ni Jonjon at sinabihang, “Umalis ka na rito.” Sinagot ko sya: “Bakit ako aalis, media ako at kailangan kong i-cover ang mga nangyayari?” Subalit iginiit niyang palabasin ako. Lumabas ako subalit matapos ang ilang minuto, ipinatawag ulit ako ni PSupt Atencio upang ituro sa mga inipon nilang mga tao kung sino ang namumukhaan ko. Itinuro ko ang salarin. Nagwala na ang mag-amang Jimenez. Hindi raw makukuha ang mga tauhan nila. Naghihilahan sila at ang mga pulis sa suspect.
Dahil hindi makuha ang suspect, pinosasan na lang siya sa tricycle. Hinintay namin ang pagdating ng Provincial Director ng Nueva Ecija PNP na si PSSupt Eliseo Tanding. Pagdating niya, ipina-halughog niya ang buong paligid. Unang nakita ang isang 9mm na pistol na nakabalot ng tela sa may sukal. Sumunod ang isang shotgun na nakalagay sa sako na naka-suksok lang din. Iginiit ni Jonjon na planted ang mga ito at hindi sa kanila ang mga baril.
Habang kinukunan ko ang aktwal na pagkita sa shotgun, tinanong ulit ako ni Jonjon: “Ano ka ba dito? Official media ka ba ng mga pulis?” Sinabi ko sa kanya: “Obligado ba akong sagutin iyan. Media ako, hindi pa ba sapat iyon? Sabi niya ulit: “Aba! Pamamahay ko ito. Nandito ka sa bakuran ko. Dapat alam ko kung sino ang pinapa-pasok ko.” Sumagot ang hepe: “Siya ang nandito. Hindi na kailangan ng official media from PNP at siya na iyong nakasaksi ng mga kaganapan.”
Inimbitahan ako sa Provincial Office ng Nueva Ecija PNP upang magbigay ng salaysay. Nagtalaga ng tatlong pulis para sa aking seguridad. # (Jek Alcaraz, Radyo Natin-Guimba)
BACOLOD CITY — A councilor of the northern Negros Occidental city of Escalante, a lawyer who has longed worked with peasant and human rights groups, and a number of current and former leaders of activist groups were among more than 60 supposed communist rebels whose faces were printed on a police poster.
The National Federation of Sugar Workers issued an alert with a copy of the poster it said was being pinned up by the police force of the central Negros town of Moises Padilla.
The alert was released Monday, the same day human rights groups reported the arrest in Tarlac of Australian nun Patricia Fox, NDS, a volunteer with the Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura, by Immigration officers.
At the top of the poster is the message, “CNN PERSONALITIES, if seen in the area, please text 09099191720.”
CNN is the acronym used by state security forces to refer to members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front of the Philippines.
Among the legal personalities whose faces are on the poster are Karapatan-Negros secretary general Clarizza Singson, Zara Alvarez of the Negros Island Health Integrated Program, UMA secretary general John Lozande,NFSW secretary general Christian Tuayon, National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers-Negros secretary general Benjamin Ramos, Escalante Councilor Bernardino Patigas, Julius Dagatan, Ronald Evidente, Ma Rina Amacio, Rogina Quilop, Lary Ocena and Anecita Rojo.
A number of them are also included in the list of alleged rebels that forms part of the Department of Justice’s petition to have the CPP and NPA proscribed as “terrorist organizations.”
On the other hand, Amihan, the National Federation of Peasant Women, said Fox was arrested around 3 p.m. and is currently detained at the Bureau of Immigration’s intelligence bureau.
The group said the nun, who joined a recent international solidarity and fact-finding mission in Mindanao that was reported harassed and hounded by state forces, could be deported.
Fox’ arrest came a day after Giacomo Filibeck, deputy secretary-general of the Party of European Socialists, was barred from entering the country in Cebu, where he was scheduled to attend the congress of Akbayan.
Filibeck, who visited the country last year as a member of a human rights fact-finding mission that criticized the government’s bloody war on drugs, was informed he was on a blacklist order and deported.
CAGAYAN peasant group Kagimungan condemned the abduction of farmer leader Sofronio Pascua last July 17 in Tuguegarao City.
Pascua was arrested by four men in civilian clothing he suspected were police officer at one o’clock in the afternoon Monday.
“They trained a gun at me while ordering me to raise my hands. They forcibly took my phone and money away. They did not give me back my money,” Pascua said.
He later told Kagimungan members he was forced to lie face down inside a police vehicle and was beaten before being taken to a building in a secluded place.
While inside the vehicle, his abductors also took away his bag containing important documents and other personal property, Pascua said.
He said there were police officers in uniform around the safe house where he was taken and interrogated for about an hour.
Pascua was released after an hour without explanation without charges.
The victim is a resident of Barangay Banguian, Abulug, Cagayan where he is the local Anakpawis chapter leader. He is active in their group’s campaign for land distribution to poor farmers, Kagimungan said.
“This is clearly a human rights violation that shows the real face of the Duterte regime’s all-out war. The regime targets civilians, especially members of progressive and patriotic organizations,” Kagimungan’s Roderick Deric said.
Greening program as landgrabbing
Meanwhile, the peasant group also complained of ongoing military surveillance and harassments against farmers opposed to the government’s National Greening Program (NGP) projects in Baggao, Cagayan.
The group said elements of the 5th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army conducted surveillance operations in Sitio Kagurungan, Baranggay Awallan at Sitio Reggaay, Barangay Hacienda Intal last July 15 to intimidate six farmer leaders opposing the NGP.
The farmers are opposing the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) plans to plant rubber trees under the NGP.
“This is simply land-grabbing as the lands they have identified have already been cultivated by the residents for generations,” Kagimungan-Baggao spokesperson Pacencia Mercado said.
The DENR and the local government unit have earlier held a consultation in Sitio Reggaay and promised the residents scholarships for students and medical assistance to farmers in exchange for the use of their lands.
“But the project could only mean the permanent loss of livelihood of the farmers,” Mercado said.
Kagimungan said they also received information that a military camp would soon be built in Sitio Reggaay because of the farmers’ ongoing campaign for land and opposition to the establishment of a rubber tree plantation.
“We have won over many other anti-farmer projects in the past. We are confident we will defeat these new schemes again,” Mercado added. # (Deo Montesclaros and Patricia Anne Lactao Guerrero)
Thousands of farmers from all over the Philippines traveled to Metro Manila to participate in multi-sectoral activities marking the first 100 days of the Rodrigo Duterte government.
They held a solidarity night at the Department of Agrarian Reform multi-purpose gym Friday night (October 7) to underscore their continuing struggle for genuine agrarian reform.
THEY are killing farmers again.
Just a few days after the killing of four farmers in Fort Magsaysay, Laur, Nueva Ecija on September 3, peasant leader Ariel Diaz was gunned down last Thursday, September 7 in Villa Pereda, Delfin Albano, Isabela.
These incidents occurred at a time when the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philuippines peace talks resumed with renewed commitment and vigor. Topping the agenda are fundamental socio-economic reforms including genuine land reform directly affecting 75 million Filipinos out of the present population of about 100 million.
PEASANT groups Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and Alyansang Magbubukid ng Gitnang Luzon (AMGL) and human rights organization Karapatan condemned the killing of four peasants inside the Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation (FMMR) in Barangay San Isidro, Laur, Nueva Ecija last September 3.
According to KMP, the farmers were taking part in a land cultivation activity inside the reservation Saturday morning when a helicopter landed and delivered rifles near their area.