QUEZON CITY – Today, Bicol farmers with other farmers in the country vow to further their struggle for genuine land reform through more vigorous land occupation and collective cultivation.
Their campaigns led by Kilusang Magbubukid ng Bicol to dismantle land monopoly, haciendas and plantations will continue and expand on a nationwide scale,” Dan Balucio of Bayan Bicol said.
The month-long nationwide peasant caravans will culminate today in a major mobilization at Mendiola to deliver a strong message to President Rodrigo Duterte — “To the madman in Malacanang, we tell you this — you will never win against the Filipino people. The wars that you launched against us, Oplan Tokhang, Oplan Kapayapaan and Martial Law in Mindanao will all fail. Your regime will soon be exposed as one that is fragile, unstable and easy to overthrow,” Antonio Flores, KMP secretary-general, said.
Farmers and peasant leaders from Central Luzon, Cordillera, Southern Luzon, Central and Eastern Visays, Negros, Northern Mindanao, Southern Mindanao and Western Mindanao have gathered in a protest camp at DAR and will march to Mendiola today where peasant leaders will lead in the burning of Duterte’s effigy.
Cultural workers and activists from the National Network of Agrarian Reform Advocates-Youth (NNARA-Youth), SINAGBAYAN, and Sama-samang Artista para sa Kilusang Agraryo (SAKA), are among volunteers who conceptualized and executed the 15-foot “Duts-In-Boot” effigy, where President Duterte is shown commandeering a monstrous army boot-shaped tank with bullet teeth – mocking the President’s iron fist stance and tyrannical braggadocio. Farmers from Bicol and Mindanao who are victims of the AFP’s militarization helped in the construction of the effigy.
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) Bicol is with the peasants of Bicol region in tirelessly asserting for genuine land reform and support self-sustaining agricultural production that will lay the foundations for genuine rural development.
Dubbed as ‘Lakbay Paraoma’, Bayan Bicol and KMB joined force in creating clamor in Metro Manila through its protest caravan.
Yesterday, October 23, KMB led the picket in Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA). Motivated with anger and frustration on the present status of coco levy fund, farmers padlocked the gate of PCA.
They proceed to the Department of National Defense (DND) to condemn the AFP and PNP in its rampant extrajudicial killings of farmers particular the 9th Infantry Division.
Peasant leaders expressed dismay to the concluded dialogue yesterday with the DAR officials.
According to Norberto Autor of KMB, there’s no reason to halt in aggressively expressing the urgent demand of farmers.
“Feudal exploitation, terror and fascism in rural areas are getting worse. Landlords have private armies, goons and security guards in all provinces. The PNP and AFP protect their interests,” Autor added.
“We will defeat Duterte’s dictatorship and tyranny through our collective struggle for genuine land reform, resistance to militarization and demand to end state-sponsored political killings,” Autor added.
“The ultimate sacrifice of the 91 farmers and land reform advocates who were killed in the name of their struggle for land will not be in vain. We demand justice for all the victims of peasant political killings and extrajudicial killings,” said Flores.
Workers, youth church people, professionals and other sectors will join today’s mobilization. Similar actions will take place in the cities of Iloilo, Tandag, Butuan, Surigao, Davao, Bacolod and Cebu. (BaretangBikolnon.com)