Various groups conducted a National Fact Finding and Solidarity Mission in Brgy.
Maragondon, Cavite – Various sectoral organizations led by the fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) held a National Fact Finding and Solidarity Mission (NFFSM) in Brgy. Patungan, Maragondon, Cavite on September 03-04. The objectives of the NFFSM are to investigate the violent demolition in Brgy. Patungan that occurred on August 22-23 where more than 1,000 combined demolition crews, Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Air Force (PAF), special weapons and tactics (SWAT) and private security guards trooped the fishing community and fired bullets and tear gas while executing the demolition.
Patungan is a 602-hectare barangay situated along renowned mountain ranges including Mt. Pico de Loro and Mt. Palay-palay with a rich fishing ground that intersects from Manila Bay and Nasugbu Bay.
The NFFSM conducted key informant interviews (KII) and focused group discussions with the residents and fisherfolk leaders in the community. According to some respondents, Brgy. Patungan is a home to 600 fisherfolk and peasant families before. But since the Maria Theresa Virata (MTV) Realty Corp. came into picture and claimed the 602-hectare barangay through its bogus land title, half of the residents have moved to the relocation area offered by the local government through forced demolition and deception that the site is suitable for their livelihood.
The residents learned that their community was already sold by the Virata to Manila Southcoast Development Corporation (MSDC) owned by business-tycoon Henry Sy and is about to convert Brgy. Patungan into an exclusive beach resort.
The NFFSM team also found out that harassments and human rights violations persist since the private security guards of Virata stationed the community’s threshold. Food and economic blockade are also evident in the community as the private security guards blocked the entry of goods and construction materials the residents bring inside their community.
“Construction and developing the houses even the schools are prohibited. Even worse is the residents can’t go in and out of their community by land because the stationed security guards will block and harass them; they use boats for transportation either which is relatively expensive than taking a walk. We are investigating for a possible martial-law style of hamletting in Brgy. Patungan,” Fernando Hicap, Pamalakaya Chairperson said in a statement.
The NFFSM team vows to support and stand with the fishers, farmers and residents of Brgy. Patungan in their struggle against massive land grabbing, reclamation, conversion and privatization of coastal communities.
The NFFSM was in participation with Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), Anakpawis Partylist, Sentro Para sa Tunay na Repormang Agraryo (SENTRA), National Network of Agrarian Reform Advocates-Youth (NNARA-YOUTH), Sining na Naglilingkod sa Bayan (SINAGBAYAN), Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP), Karapatan Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights, PAMALAKAYA-Timog Katagalugan, Karapatan Timog Katagalugan and Save Patungan Now Movement (SPNM). ###