Take banana-workers’ side over kin-by-marriage; install them in their farmlands –
Manila, Philippines – Expressing support to thousands of banana-workers in Lapanday Foods Corp. (LFC) controlled Hijo Plantation in Tagum City, Davao del Norte, the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) challenges President Rodrigo Duterte to assist and get the farmworkers installed in the 145-hectare contested banana plantation.
The farmworkers are set to reclaim portions of the plantation through the writ of installation issued by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). But LFC defies DAR’s order by deploying 700 fully-armed security guards near the campout of the beneficiaries.
Led by the agrarian reform beneficiaries belonging to Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association, Inc. (MARBAI), farmworkers for almost 9 months have been picketing inside the plantation to assert their rightful and legal claim in their land. Harassments and human rights violations perpetrated by LFC private security guards against the farmworkers have been consistent as they assert their right to land.
Only genuine land reform will bring justice to the slain farmers of #MendiolaMassacre
Mendiola, Manil – The fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Friday joined thousands of farmers led by the peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) in a protest in Mendiola, Manila to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the bloody Mendiola Massacre which occurred on January 22, 1987 in Mendiola, Manila.
Thirty years ago, more than 20,000 farmers marched to Mendiola to call for genuine agrarian reform and better rural living conditions to then-President Corazon Aquino. But instead of heeding their just calls, they were met with gun shots and violence from the state forces, killing 13 farmers and wounding many others.
“The demand that our martyred farmers were calling 30 years ago is still the clamor of the Filipino peasantry up to date. Until now, justice has yet to be served to our peasant martyrs who died in the bloody massacre. Worst is Mendiola massacre-like suppression and violations against our farmers still prevail up to these days,” Salvador France, PAMALAKAYA Secretary General said during the protest.
Citing the data of KMP, around 32 percent or 9.671 million hectares of the country’s land area are agricultural lands of which big landlords still control hundreds of thousands. PAMALAKAYA assailed the widespread land-use conversion wherein vast tracts of agricultural lands cultivated by the farmers are transformed into other purposes like residential, commercial and even government projects, resulting to displacement of the farmers in the countryside.
Veep Robredo detached from the ‘laylayan’ – fisherfolk group
Manila, Philippines – Vice President (VP) Leni Robredo earned the ire of the fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Friday after opposing the two-year moratorium on land-use conversion (LUC) issued by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) through its Secretary Rafael Mariano.
Vice President Robredo joins economic team led by National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Ernesto Pernia in signing the position paper considering the moratorium on all land-use conversions.
“VP Robredo’s 180-degree turn from Liberal Party seems to exfoliate while her true color emerges. Despite her depressed-community visits, she still lacks analysis that land grabbing perpetrated by private firms with legal guarantees from the government is one of the main reasons why poverty prevails and informal settlers proliferate especially in the urban; they were mostly farmers and fishers displaced from their land in the countryside and coastal areas to pave way for conversion projects,” Fernando Hicap, Pamalakaya Chairperson said in a statement.