U.S. Pentagon runs AFP – fisherfolk group
Manila, Philippines – With the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) continuation of its hostilities in the countryside despite the ongoing peace negotiations with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the communist-led National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), it is crystal clear that President Rodrigo Duterte is out of hand with his armed troops, said the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Wednesday.
The fisherfolk group slams the AFP for its ongoing presence in Brgy. Patungan, a 602-hectare coastal community in Maragondon, Cavite where 353 fisherfolk families have been facing a threat of demolition since last year to pave way for private beach resort of the Maria Teresa Virata (MTV) Corp.
On Friday, the regional chapter of PAMALAKAYA in Southern Tagalog reported the presence of around 80 combination of Philippine National Police (PNP) and Philippine Air Force (PAF) in the community. The residents feared the presence of the armed troops might lead to another violent demolition attempt like what happened last year.
Police harassment vs PAMALAKAYA members in Quezon continues
Sariaya, Quezon – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Wednesday decried the recent harassment committed by the Philippine National Police (PNP) under the Quezon Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC) against the fisherfolk in the coastal barangays of Sariaya, Quezon.
According to Ara Marcellana, PAMALAKAYA organizer and regional coordinator in Southern Tagalog, the first harassment, dubbed by the PNP as ‘operation strike’ occurred on February 18 where 10 elements of the PNP in a full battle gear rummaged Brgy. Guisguis Talon to search for her and her two other colleagues. Marcellana said they are being accused by the PNP of being members of the communist-New People’s Army (NPA). The PNP interrogated the fisherfolk in the area on the whereabouts of the organizers, they even threatened the fishers not to entertain the organizers or else they will also get arrested.
The same thing happened on March 5 where 12 PNP returned to the same coastal barangay and accused the fisherfolk and other coastal residents that they are accepting and accommodating NPA members in their community. The fisherfolk denied the allegations, saying they are members of PAMALAKAYA and the organizers are helping them on their local issue which is the planned conversion of their coastal community into a coal-fired thermal power plant of the San Miguel Corp. (SMC) Global Power Holdings Inc.
In a statement, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson Fernando Hicap assailed the PNP for the harassment and threat they commit to the fishers and its organizers.
Fisherfolk organizers harassed, chased down by elements of PNP in Sariaya, Quezon
Sariaya, Quezon – The provincial organizers of the fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) in Sariaya, Quezon reported harassment from the elements of the Philippine National Police (PNP) under the 415th Provincial Police Mobile Group.
Ara Marcellana, PAMALAKAYA-Southern Tagalog Coordinator and organizer reported that on the morning of February 18, at least 10 elements of the PNP have searched and rummaged Barangay Guisguis Talon where she and her co-organizers had last went into. The elements of the PNP that were in a full battle gear have threatened and interrogated fisherfolk leaders in the community and told them not to entertain the organizers or else they will get involved in the arrest.
“This is the sum of all our fears, the government-declared all-out-war is actually a total war versus unarmed and legal activists fighting for the welfare of the marginalized sectors in the countryside. We vehemently condemn the PNP and its elements in the strongest terms possible for the harassment and fear they brought to the fisherfolk of Quezon. Our members and organizers in Quezon are active members of PAMALAKAYA that legitimately waging their local struggle which is the planned conversion of their fishing community into private venture,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
After violent demolition, fishers were illegally arrested in Mindoro Occidental
Rizal, Mindoro Occidental – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Friday condemned the Philippine National Police (PNP) for the illegal arrest of ten fisherfolk in Brgy. Salvacion, Rizal, Mindoro Occidental last December 7 after defending their nipa huts from demolition perpetrated by private goons and security guards by a businesswoman named Annaliza-Pojas Lopez.
Citing the report of the local peasant organization Samahan ng Magsasaka sa Kanlurang Mindoro (SAMAKAMI), the fishers who were arrested are Jovanie Gonzales, Joel Gonzales, Lucrecio Ero, Recselita Ero, Epifania Ero, Sante Ero, Ernesto Leido, Enrico Leido, Analicel Pelago and Gina Nidoy. They were released yesterday, December 8 after posting bail. After the arrest, their Nipa huts and fishing gears were burned by the private goons of Lopez. In effect, fishers are unable to return to their livelihood since the violent demolition occurred. They are being deprived of their economic rights as a citizen.
In effect of land title, Annaliza Pojas-Lopez claims the 3, 293 square meter fishing village in Brgy. Salvacion, Rizal, Mindoro Occidental. But the fisherfolk families said they have been living in the community for 50 years and the said land is a declared Marine Zone by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), thus it is exempted to any land titles and privatization. On October 24, 17 fishing households were violently demolished under the order of Lopez, forcing the fisherfolk to leave their houses and build shanties within the fishing community.
Maragondon, Cavite – The fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) and its members in Cavite call the attention of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chairperson Chito Gascon on the ongoing economic blockade and human rights abuses in the disputed Brgy. Patungan in Maragondon, Cavite.
Brgy. Patungan is being claimed by the Maria Theresa Virata Realty Corp., a developer who allegedly sold the 602-hectare fishing community to business-tycoon Henry Sy. Brgy. Patungan is the target to be an extension of the Sy-owned Hamilo Coast beach resorts situated in Nasubu, Batangas. More than 300 fisherfolk and peasant families are under the threat of demolition in line with the land dispute.
The land dispute has already inflicted various human rights violations and harassments against the residents including the violent demolition that occurred on August 22-23 where demolition team combined of Philippine National Police (PNP) and Philippine Air Force (PAF) had fired guns and tear gas towards the resisting residents.
The worst human rights violation against the residents accounted up to date is the economic blockade and restriction among the locals from entering and going out of their community committed by the Virata’s private security guards.
According to Susan Agner, a resident and President of Save Patungan Now Movement, restriction of goods and visitors occur since the land dispute happens followed by the positioning of private security guards and police around their community.
Fisherfolk cries out over violent demolition in Brgy. Patungan; calls on to investigate the PNP and Philippine Air Force
Fisherfolk cries out over violent demolition in Brgy. Patungan; calls on to investigate
the PNP and Philippine Air Force
Maragondon, Cavite – The activist fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) condemns in the highest possible terms the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Air Force (PAF) for the violence they perpetrated during the attempted demolition yesterday in Brgy. Patungan, Nasugbu, Batangas.
About 500 combined demolition crew, PNP and PAF have trooped Barangay Patungan yesterday morning to resume its adjourned demolition which they started on the afternoon of August 22.
Reports from the residents said PNP and PAF used blank bullets and tear gas to disperse the residents who collectively resist the demolition. Despite the violence committed by the state forces, the residents led by the Save Patungan Now Movement managed to maintain their set-upped barricade, blocking the demolition team from entering their community and frustrating the demolition.
“Because of the strong resistance and unity of the residents, the demolition crew, despite their police and military escorts has failed to completely execute the demolition. But the looming threat of demolition continues for they will not stop until the last house and the last family have been ejected from this land,” Susan Agner, Save Patungan Now Movement said in a statement.
Pamalakaya denounced the violent demolition in Brgy. Patungan
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) condemned the violent demolition in Brgy. Patungan, Maragondon, Cavite yesterday. About ten houses were violently demolished yesterday by hundreds of demolition team escorted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Philippine Air Force (PAF).
Brgy. Patungan is a home to 353 fisherfolk and peasant families which have a looming threat of eviction under the Writ of Demolition ordered by the Naic Regional Trial Court (RTC)
The 602-hectare fishing and farming community being claimed by the Maria Theresa Virata Realty Corporation (MTV Realty Corporation) was already sold to Henry SY, a business-tycoon who is about to convert Patungan’s productive fishing and agricultural grounds into a money-making eco-tourism hub. This will result to the demolition and displacement of 353 fisherfolk and peasant families depending mainly on its rich fishing and agricultural resources on a day to day basis.
According to Susan Agner, a Patungan resident and Spokesperson of Save Patungan Now Movement, fully-armed PNP and PAF trooped their community yesterday to escort the demolition team. But the strong resistance of the residents who barricaded the community for months has failed the demolition team to completely demolish their houses.
“The presence of the PNP and PAF during the demolition yesterday wasn’t just to escort the demolition team; they were even part of the demolition team irreverently removing our houses. This brought fear and trauma to the residents especially to the children,” Agner said in a statement.
Today, Pamalakaya received report from Save Patungan Now Movement that the PNP and demolition team have returned to Brgy. Patungan this morning and had a standoff with the residents.
“Henry Sy and his funded-PNP will not stop until a single house is immobile on this land,” Agner said.
Meanwhile, Pamalakaya appeals to President Duterte to stop all the demolition of fishing communities for eco-tourism purposes.
“With or without relocation, the government should refrain from evicting fisherfolk from coastal communities especially if it would only replaced by big businesses’ money-making hub. ‘No relocation, no demolition’ scheme is too complicated so it should be a ‘no more demolition’ at all,” Fernando Hicap, Pamalakaya Chairperson said.
“We call on President Duterte to investigate PNP’s involvement in the demolition and its possible cahoots with the Sy family. Their duty is to serve and protect but it seems like they are acting as a regular goons of Henry Sy,” Hicap ended. ###