Bayan Muna Condemns the Massacre of Sugarcane Farmers in Negros Occidental
October 22, 2018
Says Escalante masaker noon, Sagay masaker ngayon
Bayan Muna partylist representative Carlos Isagani Zarate strongly condemned the gruesome massacre of nine (9) farmers who were identified members and families of the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW),which include 2 minors and 4 women, in a sugarcane hacienda in Sagay, Negros Occidental.
“This brutal killing is an outrage! There are no words enough to express our deep anger over the massacre of these farmers. Reports came in that these farmers were all shot in the head, and then their dead bodies burned, and then guns were planted on their charred remains. The peasants who were massacred were setting up land cultivation to survive tiempo muerto, the dry season between sugar plantations. What kind of people are able to to do such a monstrosity on other human beings? Gutom na silang nabuhay, gutom silang pinatay, at binaboy pa ang kanilang katawan,” the progressive solon said.
“We call on the House of Representatives to conduct an immediate probe on this matter,” he added.
The victims are Eglicerio Villegas, 36; Jomarie Ughayon Jr., 17; Marchtel Sumicad, 17; Angelipe Arsenal, Dodong Laurencio, Morena Mendoza, Necnec Dumaguit, Bingbing Bantigue and one identified only as Pater.
“The unfounded red scare concocted by the military gave a favorable backdrop to stage brutal killings, such as this massacre of farmers in Sagay. Last April 20, Brigadier General Eliezer Losañes of the 303rd Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army was quoted saying that the camp-outs in land cultivation areas (LCAs) are being used by the CPP- NPA-NDF related activities, and is being used to support the New People’s Army. This kind of words spewing from the mouths of the military diminishes the deep rooted problems in our agricultural sector, even worse, they make these unarmed farmers sitting targets for the blood-hungry and the greedy landlord,” Rep. Zarate said.
“This incident puts into the spotlight the glaring need for genuine agrarian reform. This is not the first massacre of farmers. We remember Escalante Massacre in 1985, the Mendiola Massacre in 1987, the Hacienda Luisita Massacre in 2004, the Kidapawan Massacre in 2016, and the thousands of other farmers killed in the context of the peasant struggle for land reform. Until that is resolved, the peasant struggle, and the unrest in the countryside, will not subside,” Rep. Zarate ended.
National Federation of Sugar Workers Denounces The Government’s False Accusations
October 24, 2018
Sugar workers group denounces the disturbing allegation of the police and Department of Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones against the nine Sagay farmers killed in a bloody massacre last October 20.
Yesterday October 23, 2018, the Philippine National Police Chief Oscar Albayalde tagged the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW), organization of the slain farmers, as legal front of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army.
NFSW Vice-President John Lozande said that the PNP spews a “big lie” intended to justify the killings to the sugar workers.
“It is a mind conditioning tactic to discredit the NFSW and its members which attempts to justify the abhorrent killing,” he said.
Lozande claimed that it echoed Brigadier General Elizer Lozañes of the 303rd military Infantry Battalion who said last April that “bungkalan” is being used by the CPP-NPA to generate funds.
Tarpaulins red-tagging farmers and workers organizations were displayed in towns of Negros Occidental.
The PNP has made a task force to investigate on the Sagay massacre that killed nine farmers.
In response, Lozande said, “the police has no moral ascendancy in the conduct of such investigation.”
While the bungkalan is a means to resolve the hunger of the sugar workers during the tiempo muerto, Lozande said the military and police is attempting to mask the atrocities of big hacienderos and acquiting the Revolutionary Proletarian Army, the Special Civilian Armed Auxiliary, the alleged perpetrators to farmer killings.
The RPA and SCAA is said to be under the control of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Earlier, DAR Secretary Castriciones claimed that the farmers involved in bungkalan were not agrarian reform beneficiaries.
Lozande denied the ill-informed accusation as unfitting for someone working for agrarian reform.
The Negrense farmers fight for land distribution already spanned three decades. While they have twiced applied, one in 2001 and 2013, to be beneficiaries under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, Lozande said that DAR did not address the petitions until the program ended last 2014.
The DAR secretary proved inutile in addressing the plight of the sugar workers. His remark is highly irresponsible and showed no genuine concern to them, he said.
“The huge balance of more than a hundred thousand hectares of undistributed land in Negros is a manifestation that CARP was a failure in its three decade existence,” Lozande added.
John Milton “Ka Butch” Lozande
Secretary General, UMA/NFSW
0910 031 4479
Justice For Massacred Farmers In Negros
October 22, 2018
In the strongest terms, Migrante International vehemently condemns the massacre of the nine farmers on the 20th of October in Sagay, Negros Occidental. This vicious act of terrorism was perpetrated at a time when we are honouring this peasant month of October the greatness of those who tirelessly till the land at the sweat of their brows and whose produce, feed the nation.
Plagued by landlessness and extreme feudal exploitation, hungry farmers have collectively risen up to occupy idle lands previously stolen by greedy landlords and hacienderos. The growing “Bungkalan” movement is seen by farmers as the answer to the stubborn refusal of regimes past and present to address landlessness in the country through genuine agrarian reform.
This heart wrenching tragedy is part of a massive and systematic policy of violent tyranny being waged by the US-Duterte regime against progressive groups critical of his bloody three-pronged war (Oplan Tokhang, Oplan Kapayapaan, Martial Law in Mindanao).
Justice for Sagay 9! Stop the Killings!
October 21, 2018
October is a month to commemorate the struggle of the peasant sector, yet nine farmers – six men and three women – were massacred in Negros Occidental yesterday. They were straffed by unknown perpetrators while already resting in their respective tents. Karapatan strongly condemns this brutal and brazen incident, reflective of a kind of system that further strangles the victims of landlessness and poverty.
According to initial reports, on the evening of October 20, 2018, nine farmers, including 2 minors, were massacred by at least a forty armed men in Sagay City, Negros Occidental. The victims were identified as Eglicerio Villegas, Anelife Arsenal, Dodong Laurencio, Nec Nec Dumaguit, Bingbing Bantigue, Marchel Sumikad, Jomarie Ughayon Jr., Morena Mendoza, and a certain “Pater”. Ughayon Jr. And Sumikad are both 17-year-olds. The victims were all members of the National Federation of Sugarcane Workers (NFSW) who are currently conducting their land cultivation campaign, or Bungkalan, in a vacant lot in Hacienda Barbara, Sagay City, Negros Occidental.
We call on the Commission on Human Rights to conduct an independent and thorough investigation on the massacre. We are one with the kin of the victims in the Sagay massacre in their call for justice.
Stop killing peasants who feed the nation! Stop the killings!
Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-3162831
Roneo Clamor, Deputy Secretary General, 0999-7721233
Karapatan Public Information Desk, 0918-9790580
NPA Negros statement on the massacre of peasants in Sagay City
23 October 2018/
Press Statement | October 21, 2018
Ka Juanito Magbanua
Spokesperson, Apolinario Gatmaitan Command
New People’s Army – Negros Island
The Apolinario Gatmaitan Command of the New People’s Army (AGC-NPA Negros Island) condemns in the strongest terms the massacre of nine farm workers manning a peasant camp-out in Hacienda Nene, Purok Firetree, Brgy. Bulanon, Sagay City, on the evening of October 20, 2018.
The Sagay massacre is the single biggest and most brutal incident of peasant killings under the Duterte regime thus far. The victims, sugarcane workers including women and minors, were mercilessly strafed using M16 rifles, with some of the bodies reportedly mutilated and burned afterwards.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are quick to blame their own heinous crime on the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the NPA. The people are more than aware, however, that the NPA is mainly a peasant army waging agrarian revolution to address the fundamental problem of landlessness and various other forms of feudal and semi-feudal exploitation prevailing in the vast Philippine countryside. The NPA is the fighting force of the oppressed masses; it does not carry out senseless killings like state troops and its paramilitary forces.
The recent bloodbath in Negros Occidental was carried out by mercenaries from the discredited Revolutionary Proletarian Army (RPA), a renegade band led by Arturo Tabara (deceased), Stephen Paduano, a.k.a. Lualhati Carapali, and other opportunist traitors who broke away from the CPP-NPA during the 1990s. The RPA has since operated simultaneously as armed goons of Negros landlords and politicians and auxiliary force of the AFP.
The culprits in the Sagay massacre are in fact under the command of the AFP’s Special Civilian Active Auxiliary (SCAA) unit stationed in Hacienda Mirasol, Brgy. Baterya, Sagay City, some 2 kilometers from the massacre site.
The series of heinous lies about the Sagay massacre being peddled by the PNP and the AFP serves not only to exonerate the landlords and their goons but also to further prop up the state’s current attempts to discredit the revolutionary movement and to suppress the growing clamor of various sectors to end the rotten US-Duterte regime.
Hacienda Nene (also referred as Hacienda Barbara) is part of the vast landholdings under the control of the family of incumbent Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr, and his son, Alfredo Marañon III, incumbent mayor of Sagay City. Hacienda Nene landlords and arriendadors (leaseholders), the Tolentinos and Sumbincos, are related to the Marañons. For many decades, Sagay has been Marañon territory. They have used the RPA and SCAA to terrorize and murder defenseless farmers who stand against their despotic reign. The Marañons’ reported offer of a P500,000-reward to pin down the culprits is an outrageously barefaced ploy to cover up their tracks.
The statements, meanwhile, made by Police Regional Office-6 Director Chief Supt. John Bulalacao, Negros Occidental Provincial Police Office (NOcPPO) director SSupt. Rodolfo Castil and AFP Spokesperson Edgar Arevalo on the Sagay massacre are obvious attempts to gloss over state culpability. The massacre was immediately downplayed by Castil as a “selective shooting” incident, pointing to some planted evidence of empty shells from a .38 caliber revolver and live shotgun ammunition to insinuate that an exchange of fire between perpetrators and victims transpired. This shameless victim-blaming echoes the lies that the military and police fed the public to absolve themselves of the 2004 massacre of farm workers in Hacienda Luisita, Tarlac, the biggest sugarcane estate in the country.
Extrajudicial killings are escalating in Negros Island. Not one case has been seriously addressed by the police or local officials. Peasant killings are rampant in the whole country under the US-Duterte regime and the situation is expected to worsen with the impending extension of Martial Law in Mindanao. With all the hype surrounding Malacañang’s imaginary “Red October” terror scare, Sagay’s Bloody October has proven that it is the state itself and the ruling class of big compradors and landlords that are the clear and present danger to society.
The peasants of Negros shall not be cowed. The struggle for genuine land reform and national industrialization will continue to advance and broaden. The peasantry, the workers and other democratic elements will strengthen their ranks and call for the overthrow of the US-Duterte regime.
The brutality of the US-Duterte regime has clearly aggravated the crisis of the semifeudal and semicolonial system. The intensifying class contradictions in Philippine society further justifies the people’s war waged by exploited classes. State fascism impels the peasantry to take part in the revolutionary armed struggle and enlist in the New People’s Army. ###