KMP sets nationwide action on land reform, killing of farmers

By Ding Cervantes
Jun 07, 2018

ANGELES CITY- Farmers under the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) are set for “nationally coordinated actions” all over the country on June 8 to “compel the Duterte administration to enact a genuine agrarian reform program and end the political killings of farmers who feed the nation.”

“Various actions from Luzon to Mindanao are taking place this week leading to June 8 to highlight the Filipino peasantry’s strong demand for Malacanang to address the landlessness of farmers through free land distribution,” KMP said in a statement.

It said that already, “farmworkers in Negros Occidental have launched two new land cultivation areas this week – one in Silay City led by the AIDSISA farmworkers association, and the 487-hectare Hacienda Maasin in Murcia town.”

“The collective land cultivation carried out by Negros farmers is part of their effort to expand and consolidate land cultivation in idle haciendas and landholdings in the province that is considered as the hacienda capital of the country. This Friday, Negros farmers will also hold a camp-out at the DAR regional office in Bacolod City,” the group said.

KMP reported that “in Cavite, farmers and residents of Lupang Ramos in Dasmarinas are valiantly defending their 151-hectare land cultivation area from the harassment of real estate agents Nelson Pangilinan and Rudy Herrera. Lupang Ramos farmers have been asserting their right to the land since the 1960s.“

“The passage of the much-reviled CARP in 1988 made it even more difficult for farmers to claim the land despite them being the only legitimate tillers positioned in the land,” it said.

KMP also said that “farmers from Central Luzon will start a regional protest caravan on June 7 to demand the pull-out of Philippine Army troops from peasant communities. Farmers from Bataan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Aurora, Tarlac and Zambales will protest at various AFP detachments in the said provinces.”

“Mass mobilizations will also take place in Cebu, Dumaguete and Iloilo cities as farmers and multisectoral organizations call for free land distribution and the forging of a Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) by the GRP and NDFP peace panels in the upcoming formal round of the peace negotiations later this month,” KMP said.

“A resumption of the peace talks will only be beneficial to farmers if both panels would discuss and arrive at a common agreement on significant social and economic reforms. A new and genuine agrarian reform program with free land distribution as main component should be included in the CASER,” said KMP chairperson Danilo Ramos,

KMP also said that “farmers from Southern Mindanao, Northern Mindanao and Caraga will also hold protest-rallies at respective DAR offices in their regions to expose DAR’s neglect of farmers’ issues.”

Ramos said KMP would make Duterte “accountable for the weekly killings of farmers, Lumad and activists.” “Farmers are the biggest casualties of Duterte’s rising tyranny and despotic rule. Farmers who fight for their right to the land and resist local and foreign land grabbing have become victims of state-sponsored violence and abuses,” Ramos said.

He reported that “the latest victim of peasant political killing was Beverly Geronimo, 27 years old, an active member of Tabing Guangan Farmers Association (TAGUAFA) who was killed by suspected members of the 25th IBPA last May 26, 2018 in Barangay Salvacion, Trento town, Agusan del Sur. Based on the documentation by Tanggol Magsasaka, Geronimo is the 125th peasant victim of political killing under Duterte.”

KMP called on all sectors to “join the nationwide activities on June 8 and support the cause of farmers.”#