The Butcher on Trial

the butcher

The butcher, former Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan, faced trial for the last time yesterday at the Malolos Regional Trial Court for one of the many human rights violations he has perpetrated. He is currently trialed in the case of the missing two UP students, Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan, who disappeared back in 2006 under former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s counter-insurgency program, Oplan Bantay Laya II spearheaded by the butcher himself.

Eastern Visayas, where he was appointed as the commanding officer of the 8th Infantry Division, was the centerpiece of the former commander’s brutality and harassment. Since then, multiple human rights violations and murder have been popping up region-wide. Nineteen incidents of extrajudicial killings, twelve incidents of enforced disappearances and twenty-five incidents of torture were reported under his rule. Included herein are two peasant leaders namely, Alberto Malinao, who was killed on May 12, 2005, and the frustrated killing of Dario Tomada who barely escaped an assassination attempt against him inside their house. The peasant communities suffered from food blockades, enforced curfews and regular “census” which were conducted by the military. Activist was either killed or suddenly being snatched out without anyone knowing just because they are seen in anti-government demonstrations or they were heard protesting against the anti-people policies.

Today, peasant communities experience the same treatment from the AFP behind the current counter-insurgency program, Oplan Kapayapaan, which was adopted by the fascist US – Duterte Regime. Within the first year of Duterte, in Eastern Visayas alone, four farmers have already been killed, eight were illegally arrested, two minors were accused of being a member of the NPA, twenty-one farmers falsely presented as NPA surrenderees, peasant communities of four different towns were forced to evacuate because of extreme militarization in their area, a woman was raped in Matuginao, an indigenous people community was subjected to hamletting and many other accounted and unaccounted human rights violations.

The fascist culture of the AFP lingers while thousands of farmers continue to struggle amidst landlessness and negligence of the government to genuinely address people’s demands. Intense militarization has always been the answer of the government to silence the marginalized, thus promoting the impunity culture in the country.

Samahan han Gudti nga Parag-uma ha Sinirangan Bisayas condemns the continuing human rights violations against the peasant communities and urges the government to stop attacking our peasants. We call on everyone to stand against these injustices that are brought by the tyrannical US-Duterte Regime. We should break the silence that was enforced to us and take justice into our hands. Sagupa also believes that former Maj. Gen. Juvito Palparan should be taken accountable for its tremendous acts of crime and thus should be convicted.


Why do we run short of our staple food?


Philippine agriculture is on the verge of total and major decline due to the moribund system that exists within the country. The agriculture sector contributes the least to the country’s economy despite being the major source of income of the majority of its population. This is expected to decrease in plunging numbers under the control of the present administration and its main operators, the imperialist countries.

The country’s agriculture is undeniably backward manifested through the continuity of the export-oriented and import-dependent character. Capitalists have a strong hold on what farmers should plant while basic agricultural products needed by the Filipinos on a daily basis such as rice, sugar, and vegetables are produced in declining volumes each year.

Recently, the National Food Authority disclosed that stocks of milled rice left are only good for two days. It’s just the start of the year yet the country has little and insufficient stocks left.

Why is this so?

Exploitation of farmers is LEGAL

Since the time when the Philippines joined and submitted itself to the leading capitalist countries through the World Trade Organization, its people experienced perpetual and even worse crises. WTO ensures that only the ruling capitalists will economically rule the world as they steadily make major shifts in third world countries’ economic policies. This is manifested with the presence of countless transnational companies across the country.

The Philippine government, as obedient as they have always been, then implemented laws their masters have mandated them such as Republic Act 8178 or the Agricultural Tariffication Act which lessened the country’s import restrictions in major counts and repealed several laws that once restricted the importation of many agriculture products including onion, potato, cabbage, coffee and other products which can be locally produced in enough volumes. WTO and the Philippine government lured the people through the “global competitiveness” flagship.

Since last year, National Food Authority and Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) have opened possibilities of amending RA 8178 to remove the quantitative restrictions (QR) of rice importation and just like the other agricultural products, place rice under a tariffication system instead. Higher volumes of imported rice will flood the Philippine market, thus competing with the locally-produced rice. After all, LEDAC’s goal is to “develop” transparency and competition – that kind that will kill its very people.

Irrigation problem remains unaddressed

The Philippine government might have neglected one vital requirement in agriculture especially in tropical countries – irrigation. It took decades of fighting for a free and quality irrigation system before it was passed into law.

But why does it remain unaddressed if it’s already a law?

In 2017, a two billion-peso budget was allotted for the supposed implementation of free irrigation. This means that the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) will no longer charge the farmers with P4, 250.00 per hectare for irrigation. However, accounts reveal that NIA continues to collect irrigation service fees (ISFs) from farmers nationwide. And what makes the picture worse is that irrigation is, in fact, still inaccessible to most of our farmers.

In Eastern Visayas, one of the country’s top producers of abaca, coconut, and rice, more than half of its agricultural land is non-irrigated. In Samar island alone, more than 60% of the whole agricultural land is still rain-fed. The figure is still conservative since there have been a lot of uncompleted irrigation projects.

Although it should be recognized that the passage of the free irrigation law is a result of the farmers’ long-time struggle, the law will, however, remain dubious so long as the tillers still have to deal with rain-fed land resulting to low volumes of harvests.

Where to plant rice?

The space for rice and other major agricultural products in the country shrinks every year, every administration and every program being implemented. For example, the government does not even regulate the massive conversion of agricultural land to commercial purposes neither did it intervened on the alarming crop conversion happening all over the country. After all, it is the top promoter of these programs. Department of Environment and Natural Resources has its National Greening Program, DA is implementing the High Yielding Variety Program, local governments are promoting agriculture liberalization, and bureaucrat capitalists, as a whole, favor neoliberal policies.

Due to the lack of a genuine agrarian reform and as feudal lords remain immensely powerful, more and more farmers lose their land. International peasant alliance Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) reveals that there are already nine out of ten farmers who owns no land. No wonder, the poorest regions in the country are those that are highly-agricultural as in the Eastern Visayas region that ranks top 2 only next to the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

According to Ibon Foundation on its book Disaster upon Disaster published in the year 2014, Eastern Visayas has the largest land remaining on leasehold. This proves that the very land tillers actually have no land to plant their crops including rice, not even a lot for their houses.

So, should we import more rice or add tariffs?

Neither of the two will solve the problem.

Since last year, the government has been pushing for the removal of rice importation QR, not because of the rice stocks shortage but because this is what the imperialists want. Much like the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law and all of the neoliberal policies the state approved.

Hence, NFA is faking a rice shortage to alarm the public and push both the people and the government to agree on more rice importation this year, right at the very start of 2018. This, instead, will lead to worse food shortages as products become much unaffordable to most of the consumers. The tariffication system, on the other hand, is bogus and pretentious as bureaucrat capitalists are in fact those behind rice and agricultural products smuggling.

How, then, do I get my rice?

The best way is indeed to win your land.

So long as the feudal lords, giant corporations, and corrupt politicians continue to exploit our very land, we won’t get away from food shortages and extreme crisis nor shall we able to get away from imperialist control.

A united seventy-five percent of the country’s population, along with the positive forces, can win over an anti-poor government as proven in history. Them who’ll never remain silent in times of predicament will fight and win the land. And they have been for decades and decades now.

Millions of farmers to suffer from Duterte’s anti-people TRAIN Law

News Release

February 3, 2018


The peasant sector is suffering from the increase of prices of the basic commodities through the implementation of the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) that was passed before the year 2017 ended. According to Samahan han Gutdi nga Parag-uma ha Sinirangan Bisayas, the farmers will be the direct victims of the law because of the increase of prices of the everyday commodities despite the low prices of their products and the high cost of capital in maintaining their farms like rent of land, usury and many more.
Based on the studies of SAGUPA-SB, it was found out that a single farmer only earns P60.07 a day or P1, 817.75 every month in Eastern Visayas, that is not enough to sustain an average family of 5 members. This amount is not enough to buy products that prices increased by P5.00 and diesel that is used in farming and other utilities like electricity and transportation.
“It is clear that this is an act of extortion by the Duterte administration. The law he passed does not favor the majority of the Filipino which is the farmers. The small percentage of the population will continue to get richer while the majority, the poor will die”, according to Sagupa SB Secretary General Jun Berino.
The action of the government in giving out P200 as unconditional cash transfers to 10 million poor citizens in the country in 2018 is useless and hypocritical, according to Sagupa SB. It will increase by 300 every month in 2019 and 2020. In this situation, the government admits the TRAIN law will burden the Filipino citizens. “ The small amount that the government is giving is not enough for the millions of farmers who are starving and dying because of this,” added by Berino.
Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” program will not benefit the poor regions like Eastern Visayas, the 2nd poorest region in the country, because the concentration of the infrastructure projects will be located in regions with lower poverty incidence rate. This will not help in developing the Philippines which is an agricultural country where the majority of the poor comes from the agriculture sector according to Sagupa SB.

Sagupa SB calls everyone to fight these anti-people programs of the present administration. “In this situation where the government itself is killing its own people, there is no another way than to call out everyone to overthrow this regime” According to Berino

Balaud nga TRAIN ni Duterte, dugang nga pakuri ha mga parag-uma!

News Release

Pebrero 3, 2018


Nangangaraba an sektor han mga parag-uma ha paghataas han mga presyo han mga batakan nga papliton pinaagi han Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) nga iginsabalaud antes matapos an tuig 2017. Sumala ha Samahan han Gudti nga Parag-uma ha Sinirangan Bisayas, pinakamaapektuhan hini nga balaud an mga parag-uma tungod han paghataas han presyo han mga adlaw-adlaw nga mga panginahanglan samtang nagpapabilin nga hamubo an presyo han ira mga produkto ngan hataas an ira kinahanglan nga kapital ha pagmentine han ira pag-uma sugad han renta ha tuna, usura ngan iba pa.

Subay han pag-aram han Sagupa SB, nakita la hin average nga P60.07 kada adlaw o P1,817.75 kada bulan an usa nga parag-uma ha Sinirangan Bisayas nga kulang ngan diri sakto para makasapar han gastos hin usa nga average nga pamilya nga may lima nga miyembro. Kulang hin duro ini nga kantidad para ha pagpalit han mga produkto nga singko pesos o sobra pa an igin-umento ngan an pagpalit liwat han gasolina ngan diesel nga kinahanglan ha pag-uma ug sugad man han iba pa nga yutilidad sugad han kuryente ngan pamasahe.

“Klaro nga panhuthot la an ginhihimo hini nga administrasyon ni Duterte. Diri na pabor ha kadam-an han mga Pilipino, han mga parag-uma an balaud nga iya iginpasa. Padayon nga mariko an kaguti-ay nga porsyento han populasyon han nasud samtang namamatay an kadam-an nga mga pobre”, sumala kan Sagupa SB Secretary General Jun Berino.

Impokrito ngan waray man daw pulos an pamaagi han gobyerno nga maghatag hin P200 nga unconditional cash transfers han 10 milyon nga mga pobre ha nasud yana nga 2018 sumala ha Sagupa SB. Mahitaas ini hin P300 kada bulan ha 2019 ngan 2020. Hini nga kamutangan, ginaamin han gobyerno nga papakurian han TRAIN Law an mga Pilipino. “Diri sakto an sensilyo nga kwarta nga ihahatag han gobyerno para ha milyon-milyon nga mga parag-uma nga nagugutom ngan namamatay tungod hini,” dugang pa ni Berino.

Diri naman makaka-benepisyo an mga pobre nga rehiyon sugad han Sinirangan Bisayas nga ika-duha nga pinaka-pobre nga rehiyon ha bug-os nga nasud han programa nga “Build, Build, Build” ni Duterte kun diin naka-konsentra an kadam-an nga magiging mag proyekto hini ha mga rehiyon nga mas hamubo an poverty incidence rate. Ha sugad, diri ini makakabulig ha pag-uswag han Pilipinas nga usa nga agrikultural nga nasud ngan kun diin kadam-an han mga pinaka-pobre nga mga rehiyon in mga agrikultural nga lugar sumala ha Sagupa SB.

Iginpapanawagan naman han Sagupa SB nga atuhan ini nga mga kontra-katawhan nga programa han presente nga administrasyon. “Ha kamutangan kun diin ginpapatay mismo han gobyerno han katawhan han iya nasud, waray na iba nga bubuhaton an katawhan kundi an ipanawagan nga ibagsak ini nga rehimen,” pagmalatumat ni Berino

SAGUPA-SB naglansar hin relief operation ha mga kaapi na organisasyon na parag-uma, ginsundan hin panhaharas han militar


Press Release

Pebrero 1, 2018


Dida han Enero 21 ngan 29 yana na tuig, nanhatag relief an Samahan han Gudti nga Parag-uma ha Sinirangan Bisayas (SAGUPA-SB) ngan kabulig an CERNET INC. ha mga kaapi na organisasyon na parag-uma ha Leyte nga ginbahaan tungod han sunod sunod na mga bagyo nga umagi dinhi ha rehiyon 8. Nakapanhatag hin 200 packs na an sulod, bugas, monggos ngan mga liso nga mga utanon sugad han ampalaya, hantak, pechay, okra ngan tarong nga pwede nira matanom para maging surok han ira pagkaon.

Sumala kan Jun Berino, pagkabuwas han kahuman han panhatag relief ha Sitio Biga-a, mayda umabot na ginkikilala na Alex Mendoza nga kaapi han militar na nagkakampo ha Brgy.Rubas, Jaro, Leyte. Nagbibiling ha mga lider parag-uma ngan nagpipinakiana kun ano na organisasyon an nanhatag han relief ngan nagpipinakiana kun ano it ira organisasyon na amo na an Alang-alang Small Farmers Association (ASFA) nga usa na organisasyon han mga parag-uma.

Dugang pa kan Jun Berino, nagyakan ini na Alex Mendoza ha mga residente han Sitio Biga-a na ini na iyo barangay masusugad hin Marawi.

Dugang pa kan Jun Berino, usa ini na porma han panhaharas han militar ha mga parag-uma komo ginquesuestion an ira mga aktibidad it usa nga militar. Diri la ini makausa nga nahitabo ha nayakan nga barangay kay han naglabay nga tuig, ginharas gihap ini na barangay katapos gihap manhatag relief an SAGUPA.

Ginpapanawagan han SAGUPA-SB na ig-undang an panhaharas han mga militar ha mga parag-uma ngan I-undang gihap an militarisasyon ha kabaryuhan.

Ha kadugangan na mga pakiana, pwede niyo kontakon hi Jun Berino (09066700578)



Jun Berino
Secretary General, SAGUPA-SB

Commemorating Mendiola Massacre: The bloodstained struggle for land

Twenty-two farmers were marching to the Malacanang to parade their calls for a genuine land reform until it became a bloody dispersal on January 22, 1987, that took 13 lives, thus the Mendiola Massacre. The farmers were expecting a dialogue with President then, Corazon A. Aquino to demand free land distribution amidst the growing monopoly of land which the president herself is an owner of 6,453 hectares of land. Instead of a peaceful dialogue, farmers were answered with sporadic firing from the police with the intent to slaughter everyone in their path. No one was taken accounted for the bloody act since the charges were later dismissed by the 1993 supreme court because as they cited immunity of the government official from any suit.

Similarly, a bloody incident happened in San Agustin, Palo where eight farmers were killed including a pregnant woman during a “tiklos” conducted by the resident farmers who were victims of land grabbing by the despotic Pedro Margallo and its family. Elements from the 87th ID started indiscriminate firing against the land beneficiaries and their supporters and after the smoke was cleared, no one was punished after our current prejudiced justice system has made the same cover-up.

Thirty-one years after, the demand of the farmers remains as it has never been solved. The semi-feudal framework of the country continues where farmers are forced to work as usurp, serving the greater gains of the landlords that represents the ruling elites. The promise of land distribution was shattered as it was presented by the bogus land reform program known as CARP and was later extended through CARPER.

The peasant sector was given false hope when Duterte promised to distribute land to them and even placed Ka Paeng as the Department of Agrarian Reform secretary. Through the implementation of it’s bogus “peace and rehabilitation” program in the name of “Oplan Kapayapaan”, hundreds of farmers are killed by the fascist Armed Forces of the Philippines because of false information and red tagging. Moreover, government troops can easily get away from it since farmers’ factual accounts barely reach the mainstream. In Eastern Visayas alone last year, five farmers were killed while a thousand more were forced to evacuate due to intense militarization in their areas.

Duterte later canceled the continuation of peace talks before the supposed fifth round where the most salient part of the process which is the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) could have been discussed, including the solution to the century-long problem of the farmers which is land ownership. This only shows that Duterte is anti-people and a warmonger that has deceived the people through its trapo (traditional politician) way of handling the elections.

It is now clear that Duterte was never the answer to the malady that was inflicting to the farmers opposed to what he boasted before. Disillusioned and furious, the farmers, together with the greater masses should fight Duterte’s tyrannical rule simply because justice will not be served on a silver platter. The course of events from administration to administration, regime to regime just goes to show that impunity then is impunity now.




To the country’s ‘middle class’ (A letter from the hinterlands)

You might be having fun with your family and relatives who just got home from the city or abroad. You might be enjoying the midnight sales on those malls we have never gone to. And you might be savoring the taste of lechon and hamon and all the food we cannot offer our children this holiday season. This year and in the next coming years, the gap between our sector and yours might get wider and the tendencies and crisis of being blinded with the country and it’s people’s situation might be intensified. And so today, we write to you.

We wish to offer you more rice produced and processed in the country through our very hands next year but we lack fields to plant palay. Our president seems to have no plan to fix the agrarian reform system in the country by pushing and implementing a genuine agrarian reform law. This is despite the fact that we comprise the majority of the country’s population, 75% to be exact. And our landlords have instructed us to plant pineapple instead of rice, and fruit trees instead of sugar, thus converting our vast fields to corporate-owned plantations. Also, conversion of agricultural land to commercial use for the benefit of the country’s elite and the imperialists might get faster under the current administration.

We wish to offer you high-value crops in large harvests but we lack tools and scientific and more advanced knowledge. Apparently, the government is not investing much, not even enough, for the agricultural advancement of this agricultural, although backward, country. The Department of Agriculture could not even arrest the massive crop infestation problem in Northern Samar, in the whole Samar island, and in many other parts of the country. Instead, they are introducing varieties that must have affected the nutrition of our soil.

We wish to send our children in schools, especially at the tertiary level, but we have nothing to pay for the now even higher school fees. Our little Juan’s and Maria’s are so enthusiastic to finish their studies, they are willing to walk two or more hours a day just to reach their school. But today, we are not certain if they could even finish high school after it was added with two more years. And in the practical side where we strive for survival, they’d employ themselves as cheap farm workers earning way-way below the poverty threshold.

We wish to greet the first day of the year 2018 with a complete family but I lost a family member after he was shot dead while he was working in the field and my neighbor’s husband was illegally arrested, both of them are tagged as members of the New People’s Army by no less than the government troops. We must admit that we have joined several mass demonstrations but it wasn’t because we are NPAs but because we want to voice out our sorrows and griefs of which we mentioned above. We have also seen members from your ranks during those mobilizations.

And just like you, we wish to have peace in this country but President Duterte terminated the peace negotiations between his government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). His government did not even honor the signed agreements between the two parties, this includes the respect for human rights and international humanitarian law. They were so close to agreeing on free land distribution in the country but Duterte listened more to his army than to the people they should be serving.

We are tired of being called ‘lazy’ when we, in fact, spend most of our time under the scorching heat of the sun or ignorant when education is actually inaccessible to us. We are tired of this political, economic and cultural barrier that exists between our sector to the other sectors of this society.

We have heard over the radio that a new tax reform package has been approved by the president. We don’t know much about it, but it sure will increase prices of commodities and services which you also consume. Sooner or later, our economy will drop while the country’s few elites gain much more than we lose.

The next time that we meet in the streets, in the marketplace or in a public hospital, I hope you see us in a different perspective now after reading this note. But the people in the hinterlands need not your sympathy but for you to join us in our struggle towards national democracy. We have long extended our arms for your embrace.