Tacloban City – How many Presidents will be seated before the 13 farmers who died at Mendiola get true justice? This is the big question of peasants sector in Eastern Visayas in commemorating the 23rd Anniversary of Mendiola Massacre on January 22, 2010.
“Land for the Farmers! This is the long time aspiration of the peasant since the Spanish, American and Japanese colonialism and even today, fake freedom for land, justice and oppression is represented and implemented by no other than our own government and the big reason why the farmers has nothing land to till” express Jose Tico, Spokesperson, SAGUPA-SB
In commemorating the 23rd Mendiola Massacre Anniversary, the government proves that they are not serious in solving the real problem of Filipino farmers and its development and progress. The peasant sector is hungry for a long time for land and seeks for the implementation of genuine agrarian reform especially in distributing the land to farmers for free.
“In contrast, landgrabbing was rampant and at present, fighting for land and justice has taken away 561 farmers lives which is perpetrated by armed forces of the Arroyo regime” added Tico
One big example in region-8 was the case in Leyte Saba Basin area in which the DAR-8 has given the task to distribute the 90,000 hectares of land but instead was given to rich and influential landlord like Atty. Ching Veloso.
If we can remember, the march-rally conducted by the farmers in Mendiola last 1987 was initiated because of land reform negligence of the past Marcos dictatorship and until now the Lakbayan for land and justice that started in the far south of Mindanao and North of Luzon is a courageous act for the Arroyo regime to pay.
Tacloban City – Atty. Ching Veloso is twisting the history of land occupancy in the tri-boundary of Alang-Alang, San Miguel, Leyte, and Tacloban City. This extreme act of land grabbing is apparent since it is prejudice to terminate the CLOAs given that the farmers’ cooperative is not registered? And is it appropriate that Atty. Ching Veloso be given the right over this land that should be distributed by DAR to the farmers?
“Decades passed by, from American period until Japanese tyranny, we started cultivating the said land but because of the domination and manipulation by influential individual, we are being ejected from the land we till. This is our plates that have taken from us as a result we are hungry since we have nothing to eat. They take the land which is the source of our life.” said Erlinda Bermudo, Task Force Leyte Saba spokesperson.
DAR knows that the land nurtured by the farmers were not located in Palo, Leyte, contrary to what Atty. Veloso had been allegedly said. One question being highlighted by the farmers: In order to receive benefits from CARP does an individual need to register in the town or barangay regardless how long they have been cultivating the land?
“Landgrabbing in Leyte Saba Basin area was one of the major examples that CARP is futile and conspiracy between big landlords and concerned government agencies in order to deceive and eject the poor farmers” expose Jose Tico, Spokesperson SAGUPA-SB.
If we can remember, one major issue being pressed by the on-going LAKBAYAN is the issue on mass land grabbing commenced by Atty. Veloso. This undertaking is intended to seek justice wherein major effect of landgrabbing are extreme hunger and depth poverty of poor farmers especially in Leyte Saba Basin because they had no lands at all to till as main source of their food everyday.
Tacloban City – Twenty three years (23) have passed after the brutal killings of PNP and Military personnel in Mendiola to the 13 farmers who demand for genuine land reform and yet no justice has been served for the victims until today. It is no different in Eastern Visayas region having 117 extra judicial killings perpetuated by the Arroyo regime and continues to be forgotten as LAKBAYAN geared towards Malakañyang.
“Ironically top military officials of the region always say that the insurgency in the region has been lowered to inconsequential level yet almost the entire region is militarized, it only shows that civilians are more than the target of this massive operations” lamented Jose Tico, Spokesperson of SAGUPA-SB.
Last Thursday PNP and Military personnel carrying M60 machinegun harassed the ongoing LAKBAYAN for Land and Justice in Samar province while in route to Calbayog City as the West and Central Visayas delegates waited for a torched parade in the city.
Recently fascist solution to the discontent, massive hunger and poverty among the people of the region take place when 86 families in remote village of Basey, Samar evacuated because of military bombings and burning of their hard earned palay and other belongings just days before the Christmas Eve of 2009.
“Millions of pesos has taken away from us by this massive militarization and much more painful is the killing of one of us to suppress our rights and discontent like what happened to Fr. Lucero of Northern Samar and Romulo Mendova of Basey, Samar” ended Tico.
Tacloban City – The on-going nationwide LAKBAYAN is determined and unambiguous to carry out the issue in Eastern Visayas on depth hunger and poverty to Metro Manila in commemoration of Mendiola Massacre this January 22, 2010, and to inform Malacañang that their hunger mitigation program has failed and is the right time for the government to pay their irresponsible and neglect of duties particularly on land grabbing issue in Leyte Saba Basin area.
“This is the right time to learn the lesson of the past, we need to be resolute and determined to push thru the interest of the peasants for a genuine land reform and justice because we know that those who are in position today is not serious to solve the principal problem of the farmers” lamented Jose Tico, Spokesperson of SAGUPA-SB.
In the latest SWS survey, 4.4 million houses experience hunger in the Philippines and here in region 8 the magnitude of poverty is estimated at 1.9 million last year 2009.
If we can remember, the LAKBAYAN went to Eastern Visayas last Thursday from Davao and Cagayan De Oro in Mindanao where around 50 people welcome the delegation at the UP Botanical Park and proceed for picket-rally at Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR-8) office in Tacloban City. Afterwards, they went to Calbayog City for a torch parade and a warmed welcome of 500 farmers in Catarman, Northern Samar meets the Lakbayanis before going to Bicol region.
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