“The sickle is no equal to terrorism, release our farmers now!” – Sagupa Sinirangan Bisayas

Following GRP’s hosting of the 2017 ASEAN Summit attended by US President and the current face of imperialism Donald Trump, Duterte’s tongue-lashing over progressive groups, and the 360 proclamation and termination of peace negotiations with the Philippine reds, four farmers in Samar island in the Eastern Visayas region were nabbed by military elements in a span of two weeks.

Fourteen days after the illegal arrest of Marabut, Samar peasant-leader and head of Tag-alag Farmers and Fisherfolks Association Carlito “James” Badillo who admitted being harassed, tortured, and threatened by elements of the 87th Infantry Battalion last November 10, three more farmers in Palapag, Northern Samar were abducted by alleged elements of the 20th Infantry Battalion. The farmers and members of the Northern Samar Small Farmers Association (NSSFA) who were identified as Richard Avino, Teny Gerbon, and Arnel Aquino are believed to be detained at the detachment of the 20th IB at Brgy. Opong, Catubig, Northern Samar.

The three farmers from Northern Samar are still left unsurfaced as soldiers refuse to disclose their whereabouts. For two consecutive days, the family of the said farmers and human rights group Katungod Northern Samar went to the detachment of the 20th IB in the town proper of Palapag, Northern Samar, urging the military to release the abducted farmers. But instead of discharging the peasant group members, a suspected soldier phone-called Katungod Northern Samar Secretary General Sargie Macallan yesterday, November 24, asking who among the arrested persons would he choose to die.

In Matuguinao, Samar, sixty families were forced to evacuate to the forests due to the intensifying militarization in their town. The military did not only bring fear to these peasant communities but also paralyze their livelihood, thus a threat to their lives. It can be recalled that there have been aerial bombings in the said town since May this year as recorded by Katungod Sinirangan Bisayas.

Aside from the warrantless searches, suspicious men have been hopping from peasant organization to peasant organization, presenting pictures of staffs of Sagupa Sinirangan Bisayas and asking for their names and address. Tailings over peasant leaders and human rights workers all over the region have also been intensified.

Samahan han Gudti nga Parag-uma ha Sinirangan Bisayas (Sagupa SB) calls for the immediate release of Badillo who is currently facing illegal possession of firearms and explosives as charged by the military and to swiftly surface the three farmers in Palapag, Northern Samar. The regional peasant group pressed that the Duterte administration and the AFP must be held accountable for the intensifying human rights violations in Eastern Visayas. Sagupa Sinirangan Bisayas also urge the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to record and act upon these human rights abuses.

“The sickle is no equal to terrorism. We challenge the Philippine Army to release our farmers now,” said Sagupa Sinirangan Bisayas Secretary General Jun Berino.

With a hundred and fifty new soldiers in Eastern Visayas and four more military battalions to be re-deployed in the region, more human rights violations and similar cases are possible to happen.

“Soldiers in the region under the 8th Infantry Division are intensifying their Community Support Programs (CSP), deploying more Peace and Development Teams (PDT) to barrios, now fully disregarding the International Human Rights Law (IHL). This is all because of the foolishness of their head, Rodrigo Duterte, to terminate peace talks and declare an all-out war against its very people,” said Berino.

According to Berino, militancy and resistance with vigilance at this tempestuous times are things the Filipino people, especially the marginalized sectors, should practice.

Sagupa Sinirangan Bisayas urges the public to report all the human rights abuses and suspicious actions of alleged military elements in the region while actively supporting the back-to-back mass actions and protests.

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Dugo ngan balhas an nagbarisbis

Didto ha haluag nga katutubhan

Ini an panginahanglan:

Guti nga tubig ngan pag-ataman

Labi na an pag-ato han katawhan.

 

An maiha na nga kauriton ni Juan

An balhas nga tumuro ha umhanan

An pagguli-at han mga kabataan

An dugo han pito nga nanindugan.

 

Parag-uma, imo an Luisita

Aton an ginbalhasan nga tuna

Ha waray kapagalan nga pakigbisog,

Ha katapusan, kita gihap magdadaog.

Kontra-parag-uma nga Balikatan 2017, atuhan!

Mahugot nga gintitipahan han mga parag-uma han Sinirangan Bisayas an natatabo nga Balikatan exercises ha siyudad han Ormoc ha Leyte ug ha Guiuan, Eastern Samar nga nagtikang dida han Mayo 8 ngan nakatalaan nga magtapos dida hit Mayo 19. Bisan pa man igin-hahambog han lokal nga pamunuan hini nga mga lugar ug mismo ni Presidente Duterte nga human and diaster relief an hinungdan hini nga natatabo nga buligay han Armed Forces of the Philippines ngan visiting forces, diri ta angay idiwara nga usa la ini nga pagkondisyon ha katawhan Pilipino agud himuon nga lehitimo an ira pagbase ha Pilipinas ngan tahuban an ira mga pan-aabuso ngan krimen nga ginhimo dinhi ha nasud.

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Naki-usa an SAGUPA – SB ha usa nga gios-protesta kontra ha Balikatan 2017 nga ginlansar kakulop, Mayo 12 ha siyudad han Tacloban. (Ginkuha tikang ha UP Vista)

US, ulo han mga man-made disaster ha nasud

Aada ha kadelikaduhan an mga parag-uma tungod han panginginlabot han Estados Unidos ha mga domestic affairs han nasud upod na dinhi an aktibo nga pakikig-kunsabuhay nira ha AFP nga yana ginpapamunuan ni Gen. Eduardo Ano. Hi Ano, upod ni Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, an nagsusulsol kan Presidente Duterte nga tugutan an padayon nga pagbase ngan panginlabot han US ha Pilipinas. Manunumduman nga bisan han panahon nga nagdeklara hi Duterte nga posible niya paiwason an mga tropa han kano ha nasud, nagpagawas hin pahayag hi Lorenzana nga magpapadayon an pagpatuman han Enhance Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) sugad han napagkasarabutan.

Bisan ha pag-aabre ni Presidente Duterte ha makawala nga grupo nga National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) hin pakig-istorya ngan pakig-negosasyon para ha pagkab-ot hin kamurayawan, nagpadayon an kontra-insurhensiya nga programa han AFP nga base han mando han ira mga agaron nga kano. Sugad han mga nauna nga kontra-insurhensiya nga programa han mga nauna nga administrasyon, an US la gihapon an ulo ngan aktibo nga nagko-kontrol ha AFP. Makikit-an nga gintahuban gihapon ini nira hin community and development programs.

Pinaagi han makusog nga kontra-insurhensiya nga programa han AFP, ha pangunguna han US, napiritan magbakwit an sobra dos mil nga parag-uma han Calbiga ha Weste han Samar tungod han makusog nga panmimilitarisa han mga papet han mga kano. Usa naman nga lider-parag-uma nga gin-ngaranan nga hi Lilia Bucatcat an ginpatay hin mga gin-aalegar nga mga sundalo. Ha pagka-yana, gin-mimilitarisa gihapon an mga parag-uma ha Kagbana ha bungto han Burauen ha Leyte.

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Sobra dos mil nga mga parag-uma tikang ha kinse nga barangay han Calbiga an nagbakwit tungod han hugot nga militarisasyon ha ira lugar. (Ginkuha tikang ha Eastern Vista)

Ha bug-os nga nasud, sunod-sunod an panmatay ha mga parag-uma matapos bulkason han gobyerno han Pilipinas ngan NDFP an interim unilateral ceasefire tungod la gihapon ha pananabotahe han Estados Unidos ha iristorya pangkamurayawan. Naatubang hin hulga ha kinabuhi an mga parag-uma ha nasud tungod hit nagtitikagrabe nga militarisasyon ug apektado ini pati an ira panginabuhi.

Tuna han mga parag-uma, diri para ha base-militar han US

Lima ka bulan matapos lasurbuhon han superbagyo Yolanda an Sinirangan Bisayas, ginpirmahan ni hadto Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin ngan US Ambassador Philip Goldberg an EDCA kun diin may-ada hira mga ginkasarabutan nga lugar (agreed locations) nga pwede pag-basehan han US ha sulod han nasud.

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Agreed locations ilarum han Enhance Defense Cooperation Agreement

 

Diri pabor para ha mga parag-uma nga himuon nga base-militar an katunaan nga unta iginpanhatag ha ira sugad nala han unod han ira iginsusulong nga tinuod nga reporma ha tuna. Imbes na pagpulsan han mga imperyalista an karikuhan han nasud, angay lugod nga igdistribwer ini ha mga parag-uma para han kalugaringon nga pag-uswag han nasud. Lakip ha Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill, nga yana ginsusulong mismo ni Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano, an pagdistribwer han ngatanan nga public agricultural lands sugad han mga military reservations.

An imperyalista nga US an numero uno nga rason han kakurian ngan han kagutuman han mga parag-uma ngan han mga batakan nga sektor ha nasud Pilipinas. Ginsisiguro han US nga magpabilin an piyudalismo ha nasud agud masiguro an ira pan-ekonomiya nga gahum ug an pagpahaluag han ira teritoryo.

Ulang an Estados Unidos ha pag-solbar han maiha na nga giyera sibil ha nasud. Ulang an Estados Unidos ha pagpatuman han maiha na nga hingyap han mga parag-uma nga libre nga pagdistribwer han tuna. Ulang an Estados Unidos ha dayuday nga pagpakyas han monopolisasyon han tuna ha nasud.

US interbensyun, tipahan!

Iginpapanawagan han Samahan han Gudti nga Parag-uma ha Sinirangan Bisayas (SAGUPA – SB) an pagpaiwas han mga tropa han kano ha Ormoc ngan Guiuan ug ha bug-os nga nasud ngan an pagbasura han mga diri patas nga kasarabutan-militar nga Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) ug Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). Diri ta angay tugutan nga tamas-tamasan han imperyalista nga US an soberanya han nasud Pilipinas.

Kasumpay han aton pagtipa han interbensyon han US ha nasud, aton man liwat iginsusulong an tinuod nga reporma ha tuna ug an nasudnon nga industriyalisasyon nga amo an magbabaton han problema pan-ekonomiya han nasud. Diri ta ini makakab-ot samtang kontrolado an mga burukrata kapitalista han nasud han mga hakug nga US.

BALIKATAN 2017 HA TAHUB HADR, TIPAHAN!

VFA-EDCA, IBASURA!

Reference:

Nestor Lebico

Secretary General, SAGUPA – SB

Peasants and workers of the world, unite!

The peasants and workers, hand in hand along the same line, must revolt against all forms of oppression and labor exploitation.

In marking the 131st International Workers’ Day today, the Samahan han Gudti nga Parag-uma ha Sinirangan Bisayas (SAGUPA-SB) acknowledges that several millions of farmers and workers continue to suffer from relentless exploitation under a prevailing semi-colonial and semi-feudal system. The particular unequal relations between landlords and tenants, between farmworkers and landlord compradors, have only magnified the existing exploitative social relations that also exists in several farmlands of Leyte, Samar and Biliran islands. Meanwhile, several cases of unfair labor treatment, extremely low wages and the persistence of contractualization remain a reality despite expressed opposition from the workers and farmers under the present administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Particularly in Eastern Visayas, agricultural workers receive only an actual P150.00 to 250.00 pesos a day, or even less, despite the government’s own wage order in the region mandating for a daily minimum wage for non-sugar and sugar workers pegged at P251.00 and P245.00 pesos, respectively. In effect, the anti-worker Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board (RTWPB) in Region VIII only wanted to provide a very meager amount of P10.00 peso wage increment. Compounded with the condition of job insecurity, several farmworkers in towns and haciendas in the region also decry the lack of access to regular workers benefits, basic social services as well as the deprivation of their right to till their own land for those who chose to engage in farm production.

Screenshot from 2017-05-01 17:42:08
Newly-approved minimum wage rates in Eastern Visayas (taken from the official page of National Wages and Poverty Commission)

Conversely, the ongoing peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) is important so as to advance the basic social demands of farmers and workers. We will work hard in the grassroots to support the signing this year of a Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER). We believe that by implementing genuine agrarian reform and national industrialization, the roots of massive poverty in the country will be addressed. A genuine agrarian reform will address the country’s problem of land monopoly in favor of peasants composing more than 70 percent of the population. Meanwhile, by industrializing the economy we mean to break the prevailing export-oriented and import-dependent economy along the line of self-reliance and independence.

However, in Eastern Visayas, we despise the military presence of the United States that intends to further subjugate our own sovereign interests over the country’s own natural resources and people. We reject the conduct of the Balikatan War exercises in Ormoc and Guiuan, both in Eastern Visayas, that apparently shows the government implicit approval to their militarist advances in furtherance of the US imperialist’s neoliberal policies in the local economy which, for a long time, has served only the interests of a few ruling elite in the country and the world.

The Samahan han Gudti nga Parag-uma ha Sinirangan Bisayas (SAGUPA – SB) extends its salutation to the working class who continue to arouse, organize and mobilize its rank since over a hundred and thirty-one years ago. In the coming months, we wish to build further our unity with the rest of the exploited classes against all forms of neoliberal policies being imposed by the world’s imperialist powers, and further reinforced through policies under President Rodrigo Duterte who had once claimed that he is a “socialist,” progressive and pro-workers during the beginning of his term.

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SAGUPA – SB Secretary General Nestor Lebico giving his support statement during the Labor day mobilization held at corner Real, Rizal St, Tacloban City.

We pledge to further escalate our resistance and heighten our militancy amid challenges and conditions of oppression where democratic rights are being curtailed by fascist policies. We belong to the 99% who will continue to rally behind the call for genuine reforms along the path of national democracy with a socialist perspective.

Farmers and workers of the world, unite!
(Photos from KMU – Eastern Visayas and Pinoyweekly)