Nine of 10 Filipino farmers are landless, according to the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas. Meanwhile, according to September 2015 data from the Land Bank, 75% of agrarian reform beneficiaries could not pay land amortization. Filipino farmers remain among the poorest of the population. Continue reading “Distribute land to the tiller for free”
Anti-landgrabbing and anti-mining activists are open targets
With the staunch resistance of mining companies and executives to the reforms implemented by environment secretary Gina Lopez in the mining industry, the KMP warned that more anti-mining and environmental activists could be in danger. “Everyone defending the land and the environment are open targets of this assassination-style pattern of killing of activists.”
The latest victims of politically-motivated extrajudicial killings in Compostela Valley were anti-mining activists Leonila Tapasan-Pesadilla, 56 and his husband Ramon Pesadilla, 59. The farmer-couple were killed inside their house in Kahiusahan SOP Uswag, Gawad Kalinga Village, Barangay Osmeña last March 2.
Nineteen farmers were killed since January. Majority are activists and leaders of people’s organizations resisting landgrabbing and large-scale mining.
“The manner in which the Pesadilla couple was killed was beyond barbaric and brutal. They were shot at close range in the neck, head and face. The assailants killed the elderly couple in front of their five-year old grandson who is now deeply traumatized by the incident,” said KMP secretary general Antonio Flores.
According to Jimboy Pesadilla, son of the slain farmer-couple, Leonila sustained five gunshot wounds – one in the head, shoulder, breast, neck and chest. Ramon sustained six gunshot wounds – one each on his face and shoulder, two on his neck and two on his chest. The couple died on the spot. The suspects forcibly entered the Pesadillas’ house and fired at them.
Flores said that the Pesadillas were active members of the Compostela Farmers Association (CFA) that is leading the campaign against the entry and operation of mining company AgPet or Agusan Petroleum and Mineral Corporation (APMC) owned and operated by San Miguel Corporation. Leonila is a farmer-leader in Sitio Spur Dos, Barangay Ngan in Compostela, one of the nine villages targeted by APMC for mining exploration.
While under distress, Jimboy was forced by a police officer from Musong town to sign a waiver stating that he and his entire family will never file charges against the perpetrators. The notorious 61st IB of the Philippine Army are among the suspects in the killing of the Pesadilla couple. “It is common that state forces are acting as protectors of large mining companies.”
After the CFA launched a camp-out against the exploration of APMC in their communities, the farmers’ organization have been subject to attacks believed to be perpetrated by the military and private goons hired by large-scale mining companies. In October last year, CFA secretary general Jimmy Saypan was killed by unidentified riding-in-tandem assailants. Lumad leader Bello Tindasan, also from CFA, survived two assassination attempts on his life.
The Pesadilla couple also donated a parcel of land to Lumad school Salugpongan Ta Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center (STTICLC). Both the CFA and STTICLC have been subject to attacks by the military on allegations of being ‘NPA supporters.’
The DENR first approved APMC’s exploration permit in 2008 and renewed it in 2014. It was the first company to be awarded an FTAA (Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement) since 1995 after the approval of the Philippine Mining Act. APMC targets to tap the rich iron and copper reserve in Compostela Valley.
DENR’s Lopez canceled 75 mining contracts majority in Mindanao provinces of South Cotabato, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat and Davao region, earning the ire of mining corporations.
At least 13 mining applications covering 55, 883 hectares of land in Davao region was previously endorsed by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Region XI to the DENR central office. ###
Reference: Antonio Flores, 0921-2726682
Various consumer groups gathered in a conference last Monday in Quezon City to tackle the social and economic reforms needed to promote consumer welfare. The event participants recognized the need to pursue real social and economic reforms in order to resolve current consumer issues and uphold consumer rights.
The event dubbed “CASER: What Is In It For Consumers? A Conference on the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms and Consumer Welfare” was attended by representatives from consumer groups Alerta Mamimili (Gabriela), Bantay Bigas (Rice Monitor), Green Action PH, National Consumer Affairs Council (NCAC), People Opposed to Warrantless Electricity Rates (POWER), Text Power, Train Riders Network (TREN), and Water for the People Network (WPN), along with 31 multi sector organizations. The event was organized by IBON in partnership with Pilgrims for Peace and Kapayapaan Campaign for a Just and Lasting Peace.
IBON research head Rosario Bella Guzman kicked off the conference with a discussion of the adverse impact of neoliberal globalization policies that have led to worsening social inequalities, widespread poverty and hunger and thus increasing consumers’ woes. This was followed by consumer testimonies from the above consumer groups, including testimonies by transport group PISTON, and urban poor network Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (KADAMAY). Raymond Palatino, Pilgrims for Peace convenor and former member of the Philippine House of Representatives then discussed the significance of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) in promoting and ensuring consumer rights and welfare.
The event culminated in the conference participants’ affirmation that continued peace negotiations between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) can lead to genuine and people-centered development. In this light, the conference echoed the following calls:
– People-centered reforms to replace the neoliberal economic policies that the government continues to pursue;
– The assertion and promotion of people’s right to effective participation at all levels of social, political and economic decision-making towards nation building;
– Participation in activities towards advancing consumer rights and welfare such as public forums, media briefings, legislation and lobbying, mobilizations, and research and education campaigns, among others; and
– urging government to resume peace negotiations with the NDFP.
The participants concluded the conference with the commitment to work together under a unified national network of consumers that will promote people-centered development as the basis of protecting and advancing consumer rights. ###
News Release by: kmp_phl/ March 1, 2017/ With the latest controversy involving the firing of National Irrigation Administration (NIA) chief Peter Lavinia from the agency for alleged corrupt practices, farmers group are now asking what happened to the government’s promise of free irrigation? Continue reading “Farmers ask NIA amid corruption controversy: what happened to free irrigation?”
By kmp_phl -Feb 28, 2017/ Stop killing farmers! One farmer killed every three days under Oplan Kapayapaan/ The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) today condemned the spate of killings of farmers. Over the weekend, four farmers were killed in Capiz and Quezon provinces, bringing to fourteen the number of killed farmers and Lumad this month alone. Continue reading “KMP urges Malacanang, PARC to resolve killing of farmers asserting land reform”
The second round of peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) concluded Thursday. One of the historic event’s main highlights was the exchange of draft proposals between the Reciprocal Working Committees on Socioeconomic Reforms (RWC-SER). These proposals will be deliberated in order to come up with a Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER). Continue reading “Initial talks on social and economic reforms new hope for Filipinos–IBON”
As thousands of farmers camp out in Davao City to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Mendiola Massacre and to demand land to the tiller and just peace, the multi-sector Green Action Philippines (PH) network called on the Duterte administration to prioritize agrarian reform in its development plan to achieve inclusive growth. The network stressed that this involves free land distribution to millions of landless and poor farmers and farm workers, which remains unfulfilled to this day. Continue reading “Land reform is key to inclusive growth”
“Agricultural development should first focus on real land reform. This ensures that subsequent farm support will increase rural incomes and improve the livelihoods of the majority poor peasantry, expand the domestic market, and create a surplus for reinvestment in national industry… Continue reading “Land reform, starting point of rural development”