Youth party backs farmers’ just protest for land, against state killings

Friday, March 31, 2017

Kabataan Partylist stands in solidarity with the farmers, especially from Mindanao, as they trooped to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and Mendiola, to register their just demand for genuine agrarian reform, and to denounce the continued killings of peasants under the Duterte regime’s ‘all-out war.’

This is two days before the resumption of the GRP-NDF peace talks, and a day before the anniversary of the bloody massacre in Kidapawan, North Cotabato that transpired a year ago.

The number of peasant and activist killings under the Duterte regime has increased to 46 lives and counting. Since the all-out war declaration, a farmer gets killed every 2 days on average.

In addition, livelihoods and entire fields are ravaged as aerial bombings in Abra and Agusan del Norte forced the evacuation of communities this month.

This is all under the AFP’s Oplan Kapayapaan, based on the US Counter-Insurgency Guide.

This complements the perpetration of landgrabbing schemes of big businesses and landlords. Farmers from the Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries, Inc. (MARBAI) joined the protest all the way from Madaum, Tagum City to protest the alleged landgrabbing and the violence committed against them by the Lapanday Foods Corp. of the Lorenzo landlord family.

Landlessness remains anomg the major problems of the people, contiruting to chronic poverty and hunger among the ranks of peasants in the countryside, especially as past agrarian reform programs have been shown futile.

This is madness! Duterte’s continued attacks on the people do not solve the root causes of poverty and even perpetuate them further.

If Duterte is sincere in promoting peace and addressing the roots of poverty and landlessness, the killings should stop at once.

We call on Duterte to return to the table and talk about the critical agenda of the Comprehensive Agreement for Socio-Economic Reforms (CASER), including free land distribution for our farmers. We also support the call to #StopKillingFarmers, and to stop the all-out war and scrap the anti-people Oplan Kapayapaan.

Should Duterte renege on their just demands, the Filipino youth, peasants, and people vow to strengthen their resistance to landlessness and state fascism and call to change the system into one where the farmers get the lands they rightfully deserve. ###