Press Release: Amihan demands justice for Nora Apique, peasant woman killed amid COVID-19 crisis

Amihan Womento amihan, amihan_chapters
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Press Release

April 1, 2020

Amihan demands justice for Nora Apique, peasant woman killed amid COVID-19 crisis

“We demand justice for the brutal killing of Nora Apique, a peasant woman leader of Surigao del Sur who has been active in asserting farmers’ rights to land, food and justice since the 1980s,” Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women national chairperson Zenaida Soriano said.

The 66 year old peasant woman was killed at around 7pm on March 31, 2020 by men riding a motorcycle at Brgy. Patong, San Miguel, Surigao del Sur while she was on the way home.

Apique is a peasant woman leader of Kahugpungan sa mga Mag-uuma sa Surigao del Sur. She is a member of Barangay Agrarian Reform Committee (BARC), and became the chairperson of the Municipal ARC, and since 2016 a member of the Provincial ARC. She joined in KMP Caraga’s 2017 caravan to Manila demanding free irrigation services for farmers.

“Apique’s killing show that military operations continue despite the crisis the country is facing and the “preventive community quarantine” being implemented in the province. The message of the military and paramilitary forces is enraging. Poor farmers asserting their legitimate rights for land should not only be worrying about their health and food amid the pandemic but also their safety from state forces’ guns,” Soriano said.

Reports from the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas-Caraga said that Apique has been a victim of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and paramilitary groups’ continuous red-tagging, harassment, and psywar prior the incident.

“We can only blame Duterte’s counter-insurgency program Oplan Kapanatagan and Executive Order 70 or the formation of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) for the continuing atrocities and human rights abuses against farmers and human rights defenders despite the COVID-19 pandemic and amid the impact of lockdown,” Soriano said.

Apique is the 249th farmer and 35thpeasant woman killed under the Duterte regime. ###

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