Marking the 34th anniversary of Mendiola Massacre, hundreds of Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon farmers, peasant women, agricultural workers and fisherfolk trooped to the historic Mendiola Bridge in Manila today along with multisectoral organizations and land reform advocates and slammed the intensifying land grabbing and land use conversion of agricultural lands combined with escalating mass killings and massacres under the Duterte regime.
“Adelfa Aribe, a peasant woman from Laguna, was among the 13 victims of the 1987 Mendiola Massacre. 34 years after her brutal death, justice remains elusive and farmers still landless,” Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women national chairperson and Mendiola Massacre survivor Zenaida Soriano said.
“Sa kasalukuyan, marami pa ang Adelfa Aribe na biktima ng kawalang lupa at terorismo ng estado. 38 kababaihang magbubukid na ang biktima ng pamamaslang sa ilalim ni Duterte. Sa 22 massacre at mass killing sa ilalim ng gobyernong ito, 14 sa biktima ay kababaihang magbubukid. Through Duterte’s Executive Order 70, the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC), Memorandum Order 32, Anti-Terror Law and other counter-insurgency programs, innocent peasant women asserting their rights to land become systematic targets of attacks and abuses,” Soriano added.
Amihan said that notable in the massacres and mass killings are the presence of land struggles and strong resistance of peasant organizations and communities against land grabbing and land-use conversion.
“Negros Island which is considered as land of vast haciendas witnessed five massacres under Duterte, including Sagay 9 where 3 peasant women were killed. The 9 Tumandok farmers killed last December were active in the campaign against the construction of the Jalaur Megadam Project and in asserting their rights to ancestral land and self-determination,” Soriano said.
The group said that January 2021 opened with a series of land grabbing, displacement and abuses against farmers in various provinces of Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog which showcased the height of immorality and government neglect amid pandemic.
Peasant women in Hacienda Yulo, Calamba City, Laguna were traumatized as Ayala Land private goons demolished houses and pointed guns at them and their families last January 6 and 9. Peasant women of Brgy. General Lim, Orion, Bataan are distressed as their houses were demolished on January 14 with the help of police forces as ordered by former GSIS President Federico Pascual and were threatened that their crops will be destroyed. Six farmers, including five peasant women from Norzagaray, Bulacan were arrested on January 14 as they and six others were charged with theft by land grabbing firm Royal Mollucan. 400 peasant families of Lupang Ramos in Dasmarinas, Cavite are threatened to be evicted from their farms and houses due to National Grid Corporations of the Philippines (NGCP) project.
“Malinaw ang prayoridad ng gobyernong Duterte – patayin sa gutom, hirap o sa dahas ang mga magbubukid kapalit ng pagkakamal ng tubo ng mga panginoong maylupa at lokal at dayuhang mga korporasyon. Ang Charter Change na itinutulak ng gobyernong Duterte ang higit pang magpapatindi ng pangangamkam ng lupa, pagpapalayas at pandarahas sa mga magsasaka. Ilang Adelfa Aribe pa ang magbubuwis ng buhay dahil sa ipinagkakait na lupa at hustisya? Ilang asawa, ina at anak pa ang mangungulila para lamang mapayapang makapagbungkal ng lupa?,” Soriano exclaimed.
“Walang ibang pagpipilian ang kababaihang magbubukid kundi ang patuloy na lumaban at igiit ang karapatan sa lupa at kabuhayan. Kailangang tumindig ang kababaihang magbubukid at makipagkaisa sa iba’t ibang sektor upang panagutin at patalsikin sa pwesto ‘Massacre King’ na si Duterte na siyang pasimuno ng tumitinding kahirapan, kawalang lupa at pasismo laban sa pamilyang magbubukid at sa mamamayan,” Soriano ended. ###