Manila, Philippines – The Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women condemned the brutal killing of Romeo “Ka Romy” Torres, member of Samahang Magsasaka sa San Mateo (SAMA-SAMA) under the Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Bulacan (AMB -KMP) at Sitio Compra, San Mateo, Norzagaray, Bulacan. According to Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, Torres went missing on February 3 and was found dead inside a plastic drum, hogtied, with gunshot wounds in a creek in Mabitac town, Laguna last February 5. Amihan with its chapters nationwide demanded justice for Torres as the 315th victim of extra-judicial killings among peasant sector under the Duterte regime.
“We join the grieving family of Rommy Torres to demand for justice and hold the perpetrators accountable. His gruesome killing is related to their fight for the 75.5-hecatre of agricultural land against the land grabber Royal Moluccan Realty Holdings Inc. in Norzagaray, Bulacan. Even before the incident, he and other members of SAMA-SAMA constantly received threats and harassment from the goons hired by the land grabber,” exclaimed by Amihan National Chair Zenaida Soriano.
Moreover, the peasant organization were being displaced and last January 14, sixteen farmers and peasant women were charged with grave threat and theft for harvesting their own crops. Aside from that, since their “bungkalan” or collective farming in 2018, they fell victims to various rights abuses such as demolition and burning their houses, destruction of their crops and others.
“Torres was one of the regular suppliers of fresh agricultural products ussually offered in many agro-ecology food fair and activities. His killing is an undermining of the people’s movement to promote the close linkages of the producer and the consumer sectors amid the pandemic. We urge the many agro-ecology advocates to join the call for justice,” Soriano said.
“As the land grabbing and displacement continue in Norzagaray or in any disputed lands in the country, we will continue to support the farmers and peasant women in their rights to land, even though they’re face with various harassment and other rights abuses, ” Soriano added.
Amihan joined the peasant movement in condemning the Duterte regime for neglecting the demand of the farmers and peasant women in the country for land and livelihood. Likewise, denounced its tyrannical rule and culture of impunity that victimized the whole peasant sector in the country. ###