Manila, Philippines – The Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women demanded the immediate release of pregnant woman Joy Mendoza and husband Neslie Plantar, Joy’s aunt Riza Sia, Freddie Balal, Ace Amol, and Erick Dominado. The six victims were illegally arrested by PNP, PAF, and CIDG during the attempted demolition at Barangay Patungan, Maragondon, Cavite last January 13, 2022. Days after the incident, they’re still under the custody of the PNP in the province.
“Dapat kagyat nang i-release ang anim na mga residente ng Patungan. Karapatan nilang depensahan ang kanilang komunidad at kabuhayan mula sa land grabbers. Mas dapat parusahan ang nagpaputok ng baril at bumaril sa mga residente. Partikular kay Joy, siya ay 6 na buwang buntis at napakadelikado ng kanyang kalagayan kung nasa PNP lalupa’t tumataas ang bilang ng kaso ng COVID,” Zenaida Soriano, Amihan National Chairperson exclaimed.
Since 2016, land grabbing and demolition attempts were made by business tycoons Virata and Sy who claim ownership over the 600 hectares of land. More than 600 fisherfolk, farmers, and residents were threatened to be displaced. Aside from fishing, residents were engaged in farming and selling mangoes, root crops, vegetables, and others.
The recent attempt to demolish the coastal and farming areas of Patungan was to give way to the Manila Southcoast Development Corp. (MSDC). They plan to convert the area into an exclusive beach resort adjacent to Hamilo Coast in Nasugbu, Batangas.
Amihan reiterated its call to conduct an immediate and independent probe on the recent rights abuses perpetrated by the state forces. Hold them and land grabbers accountable for the recent bloody demolition. Moreover, immediately stop the land grabbing and displacement attempts to the fishers, farmers, and residents of Patungan.
Lastly, the Save Patungan Network called for help with a message “Nananawagan kami sa lahat ng may kayang makapagpaabot ng tulong medikal at pinansyal upang matugunan ang pangangailangan ng mga naging biktima ng karahasan at demolisyon.”###