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Protest

Farmers March for Land, Aid, and Justice

October 22, ILOILO Farmers held protest actions across the country last October 21 to voice out their call for land, aid and justice.

Together with progressive organizations led by the Kilusang Magbubukid ng PIlipinas (KMP), the protest action is the culmination of the group’s October Peasant Month campaign. The protest action also commemorates the signing of Presidential Decree 27 or the land reform program of former Ferdinand Marcos.

According to Danilo Ramos, the chairperson of the KMP, PD 27 and subsequent agrarian reform programs have failed to destroy monopoly on land that has pushed farmers into extreme poverty.

According to KMP’s data, the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program does not cover various lands especially those with 8% slope. The group added that the total 5.4 million hectares covered by CARP is only 44% of the total 12.4 million hectares of arable land. As of August 2021 alone, there were only a total of 2.9 million CARP beneficiaries and did not include the nearly 10.75 million farmers registered on various agrarian reform lists of the government.

Farmers from Bulacan, Pampanga and Nueva Ecija are demanding that agricultural lands, especially paddy fields, be protected against land use conversion. According to the KMP, Central Luzon, the country’s rice granary has become the hotspot for land conversions.

Farmers also called for a Php 15,000 production subsidy. According to PAMANGGAS, the pandemic has worsened their situation but they have not received adequate support from the government. The P5,000 cash assistance provided by the DA to the farmers is selective and not enough to address the production losses of the farmers.

Amihan, meanwhile, challenged those running for the presidency to address the farmers’ demands for land, aid and justice. The group challenges the candidates for presidency to lay concrete platforms that will address the decades-old call for genuine land reform, support services and production subsidies, and justice for all the victims of human rights violations.

The protest and call were joined by farmers from the National Capital Region, Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, Cebu, Negros Occidental, Panay and other parts of the country./PT

DUTERTE’S FINAL SONA, GREETED BY PROTEST ACTIONS IN PANAY DESPITE RAINFALL, ECQ STATUS

ILOILO CITY – Together with President Rodrigo Duterte’s final State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July 26, 2021, thousands marched and protested all around the world under a unified call to #DuterteWakasanNa (End Duterte Now!).
In the international, progressive groups led by Migrante and ILPS protested in Washington, Texas, Los Angeles, San Diego, and New York in the USA, Toronto in Canada, and Hongkong.
Thousands have also protested in different regions in the country. Despite threats of COVID-19 pandemic and the intimidation of the state forces, protesters still pushed through with their activity and marched in Metro Manila, Bicol Region, Cebu City, Bacolod City, and Davao City.
In Panay, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) – Panay together with other progressive organizations staged a decentralized protests in Iloilo City, Northern Iloilo, Kalibo in Aklan, and Roxas City in Capiz, despite intermittent rain showers, being under ECQ status, and threats of the state forces.
Iloilo City protesters called for 10,000 pesos subsidy to those affected by the pandemic lockdown, additional budget and improvement of healthcare system in the country, safe resumption of face-to-face classes, and the lifting of the ECQ status in the region. The group also called to junk the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, which only worsens the economic impact of the pandemic.
In Northern Iloilo, farmers and fisherfolks under Paghugpong sang Mangunguma sa Panay kag Guimaras (PAMANGGAS) also called for cash subsidy to those not only affected by the pandemic lockdown but also to those greatly affected by the Southwest Monsoon or Habagat. Fisherfolks said that they have been dislocated from their livelihood for almost a month now as they cannot go to the sea to fish due to large waves. Peasant group further called for genuine agrarian reform, to defend West Philippine Sea, and to junk the Rice Liberalization Law as well as the Anti-Terrorism Law.
Moreover, Aklan protesters led by BAYAN-Aklan brought to their protest the call to junk the proposed bill of creating the Boracay Island Development Authority (BIDA) as a government-owned and controlled corporation (GOCC). According to Kim-Sin Tugna, BAYAN-Aklan’s Chairperson, BIDA as a GOCC would only result in the displacement of the locals and of the workers. The group also called to abolish the NTF-ELCAC and to end all forms of state sponsored harassment and red-tagging, which has just experienced by one of its members, George Calaor.
“We will exert all our efforts to frustrate the administration’s maneuvers to hold on to power and hold them accountable for their crimes against the people,” said BAYAN-Panay.
REACTION TO DUTERTE’S LAST SONA
To BAYAN-Panay, Duterte’s last SONA is just a reiteration of what he usually says, and only focused on two problems in his mind: drugs, and insurgency.
“More than 30,000 have already been killed in his drug war, and more than 400 political activists, human rights workers, farmers, workers, indigenous people, and many other mass leaders were extrajudicially killed. About 30 of these are from Panay,” said Bryan Bosque, BAYAN-Panay’s deputy spokesperson.
The group also called Duterte a liar when he said that 17,000 rebel communists have surrendered during his time when the state forces only claimed before that there were only 3,000-4,000 or less rebels left in the country. “They [state forces] are the ones that benefitted from the ‘surrenderers’,” said Bosque.
“What he boasted as ‘economic growth’ is nothing but lies,” Bosque added. The group cited IBON Foundation’s report wherein the GDP growth of the country has consistently decreased from 2016-2019, when pandemic still did not happen. From 7.1% in 2016, GDP became 6.9% in 2017, 6.3% in 2018, and 6.0% in 2019.
Bosque further added that a lot of Filipinos still suffer from severe hunger, poverty, and unemployment. Meanwhile, the group said, Duterte and his ilk prioritizes their preparation for the upcoming 2022 presidential elections, in a desperate attempt to extend its power and evade accountability for his gross neglect of the Filipino’s sovereign and democratic rights.
BAYAN-Panay was also dismayed during Duterte’s final SONA as he failed to even mention his plans of distributing assistance to those affected by the pandemic, and on how to improve the overall state of the country’s healthcare system.
The group challenged all Panayanons to unite and take inspiration in the online Tumindig movement inspired by artist Tarantadong Kalbo, and called to realize this movement offline. /PT

PAG-ABSWELTO SA PISTON LIDER, KADALAG-AN SA MGA DRAYBER KAG MAGAGMAY NGA OPEREYTORS

ILOILO – Gin-abswelto sang Metropolitan Trial Court sang Quezon City Branch 43 ang kaso nga paglapas sang Public Service Act batuk sa anay presidente sang Pinagkaisang Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide ukon PISTON nga si George San Mateo sadtong Disyembre 7.

Si San Mateo ginpasakaan sang kaso sang Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board ukon LTFRB angut sa pagpamuno sini sa ginhiwat nga pungsodnon nga transport strike sadtong tuig 2017. Ang nasambit nga strike ginlunsar sang mga drayber kag opereytors para pamatukan ang modernization program kag jeepney phaseout sang gobyerno.

Suno sa pahayag ni San Mateo, ang pagbasura sang iya kaso isa ka dako nga kadalag-an sa kinamatarung sang mga PUV drivers, magagmay nga opereytors, kag sang bilog nga pumuluyo nga nagahugpong kag militante nga nagalunsar sang mga protesta para ipanawagan ang ila lehitimo nga mga demanda.

Suno sa PISTON, libo-libo nga mga PUV drivers kag opereytors ang maapektuhan kung bug-os na nga mapatuman ang jeepney phaseout bangud sang tama kamahal nga presyo sang mga modernized jeepneys.

“Padayon sa gihapon kita nga magabato!” Ini ang hambal ni San Mateo sa tunga sang red-tagging sa mga miyembro sang PISTON. Nagpahayag man si San Mateo nga magapadayon ini sa paghulag kontra sa jeepney phaseout kag para suportahan ang paghimakas sang nagkalain-lain nga sektor.

Matandaan man nga sadtong Nobyembre 26, naghiwat sang protesta ang PISTON sa opisina sang LTFRB para ipanawagan ang Php 6,500 nga ayuda para sa mga draybers kag magagmay nga opereytors. Ang ini nga ayuda nakabutang sa Bayanihan to Recover as One Act ukon Bayanihan II./PT