Karapatan to Pres. Duterte: enforce distribution of Lapanday land, prosecute Lapanday Food Corp

“The December 12 shooting of farm workers in Madaum Village, Tagum City by Lapanday guards has been one too many incidents of violence against farmers asserting their right to land. President Duterte should uphold the interests of farmers by addressing landlessness,” Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said.  
According to initial reports by Karapatan Southern Mindanao, seven farmers were shot by Lapanday security guards in masks and black sweatshirts on December 12. Members of Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association Incorporated (MARBAI) were asserting their right to the 145-hectare land that was awarded to them since December 2015. “Just as everyone thought the worst was over, Lapanday guards are at it again. Around 8am today, guards attacked and shot at the farmer beneficiaries of MARBAI. Three were reported wounded, Ronald Patindol, Randy Rana and another still unnamed,” Palabay reported. 

Recently, December 5, farm workers in a bungkalan or land cultivation in Brgy. Mapalacsiao, Hacienda Luisita were forcibly evicted by drunk guards of Lourdes Brgy. Capt. Edison Diaz. Those guards are still occupying farmers’ huts to this day. 

“Through out history, peasants have been massacred, killed, detained, tortured and disappeared due to their struggle to break free from feudal bonds. Thus, the list of incidents go on - the Mendiola massacre, Hacienda Luisita massacre, Lupao Massacre, Kidapawan shooting, Sumilao massacre and more,” Palabay said. “Despite State terror and violence inflicted by landlords’ armies, peasant communities continue to struggle,” Palabay added. 
Karapatan has recorded 18 political killings under the Duterte administration from July to November 2016. All of these killings were farmers. 

“We call on Pres. Duterte to immediately enforce the distribution of land to the farmworkers of Lapanday and protect the struggling farmers from the violence inflicted on them by landlords and agribusinesses. We fully support the forging of a comprehensive agreement on socio-economic reforms between the GRP and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) through the formal peacetalks. Without addressing the issue of agrarian reform, a most basic problem of the majority of our population, unpeace will continue,” Palabay concluded.