“There is hunger amid plenty. Unless food sovereignty takes center stage in our food and agriculture policies, we are far from achieving Zero Hunger in ten or twenty or even fifty years from now,” said the PCFS official. “They are fooling themselves in believing that neoliberal globalization will take us to a hunger-free world.”
Additionally, the People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS) is concerned about attacks on farmers. “Organisations and communities continue to assert food sovereignty and their right to till the land against land grabs facilitated by international finance institutions and corporate giants and repressive elite-led states. Increasingly, there are people’s assertions against land grabs of China-based firms and controversial hydroelectric dam projects in the Mekong sub-region, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines,” according to Theng Saveoun of PCFS – Asia.
According to Mallari, “Despite China’s experience with Syngenta, it has opted to take it over being one of the ‘Big Four’ agribusiness giants toward market monopolization through the exploitation of agricultural biotechnology. This was met with backlash from within China and other affected counties.”
The NVNSM documented cases of leaders and organizers of the Tuwali Ifugao people’s organizations leading the barricade experiencing a surge of vilification, red-tagging, surveillance, and intrusions in their homes by suspected personnel of Oceanagold. There are also threats of dispersal and harm against the barricade especially in light of Oceanagold’s failure to secure an injunction against Governor Carlos Padilla’s restraining order anchored on the expiration of Oceanagold’s Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA).
“The demand for an independent investigation is a respite for the Filipino people, especially the rural people who have to bear with poverty and militarization of their communities, from the spike of state-perpetrated attacks. More importantly, it will send the message to other UN member states like in Latin America and Asia where killings are just as rampant to address the situation and hold the perpetrators accountable,” Mallari said.
“We hope that the Belgrade Call to Action will push the governments of these countries to undertake appropriate measures that will put an end to the phenomenon of peasant killings and promote genuine agrarian reform to uplift farmers from their dire conditions,” Mallari stressed.