PRESS RELEASE // 14 June 2018 // Reference: Roy Anunciacion | firstname.lastname@example.org
The People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS) is alarmed that Martial Law will be implemented nationwide in the Philippines through the declaration of “state of national emergency.”
Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte threatened to declare a national emergency in response to the growing movement against his unfolding dictatorship. He likened it to a declaring a nationwide Martial Law which curtails democratic freedoms and due process.
“We are appalled by the gross impunity of the Philippines’ Duterte administration and its outright terrorism against its constituent, especially farmers. As we speak, our farmers in Mindanao are kept from going to their farms, being tagged as terrorists, and have their communities strafed or bombed,” said PCFS global coordinator Roy Anunciacion.
“We reiterate our call to end militarization in Philippine farms and hold the government accountable to its numerous human rights violations against farmers,” Anunciacion added.
According to human rights groups of Mindanao, 78 cases of extrajudicial killings were recorded in the Southern Mindanao region alone, representing a huge chunk in the 127 farmers killed under the Duterte administration. Daily reports also highlight continuous harassment and surveillance of farmer leaders and indigenous peoples communities.
Last week alone, three farmers from the region were killed in separate incidents. PCFS denounced these recent attacks, as well as the assaults on peasant communities in Cavite. Earlier this month, land cultivating teams of the KASAMA-LR (Union of Legitimate Farmers in Lupang Ramos) in Cavite were harassed with gunshots in the dead of night by the armed guards of landgrabber AyalaLand.
“Instead of implementing land reform, this government is facilitating land grabbing and is hell bent on stifling farmers’ voices and their call for social justice. We must therefore be more active in pushing for a genuine lasting peace in the country with agrarian reform as foundation,” Anunciacion concluded.
To show its solidarity to the Filipino peasants, PCFS joined the national protest led by member organization Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP; Peasant Movement of the Philippines) on 8 June 2018. Hundreds of Filipino farmers and supporting multisectoral groups from different parts of the country held rallies to call for the end of Martial Law in Mindanao and thwart Duterte’s threat to impose a national emergency.
The Coalition also commended the launching on 13 June 2018 of the report that details the findings from the international fact-finding mission it co-organized with various people’s organizations from the Philippines and international in April 2018. The book, titled “The Real Face of Terror: Unmasking Duterte’s Martial Law in Mindanao,” probes Martial Law’s atrocities in Mindanao since its declaration a year ago.
PCFS calls on its member organizations, network, and allies to support the struggle of the Filipino farmers for land reform and against the rising dictatorship and fascism in the countryside. ###