“Farmers who feed the nation are being killed, this is unacceptable and deserves widespread condemnation from broad sectors,” said a statement by the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP).
The group noted that “since July 2016, 46 farmers, indigenous peoples, workers and activists have been killed.”
“The rate of killings sharply increased from February 3 or after the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) declared an all-out war against the CPP-NPA-NDFP. In Compostela Valley province, ten farmers have already been killed, all active participants in the struggle for land reform and the campaign to drive away military troops from civilian peasant communities,” it said.
“If the Duterte government is indeed sincere in pursuing peace and ending the armed confl ict, it should decisively address the escalating killings of farmers and the problem of landlessness,” said KMP secretary general Antonio Flores.
Flores noted that “since February 3 when the AFP declared an allout war in the countryside, 22 farmers and indigenous peoples have already been killed or one farmer killed every two days. “The insane war against drugs and the all-out war campaign directed against the people highlight the fascist direction that the Duterte regime is apparently taking.”
The KMP said “farmers and land reform advocates nationwide will launch mass actions to demand justice for the victims of political killings and press the government to stop the allout war and pull out military forces from peasant communities.”
“Among the most recent victims was farmer Cora Molave Lina of Nagkahiusang Mag-uuma sa Laak (Namulak) who was shot by unidentified assailant at her residence in Barangay Kibaguio, Laak, Compostela Valley on the afternoon of March 27. Lina was rushed to a nearby hospital but was declared dead on arrival. She sustained four gunshot wounds,” Flores said.
He noted that “prior to her killing, Lina was vilified and accused by state forces of being a supporter of the New People’s Army and was summoned many times by AFP soldiers to their military camp.”
“About 7 p.m. of the same day, Namulak members Arman Almonicar and Arlyn Almonicar of Purok 2, Barangay Bollukan Laak, were also shot dead,” he recalled.
Flores said “Perpetrators of both incidents were believed to be members of the intelligence unit of the 60th IBPA based in Laak.”
He also reported that “early this month, Laak town was bombed by government troops, prompting hundreds of peasant families to evacuate.”
KMP also announced that on March 31, farmers will hold simultaneous protest actions, dubbed as Black Friday, in Metro Manila and Northern Mindanao to demand justice for the alleged victims of political killings.