By Chito Chavez
Hundreds of farmers, indigenous people, fisher folks, urban poor and other sectors from Central Luzon will march and converge in Malacañang for a protest rally to mark the 46th anniversary today of the declaration of martial law.
The groups will be joined by the broad masses in the United People’s Action against Tyranny and Dictatorship.
“Food Security is a priority obligation of the government but this government prioritizes the security of landlords, and local and foreign big bourgeoisie compradors!” said Joseph Canlas, a veteran farmer leader, and Chairman of Alyansa ng Magbubukid ng Gitnang Luzon (Alliance of Peasants in Central Luzon, AMGL) and vice chairperson of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas.
Despite the heavy flooding and devastation brought by typhoon Ompong recently, the protest marchers of Central Luzon, left their homes to flood the streets to protest the anti-people policies of the Duterte administration.
“The calamity of typhoon Ompong cannot be compared to the already worsening effects of typhoon BBB off in the scale in its devastating winds of debt traps, large-scale dislocation, and death,” said Ferdinand Manaloto, a farmer of Arenguren, Capas – displaced by the site of the sports stadium to host the SEA games in 2019, and the new national government center.
“The mountains of Aurora and Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Zambales, Pampanga, Bataan, and Pangasinan; and the shorelines of Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Aurora; and the rich arable lands in the lowlands, including undistributed Haciendas in Luisita, Dolores, Davis, among many others, and people-cultivated military reservations undistributed to its original and rightful owners are being prepped for infrastructure projects under the Build, Build, Build program (BBB) of the Duterte administration. New heavier taxes were imposed while new and heavier loans were also acquired,’’ the groups noted.
In addition, Canlas said the supposed fascist, tyrannical US-Duterte reign, implemented “Oplan Kapayapaan”, a blueprint for a de facto martial law in the provinces of Central Luzon.
“Where there are active people’s resistance, in places where there are people’s struggle, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police are in place not to serve and protect the people, but to ensure the imposition of state-sponsored land grabbing. The mountains are flattened but their human rights violation against the people are piling up,” he explained.
And as similar to natural calamities, Canlas said the most vulnerable sector to feel these typhoon BBB’s effect are always the peasant, the indigenous people, the fisherfolk, the urban poor, the workers — the basic masses.
“”The only relief, that the peasants and the people of Central Luzon demands is the ouster of the fascist, dictator Rodrigo Duterte. A signal to his imperialist masters to keep their hands off Philippine lands and resources because the people will never falter,,’’ Canlas said.
He added the Lakbayanis or protest marchers of Central Luzon will troop the offices of the Commission on Human Rights and the Department of Agrarian Reform to air their grievances and formally file complaints of human rights violations, illegal land conversions, and large-scale state-sponsored land grabbing.