By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte has threatened to evict communist-linked farmers who illegally occupy lands, telling them not to violently resist authorities.
The President issued the warning against unlawful takeover of lands, saying he was prepared to “do anything to establish order.”
Duterte made the statement a few days after nine farmers were killed at a sugar plantation in Sagay City, Negros Occidental.
“Inagaw nila ‘yung… May mga tenants na original. Pagkatapos ng harvest, they go in and seize control using violence and intimidation, backed up by the NPAs [They take over. there are original tenants. After the harvest, they go in and seize control using violence and intimidation backed up by the New People’s Army],” Duterte said during the awarding of Filipino artists in Malacañang last Wednesday.
“This has happened several times. Please do not do it again kasi the next time, if I hear a single incident, I will have you evicted,” he added.
Duerte said he was aware that poor farmers want land but cautioned them against following the footsteps of Kadamay group that occupied a government housing project.
“I’m addressing now the nation and the communists and the left. Pipilitin ko kayo. Please do not resist violently. I’m ready to do anything to establish order,” he said.
“I am not threatening you pero ‘pag sumunod kayo diyan sa mga ‘yang mga Kadamay na ‘yung mga subdivisions papasok kayo [but if you following Kadamay who occupied subdivisions]. I know that you are poor. I know that you want land. I know that you are suffering. I know that you are in agony. Naranasan ko rin ‘yan. Migrants lang rin kami sa Mindanao pero kung ganun ang style ninyo, you create disorder [I have experienced that. We were migrants in Mindanao but if that’s your style, you create disorder],” he said.
The President, meantime, said he was supposed to visit the wake of the slain farmers in Negros last Tuesday but cancelled the trip due to bad weather.
The farmers, belonging to the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW), were resting on the farm when they were attacked by gunmen. The government has suspected the alleged involvement of communist rebel group in the killing of the farmers.