Farmers group decry gov’t declaration of state of emergency in Negros island

Published November 24, 2018, 12:02 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Chito Chavez

Militant farmer’s group National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW) chided the government’s use of the Sagay massacre as a convenient excuse to declare a state of emergency in Negros Island that shows “that there will be no justice for the victims of the carnage.’’


The NFSW insisted that these would lead to more human rights violations in the island. The group said there will be a possible occurrence of other massacres that it claimed are perpetrated by state military forces.

“Killing with impunity continues as hacienderos retain their vast landholdings in the island, backed up by state security forces and local goons,’’ the NFSW statement read.

John Milton Lozande, secretary general of the NFSW, added that declaring a state of emergency in the island including in Samar and Bicol provinces only formalizes the de facto martial law that is happening especially in its rural areas.

“And as already stated by others, this is a prelude to the declaration of nationwide martial law by the Duterte regime to perpetuate his tyrannical rule,’’ Lozande said.

He asserted that even Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra’s statement that they will stick to evidence-based investigation of the Sagay massacre and even the killing of Atty. Benjamin Ramos is highly unlikely given the government’s tyrannical attitude that is bent on burying these incidents and blaming these instead to the New Peoples’ Army (NPA).

Even the Philippine National Police (PNP) can take the cue from Malacanang in launching a new television series (teleserye) to compete with ‘Ang Probinsiyano’ as its script of the Sagay massacre, the killing of Ramos and other atrocities are more fictitious than that of the latter’s more popular TV series.

“What is non-fiction though is, like Marcos, Duterte’s low grasp of historical lessons. Tyrants like him fail to understand that if they unleash more repression, the hundreds of thousands of sugar workers, millions of peasants and other democratic forces in the island and in the whole country will also unleash more resistance,’’ the group said. (Chito A. Chavez)