Over 100 farmers from Southern Tagalog region marched to Quezon City on Wednesday to protest land grabbing and peasant killings in the country.
Farmers from the Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka sa Timog Katagalugan (KASAMA-TK) comprised the latest protest caravan that started from Baclaran, Paranaque.
The group is a regional chapter of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) in the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon) region.
“The farmers have grown tired of the inaction of their local government units and have decided to troop to the national capital to air their demands,” KMP chair Danilo Ramos said.
Protesters held a rally at Camp Aguinaldo, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) office, and the Philippine Coconut Authority in Quezon City. They called for an end to militarization.
They would also protest tomorrow in front of other agencies such as Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
The group reported that at least 15 cases of peasant killings in Southern Tagalog had been reported under the Duterte administration.
Of this number, nine farmers were killed just last year, said Eddie Billones of KASAMA TK, citing intensifying military operations in their communities.
“Instead of sending health workers to far flung areas where healthcare and information campaigns on the pandemic are urgently necessary as we continue to face COVID, our communities are dumped with soldiers and armed goons,” he said, describing the plight of farmers.
He also shared about the long-standing land dispute in Lupang Ramos in Dasmarinas, Cavite and Haciena Yulo in Laguna, where farmers are facing eviction from their agricultural lands to make way for commercial establishments.