Monday, June 7, 2010

No to Landgrabbers!-NDF

No to Landgrabbers!

Dencio Madrigal
Valentin Palamine Command, NPA-Far South Mindanao Region
June 7, 2010

In defense of the peasants who continue to be driven out of their lands due to the aggressive expansion of export crop plantations, the Valentin Palamine Regional Operations Command of the New People's Army claims responsibility for the punitive military action in Brgy. Sukob, Columbio, Sultan Kudarat on 4 June 2010 which razed to the ground the backhoe, multicab and other farm tools of the plantation owned by Mr Johnson Ng, a Chinese national which operates for the multinational oil palm company Kenram-Agumil. The NPA also expropriated 7 horses from the company. Not a single property was taken from the farmers.

Since the inception of the oil palm plantation in Sultan Kudarat, close to a thousand hectares have been land grabbed from the poor farmers living in the area. In Brgy Sukob, at least 150 families have been dispossessed of their lands and forced to find livelihood elsewhere. Landgrabbing has been facilitated by no less than the AFP in collusion with local chieftains like Brgy. Chairman Badal Tamles of Sukob who has no conscience about giving up B'laan ancestral domain to big landlord compradors and foreign multinational entities.

While Capt. Emmanuel R. Garcia of the 10th ID defines the NPA action as "banditry" he is mum about the unbridled corruption in the regime, including the wholesale landgrabbing of peasant lands by his superiors in the AFP. For instance, he is silent about the 50 hectares each awarded to former commanding officer of the 6th ID General Agustin Demaala and currently a board member of South Cotabato and to Maj Gen Jerry Jalandoni, also of the 6th ID -- AFP for their role in the encroachment of Kenram-Agumil in Sultan Kudarat. Capt Garcia has no qualms about naming the NPA punitive action as "extortion activities" while the AFP is facilitating the entry of multinational companies in exchange for cash, lands and the power to lord it over south central Mindanao.

The AFP has sponsored the entry of Johnson Ng, a Chinese national living in Davao to control vast tracts of land in Columbio and a fleet of horses and work animals without a single regard for the farmers and lumads who have been tilling these areas for ages. Capt. Emmanuel Garcia and Col Joshua Santiago of the 27th IB are resolute to protect the company at all cost in exchange for cash and power. They are no better than the warlord Ampatuan, their mentor.

The oppression and misery of having been forcibly eased out of their lands is just too much for the farmers who cry out for justice. Thus, our action of June 4, 2010 is but a small reminder that the NPA, will always make its stand felt against landgrabbers, corrupt military officials, despotic landlords and other exploiters of the rural folk. And we shall not rest until justice is served.