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HomeFeatureHear the Cry of the Poor & Oppressed Farmers in Kibaritan

Hear the Cry of the Poor & Oppressed Farmers in Kibaritan

Kim’s Dream Orlan Ravanera

Why are we closing DENR AND DAR THROUGH PEOPLE POWER?

The Kibaritan farmers who are organized into Kibaritan Farmers Higaonon Tribe Agriculture Cooperative are now living in extreme poverty and oppression and can not bear any longer. After two-years of suffering so much social injustice, they have finally decided to stand-up for their right. Early next year, they will harness their collective potential and a firm collective intent to close down two agencies of government that have failed to fulfill their mandate. They have come-up with a MANIFESTO which may be a wake-up call as summarized below”

“The highest law of the land, the 1987 Constitution, has STATED in clear categorical term the following DECLARATION: a) No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws;
b) The State shall promote social justice in all phases of national development. c) A public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees, must at all times, be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, loyalty and efficiency; act with patriotism and justice and lead modest lives; d) Civilian authority is, at all times, supreme over the military; e) The prime duty of the Government is to serve and protect the people.
“Are these constitutional declaration just empty rhetoric?

“All these years we, the Kibaritan farmers, have been living in extreme poverty and oppression and the oppressors are no less than men in uniform in connivance with agencies of government in clear violation of the above mentioned constitutional provisions and of our human rights.

Our oppression began when the AFP has included our 195-hectare farmland as part of the military reservation which was contrary to the stand of an LGU committee headed by then Vice-Mayor now Hon. Mayor Raymond Charl Gamboa that such conversion of our land as part of military reservation is so dangerous as Sitio Kibaritan is already a community with a chapel, an Elementary School and a Daycare Center. Such warning and such concern for the community has totally been disregarded to the detriment of the children, many of whom have already developed phobia and are panicking. The blasting of cannons at dawn has created so much phobia to the community especially to the children that many decided not to go to school anymore. The non-stop firing of guns and blasting of cannons are continuously instilling fear and havoc to the children as they would recall that horrible incident which happened on March 25, 2016 when three children died due to the blasting of an UXO (Unidentified Explosive Ordnance) and two children seriously wounded. Until now, no justice for the death of three children, in gross violation of the Constitution.

“What is so painful in the continuous destruction of our farms which are planted with various crops such as corn, root-crops, sugar cane, etc. which have been tractored, buck-hoed or griddered by military men as ordered by their superiors. How dare our lands have been land-grabbed using pronouncement of military reservation as an alibi? We are puzzled why our land have been convered into farming projects in cohort with the Department of Agriculture, even granting MATG DA’s fund of 299,650, adhering to the ELCAC initiatives of government, on the basis of us being red-tagged as FR (former rebels)?

“What is so shocking and puzzling is our discovery and the DND and the DENR have signed a Memorandum of Agreement subjecting our land to a Relocation Survey paying three firms some twenty million pesos to put border markers (muhon) to justify the conversion of our land as part of the reservation without even including important stakeholders such as the LGU of Kalilangan and the participation of the DAR as our land has already been classified as Alienable and Disposable. We were even shock to know that a false information was given by the DENR Regional Office that there are no occupant in the 195-ha. area to justify DENR’s position that the land be a part of the military reservation. ANO PALA KAMI, MGA BASURA?

“WE NOW HARNESS OUR COLLECTIVE POWER TO HARNESS OUR COLLECTIVE POTENTIALS TO CORRECT THE ABOVE-MENTIONED SOCIAL WRONGS THROUGH PEOPLE POWER. THOUSANDS ARE NOW SUPPORTING US INCLUDING THE CHURCH, PEOPLE’S ORGANIZATIONS, ENVRIONMENTAL GROUPS AND NON-GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS.

“WE HAVE THEREFORE DECIDED TO CLOSE DOWN THE REGIONAL AND PROVINCIAL OFFICES OF THE DENR AND THE DAR AS THEY FAILED TO DO THEIR RESPECTIVE MANDATES. INDEED, LET JUSTICE BE DONE ‘TILL HEAVEN FALLS!

“WE NOW STAND AS ONE TO PROTECT OUR RIGHTS AS CONSTITUTIONALLY PROVIDED THROUGH PEOPLE POWER BASED ON THE CONSTITUTIONAL DECLARATION THAT “IN A DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLIC STATE, SOVEREIGNTY RESIDES WITH THE PEOPLE AND ALL GOVERNMENTAL POWERS EMANATE FROM THEM!”

“NAGKAHIUSA KAMI UG ANDAM MAGPAKAMATAY PARA SA AMONG KATUNGOD NGA WALAY HUNONG NGA GIPAMASTAMASAN. HOY! MGA AHENSYA SA KAGAMHANAN BUHATA ANG INYONG MANDATO DILI ANG MANDATO SA PUSIL, GAHUM UG SA SALAPI! YOU MUST NOW SERVE THE PEOPLE ESPECIALLY THE POOR AND THE OPPRESSED. BE THAT LIGHT AMIDST THE DARKNESS AS THE PRESENT ISSUES OF CORRUPTION CONTINUE TO AFFECT THE CIVIL SERVICE. SEVERAL REASON FOR THESE ISSUES STILL EXIST BECAUSE OF THE DEEPLY ROOTED PROBLEMS OF NEPOTISM, CRONYISM, MILITARIZATION, POLITICAL PATRONAGE AS WELL AS LACK OF TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY”.

The MANIFESTO has been signed by hundreds of members of the Kibaritan Farmers Higaonon Agricultural Cooperative with the support of thousands of allies from Organizations of Indigenous People; Former MILF Combatants now organized into cooperatives Non-Government Organizations, Church-Based Organizations and Environmental Groups.

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