On June 09, 2022, the Philippine National Police violently arrested more than 90 farmers and supporters, including journalists, in the middle of collective tilling activity in Tinang, Province of Tarlac. The collective cultivation of land, colloquially known as “bungkalan,” is a decades-old tradition of Filipino peasants as an act of asserting their right to land. They did the said activity in light of the coming anniversary of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) of the Philippine Government.
In 1998, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) distributed the lands to farmers under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) and awarded the Tinang farmers their Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA).
As of the moment, the local farmers, their supporters, and journalists who were arrested are facing preposterous charges of malicious mischief and illegal assembly. These charges are absurd as the farmers were doing nothing other than peacefully cultivating their land.
Seeing how the state violently reacts to farmers asserting their land rights is infuriating. It is ironic that the same government that granted farmers the land is the same government that is barring them from claiming what is rightfully theirs. This terrible act of state fascism exposes CARP as a phony agrarian reform program and highlights the need to continue pushing for genuine land reform.
Like the Tinang 92 and many more farmers worldwide, Indigenous Peoples continuously struggle against landlessness, land-grabbing, and state-sponsored violence. We are in solidarity with the Filipino farmers in their just struggle for land and rights. We call to drop the criminal charges against those arrested and for their immediate release.