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HomeFeatureThousands of Ilocano Farmers Pitifully Appealing to PRESBBM

Thousands of Ilocano Farmers Pitifully Appealing to PRESBBM

Kim’s Dream Orlando Ravanera


LABIS NA PO ANG PANG-AAPI SA AMIN

LABIS NA PAGHIHIRAP, TAKOT AT IYAKAN ng libo-libong Ilokanong magsasaka sa Amai Manabilang, Lanao del Sur na dumulog sa kanilang kababayang pangulong PRESBBM. SANA PO SILA AY PAKINGGAN. Ito po ang kanilang hinaing:
“Simula pa po noong December 2023, ang amin pong daan-daang ektaryang sakahan ay tina tractor, walang tigil na sinisira ng dalawang korporasyon upang kami ay paalisin sa aming lupang sinasaka sa kadahilanan na ang 26,000 hectares na lupain ay pag-aari daw ng Southern Philippines Development Authority (SPDA). Kung tunay at legal ang pag-aari ng SPDA, bakit walang court order na kami ay paalisin at bakit dinadaan nila sa FORCIBLE EVICTION. Bakit ang SPDA ay hindi makapasok sa 16,000 ektaryang lupain sa Wao, Lanao del Sur kasali sa 26,000 hectares. Ang sabi ng kasalukuyang Alkalde ng Wao na si Hon. Elvino Nono Balicao, Jr. – gulo ang pag-angkin ng SPDA at pagpasok ng mga korporasyon dahil yan ay kalapastagan sa prior right ng nga settlers na meron ng Individual Prior Right (IPR). Tulad po ng mga settlers sa Wao, kami pong mga settlers sa Amai Manabilang ay meron na ring prior right dahil ang amin pong ninunong settlers ay dumating pa noong panahon ni Pres. Ramon Magsaysay. Ang kaguluhan sa pag-aagaw sa aming lupain sa Amai Manabilang ay kalapastangan sa aming prior right at sa RULE OF LAW. Pinakasakit isipin na sa ginagawang pag-sira sa aming sakahan, nadoon ang mga well-armed PNP at AFP at lakas na pagsuporta ng LGU at SPDA. Ito ba ang bagong mukha ng gobyerno ngayon? Mahal naming pangulong PRESBBM, lubos na po ang aming paghihirap at gutom na po kami lalo na po ang aming mga anak. Kami po ay nagdarasal ng agarang paghinto sa kriminalidad na pagsira ng aming pagkain at kabuhayan. ANG AMIN PONG APPEAL AY MAIBALIK AGAD ANG RULE OF LAW.

To put the Ilocano settlers’ appeal in context, they have come-up with appeal-letter to PRESBBM which they will plan to personally deliver to His Excellency on May 16 during his visit to Cagayan de Oro City.

“We, the farmer-settler-descendants of some 1,000 Ilocano settlers from La Union, Pangasinan & Tarlac known as LAPANTAR have come together today with a firm collective intent to passionately express emphatically and categorically the on-going violations of our human rights, unbearable social injustice and glaringly criminal offenses inflicted upon us. Since 2023, hundreds of hectares of our farmlands planted with various vegetables and sugar cane are being continuously tractor(ed) daily- by two powerful corporations namely, Kennemer Food, Inc. and by Asia Pacific Precision Agricultural Corporation. What is so puzzling is all these offenses which apparently are in gross violations of our constitutional rights are with the consent of the local government and the Southern Philippines Development Authority (SPDA), horribly being done in the presence of the well-armed PNP and AFP personnel. Why such horrible travesty of our constitutional rights? Is it because of the order of the SPDA & the LGU to forcibly evict us through coercive and violent means? It is the contention of SPDA that some 26,000 hectares (10,000 in Amai Manabilang and 16,000 in Wao, Lanao del Sur) are owned by SPDA for Agro-Industrial Development, which apparently is in gross violation of our prior rights. If indeed such be the case, why is it that SPDA only claiming our farmlands? It seems an unbelievable phenomenon but the strong will of the honorable Mayor of the municipality of Wao, Lanao del Sur to recognize the prior right of the farmers in Wao through the issuance of Individual Property Right (IPR) to some 500 farmer-occupants has barred the entry of two powerful corporations. The amazing decision of Mayor Nono Balicao, Jr. which essentially followed the rule of law can be considered as a countervailing force against the pronouncement of the SPDA that declared owning some 26,000 hectares for its Agro-Industrial Development Program. Such declaration is apparently in gross violation of the priority rights of the settlers and their descendants who have been occupying the 16,000 hectares in Wao and the 10,000 hectares in Amai Manabilang since the 1950s when they came as settlers during the term of the Man of the Masses, President Ramon Magsaysay.

It can be aptly claimed now that such amazing act of the honorable mayor of following the rule of law has astonishingly saved the people of Wao from what is happening to us now in Sumogot, Amai Manabilang, Lanao del Sur whose mayor is in full support of the entry of corporations. Social injustice, massive repression, violence, and the non-stop coercive eviction of the farmers through the non-stop tractoring of our planted crops by the powerful corporations, backed-up by the PNP, AFP and LGU, are the painful social realities besetting us. No way can these painful realities happen if only the honorable Mayor of Amai Manabilang has recognized the prior rights of the Ilocano settlers.

What is so amazing is that when Mayor Nono Balicao, Jr. followed the rule of law by respecting the prior right of the Wao farmers, he has trailblazed justice, peace, and sustainability. Indeed, as constitutionally declared, “No person shall be deprived of life liberty and property without due process of law.” Through the issuance of Individual Property Right (IPR), no Wao farmer has been forcibly evicted unlike what is happening now in Amai Manabilang. Indeed, Wao Mayor has exemplified that in this country, no one is above the law; all must bow down to the majesty of the law because we follow the rule of law and not of power, of money and of the guns. To those serving the interest of powerful and wealthy foreign corporations, they may have forgotten the constitutional declaration that, “In a Republican and Democratic State, sovereignty resides with the people and all governmental powers emanate from them.” Why are these officials serving the interest of foreign corporations? Too, these government officials must be reminded of the Constitutional declaration that, “A public office is a public trust and all government officials and employees must exercise their functions to the highest degree of commitment, dedication and service to the Filipino people.” As we are now crying in pain as we have become victims of horrible social injustices, let us be reminded of the constitutional declaration that, “The State shall promote social justice in all phases of national development.” Livelihood and food are basic human rights of the farmers. What is happening now in Amai Manabilang is apparently a gross violation of our human rights. KAMI PO AY TAO, HINDI BASURA! Even our freedom of expression is being grossly violated. A meeting took place on April 26,2023 at the Covered Court of Barangay Sumogot to relay to the farmers the plan of Kennemer and SPDA. During the Open Forum, Noel Subido stood to give his reactions saying that the 16,000 as rental per hectare is not enough for a family to survive and presented their right over their land, he was pushed, kicked, and mauled by the bodyguards of the mayor in the presence of the AFP and PNP who have done nothing to stop the mauling.

MAHAL NAMING PANGULO PRESBBM SANA DINGGIN NIYO PO ANG AMING MGA HINAING NANINIWALA PO KAMI SA INYONG PRO-PEOPLE STAND. MAG HARI NAWA ANG DIOS SA IYONG PUSO MARAMING SALAMAT PO.

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