BAYAN-Canada grieves with the Filipino people the massacre of 14 farmers in three municipalities across Negros Oriental, Philippines. We vehemently condemn the fascist military-police, demand justice for the victims’ families and call for an end to impunity.
March 30th, right after the commemoration of the Global Day of the Landless, was a grim day in our history when farmhands who provide food on our tables became helpless victims of state terror. Fourteen of them were killed and at least a dozen more wounded when government armed troops forcibly entered their homes, putting them in the crosshairs of the mercenary Philippine National Police (PNP) under Operation Plan Sauron or Synchronized Enhanced Management of Police Operations (SEMPO).
The scenario is quite familiar: Struggling poor people challenging the government to uphold their rights subjected to tokhang-style criminal justice operations disguised as war on drugs. Meanwhile Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo – playing April Fool’s Day court jester – provides justification for the extrajudicial killings claiming it as a drive against “criminality” and “loose firearms.” No doubt state forces act with impunity.
Duterte’s regime has riled the military to destroy the elements of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF). Peasant death toll spiked up to 200 cases within three years. This means one peasant is killed every five days in relation to land disputes.
The “people’s war” being waged by the CPP-NPA has persisted for fifty years. Societal ills in the Philippines have allowed them to last as long as they have so far. But the US-Duterte regime has no intent at solving these fundamental problems. Hence, its termination of the peace talks, its gloating over the arrest of NDF peace consultants and even murder of one. Even as the masses of workers and peasant along with other oppressed sectors continue to be mired in poverty, deprived of their basic rights and subjected to state violence, the Duterte regime seeks nothing but the prolongation of its rule and the satisfaction of its US and other foreign patrons.
As we are in collective mourning, we add our voices to the relentless call for justice and genuine agrarian reform. It is only right that we unite for the people we depend on for our food, and for our lives. Fascism is a bitter fact in our home land, and so we must not falter.
BAYAN-Canada calls on its members, allies and solidarity friends to take to task the the Duterte fascist regime for waging war on the Filipino people. The Canadian people must demand from its own government a stop to all security and military assistance to the Philippines. Take action by supporting voices at risk and attend the International Coalition of Human Rights in the Philippines conference, May 11th-12th, in Ottawa as well as the International League of Peoples’ Struggles 6th International Assembly in Hong Kong, June 23rd-26th.
We echo the call of human rights defenders in the Philippines for:
- An independent and thorough investigation by the Commission on Human Rights;
- Justice for the victims of human rights violations and an end to impunity;
- Resumption of the Peace Talks between the Government of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines;
- Genuine land reform and redistribution;
We further appeal to the Canadian Government to halt funding and cooperation with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police and other organizations who have been linked to human rights violations.
Justice for #Negros14! Justice for all victims of extrajudicial killings!
#StopTheAttacks against peasants and peasant advocates!
End impunity now!
Rhea A. Gamana
BAYAN Canada, an overseas chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (New Patriotic Alliance), is an alliance of organizations of Filipino migrant workers, women and youth, indigenous people, church people, healthcare workers and professionals committed to advancing the cause of genuine national independence, people’s democracy and a just and lasting peace in the Philippines.