The Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) condemns the recent killing of peasants and their leaders in the provinces of Nueva Ecija and Isabela. We demand justice for the victims. We call on President Rodrigo Duterte to listen to the murmurings of the peasants for genuine land reform and land to the tillers.
In a span of more than a week, five peasants were brutally killed. This is totally enraging when those who till the land and ensuring food security are killed with impunity. On September 7, 2016, Isabela peasant leader, Ariel Diaz, was killed by three heavily armed men in his farm at Delfin Albano. On September 3, 2016, another three peasants were killed in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija.
These killings of peasants highlights the semi-feudal situation of our country and contradiction between the poor peasants and the few big landlords who control vast tracts of lands. This condition pushed the majority of peasants into landlessness, poverty and hunger. It is not surprising therefore for peasants to organize themselves and assert their rights and control over their lands in order to survive.
As indigenous peoples and peasants in the Cordillera region who also value land as life, we fully support our peasants in their call for genuine land reform and land to the tillers. We also urge the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) to seriously look deeper on the issue of land reform as one of the main concerns for the socio economic reforms in the ongoing peace process.
Let our peasants have a land to till. The killings of peasants must stop and let the perpetrators be put behind bars. Let the blood and sweat of our peasants water the land and bloom with harvest.***