STATEMENT: April 10, 2018
Coalition for Land, and Against Martial Law and Oppression (CLAMOR)
We, the Coalition for Land, and Against Martial Law and Oppression (CLAMOR), composed of church-based organizations and congregations, artists, academics, professionals, farmers, indigenous people and other advocates of genuine agrarian reform, express our strong support to the International Fact Finding Solidarity Mission (IFFSM) in its pursuit to look into the land problems and incidents of human rights violations brought about by the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao.
The fact finding mission will definitely expose the ill effects of Martial Law to the peasant and lumad communities. The all-out war and militarization campaign of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) blatantly disregards human rights — its primary targets are organized farmers and lumad leaders in the communities as well active human rights activists. The government through its military must at all times protect the interest of the people rather than protect the interests of the landlords, businesses, bureaucrats and foreign investors.
Rising cases of landgrabbing, harassment, trumped-up charges, forced surrenders and many cases of human rights abuses are not yet known to the public. The efforts made by the delegates of the IFFSM will expose the atrocities and lies of the AFP. Data gathered shows that more than 110 cases of political killings happened mostly in Mindanao, and its victims were peasant and lumad leaders and members of local organizations. We cannot hide the fact that most of these cases were land-related issues where organized communities and collective land cultivation is present. Their effort to live a decent life despite the absence of government assistance and subsidy is a clear manifestation that farmers and lumads are empowered through their strong awareness and collective action to address their needs.
We believe that in addressing the issues of poverty, the government must address the clamor for genuine land reform and national industrialization. Its realization must begin with the resumption of peace talks. While pursuing its resumption, we call on the government to end these human rights abuses, stop the militarization of peasant and lumad communities, and uphold the implementation of genuine agrarian reform.
Rafael Mariano, CLAMOR convenor