Probe peasant killing in Bukidnon, strafing incident in disputed CMU land

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas and Tanggol Magsasaka urged the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to investigate the strafing incident that led to the killing of a peasant activist and the wounding of two others in Purok 5, Musuan, Maramag in Bukidnon.

Veneranda ‘Didang’ Ginanao joined a peasant caravan to Manila in 2017 to demand free land distribution from the Duterte regime. She was killed in a strafing incident last August 19 in Maramag, Bukidnon.

In the early morning of August 19, victim Veneranda ‘Didang’ Ginanao was killed after their house was strafed by armed men believed to be soldiers from the 89th IBPA whose detachment is only four kilometers away from the farmers’ collective farm. Veneranda is a local member of the Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women in Bukidnon. Her husband, KASAMA-Bukidnon leader Reynaldo ‘Jun’ Ginanao, and their son, Christian Ginanao were wounded in the strafing incident. After Veneranda’s burial, the survivors of the strafing incident fled in fear that the perpetrators would come back to finish them. 

A member of BTL farmers group in Bukidnon, Ginanao fought for the land she’s tilling for more than 30 years.

The Ginanao couple are also members of the Buffalo-Tamaraw-Limus (BTL), local farmers’ organizations asserting their rights on the agricultural lands claimed by the Central Mindanao University (CMU) in Bukidnon. KASAMA Bukidnon is the provincial chapter of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas and an affiliate organization of Anakpawis Party-list.

In 2020, BTL farmers were enticed by the CMU administration, to sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) supporting the government’s Whole of Nation Approach and Executive and Order No. 70. The farmers were left with no choice but to sign the agreement due to persistent harassment and schemes by the CMU administration and the military. The strict lockdowns also affected their livelihood.

Veneranda is the 341st farmer victim of extra-judicial killing under Duterte. In 2019, 17 farmers and indigenous people were killed in Bukidnon province.

BTL is active in leading land rights campaigns. Farmers have maintained their collective farm and have made productive a 500-hectare portion of the Central Mindanao University (CMU) in Maramag, Bukidnon. The CMU wants the BTL farmers evicted to lease out these lands to multinational corporations and agribusiness plantations.

“We condemn this latest peasant killing — a state-sponsored attack against farmers asserting for democratic rights, says KMP leader Danilo Ramos. ###

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