Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) condemns the harassment and firing of Araneta-hired guards at a team of 8 paralegals and around 20 farmers, including at least 7 children, in Brgy. Tungkong Mangga, San Jose del Monte, Bulacan at around 11am today January 28. The shooting lasted at least 10 minutes.
The group was undertaking a fact-finding mission (FFM) on the January 26 illegal demolition of four farmers’ houses by the same guards.
The team’s cell phones, wallets, bags, and relief goods for the farmers were also forcibly taken by the armed men. At least 2 from the FFM were injured. The guards left at around 11:40am.
The guards are employed by Araneta Properties Inc. which has been trying to evict the farmers in the area since 2013. The real estate company aims to build an exclusive subdivision over productive vegetable and fruit farms in the area.
Araneta Properties Inc. is led by Gregorio “Greggy” Araneta III, husband of Irene Marcos, sister of presidentiable Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
“We challenge 2022 candidates who have constantly pronounced themselves as pro-farmers to speak and act. Especially Marcos Jr. – kausapin mo ang bayaw mo!” KMP National Chairperson Danilo Ramos says.
KMP has earlier called upon incumbent and reelectionist San Jose del Monte Mayor Arthur Robes to intervene.
The January 26 demolition is the third in a year, following similar incidents in 2021. The guards have also closed farm to market roads in the area, further constricting the farmers’ livelihood.
“Grabeng kahayupan ng mga Araneta. Wala silang kinikilalang batas, puro pandarahas!” Ramos laments.
The area remains disputed between Araneta and the farmers who were agrarian reform beneficiaries. #