Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) said it expects Malacanang to boast of a successful and productive trip to Davos but such a feat would mean nothing for ordinary Filipinos, especially farmers. “Only the private sector, particularly the oligarchs and tycoons who accompanied Marcos Jr. to Davos were satisfied. For our part, farmers will welcome President and agriculture secretary Marcos Jr. with more pressing demands such as the need to address the economic problems from its root causes — poverty, landlessness, and injustice,” according to KMP chairperson Danilo Ramos.
As farmers mark the 36th year of the heinous Mendiola Massacre, they will demand the Marcos administration to seriously consider resuming peace negotiations to discuss the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) which made headway in the early years of the Duterte administration.
“CASER outlines the possible solutions and reforms to address the current economic crisis and its social consequences such as unemployment, food insecurity, hunger, and lacking social services, among others. Ang mga panawagan ng mga magsasaka noon hanggang ngayon, ganun pa rin — tunay na reporma sa lupa,” Ramos said, adding that thousands of hectares of agricultural lands were lost to land conversion over the past decades.
The infamous Mendiola Massacre happened on January 22, 1987, after members of the Philippine Constabulary opened fire at some 20,000 farmers who marched from the Ministry of Agrarian Reform (now DAR) as a culmination of the 10-day farmers’ camp-out, to demand a new land reform program to the then Cory Aquino presidency.
“The Mendiola Massacre happened as farmers were then protesting the Marcos-era PD 27 and were demanding a new agrarian reform program and higher prices of palay. Up until today, no one among those accountable for the massacre was brought to justice,” added Ramos.
“Ang masaker sa Mendiola ay palagiang magiging alala ng paggiit ng mga magsasaka sa kanilang karapatan at ang isinagot ng estado at Malakanyang ay bala.”
After the forum tomorrow, farmers and sectors will march to Mendiola for a torch-lighting for justice. ###