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Marking Mendiola massacre, CHR seeks genuine agrarian reform
“Filipino farmers are crucial in ensuring food security in the country yet they continuously become victims of land dispossession and unscrupulous landlord-tenant relationship,” CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia.
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Marking Mendiola massacre, CHR seeks genuine agrarian reform

Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - January 23, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Thirty-four years after a massacre of farmers in Mendiola, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) yesterday reiterated the need for genuine agrarian reform to support Filipino farmers.

“Filipino farmers are crucial in ensuring food security in the country yet they continuously become victims of land dispossession and unscrupulous landlord-tenant relationship,” CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia.

“The biggest contradiction persists as the people who toil the land are the same people who are most likely to experience hunger and food insecurity,” she added.

De Guia noted how, as before, the struggle for land rights and better working conditions have been met with repression and violence.

She underscored how the current pandemic has exposed the cruel state of affairs that our farmers are subjected to, citing high cost of inputs, low price of crops, lack of capital, labor problems and the slow response given to them to cope with the crisis.

Thirteen people died and dozens were wounded after alleged anti-riot state forces opened fire on a protest rally attended by some 10,000 peasants.

De Guia noted how, 34 years later, justice is still nowhere to be found for the victims and their families.

Yesterday, peasant groups led by the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), held a protest rally near Malacañang to commemorate the Mendiola massacre.

The KMP alleged that in 2020 alone, it documented 59 killings of farmers and peasant leaders.

The group accused President Duterte and the Armed Forces of the Philippines of being “the primary perpetrator of these killings with their militarization of the countrysides in the guise of anti-communism operations.” - Elizabeth Marcelo

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