MABALACAT CITY -- Anakpawis Party-list Ariel Casilao has lauded the formation of a peasant-based alliance that is expected to broaden sectoral support against extrajudicial killings (EJK) and other forms of state-sponsored human rights violations in the countryside.
Former Department of Agrarian Reform secretary Rafael Mariano, Bayan's Carol Araullo and Fr. Doegracia Inigues were among the conveners of the Coalition for Land, Against Martial Law and Oppression (Clamor).
"Under President Duterte's watch, there are already 91 farmer-victims of EJK across the country. We blame this to his all-out war policy in the countryside," Casilao said.
The lawmaker claimed that the Duterte administration has turned the country upside down with his triple war -- "war on drugs," all-out war in the countryside, and war against the Moro people.
He said Duterte embraced the approach by the militarists in his Cabinet and veered away from pursuing peace with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and New People's Army (NPA).
"His promise of peace, as well as genuine rural development for the welfare of Filipino farmers has vanished in thin air and he is now engaged in totally attacking farmer communities like the recent aerial bombings in Batangas," he said.
"We hope that more sectors will support the farmers' battlecry of 'Stop Killing Farmers,' as broad as the public condemnation on drug-related killings of innocent youth," Casilao added.
Published in the SunStar Pampanga newspaper on October 21, 2017.
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