Saturday, November 27, 2021

Presidential bets asked to address people's demands

SEVERAL organizations have challenged presidential candidates to address people's demand for land, aid and justice.

The Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women joined Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon farmers together with multi-sectoral groups in a protest led by the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas and Anakpawis partylist held in Mendiola Bridge in Manila recently.

Presidential and national position aspirants were asked to present concrete actions on pressing issues confronting farmers, peasant women, agricultural workers, fisherfolk and indigenous people.

The groups said that the impoverished condition of farmers has only worsened because of the neoliberal policies and neglect in the agriculture sector, failure to break up the land monopoly and fascist attacks on peasant families and communities.

The government's outright rejection of free land distribution was underscored with the continuing land grabbing and displacement of farmers even at the height of the militarist lockdown including peasant families in Cavite, Bulacan, Laguna, Bataan, Palawan, and the ancestral lands in Panay, Rizal and Mindanao while protecting the interests of big landowners and land grabbers, Amihan secretary-general Cathy Estavillo said.

“Peasant women are already fed up while peasant families are deep in debt due to depressed farm gate prices of palay and agricultural products, soaring production cost, non-stop importation and calamities, aggravated by the absence of aid,” she added.

Amihan is pushing for the P15,000 production subsidy for farmers and fisherfolk to ease the impact of the pandemic and the damages of the recent typhoon and the enactment of the Rice Industry Development Act or Rida and the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill or Garb to ensure farmers’ security of tenure and the attainment of food self-sufficiency.

The group has also called on the national candidates to defend peasant women against rights abuses such as cases of extra-judicial killings, illegal arrest and detention, red-tagging, forced surrender and militarization of rural communities.


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