Groups condemn latest extra-judicial killing of peasant leader in Batangas
THE national farmers group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP, Peasant Movement of the Philippines) and Peasant Network for Land, Justice and Human Rights (Tanggol Magsasaka) condemned the latest extra-judicial killing of Rene Rodriguez, peasant leader of Samahan ng Magbubukid sa Batangas (Sambat, KMP Batangas) last November 7 at Bgy. Caybunga, Balayan town, Batangas. The groups said that Rodriguez is the 13th peasant victim of EJK under the Aquino government.
“The Aquino government is totally useless in stopping EJK of peasants. Worse, it has promoted Oplan Bantay Laya, militarization and human rights abuses in the countryside. President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino is equally guilty as the perpetrators of these abuses,” said Antonio Flores, KMP Spokesperson and Tanggol Magsasaka Co-convenor in a statement.
KMP joined the protest at the gates of Camp Aguinaldo and called for justice for Rodriguez and other victims of EJK. The military prepared their anti-riot forces with a standby firetruck, while playing loud christmas songs to thwart the protest.
Rodriguez was killed by 2 motor-cycle riding masked men according to witnesses and he suffered 3 gunshot wound on the head and chest. Sambat, Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK, KMP Southern Tagalog) and supporters from Southern Tagalog continued the protest at Camp Aguinaldo, subsequently proceeding to the Dept. of Justice seeking a dialogue with Sec. Leila De Lima.
“The Aquino government is anti-human rights, anti-democracy and fascist. It continues to attack legal and democratic activists, majorly peasants struggling for genuine land reform. Aquino is personally affected by peasant protests as he himself is involved with the Hacienda Luisita issue, his family deploying massive deception, attempting to frustrate the farmworkers’ legitimate claim of the lands,” Flores said.
“Aquino is turning the countryside into dark hell, pushing the the military to kill and abuse peasants, with no respect to human rights and democracy. His promised ‘change’ is actually the worsening state of human rights in the countryside,” Flores said.
“We would never cease calling for justice Rodriguez, as well as Pascual Guevarra, Rene Quirante, the massacred Masbate farmers, indigenous farmers of Rizal, killed Mindanao farmers and those killed during the Arroyo regime such as Eddie Gumanoy, victims of the Hacienda Luisita massacre and more ,” Flores called.