Farmers’ caravan vs Aquino’s Sona, Cha-cha

SOME 5,000 farmers from Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog are set to join a caravan and protest marches leading to President Aquino’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) in Quezon City next Monday, a farmers group said.

“Peasant marches and caravans from Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon will highlight the true state of the nation epitomized by barefaced landgrabbing, mining, militarization, and human rights violations in the countryside,” the Kilusang Magbubukid sa Pilipinas said.

Antonio Flores, KMP spokesperson, said Hacienda Luisita farmers will join the Alyansa ng mga Magbubukid ng Gitnang Luzon (AMGL) contingent in protest of President Aquino, his family, and the Department of Agrarian Reform’s “continuing political maneuvers to circumvent the Supreme Court decision ordering the distribution of Hacienda Luisita.”

He added that the Southern Tagalog contingent led by the Kalipunan  ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa  Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK) will be participated by farmers and victims of militarization in South Quezon where eight battalions of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) serves as “private armies” of big landlords and mining firms.

The peasant leader also said that protest actions during the Sona will also highlight farmers’ opposition against Aquino’s planned Charter change.

“The Aquino government’s Cha-cha that seeks to bargain our lands to foreign agribusinesses and mining firms will have a baptism of fire during the President’s Sona,” Flores said.

The KMP leader also blasted as “overacting” the Philippine National Police’s preparations for Monday’s Sona referring to the reported “civil disturbance management competition at the Quirino grandstand.”

“The Filipino peasantry will not be cowed by the Aquino administration and the police’s psy war,” Flores said adding: “We warn the police not to block the farmers’ caravan and marches from the provinces because we are more than determined to assert and register our opposition to Aquino’s Cha-cha and the planned sell-out of our land and patrimony.”

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