Group backs ComVal barricade, land conversion reversal

LABOR center Kilusang Mayo Uno expressed its support today for the people of Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental who set up a barricade yesterday to condemn the Aquino government for its role in the devastation caused by typhoon “Pablo” and its failure to adequately respond to the needs of those affected.

More than 5,000 people blocked the Montevista Highway in Compostela Valley yesterday morning to condemn the government’s promotion of large-scale mining and logging, its militarization of relief efforts, and its failure to provide sufficient relief to people affected by typhoon Pablo.

“The farmers and people of Southern Mindanao deserve the support of the Filipino people. They are correct in saying out that the devastation wrought by typhoon Pablo was made worse by the rampant mining and logging operations in their region,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

“The Aquino government should be condemned for stepping up militarization efforts in the region while failing to provide sufficient help for our fellow Filipinos who were devastated by the typhoon. It is clearly siding with foreign multinational corporations who want to resume operations against the people of Mindanao,” he added.

Land conversion reversal

The labor center also expressed opposition to calls for the revival of the banana and coconut industries in Southern Mindanao that were destroyed by typhoon Pablo, saying what the people of the region need is the reversal of land conversion policies so they can produce food.

“What the people of Mindanao need right now are food and other basic necessities. Restoring the for-export banana and coconut industries in the region would only result in continued hunger and poverty for the people there,” Labog said.

“Land conversion policies in the region should be reversed to give way to the farming of food crops. Restoring the banana and coconut industries would further destroy the soil and make it more difficult for people to plant food crops,” he added.

“The Aquino government continues to heed the dictates of big foreign capitalists and not the need of the farmers and people of Southern Mindanao. It continues to fuel unrest among the people in the region,” he said.

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