177 farmers killed in Duterte’s reign – ex-DAR chief Mariano
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – A total of 177 farmers have been killed since the start of President Duterte’s administration in July 2016, former Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano said.
In a statement for the commemoration of the 32nd year of the so-called Mendiola massacre, Mariano blamed the military’s Oplan Kapayapaan and its ‘peace and development operations’ in rural communities for the killings.
Mariano said Mindanao, Negros, and Bicol have the highest number of killed farmers.
Back on Jan. 22, 1987, the Philippine Constabulary-Integrated National Police and Philippine Marines opened fire on farmers gathered at the then Mendiola to demand genuine land reform from the administration of then President Corazon Aquino.
“Three decades have passed since the Mendiola massacre and farmers are still seeking for social justice. Many more massacres happened under the current Duterte administration as this government continues to slay farmers defending their right to the land,” Antonio Flores, secretary general of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, said.
Flores called as “bogus” the government’s Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.
“It’s merely handing out of CLOAs (certificates of land ownership award) or certificates that can be canceled anytime when agrarian reform beneficiaries fail to pay land amortization payment or when the land is converted into other uses,” he said.
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