‘Hindi sila kriminal:’ Activists, advocates decry arrest of 'Tinang 83' | Inquirer News
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‘Hindi sila kriminal:’ Activists, advocates decry arrest of ‘Tinang 83’

/ 09:08 PM June 10, 2022
Activist farmers and land reform advocates on Friday assembled in front of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to decry the arrest of "Tinang 93" — the 93 farmers, advocates, and students arrested at Hacienda Tinang in Concepcion, Tarlac. 

Photo shows the manhandling and arrest of 92 land reform beneficiaries and advocates in Tinang, Concepcion, province of Tarlac, Philippines. Photo: Mark Saludes/LiCAS.ne

MANILA, Philippines — Activist farmers and land reform advocates on Friday assembled in front of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to decry the arrest of “Tinang 83″ — the 83 farmers, advocates, and students arrested at Hacienda Tinang in Concepcion, Tarlac.

“Makatarungan lang na sila ay palayain. Hindi po sila kriminal,” Cathy Eatavillo from Bantay Bigas said during the protest. “Ang mga magnanakaw at ang mga convicted ay nananatiling nakakawala pero ang mga magsasaka na lumilikha ng pagkain ng mamamayang Pilipino ay sila pang ipinakulong.”

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(It is only just that they be freed because they are not criminals. Thieves and other convicted individuals get to walk freely, but the farmers who produce food for the Filipino people are put behind bars.)

Antonio Flores from Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura also echoed the plea to free ‘Tinang 93” as he recalled what happened during the mass arrest on Thursday morning.

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“Nakita namin na walang mandato ang aresto. Ibig sabihin, pang-harass at pananakot ang ginawa ng mga kapulisan,” he said.

(There was no mandate for the arrest. And what the police authorities did was a form of harassment and intimidation.)

READ: In Tarlac, 87 held over land feud 

Flores further denounced the arrest, saying this incident shows that authorities are not trying to alleviate the plight of farmers.

“Ito’y nagpapatunay na hindi solusyon sa kagutuman at kahirapan ang gagawin ng ating gobyerno, kundi pahihirapan lang ang mga magsasaka na nagbubungkal ng lupa,” he stressed.

(This proves that the government is not forwarding solutions for hunger and poverty. Instead, they are causing even more burden for our farmers who are only trying to cultivate their land.)

Atty. Jobert Pahilga, a lawyer defending ‘Tinang 93,’ earlier confirmed that charges of malicious mischief, resistance and serious disobedience, and obstruction of justice have been filed against the respondents.

While waiting for the result of the ongoing inquest, the arrested individuals remain under the custody of the Concepcion municipal police.

JPV

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TAGS: DAR, Department of Agrarian Reform, Farmers
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