5 farmers wounded in Tagum shooting linked to land dispute
DAVAO CITY — At least five farmers were wounded when armed men opened fire at them while on their way to harvest bananas inside a plantation in Tagum City on Monday morning.
Monico Dayahan of the Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association Incorporated (MARBAI) said their group of 50 farmers was walking at around 7 a.m. when a team of 10 private security guards allegedly from Lapanday Foods Corporation approached them and fired without warning.
“We never expected it. We were just on our way to harvest bananas when they shot us,” Dayahan said.
MARBAI and the Lapanday are embroiled in a land dispute case after the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in the area accused the company of land grabbing.
“The ARBs are being dispossessed of supposedly government-awarded land and forced to live in deplorable hunger and poverty,” MARBAI said.
The farmers manned a barricade last week after their demands remain unresolved for several years.
The victims were immediately brought to a hospital for proper medical treatment but the situation in the area is still volatile.
At least 200 agrarian reform beneficiaries are presently barricading in the area. CBB
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