FMMR Campaign Coordinating Body:
- Alyansa ng Magbubukid na Nagkakaisa sa 3,100 Ektarya ng Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation (ALMANA 3,100),
- Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon (AMGL),
- Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP),
- Tanggol Magsasaka,
- Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP),
- Promotion of Church People's Response (PCPR)
Now, though the 3,100-hectare lands is under CARP with Agrarian Reform Communities (ARCs) and farmers awarded with Certificate of Land Ownership Awards (CLOA), the military has yet to give the lands and instill to the farmer-beneficiaries that they do not own the land and the military has the right to whatever they decide to do with the land.
As early as the 1930s, farmers were already cultivating the lands at the area of FMMR. It encompasses 73,000 hectares of land, reaching across Nueva Ecija, Bulacan and Aurora provinces as per Proclamation 207 of President Ramon Magsaysay in 1955. The lands are being used for military exercises, bombing runs and other military activies.
The 3,100-hectare land in Laur, Nueva Ecija, supposedly awarded to Mt. Pinatubo victims in 1991, is where the base of the Philippine Army 7th Infantry Division is located. About 6,000 peasants live and cultivate at the area, farming rice, vegetables and other agricultural products.
With developments of legal battles and private groups and individuals landgrabbing and claiming they own the land, the 3,100 hectares lands were finally decided by the Deed Of Transfer of DND to DAR based on EO 407 and EO 448 (Series of 1990), signed by then DAR Secretary Benjamin Leong and former DND Secretary Renato de Villa on November 5, 1991.
The Deed Of Transfer mainly discuss about the following:
- Identification of the 3,100 hectare which is located at Bgy. San Isidro, Laur town of Nueva Ecija province;
- DAR officials will coordinate with camp officials on surveying the land to define exact location and boundaries;
- A buffer zone of 20 meters around the camp will be set and no permanent structures shall be built for security purposes
- DAR will be responsible and have jurisdiction on what ever issues that may arise (judicial, quasi-judicial)
- The transfer by DND to DAR will be free, as well as the transfer of lands by DAR to legitimate farmer-beneficiaries
- Though the existence of the Deed of Transfer signed by both Department Secretaries, the military, particularly the PA 7th Infantry Division does not recognize such order and continue to pose as the owner or has the right to control over the lands. Commander Maj. Gen. Ralph Villanueva even sent a letter to the Provincial Agrarian Reform Office to cancel all CLOAs involving the 3,100 hectares.
Human Rights Violations
The road of land distribution to farmers were twisted and rough. Different private groups, corporations and individuals have attempted to landgrab the lands that should be given to legitimate farmers, most of them are retired military personnels or private firms with strong connection to the military and police.
On May 30, 2001, elements from Palayan Municipal Police, Provincial Police and 309th Provincial Mobile Group (PMG) led by a goon of landlord Martin Tinio raided houses of farmers, robbed them of their private properties and illegally arrested some of the residents. This is to scare the farmers off the lands to compel them to leave the area. The victims were members of the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association or ARBA.
On August 18, 2007, retired Col. Feliciano Sabite, accompanied by armed men, harassed a group of farmers who were preparing their farms. Sabite, armed with M-14 rifle and Cal. 45 handgun, poked at farmers, cursing them and telling them to leave the place that he has already bought the lands. The victims were members of Guardians Brotherhood.
The next month, September 27, 2007, about 3pm, Col. Sabite strafed houses of farmers and stolen some of their belongings. The farmers sought the help of the Philippine Army at the camp, who then found Sabite but only talked with him and never arrested him.
On October 25, 2008, about 34 of 36 houses farmers were demolished by the soldiers from PA 7th Infantry Division without warning, not considering the value that farmers invested in building them. This was after they attended the caravan and protest actions against CARP in Manila
Up to now, communities are militarized, soldiers are camped in Barangay Halls, without the proper consent of local officials, sowing fear and impeding in the free mobility of farmer-residents in the area.
Peasant Efforts and Actions
Peasants from the Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation are organized as the ALMANA 3,100 or Alyansa ng Magbubukid na Nagkakaisa sa 3,100 Ektarya ng FMMR (United Peasant Alliance in 3,100 Hectare of Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation). They have already held numerous inter-agency dialogues involving the Department of Agrarian Reform and Department of Environment and Natural Resources. They have always invited the Department of National Defense but always ignored the invitation. It was only in November 17, that the DND accepted the request and the dialogue was held at Camp Aguinaldo. Still, the DND never committed to anything and it was apparent that they do not recognize the Deed of Transfer signed even by the DND Secretary in 1991.
As the experience of the peasants in FMMR with the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program has not been beneficial, their case is a living example of the bankruptcy of CARP. They were legitimate farmer-beneficiaries formed in Agrarian Reform Communities(ARCs) but still faced with landgrabbers, harassments, military intrusion, fake beneficiaries and more. Though they were given CLOAs, these never guaranteed land distribution. They were only able to keep on working with the lands through their unity and struggle.
In light of their life-long goal to own the lands they have tilled for decades, they fully support the House Bill 3059 or Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) proposed by Anakpawis Partylist. They believe that this bill would deliver their interest of free land distribution and security from being displaced.
What can you do to help?
- Join and support the campaign for genuine agrarian reform in FMMR
- Send appeal letters to DND to abide the Deed of Transfer
- To lawmakers, LGU officials, create bills, resolutions that implement the Deed of Transfer or distribute the lands in FMMR
- Give financial and material support for the campaign of ALMANA
STOP HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AND JUSTICE TO VICTIMS!
ALYANSA NG MAGBUBUKID NA NAGKAKAISA SA 3,100 EKTARYA NG FMMR
(ALMANA 3,100, United Peasant Alliance in 3,100 Hectare of Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation)
ALYANSA NG MAGBUBUKID SA GITNANG LUZON (AMGL)
KILUSANG MAGBUBUKID NG PILIPINAS (KMP)