“This is an outright barbarism of LHI, FL PMC and Ayala against the vulnerable farmers of Hacienda Dolores. This has no place in a supposedly civilized and democratic society such as ours. Join us in our condemnation and demand for justice for Padino and the Tumalis,” Joseph Canlas said, Amgl chairperson and Anakpawis Party-list regional coordinator.
ANMHD also reported that when barangay officials led by Antonio Tolentino, also chairman of ANMHD, responded to the attack, they were also fired upon by the perpetrators. But when Tolentino led the filing of charges against the suspect, they have learned that they were being charged with malicious mischief and carnapping by LHI and FL PMC. Amgl and Amc also monitored from news reports on the internet that blaming Canlas for an attack of 30 heavily armed men on a guard outpost.
“These offensives of LHI, FL PMC and Ayala are comprehensive and well-coordinated. While their victims are yet to be cared for at the hospital, they had the time and resources to file charges against the real victims, and even release a biased report to the media. We hope that our friends from the media to stand for the truth and justice, and refuse to submit to the influences of these private firms,” Canlas said.
As protest, more than 300 farmers from Hacienda Dolores marched towards Porac municipal hall and demanded intervention from the local government and justice for the victims. Upon Padino’s death, farmers placed his casket in front of the said building to expose the brutality against them and the incapacity of the government to protect its constituents. Padino orphaned his two sons aged 10 and 8.
“Officials of the local government of Porac are witnesses to the abuses of LHI, FL PMC and Ayala Land. But they act deaf and blind to the grievances of their constituents. Elements of the local police are usual partners of the private firms’ armed guards that continue to harass Hacienda Dolores farmers,” Canlas added.
The groups said that Hacienda Dolores farmers are usual victims of abuses perpetrated by LHI, FL PMC and Ayala Land as a finding of a fact-finding mission held October 30 to 31 of last year. As the private firms’ fenced more than 758-hectare of lands cultivated by the farmers, they lost their livelihood that put them into poverty and hunger. Farmers said that they were forced into odd jobs, their children going out of school and subjected to continuing harassment by security guards and armed goons. Since 2011 to last year, mass arrests have been a common practice, instigated by LHI and FL PMC in collusion with the local police. Last December, Jessel Orgas survived a grenade throwing and Modesto Posadas from gunshot wounds from motorcycle-riding men. Subsequently last January 8, Ener Angeles Tolentino was arrested by two police officers while on way to work on his farm.
“Hacienda Dolores farmers are being subject to terror and still the local government of Porac, the police, the whole machinery of the Aquino government are unresponsive and of no use to the victims. If the government continues to ignore their plight and favor the interest of these land grabbers, let us prepare ourselves for more bloodshed as the farmers are grim and determined to fight for their rights to land while the armed groups of the private firms are trigger-happy and brutal,” Canlas said.
“We assert our call that Hacienda Dolores should be distributed immediately to the farmers as their ancestors have developed them since the Spanish colonial times. LHI, FL PMC and Ayala Land are plain land-grabbing syndicate that bullies the poor farmers and geared up to murder them. We demand justice for Arman Padino, Noel and Reynold Tumali, as well as other victims of abuses. We hold LHI, FL PMC and Ayala Land responsible for these atrocities and we vow on Padino’s body to resolutely continue the struggle for genuine land reform in Hacienda Dolores,” Canlas ended. #