Farmers belonging to Alyansa ng mga Magbubukid ng Gitnang Luson (Amgl, Farmer’s Alliance in Central Luzon) and Anakpawis Central Luzon demanded justice for Pascual Guevarra on July 9, 2012 as it marked the second year of unsolved case of extra-judicial killing (EJK) in Central Luzon. Guevarra, 78 years old and a senior leader of Alyansa ng mga Magbubukid na Nagkakaisa 3,100 Ektarya sa Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation (Almana 3,100), was killed inside his house at Brgy. San Isidro in Laur, Nueva Ecija by two unidentified men riding a motorcycle. Guevarra was the first farmer victim of EJK under president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino administration.
“We strongly condemn that justice has never been served to Guevarra. His family is hungry for justice and yet Aquino continues his negligence and busy promoting his counter-insurgency program 'Oplan Bayanihan' in the region” stated by Fidel Castro, Vice Chairperson of AMGL.
“The recent killing of Willem Geertman, a well-loved and active supporter of farmers in the region is the concrete manifestation of continuing fascist attack of the Aquino regime to those who shout for genuine land reform” added by Castro.
The groups said that Guevarra is an active member of Almana 3,100 and a holder of Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). He and other farmers inside the said military reservation have been demanding the 3,100 hectares of land to be acquired by them by the virtue of a 1991 Deed of Transfer (DOT) between the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) signed by then secretaries Benjamin Leong and Renato De Villa, respectively.
The issue of farmers' struggle in FMMR began since the Marcos dictatorship and during the administration of former president Corazon Aquino, she issued the Executive Order 407 and 448 in 1991, briefly ordering all lands supervised by executive agencies such as the DND would be turned over to the DAR for CARP coverage. These EOs brought about the 1991 DOT between the two department. But since then, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), particularly the 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, has long been disobeying its superiors such as the DOT signed by the defense secretary, even the EO issued by the former president.
Since 2001, farmers inside the military reservation have been victims of military abuses such as harassment, intimidation and threat, strafing of houses, theft and destruction of private properties. Prior to Guevarra's killing, on September 27, 2007, a police colonel strafed a farmer's house and robbed him of his personal belongings. This was followed by the burning of 34 farmers' huts on October 25, 2008 by elements of the 7th IDPA.
“We are very saddened that the perpetrators are still at large and probably they continue to commit more rights abuses like harassment, torture and EJK in the region. At the same time, Aquino and his military mad dogs continue to deny involvement and perpetrate abuses,” Castro said.
“Right now, massive land grabbing and displacement of farmers continues in the region under Aquino’s Public Private Partnership (PPP) project. We are aware that in coming days, there will be another victim of EJK or another human rights violations by members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)” added by Castro.
“We call on peasant advocates and other sectors to join us on our call for justice”ended by Castro. #