“These Pancake bosses are totally heartless as this is the time of helping small farmers but they are continuously harassing them with legal charges. We are now planning of launching massive protest against St. Tropez this October as the anniversary of Marcos’ sham land reform program PD 27 is nearing,” said Joseph Canlas, AMGL chair.
“Our crops were destroyed by typhoon Pedring and now the rich who are suppose to be helping us in this time of need is trying to eject us from our farms,” Domingo Quiani, leader of Aniban ng Magbubukid sa Balingcanaway and AMT.
“Where would we get the P40,000 for bail when we are now indebted as our crops were destroyed?” he added.
AMGL said that St. Tropez Holdings Corp. have been grabbing the farmers’ land in Tarlac City since 2009 by sending letters to farmers to vacate their lands. On July 2010, the firm suddenly constructed fences around the 60-hectare rice lands. As the farmers’ work was obstructed, the farmers dismantled the fences on November 29, 2010 and delivered the materials to local police station. The firm continued to deploy armed guards on their lands who blocked farmers to work on their lands as well as the irrigation canal that consequently led to small yield of their crops. On July 4, 2011, they have mobilized together with Hacienda Luisita farmworkers to eject the armed guards.
In Angeles City, Pampanga, farmers belonging to the Clark Airbase Command Primary Multi-Purpose Cooperative (CABCOM) cultivating the lands that used to be part of the Clark Air Base military reservation are protesting the latest harassment of armed guards deployed by Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) who are blocking them from working on their lands.
“The CABCOM farmers are legitimate farmers who tilled the Clark Airbase lands since 1981 when the CABCOM opened the lands to the farmers. In addition, the Marcos gov’t even covered them to the KKK-Green Revolution program and during the Cory Aquino administration they were accredited by the Land Bank who even gave them loans as they were acknowledge by the Pampanga Agrarian Reform Office (PARO) as legitimate farmer-beneficiaries,” Canlas said.
AMGL said that they are one of the remaining farmers inside Clark Special Economic Zone as farmers have been displaced by the continuing land use conversion such as the Centennial Park, Global Gateway Logistics City, Clark International Airport, the land covered by Yokohama Tires, the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) and other industries. #