Aguinaldo and Ayala thugs attack Tartaria land again

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This article is available in Pilipino

A local resident of Lupang Tartaria in Silang, Cavite was injured and lost consciousness on April 16 when guards from Jarton Security Services forcibly entered their farming community. The resident’s leg was wounded by a rusty roof, causing him to faint.

According to the Samahan ng Magsasaka at Mamamayan ng Tartaria (SAMATA), the guards in Tartaria stormed the community and shoved residents to fence off the land. The guards serve as private goons of the Ayala-Aguinaldo tandem, who have long been laying claim to the land. Putting up the fence is illegal because the decision on land ownership is still pending with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Supreme Court. This was also soon after an agreement reached in the barangay to stop the activity that had already started, according to SAMATA.

Lupang Tartaria residents launched an action the same day to condemn and stop the guards from putting up fences. The fenced land is on the border of Barangay Lumil and Tartaria.

“This is a clear violation of a barangay agreement regarding the cessation of putting up the fence and a clear violation of the rights of the residents of Tartaria to their residential and farm land,” according to SAMATA.

National-democratic groups in Cavite also strongly condemned Ayala-Aguinaldo’s private goons and the Cavite policemen reinforcements for the attack and violence.

“The greedy Ayala-Aguinaldos continue to drool over the land of Tartaria,” said Panday Sining-Cavite. “DAR should also be held accountable for its incompetence and inaction which worsens the suffering of Tartaria farmers regarding the security in the land they themselves farm.”

“This is a clear manifestation that the land reform offered by the corrupt US-Marcos Jr regime remains bogus. For decades, the legitimate farmers and citizens of Tartaria are not granted the land that they themselves develop and cultivated,” according to the Katipunan ng mga Magbubukid in Timog Katagalugan.

The attack was the latest in the guards’ relentless threats and violence against Lupang Tartaria residents. On April 13, guards patrolled the community. They even forcibly entered into a resident’s house.

On April 15, SAMATA forwarded a letter to the barangay to once again request the local authorities to stop the Ayala-Aguinaldo from fencing off their land. On that day, the company representative Luie Jimenez was present. Farmers asked the barangay to produce a document to maintain the “status quo” and withdraw the fencing permit that has been approved. According to the farmers’ lawyer, the company did not have a “writ of possession” and therefore its fencing permit was illegal. They also demanded a stop to the Jarton Security Services’ intimidation and harassment of Tartaria residents.

“Despite the agreement in the barangay hall in front of the Ayala-Aguinaldo representative, Luie Jimenez, the guards again illegally fenced off the farms that were not surrendered,” according to SAMATA. “This is a direct insult to the rights of the farmers and citizens of Tartaria, even to the officials of our barangay.”

Tartaria is part of the 200-hectare property claimed by the Aguinaldo clan in Cavite. Ayala Land Inc. partners with the Aguinaldos in land grabbing as a land developer.

For six decades, the residents here, many of whom are Ifugao and Moro, have been fighting for their right to the land where their houses and small businesses stand. If the demolition proceeds, up to 350 hectares of agricultural land will be seized by the Aguinaldos while 500 workers will lose their livelihood.

AB: Aguinaldo and Ayala thugs attack Tartaria land again