PKM-Negros promotes agrarian revolution, broadest unity to overthrow insufferable and fascist Duterte regime
The peasants and farm workers in Negros Island are in life and death conditions brought about by widespread land grabbing, neoliberal agrarian policies, yearly dead season (colloquially referred to as ‘tigkiriwi’) and intensified militarization in peasant communities according to the Pambansang Katipunan ng Magbubukid or PKM-Negros (National Association of Peasants) in its statement commemorating this year’s Philippine Peasant Month.
PKM-Negros also called on the entire peasant class in the Island, a well-known bastion of land lords, to further broaden and strengthen the struggles to advance agrarian revolution, build the broadest unity of the people and overthrow the insufferable and fascist Duterte regime.
Felicidad Mercado, spokesperson of PKM-Negros, lambasted the Duterte regime describing it as “corrupt, inutile and an executioner” for prioritizing “infrastructure projects under its Build, Build, Build program” and procuring “firearms, ammunition and bombs for its vicious counter-insurgency problem” while the country is in the middle of a public health and socio-economic crisis.
Mercado noted the successive and rampant killings of peasants, forced and fake surrenders, illegal arrests and imprisonment of leaders and members of peasant organizations and bombing of communities since Duterte imposed Memorandum Order No. 32 in Negros Island, Samar and Bicol together with Executive Order No. 70 (establishing the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict or NTF-ELCAC).
“It paved the way for the AFP and PNP to sow fear and terror, and murder farmers and people defending their rights and livelihood,” she said.
She added that it unmasked the butcher nature of the mercenary AFP/PNP serving as protector and goons of the ruling class of despotic land lords, big bourgeois compradors and bureaucrat capitalists who grab vast lands from peasants and tumandoks (indigenous peoples) to convert its use into plantations, foreign projects, mining and quarry causing dislocation of the people from their communities and destruction of natural resources.
Buried in feudal and anti-feudal exploitation
PKM-Negros expressed discontentment over the situation of peasants who are buried in feudal and semifuedal exploitation under the government of the ruling class represented by Duterte.
In its statement it noted the decrease of rice farmers’ income caused by the implementation of the anti-people Rice Liberalization Law that lowered the price of palay (unhusked rice) to Php10-Php14 per kilo leaving farmers to suffer gravely.
According to Mercado, the price of corn and other farm products also decreased and, moreover, the wages of hacienda workers and other farm workers are very low and they still do not enjoy benefits.
She pointed out that Duterte has outrightly exposed himself as anti-farmer and turned his back on the demands of farmers for genuine land reform and free land distribution after he proclaimed last May 16, 2019 his decision to stop land reform and implemented instead Executive Order No. 75 and DAR Administrative Order No. 1 exempting private agricultural lands from land reform and expediting the process of land use conversion.
Advance agrarian revolution
PKM-Negros called on all its leaders and members in the Island “to build a strong unity with the broad oppressed masses.”
“Advance agrarian revolution to destroy land monopoly and end centuries of feudal and semi-feudal exploitation of peasants,” Mercado said. “And like the previous regimes, Duterte will fail in destroying the revolutionary movement in the countryside due to the wide support of the peasants and the people resulting to the success of agrarian revolution.
The revolutionary peasant organization acknowledged the important role of the peasant army, the New People’s Army, as anti-feudal struggles make headway since it mainly upholds agrarian revolution and the democratic aspirations and interests of the people.
It concluded that more farmers, farm workers, women and youth must be organized and mobilized for them to join the NPA and carry forward the people’s democratic revolution.###