The spirit of struggle is the Bikolano peasants’ heritage to the current generation

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“Land for the tillers!”

The peasants’ demand still reverberates especially now under Marcos II’s regime. This has never changed, wavered nor has been forgotten. Try as the Marcoses’ might, the generation after generation of peasants who have always been deprived of land and justice from the very beginning will be immovable cornerstones who shall protect the truth from ever being erased or perverted.

The peasantry’s unity and strength in Bikol was not simply conjured out of thin air. It was slowly formed and strengthened by the farmers’ extensive history of struggle against foreign powers, dictators and big landlords who devour their lands. The Bikolanos’ fight is a tradition taking its roots from the long-standing land problem that the succeeding generations have always inherited.

The people will never forget martial law’s viciousness against the peasants. There’s the massacre of farmers on June 14, 1981 in Daet, Camarines Norte. Elements of Marcos Sr.’s Philippine Constabulary mercilessly fired upon hundreds of peasants marching from the town of Basud to demand the increase in kopra prices, protest the brazen deception of the Coco Levy and the fraudulent elections. Four farmers were killed. They were Jose Alcantra, Elmer Lagarteja, Rogelio Guevara and Benjamin Suyat.

Marcos II may collude with all the descendants of his father’s former cronies and lackeys in Bikol including the Villafuertes, Fuentebellas, Escuderos, Bicharas, Espinosas, Khos, Padillas and others of their ilk. But the masses’ heritage will still be the peasantry’s struggle against all these ruling few’s crimes against the people – from the violation of their rights, possession of their lands to the divestment of their lives and future.

No one, nor any of the newly-seated Marcos II regime’s attempts, can ever obliterate the martyred peasants’ blood that had soaked through the lands they had valiantly fought to get back and till. These heroes who had struggled for their right to land and who had fought against the injustices of martial law will never be erased from the memories of their beloved families.

With the commemoration of the 50th year of dictator Marcos Sr.’s Martial Law, the struggle continues. The children borne out of those violent times shall wield a golden scythe. A scythe handed upon them by their parents and grandparents so that they can be the ones to continue the clearing of the path towards a truly free, just and bounteous tomorrow.

The spirit of struggle is the Bikolano peasants’ heritage to the current generation