Hands off Lupang Ramos!
For decades, members of Katipunan ng mga Lehitimong Magsasaka at Mamamayan ng Lupaing Ramos have cultivated 104 hectares of the 372-hectare Lupang Ramos, which is “owned” by Emerito Ramos.
FOR MORE than three decades, farmers from Barangay Langkaan I, or Lupang Ramos, in Dasmariñas, Cavite have cultivated their lands amid strong and violent dispute against land grabbers.
Currently, around 100-hectares are already planted with root crops, banana trees and several kinds of vegetables. But they have yet to defend the 370-hectare land from barangay councilor Nestor Pangilinan and land agent Rudy Herrera and other cohorts who are derailing their right to own the land.
Pangilinan and Herrera have brandished private goons who have continually assaulted and harassed the residents and farmers of Lupang Ramos since June 2.
These goons, headed by land agent Rudy Herrera and barangay councilor Nestor Pangilinan have continually assaulted and harassed the residents and farmers of Lupang Ramos. Herrera and Pangilinan arrived in Lupang Ramos on June 2 along with 40 men armed with a single-edged knife and thin long sticks. This resulted in a violent encounter where Rosalinda Atienza, 47, was punched in the head and where Romeo Aledia, 45 was hit by using a golf club. It was also on this day when a certain Angelito Tolentino challenged the farmers with a gun duel.
On June 4, not less than 9 gunshots coming from the camp of Herrera and Pangilinan were fired in the vicinity of Lupang Ramos.
Yesterday, June 6, while farmers from Lupang Ramos were cultivating their crops, Tolentino arrived and threatened them that there will be a bloodbath if they continue to plant crops and fight for their land. He said this in front of the local Philippine National Police officer present in the area. And instead of berating Tolentino for harassment and intimidation, he forced the farmers to stop planting crops to veer away from a fight.
Katipunan ng Lehitimong Magsasaka at Mamamayan ng Lupang Ramos members reported that the reason why the local government unit remains mum regarding this incident is that Cavite Mayor Elpidio Barzaga is supporting Herrera’s camp. Barzaga is allegedly funding the supporters and was reportedly paying Php 300/day to those who joined Herrera.
On Thursday, June 7, farmers from KASAMA LR along with various progressive groups held a protest in front of the city government of Dasmariñas to demand a dialogue with the executive office in order to address the incidents of harasment, violence and intimidation led by Herrera, Pangilinan, Tolentino and Arnel Mendoza.
Lupang Ramos was originally included in the list of haciendas, farmlands, etc., that should be distributed freely under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) during Corazon Aquino’s term. However, after the Ramoses appeal, the Court of Appeals issued a temporary restraining order against the earlier Supreme Court ruling. On 2011, another SC decision ruled that Lupang Ramos be exempted from CARP.
In the entire Southern Tagalog Region, there are various cases of blatant land grabbing and eviction of farmers from their lands because of land-use conversion mandated by greedy politicians along with their cohorts.
Filipino farmers are continuously deceived by fraudulent land reforms such as the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform, the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law, and the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms. They are tricked to believe that there is hope in reforms. In reality, hope remains futile for them.
Land grabbers like Herrera and politicians like Pangilinan are emboldened because even the highest head of the state has no regard for genuine land reform for our farmers.
The College Editors Guild of the Philippines strongly supports the fight of farmers from Lupang Ramos for their rightful claim to their land and livelihood. In these fascism-stricken times, the vast majority of the Filipino people have no choice but to resist and fight back against a regime that is filled with crimes against its own people.
Tomorrow, June 8, the Guild along with various sectors will march in a peasant-led mobilization to mark the 30th year of the scam CARP with a protest. This is to condemn the perpetuating and worsening problems of landlessness, hunger and poverty in the country.
URGENT CALL FOR SUPPORT: The Lupang Ramos farmers are in need of quick reaction team volunteers; food, material, and financial donations; and media coverage. CEGP is calling on student publications across the country to write about the struggle of farmers from Lupang Ramos. For a fast coordination, contact us at 0927129554 or 09977905329.