Akbayan Partylist is outraged at the bloodbath in the wake of police and military operations in Negros Oriental killing 14 farmers alleged to be linked to insurgents as well as the arrest of an Akbayan woman peasant leader in Vallehermoso, Negros Oriental.
Akbayan also condemns the arrest and detention of Ana Maria Dayoha, a peasant leader of the Bagawines Ulay Cabulihan Farmworkers Association (BUCFWA) in Vallehermoso, Negros Oriental. She was arrested for illegal possession of firearms after a pre-dawn raid was conducted in their office. BUCFWA is a recognized agrarian reform beneficiaries organization seeking for the installation of their members in DAR-awarded lands.
"The PNP raiding team obviously planted firearms and a rifle grenade inside the premises of their office in the early hours of Sunday morning. Why will a legitimate farmers organization be subjected to such harassment in the guise of anti-insurgency operations?," said Akbayan party list solon Tom Villarin.
The party list solon vowed to investigate the PNP officers and personnel involved in said operation. Already, a House Committee on Agrarian Reform panel is looking into this matter with DAR Undersecretary Karlos Bello who visited Dumaguete today.
The bloodshed on Sunday shows that the Duterte administration is directing its war on the poor in the guise of peace and order. This time, it is targeting our farmers whom this government is accusing to be rebels when they are just defending their rights under the country's agrarian reform laws. The killings are alarming especially that we are still reeling from the killings of sugarcane farmers in Sagay, Negros Occidental in October 2018 and their lawyer, Atty Ben Ramos.
Akbayan peasant leader Uper Alerosa also welcomes the probe of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) into the killings. He cited the case of farmer leader Edgardo Avelino, 59 years old, of sitio Carmen barangay Panubigan, Canlaon, Negros Occidental who was killed with 14 other farmers during the bloody weekend. Avelino died from three fatal gunshot wounds in the head, chest and body as he was caught 'nanlaban.'#