Yesterday afternoon, police and security personnel violently dispersed the peaceful camp-out of farmers at the south gate of the House of Representatives. The farmers, coming from different rural communities in the country, were lobbying for the passage of Anakpawis Partylist’s Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill. (Click for the primer comparing the GARB and the existing Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program)
The camp-out also caters Anakpawis Partylist representative Joel Maglunsod’s temporary office, which up to now has not been given an office inside congress. Here’s Rep. Maglunsod’s statement regarding the dispersal:
ANAKPAWIS Solon Condemns Violent Demolition of Farmers’ “Kampuhan” and his Temporary Congressional Office
Anakpawis Rep. Joel Maglunsod condemns the on-going violent dispersal of the farmers’ camp or “Kampuhan” of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) which is pushing for the passage of the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (HB3059-GARB) outside the House of Representatives. Maglunsod’s extension office was put up right after his oath-taking as one of the new batch of legislators.
“Sa kasalukuyan ay may mahigit 30 pulis at mga blue guards na may hawak ng mga truncheons at binobomba ng mga bombero. Pinasok na mismo ng mga pulis ang loob ng tent upang hampasin ang mga magsasaka”
Maglunsod said: “These poor farmers and farm workers are just peacefully expressing their grievances to the government’s failure to address their centuries-old problem of landlessness as Congress’ continuously failed to legislate genuine agrarian reform.” Maglunsod said that this move by the House leadership and the Quezon City Police Department is a direct assault to the farmers’ right to redress their grievances which is supposed to be guaranteed by the laws of the land created by this very institution.
The solon who is temporarily holding office at the camp area, said his office was not spared even by the demolition. “The House leadership which cannot even provide my office as a newly-instated legislator showed no respect to my temporary office set-up at the “Kampuhan”. As a representative of the toiling masses, Maglunsod said he personally felt that his office was transgressed by the House leadership despite prior unities reached by Speaker Nograles that he will not order the dispersal of the campers.
Maglunsod said “This barbaric act is regrettable that the House of Representatives could not tolerate the marginalized peoples’ freedom of expression on Congress ineffective and anti-poor legislations.”
“Don’t they know that this humble make-shift office at the Kampuhan served as a mechanism to receive complaints of farmers coming alternately from various parts of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao who come to visit Congress to lobby for the passage of HB 3059. I will demand that this condemnable incident be investigated by the Commission on Human Rights and questioned the legality of the dispersal.”
Maglunsod as of this writing went to the site to give assistance to the Kampuhan.”
Below is Kodao Production’s video coverage of yesterday’s dispersal.
The photo exhibit commemorating Ka Cripsin Beltran’s first death anniversary was not even spared. Not even women, children, and senior citizens. My father, Engr. Mon Ramirez, a 65 year consultant for people’s organizations on issues related to electricity rates and a journalist for the website Arkibong Bayan, was not exempt from being bombarded with the water cannon.
Immediately after the dispersal, he posted his coverage at the Arkibong Bayan.