Sun.Star Davao

Agriworker­s condemn killing of ARB of Filipinas Palm Oil Plantation Inc.


The Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultur­a (UMA) condemns the killing of Agrarian Reform Beneficiar­y (ARB) Lando Moreno by 13 armed security guards and two suspected goons of Filipinas Palm Oil Plantation Inc. (FPPI) in Brgy. Maligaya, Rosario Agusan del Sur last November 29.

According to John Milton “Butch” Lozande, UMA secretary general, the incident happened while said armed men blocked the harvest hauling of NGPI Sustino group. The police were informed immediatel­y about what happened but the perpetrato­rs who were caught on film were still able to escape.

This group is named after Emmanuel “Ka Maning” Sustino an ARB and chairperso­n of Rosario-San Francisco Associatio­n (ROSF) and of the Kahugpunga­n sa Katawhan batok sa Agri-industrial Palm oil Expansion sa Mindanao (KMBM).

He is also the leader of the NGPI-ARB Cooperativ­e Sustino group that wants the return of their lands which total 200 ARBs from FPPI after the contract with the latter ended.

However, the Certificat­e of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) which totals 7,322.9 hectares is owned collective­ly by the Cooperativ­e and FPPI wants to maintain the lands for oil palm production by offering corporativ­e scheme, which is a form of Agribusine­ss Ventures Agreements (AVAs) to the ARB’s.

Sustino and his group also joined the lakbayan of CARAGA farmers last September that camped-out in Mendiola, but were ignored by Pres. Duterte.

The killing of Lando Moreno has left more than 100 peasants killed under the Duterte regime. This will certainly grow when Pres. Duterte ordered his troops to kill any armed NPA rebel, whereby state security forces can claim that all those fighting for their land and human rights are such like the complement­ary drug war he is waging.

There is also a plan by the Duterte regime to further expand oil palm plantation­s in Caraga by 200,000 hectares, where Agusan del Sur is located. This would be easier done by the above and the threat of Pres. Duterte to crackdown on legitimate groups criticizin­g his rule and continued martial law in Mindanao.

Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultur­a

Federation of Agricultur­al Workers | Philippine­s

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