Bayan Muna condemns the massacre of sugarcane farmers in Negros Occidental
Says Escalante masaker noon, Sagay masaker ngayon
Bayan Muna partylist representative Carlos Isagani Zarate strongly condemned the gruesome massacre of nine (9) farmers who were identified members and families of the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW),which include 2 minors and 4 women, in a sugarcane hacienda in Sagay, Negros Occidental.
“This brutal killing is an outrage! There are no words enough to express our deep anger over the massacre of these farmers. Reports came in that these farmers were all shot in the head, and then their dead bodies burned, and then guns were planted on their charred remains. The peasants who were massacred were setting up land cultivation to survive tiempo muerto, the dry season between sugar plantations. What kind of people are able to to do such a monstrosity on other human beings? Gutom na silang nabuhay, gutom silang pinatay, at binaboy pa ang kanilang katawan,” the progressive solon said.
“We call on the House of Representatives to conduct an immediate probe on this matter,” he added.
The victims are Eglicerio Villegas, 36; Jomarie Ughayon Jr., 17; Marchtel Sumicad, 17; Angelipe Arsenal, Dodong Laurencio, Morena Mendoza, Necnec Dumaguit, Bingbing Bantigue and one identified only as Pater.
“The unfounded red scare concocted by the military gave a favorable backdrop to stage brutal killings, such as this massacre of farmers in Sagay. Last April 20, Brigadier General Eliezer Losañes of the 303rd Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army was quoted saying that the camp-outs in land cultivation areas (LCAs) are being used by the CPP- NPA-NDF related activities, and is being used to support the New People’s Army. This kind of words spewing from the mouths of the military diminishes the deep rooted problems in our agricultural sector, even worse, they make these unarmed farmers sitting targets for the blood-hungry and the greedy landlord,” Rep. Zarate said.
“This incident puts into the spotlight the glaring need for genuine agrarian reform. This is not the first massacre of farmers. We remember Escalante Massacre in 1985, the Mendiola Massacre in 1987, the Hacienda Luisita Massacre in 2004, the Kidapawan Massacre in 2016, and the thousands of other farmers killed in the context of the peasant struggle for land reform. Until that is resolved, the peasant struggle, and the unrest in the countryside, will not subside,” Rep. Zarate ended.