TAGBILARAN CITY – An International Fact-Finding Mission is launched today by the solidarity groups, including the Asian Peasants Coalition, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, to find the real score of the farmers in Bohol. The mission dubbed as “Asserting and Defending Bohol Farmers’ Initiatives and Victories in Their Struggle for Land and Human Rights.” Among the key leaders of the of the mission is former party-list representative Rafael Mariano, chairman, KMP and Japanese, Indonesian and Sri-Lankan representatives who arrived yesterday.
“Assertion and defense of Hugpong sa Mag-uumang Bol-anon (HUMABOL) political and economic gains as a result of their long history of collective and empowered struggle for land and human rights” is the general objective.
Specific objectives of the mission include: assertion of a just and legitimate struggles of the people of Boho for land rights protection and food security; assertion and defense of the legitimacy of sitio Panaghiusa Rice Mill in TTIFA and other services rendered by legitimate instutitions; expose and oppose the militarization and vilification sown by military and Gov. Chatto’s Purok Power Movement against HUMABOL leaders and organizers including the FARDEC, CERNET and VPHS officers and staff, as a continuing attempts to destroy legitimate people’s organizations and NGOs, Mariano said.
Expose and resist the use of agrarian reform areas for the military encampment and military purposes at a time when the CARPER has expired; and mobilize well meaning and humanitarian government officials, church people, other civil society organizations for the welfare of the Boholano farmers’ and support food security initiatives and basic services as human rights, he said.
The visit of the mission is coincidental with 43rd year since martial law declaration on Septembr 21 1972.
The group is slated to pay courtesy calls to government officials in the city and province and Bishop Leonardo Medroso and ocular visit of the area in Trinidad town, where the military encampment is located.
The group is to conduct interviews of the farmers’ affected by the military encampment, assessment and data processing will follow. The following day a press conference will be called in Cebu city to present the mission findings in the province. (rvo)