About 200 farmers started a two-day camp out at the Provincial Capitol grounds, calling for Governor Freddie Marañon to act on the harassment done to the Hacienda Baldevia farmers in Sagay City in Negros Occidental.
Militants scored the present administration for “coddling” members of the RPA/ABB that they are presently employed by its provincial government.
Bayan-Negros Secretary General also recalled how gunshots were fired at the members of the recent fact finding mission conducted by their group while they were staying in an open field in Hacienda Baldevia.
Farmers from the said hacienda, who spoke and participated in the protest action, called on the Governor to act on their plight, especially since Sagay is his hometown. They added that they could no longer go back to their houses and to the land they are tilling because of the presence of the members of the RPA/ABB.
Farmers would hold camp out protest action for two days until their demands would be heard by the government officials.
Fred Caña of Karapatan also divulged that members of the RPA are presently employed by the government and being given assistance via a peace pact with the said group. “The RPA/ABB are bandits and have harmed the people by acting as private goons for landlords in the province,”Caña said. “We can’t see the rational state of the present government since this group had been responsible by suppressing human rights, burning down houses of peasants and farm workers and yet being paid for this act”, Cana added.
The group demands for the P31 million ($721,000) funds to be spent on social services, land and food for the farmers so as to attain genuine peace in the countrysides.