De Guzman: Farmers are not liable for trespassing
By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Following the recent shooting in Sagay City that claimed the lives of nine National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW) farmers, senatorial candidate, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) chair Leody de Guzman, called on the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte to expedite the dismantling of haciendas.
“Unless the landlessness of the rural multitude is addressed, there will be massacres of hapless peasants dotting the archipelago,” he projected. “Poverty and social injustice will sweep the countryside fueling the rise of insurgency.”
The BMP official, like NFSW and fellow senatorial aspirant, former Bayan Muna partylist Rep. Neri Colmenares, blamed the government for the deadly incident.
“Duterte has the authority to promulgate policies that will address the root causes of all agrarian disputes and expedite the process of turning over huge tracts of land to agrarian beneficiaries but, instead, Duterte simply sat on the clamor for the redistribution of land,” de Guzman claimed.
He also addressed law enforcement by saying farmers should not be blamed for trespassing on privately-owned land since their “grumbling stomachs” compelled them to plant crops.
De Guzman also believes, if the perpetrators behind the Sagay City shooting are caught, it will not end the violence.
“We must seek policy reforms in order to alleviate their conditions,” the labor leader added./DGB, WDJ