HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 916 URGING PRESIDENT DUTERTE TO STOP THE KILLING OF FARMERS IN THE COUNTRY

House Resolution No. 916 Urging President Duterte to Stop the Killing of Farmers in the Country.House Resolution No. 916 Urging President Duterte to Stop the Killing of Farmers in the Country.

Republic of the Philippines
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Quezon City

SEVENTEENTH CONGRESS
First Regular Session

HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 916

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INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVES
ARIEL B. CASILAO
CARLOS ISAGANI T. ZARATE, EMMI A. DE JESUS, ANTONIO L. TINIO,
ARLENE D. BROSAS, FRANCE L. CASTRO, AND SARAH JANE I. ELAGO
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RESOLUTION
URGING PRESIDENT RODRIGO DUTERTE TO EFFECT MEASURES TO STOP THE KILLING OF FARMERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND SERVE JUSTICE BY HOLDING THE PERPETRATORS ACCOUNTABLE AND PROVIDE APPROPRIATE REPARATION

WHEREAS, as the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and other state forces are now implementing the counter-insurgency program Development Support and Security Plan Kapayapaan or DSSP Kapayapaan or Oplan Kapayapaan, the main components such as heavy militarization of farmers’ communities and human rights abuses persist, making it comparable to Oplan Bayanihan of the Aquino administration, Oplan Bantay Laya of the Macapagal-Arroyo regime, Oplan Makabayan of the Estrada regime, Oplan Lambat Bitag of the Ramos regime, Total War Policy and Low Intensity Conflict of the Corazon Aquino regime, as well, as the martial law rule of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos;

WHEREAS, from July 2016 to April 2, 2017, the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP, Philippine Peasant Movement) and Karapatan Human rights group documented forty-four (44) cases of extra-judicial killings of 37 male and 7 female farmers, indigenous peoples and agricultural workers across the country;

WHEREAS, from July to December 2016, a total of nineteen (19) were killed including: ten (10) farmers and nine (9) indigenous peoples under the extended implementation of Oplan Bayanihan; by location, seven (7) victims from Bukidnon; six (6) from Davao, Misamis Oriental, Davao del Norte, Agusan Del Sur and Cotabato; five (5) from Nueva Ecija and Pampanga in Central Luzon; and one (1) in Isabela, Cagayan Valley region;

WHEREAS, from January to April 2, 2017, a total of twenty-five (25) were killed including: the fifteen (15) farmers, eight (8) indigenous peoples and two (2) agricultural workers under the implementation of Oplan Kapayapaan; by location, thirteen (13) from Davao City, Compostela Valley and North Cotabato; two (2) from Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Norte in Caraga region; three (3) from Capiz; two (2) from Bukidnon; two (2) in Negros Occidental; one (1) from South Cotabato, Soccsksargen; and one (1) from Quezon province in Southern Tagalog;

WHEREAS, according to KMP, an average of one farmer was killed in every two days in February 2017 that resulted to fourteen (14) cases of extra-judicial killings primarily occurred in Mindanao regions particularly in northern and southern Mindanao and Caraga;

WHEREAS, according to Karapatan, most farmers (14) were killed in February 2017:
• February 3, Renato Anglao, Bukidnon;
• February 4, Matanem Pocuan, Bukidnon;
• February 6, Glenn Ramos, Davao City;
• February 6, Emelito Rotimas, Compostela Valley;
• February 11, Pipito Tiambong, Agusan del Norte;
• February 11, Jerson Bito, Agusan del Norte;
• February 11, Orlando Eslana, Capiz;
• February 16, Edweno ‘Edwin’ Catog, Compostela Valley;
• February 16, Roel Rico Satingasin, Davao;
• February 16, Ariel Gelbero, Davao City;
• February 19, Willerme Agorde, North Cotabato;
• February 24, Ian Borres, Capiz;
• February 24, Lorendo Borres, Capiz;
• February 25, Gilbert Bancat, Quezon;

WHEREAS, many farmers are advocating genuine agrarian reform through the legal-democratic movement, that is sanctioned by the Philippine constitution, particularly, the right for government redress of grievances, right to freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly and the right to self-organization;

WHEREAS, the Role and Rights of People’s Organizations are explicitly stated in Article XIII of the Philippine constitution:

“Section 15. The State shall respect the role of independent people’s organizations to enable the people to pursue and protect, within the democratic framework, their legitimate and collective interests and aspirations through peaceful and lawful means.
People’s organizations are bona fide associations of citizens with demonstrated capacity to promote the public interest and with identifiable leadership, membership, and structure.

Section 16. The right of the people and their organizations to effective and reasonable participation at all levels of social, political, and economic decision-making shall not be abridged. The State shall, by law, facilitate the establishment of adequate consultation mechanisms.”

WHEREAS, while the Philippine government ratified its adoption of the Protocol II of the Geneva Convention in November 1986, or the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts, state forces continues its neglect and violation, particularly Article 13 or Protection of the civilian population, that stated:

“1. The civilian population and individual civilians shall enjoy general protection against the dangers arising from military operations. To give effect to this protection, the following rules shall be observed in all circumstances.

2. The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack. Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited.”

WHEREAS, the continuing killings of farmers, who were usually leaders of peasant organizations, activists in the localities and even members of Anakpawis Party-list are violative not only of the Philippine constitution and Geneva Convention, but as well as, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, particularly Article 3, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – Article 6, and of the 1998 Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) between the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP);

WHEREAS, these violations of Philippine laws and international conventions often involved AFP, other state forces and private armed groups of landlords, hacienderos, and firms for plantation, mining, logging and other ventures that violate the farmers’ rights to land;

WHEREAS, Anakpawis Party-list and the Makabayan Coalition representatives has been pushing for legislative inquiries on the killings of farmers as brought up by at least 11 house resolutions:

• House Resolution No. 434, on the killing of Isabela peasant leader Ariel Diaz on September 7, 2016, in Delfin Albano, Isabela;
• HR 679, on the killing of Pampanga peasant leader Jimmy Sotto on December 24, 2016 in Floridablanca, Pampanga;
• HR 726, on the killing of sugar worker leader Alexander Ceballos on January 20, 2017;
• HR 727, on the killing of indigenous people’s leader Veronico Delamente on January 29, in Claver, Surigao Del Norte;
• HR 764, on the killing of indigenous people’s leader Renato Anglao on February 3, in Bukidnon;
• HR 765, on the killing of farmer Wenceslao Pacquiao on January 25, in Calatrava, Negros Occidental;
• HR 804, on the killing of indigenous people’s leader Edwin Catog on February 16, in Pantukan, Compostela Valley;
• HR 805, on the killing of peasant leader Willerme Agorde on February 19, in Arakan, North Cotabato;
• HR 837, on the killing of farmers Lorendo and Ian Borres on February 24, in Maayon, Capiz;
• HR 838, on the killing of peasant leader Gilbert Bancat on February 25, in San Andres, Quezon;
• HR 893, on the killing of peasant couple Leonila and Ramon Pesadilla on March 2, in Compostela, Compostela Valley;

WHEREAS, Anakpawis Party-list joins KMP, other peasant, human rights and multi-sectoral groups, and other rights advocates for campaigning the “Stop Killing Farmers” with the objective of: putting an end on the killings against farmers and; urging President Duterte to stop the fascist attack and repressive policies of the AFP; and to hold the perpetrators such as the AFP, other state forces, private armed groups, accountable;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the House of Representatives adopt this resolution urging President Rodrigo Duterte to effect measures to stop the killing of farmers across the country and serve justice by holding the perpetrators accountable and provide appropriate reparation.

Adopted,

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