Manila, Philippines – Anakpawis Party-list Representative Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao condemned the mounting human rights violations in Mindanao under the declaration of martial law and urged congress to investigate. The lawmaker cited four cases of extra-judicial killings and one frustrated attempt in the Davao region, Caraga and northern Mindanao region, victimizing farmers and indigenous peoples.
“It has become customary for farmers being killed in the countryside, by government forces and their agents, and it is worthy of investigation to put a stop to this atmosphere of atrocity and impunity,” Casilao said in a statement.
Casilao and other lawmakers under the Makabayan bloc filed House Resolution No. 1348 on the July 17-extra-judicial killing of peasant leader Silvestre Maratas on in Surigao Del Sur; HR No. 1349 on the July 10 – killing of peasant leader Meliton Catampongan in Surigao Del Norte; HR No. 1350 on the September 5 – killing of lumad student Obello Bay-ao in Davao Del Norte; HR No. 1351 on the September 2 – killing of peasant activist couple Jezreel and Dalia Arrabis in Davao City; and HR No. 1352 on the frustrated attempted killing against lumad activist Roy Ibarat in Misamis Oriental.
The filing of the said resolutions is in part of the nationwide demand for a stop to killings of farmers, particularly advanced by the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP). To mark the 45th anniversary of the Presidential Decree No. 27 land reform program of the Marcos dictatorship on October 21, about 30,000 farmers will be launching protest actions in the country, with about 20,000 farmers and activists to mass up in Manila on October 23 to 25 to demand genuine agrarian reform and a stop to fascist attacks against farmers in the country.
“While the president and congress is indifferent to the protection of human rights in the country, we will not waiver to resolutely drum up the issues of abuses and call for justice until those in power realize to heed the people’s demands,” Casilao ended. ###