Manila, Philippines – Anakpawis party-list Rep. Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao will join the Bicol-leg of the week long peasant campaign and caravan dubbed as “Lakbay Magsasaka” led by the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) tomorrow in Naga City, Camarines Sur. He will be joined by the party-list’s former representative and National Chairperson of the Pamalakaya – Pilipinas fisherfolk group, Fernando “Ka Pando” Hicap.
About 2,000 farmers from the said region will arrive in Manila on October 23 to set-up camp and protest at Mendiola bridge in Manila on October 25 to demand free distribution of land and end to fascist attacks on farmer communities by government forces.
This day, protest actions in the region’s provinces are already commencing, particularly Camarines Sur and Sorsogon. They are demanding the genuine distribution of coconut levy funds to small farmers, the stop to extra-judicial killings, human rights abuses and militarization of peasant communities.
Casilao and other lawmakers under the Makabayan coalition are authors of House Bill No. 557 Genuine Small Coconut Farmers’ Fund that demanded the direct distribution of the coconut levy funds to small farmers.
“Farmers from Bicol are condemning the passed coco levy bill in congress, that deprives them of their right to access the fund, as it provisions the fund’s perpetuality and privatization, they are holding the Duterte administration primarily liable for its failure to fulfill its promise to distribute the fund to the farmers,” Casilao said.
Tomorrow, thousands of farmers under Kilusang Magbubukid ng Bikol (KMB) wil protesting at the provincial offices of National Irrigation Administration (NIA), National Food Authority (NFA), Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) and Provincial Agrarian Reform Office (PARO).
“It is evident that the president has abandoned the legitimate calls of farmers for fundamental reforms and services, worse, he is waging the all-out war in the countryside that is victimizing peasant communities,” Casilao ended.
The lawmaker urged the public to support Lakbay Magsasaka as their call for genuine land reform will also benefit various sectors in society. ###