UNHOLY ALLIANCE NPAs AND GOONS OF LANDLORDS KILL, ROB AND THREATEN BONDOC PENINSULA FARMERS, CHILDREN AND WOMEN

The Task Force Bondoc Peninsula denounces in strongest terms the continuing human rights abuses perpetrated by the Ma. Theresa de Leon Command of the New People’s Army (NPA) and the goons of the landowners in violation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), international human rights covenants and conventions, the International Humanitarian Law (IHL), and NPA Rules of Engagements committed against hapless Bondoc Peninsula farmers, their leaders, women, children and other agrarian reform petitioners.

The farmers held a picket on 27 January 2004 at 11:30AM in front of the House of Representatives to directly appeal their case to the legislators.

Task Force Bondoc Peninsula has already documented the violations, copies of which have been given to the House Committee on Civil, Political and Human Rights. The said Committee, chaired by Representative Loretta Ann Rosales will deliberate on the said cases at 1:30-4:00PM on 27 January 2004.

One of the cases involved the grisly murder of Reymundo “Teteng” Tejino, Jr. on 4 February 2003. A resident of Sitio Culisan, Brgy. San Juan in the town of San Narciso, Quezon province, Tejino was shot in his own backyard as he was accosted by four armed men. The killers left a leaflet on top of his corpse, identifying themselves as members of the Ma. Theresa de Leon Command of the New People’s Army (NPA). The execution, according to them, was carried out as punishment for Tejino’s blood debts and counterrevolutionary activities, accusing him of being part of the barangay intelligence network of the military.

Tejino is the President of the local Munting Sambayanang Kristiyano (SMK or Basic Christian Community). He is also one of the leaders of the Samahan ng Malayang Magsasaka sa Sitio Libas (SMMSL or Association of Free Farmers in Sitio Libas), one of several organizations of landless tenants of the influential Uy family who have long sought to have the land they are tilling redistributed. A new round of hostilities began in April after a 76-member organization filed a petition to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) requesting that the 451-hectare farm owned by the Uy family be placed under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). The landowners (descendants of former San Narciso Mayor and longtime Marcos loyalist Juanito Uy) quickly “reacted” by subjecting the petitioners to thuggery, killings and harassment.

The NPA became involved in this conflict after their commanding officer Domingo Almazora a.k.a. Ka Jihad told the farmers to mellow down their demands by abandoning their petition for land redistribution and instead continue with the 60/40 coconut sharing scheme in favor of the landowners. The farmers, who are mostly former NPA sympathizers, believe that the Uys contribute to the NPA by paying revolutionary tax.

In an effort to make public their plight, the farmer-tenants of Bondoc Peninsula are holding a One-Week Camp out from January 26-30, 2004 in front of the DAR to press for the hastening of agrarian reform implementation and to ensure protection of the basic human rights of the farmer.