The militant Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP, Peasant Movement of the Philippines) and Tanggol Magsasaka (Peasant Network for Land, Justice and Human Rights) condemned the latest filing of trumped-up charges to Felix “Tatay Felix” Paz, member of the National Council of KMP and chair of KMP - Bikol.

KMP-Bikol initial report said that Paz, 76 years old and sickly, alongwith 6 leaders of different progressive organizations, is being accused of murder, frustrated murder, carnapping and malicious mischief last week of August.  Paz is the chair of KMP – Bikol since 2004 and prior served as a principled peasant leader who helped his fellow Bicolano farmers struggle for genuine land reform.

“This is the intensification of the fascist attack to the peasant movement.  After the extra-judicial killing Pascual Guevarra who was a 78 years old from Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation in Laur, Nueva Ecija and arrest of Dario Tomada, former peasant leader from SAGUPA – SB (KMP Eastern Visayas), the Aquino government is now accusing Tatay Felix of fabricated charges.  We condemn this political persecution to the highest possible degree,” said Antonio Flores, KMP Spokesperson and Tanggol Magsasaka Co-convenor.

KMP and Tanggol Magsasaka that the Aquino government has yet to serve justice to about 561 peasant-victims of extra-judicial killings, 129 peasants of enforced disappearances and many incarcerated of trumped-up charges under the Arroyo government, the former is carrying on the counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL).  Under the Aquino government, Tanggol Magsasaka document 1 peasant victim of EJK who was Guevarra, 1 of ‘arrest and detention’ who is Tomada.

“This is the very proof that the Aquino government is incapable of effecting change as legal-democratic activists are being targeted of political persecution.  Aquino is shameless that being the commander-in-chief, his military continues the very abuses the Arroyo government was deplored of.  Aquino is totally anti-peasant and anti-democracy and human rights,” said Flores.

KMP said that Paz is very well-known in the Bicol region as he leads peasant campaigns such as the national “Lakbayan ng Magbubukid para sa Lupa at Katarungan” (Peasant March for Land and Justice) last January when farmers from Mindanao and Visayas routed to Bicol towards Southern Tagalog then to Manila.  He was also active in campaigning for Anakpawis Partylist, Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza for senators during the last campaign period.

“We call on all sectors to fight for democracy and human rights, as Aquino is doing absolutely nothing to protect it.  His military is on all-out attack to the peasant and people’s legal and democratic movement.  Paz’ political persecution is one of the strong proof that Aquino is protecting landlord’s interests over the peasantry, thus, let us work together to condemn Aquino’s fascist program and policies against the people,” called Flores.  #

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