The militant Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP, Peasant Movement of the Philippines) and Tanggol Magsasaka (Peasant Network for Land, Justice and Human Rights) said that the Aquino government is mimicking the Arroyo government when it attempted to clear itself of accountability by forming the Task Force Usig in 2006 led by former police general Avelino Razon.

“It’s like we’re hearing the same crap from the government when it comes to extra-judicial killings.  Noynoy Aquino through his spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that Aquino’s government has no policy of extra-judicial killings, but essentially, it also has no policy of stopping it,” Antonio Flores, KMP Spokesperson and Tanggol Magsasaka co-convenor.

The groups said that the Aquino government was only compelled to issue statements as protest against the killing of Fernando Baldomero, the first victim of EJK under the Aquino government is on the upsurge.  Baldomero is a Lezo town councilor, Bayan Muna and Makabayan provincial coordinator for Aklan, and Liberal Party municipal coordinator.

“Looks like we’re being played around by the Aquino government, it issued no commitment of giving justice for the 561 peasant victims of EJK under the Arroyo rule, suddenly, Aquino claims his family was a victim of EJK and ordered an investigation such as Aklan’s police forming Task Force Baldomero.  We would not be surprised if it eventually reports that Baldomero was killed by the New People’s Army, the same old stupid line Task Force Usig always used,” Flores said.

“What we want is for him to immediately serve justice to victims, order his military and police to stop the killings and punish those guilty,” he added.

“If he is really serious in stopping the killings in the country, he should immediate disband the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Units (CAFGUs) and para-military groups as they are notorious in violating rights abuses of peasants in the countryside,” said Flores.

Tanggol Magsasaka said that of the 1,190 victims of extra-judicial killings under the Arroyo rule, 561 were peasants and 119 were KMP leaders including Eddie Gumanoy of KASAMA-TK (KMP Southern Tagalog), Renato Pacaide of KMP Far Southern Mindanao Region, Arthur Orpilla and Dionisio Battad of DANGGAYAN – CV (KMP Cagayan Valley), Marcelino Beltran of AMT (KMP Tarlac), Fermin Lorico of KAUGMAON (KMP Negros Oriental), Celso Pojas of FADC (KMP Davao City) and more.  In addition, there are 129 peasants and organizers who were victimized by enforced disappearances including Nilo Arado of PAMANGGAS – Panay and Jonas Burgos of AMB (KMP Bulacan).

“Aquino should be smart enough that the unrest in the country is fuelled by the chronic problem of landlessness and it would never be contained by fascist attack and repression.  Genuine land reform is the only right path towards significant change and just and lasting peace.  He should make a good example by distributing the 6,453-hectare Hacienda Luisita, Hacienda Yulo in Calamba, Laguna, Hacienda Looc in Nasugbu, Batangas and other haciendas cultivated and developed by poor farmers,” called Flores.  #

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