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(en) [EXCERPTS] [KMP Updates] Philippines - Farmers opposing gold dev't killed inambush

From worker-a-infos@lists.tao.ca
Date Sun, 5 Mar 2000 00:49:27 -0800 (PST)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

> From: kmp@quickweb.com.ph

News release
5 March 2000
For immediate release

Anti-golf farmers killed in ambush

UNIDENTIFIED men believed to be private security guards killed 
two opponents of a grand real estate development project in 
Nasugbu, Batangas (about 80 kilometers south of Manila) last 
night, March 4, as initial earthworks done by the Fil-Estate Realty 
Corp. goes into full swing.

 The Ugnayan ng mga Mamamayan Laban sa Pangwawasak ng 
Kalupaan sa Hacienda Looc (Umalpaska), a citizens' alliance 
fighting the efforts of the family's Fil-Estate group to build the 
Harbortown golf course and marinas in 8,650 hectares of farmlands 
in Hacienda Looc, announced 1,000 members will march on the 
town hall to protest the escalating violence and condemn the local 
governments for conniving with the developers.

 Killed were Terry Sevilla and Roger Alla, both farmers in their early 
30s. A third man, who refused to be identified for fear of this life, 
escaped the carnage and reported to the farmers his ordeal. 

 The protesters also demanded the release of the corpses taken 
away by the town's police forces without first seeking the consent 
of the victims' families.

 According to the lone witness, he was walking home to Barangay 
Calayo with the two victims from farm work in Barangay Looc at 
around 9 p.m. when a group of armed men came out of nowhere 
and ambushed them without warning. 

 The murders were done a day after the Umalpas ka staged 
protests before the Manila office of the  Department of Environment 
and Natural Resources for its lifting of the cease and desist order 
on Fil-Estate and the MSDC, a move which now allows the realty 
firms to start bulldozing a private road in Barangay Looc.

 The farmers are on heightened alert against a fresh wave of 
violence that claimed the lives of their comrades since they started 
organizing against eviction. 

 On Feb. 13, 1997, seven drunken security guards of the Sentinel 
Security Agency killed in cold blood peasants Francisco 
Marasigan and Maximo Carpinter at  Sitio Hamilo, Barangay 
Papaya in this town. The killings caused an international uproar 
and caused the stock market prices of Harbortown offerings plunge 
to near zero.

 Umalpaska chair Guillermo Bautista said that guards of Fil-Estate 
Realty and MSDC are also burning down farmer's huts in Barangay 
Patungan, as part of the rising cases of incidents that prompted 
them to seek help from the government agencies in Manila. 

 The case grabbed headlines in 1996 when the Department of 
Agrarian Reform (DAR) was implicated in a massive cancellation of 
its own land awards to 10,000 CARP beneficiaries and subsequent 
reclassification of the rice farms into non-agricultural use. # # #

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Hacienda Looc was formerly owned by Magdalena Estate, Inc.
1971 - Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) acquired HL and 
placed the rice and corn portion of the land including homelots 
under P.D. 27
1987 - DBP's ownership and interest over the land was transferred 
to the national government and subsequently to Asset Privatization 
Trust (APT)
1990 - 28 June, APT and Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) 
executed a memorandum of agreement where the APT transferred 
possession and control of the property to DAR. DAR placed the 
CARPable area under CARP.
1991 - DAR issued 25 collective CLOAs for 1,497 farmer 
Despite existing MOA between DAR and APT, the APT conducted 
a public bidding of the land. Bellevue Properties, Inc. tendered 
P215 million, the highest bid fo the required deposit.
Later on, the Manila Southcoast was formed which is 67% owned 
by Bellevue Properties Inc. and paid the balance of P209 million.
1994 - 30 August a Deed of Sale was signed between APT and 
Manila Southcoast
1995 - 7 March, Manila Southcoast filed an adverse claim before 
the Registry of Deeds in Nasugbu
1995 - 10 April, Manila Southcoast filed petitions for Cancellation of 
Notices of Acquisitions and CLOAs and for conversion into non-
agricultural uses before the DAR Adjudication Board (DARAB) 
Batangas, with DAR officials and farmers as respondents.
1995 - 30 May, Provincial Adjudicator Antonio Cabili issues order 
commanding DAR and farmers to desist from granting applications 
and for Fil-Estate and Manila Southcoast to desist from any joint 
venture agreement, pending the issue whether or not cancellation 
will be granted.
1995 - 28 June, Adjudicator Cabili inhibited himself from case
1995 - last quarter, heavy equipment start bulldozing the upper 
Fil-Estate deployed heavily armed security guards to contain any 
resistance from the community. At the same time, they started 
telling the peasants their EPs and CLOAs will be cancelled 
anyway so it is better to sell their lands.
Fil-Estate used local executives as agents in buying the land -- 
Brgy. Capt. Maximo Limeta of Calayo

News release
17 February 1997
Two peasants shot to death: Fil-Estate row claims first victims
NASUGBU, BATANGAS -- TWO peasants actively struggling 
against the development project of realty giant Fil-estate 
Development Corp. and Manila South Coast Development Corp in 
Hacienda Looc were shot to dath by at least seven security guards 
on Feb. 13.
 Peasants Francisco Marasigan, 266 and Maximo Carpinter, 32, 
were both fatally shot in the chest by the security guards belong to 
the Sentinel Security Agency, around 7:00 p.m. at Sitio Hamilo, 
Barangay Papaya in this town.
 Residents said the guards were at the area as early as 3:00 p.m. 
looking for the two. Unable to find their target, the guards stayed at 
Marasigan's front yard, drunk several bottles of gin and started 
sowing terror among the residents. 
 When the two peasants arrived, they quickly introduced 
themselves and even offered food, karaoke and lights for the 
guards. Without a word, the security guards immediately shot at 
the two peasant.
 One guard was identified as Gregorio Liait when his security 
license fell as they scampered away from the incident.
 Shocked and terrorized, the victims' families were only able to 
report the incident last night, afraid that the guards and other paid 
goons of Fil-Estate and MSDC might return and create more 
trouble if they report the incident.
 KMP chair Rafael Mariano charded Fil-Estate and MSDC of 
sowing fear and terror among the peasants of the 8,650 hectare-
Hacienda Looc to pressure them into giving up their claim to the 
lands. After failing to deceive, coopt and buy the peasantry, Fil-
Estate and MSDC now resort to terror tactics in their wishful 
thinking of finally taking over the hacienda.
 This happened despite an order coming from no less than 
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Ernesto Garilao 
dated Jan. 30, enjoining the Fil-Estate and MSDC not to proceed 
with any "development" of the area while the case is sitll pending 
resolution. The continued maneuvers of the realty firms raise 
suspicions among opponents that DAR is subservient, or worse, 
conniving with Fil-Estate and MSDC.
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP)
Peasant Movement of the Philippines
URL: http://www.geocities.com/kmp_ph

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