Davao Peasants Decry Their Plight

Oct. 22, 2006

In this photo essay, Davao Todays Barry Ohaylan and Grace S. Uddin chronicle the day when peasants from Davao City and the other Davao regions took to the streets to denounce poverty and oppression.

DAVAO CITY — Hundreds of peasants and their families from the different parts of the region took time off from their farms to march in the streets of Davao City last Thursday, Oct. 19, to observe Peasant Month. The protest was meant to show to the public the miserable plight of their sector.

According to them, there is no reason to celebrate Peasant Month as nothing has been achieved over the years in terms of improving their lives and welfare. The peasants lambasted the allegedly bogus agrarian-reform program and the schemes of the government — such as the expansions of banana plantations, land-use and crop conversions, low farm-gate prices of produce — that serve only the interests of capitalists and landlords.

They also called for a stop to the killings of peasants and their leaders; they blamed these on the heavy militarization in their areas. They also denounced the move by the Arroyo administration to amend the Constitution, saying this would only open the country’s lands and natural resources to foreigner capitalists, leaving most Filipinos poor as ever.

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