In the afternoon of November 16, 2004, elements of the AFP/PNP carried out a brutal massacre of striking sugar workers and sugar mill workers in Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac. Seven workers were killed and another 200 were injured. Sixteen years after Hacienda Luisita massacre and justice remains elusive. Sixteen years after and farmers still fight for their land.
Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Magbubukid – Negros (PKM – Negros) remembers and honors the martyrs of Hacienda Luisita. We vow to resonate our call for justice and to continue the struggle for farmers to own the land we till.
In Negros, land monopoly is very much rampant where around 57% of the sugarcane is produced. Farmers and farm workers in Cojuanco-owned lands in Negros is bound by years of feudal and semi-feudal exploitation and oppression. Located in three cities and five municipalities in central and southern part of Negros, the late Eduardo “Danding” cojuanco Jr. owns and controls 11 haciendas spanning 5,000 hectares. The continuing reign of these landlords clearly reflects the failure of the land reform program of the reactionary government.
It has become evident that the farmers’ continuous pleas for land and justice remain ignored and will remain to do so as long as the reactionary government persist on defending the interests of the landed elites.
The US-Duterte regime has only added to the burden of farmers by adhering to neoliberal policies such as the Rice Liberalization Law and aggravated the problem of landlessness in the country. Duterte has shown that his regime is disinterested in addressing hunger, poverty and landlessness. Our demands for justice are met with brutality and state-sponsored violence. The number of peasants killed under the Duterte regime is at 290.
Indeed, it is only through advancing the national democratic revolution to victory can land and justice for peasants be attained. The peasant masses will rely on our collective strength as we wage anti-feudal struggles and agrarian revolution while building and fortifying the people’s democratic government. We will continue to support the armed struggle waged primarily by the New People’s Army as we firmly believe that without the people’s army we have nothing.