Stand with the peasants of Hacienda Tinang in Concepcion, Tarlac!
The unjust and cruel dispersal and subsequent arrest and detention of farmers and their supporters in Hacienda Tinang in Brgy. Concepcion, Tarlac stands as a liminal state that sends off the anti-peasant US-Duterte regime and welcomes the hardly-different “Marcos II presidency.”
The crime? The peasants were ensuring that their families will have food on their table amid the rapidly rising cost of living and their debilitated livelihood still reeling from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
On June 9, the otherwise peaceful collective farming activity called bungkalan erupted in pandemonium when armed policemen stormed in and rounded up more than 90 farmers, land reform advocates, activists and even journalists, over complaints of “malicious mischief and illegal assembly.”
It is ridiculous, although admittedly unsurprising, that the PNP is desperately trying to excuse its troops’ barbarity by claiming that the farmers and their supporters have “links to the New People’s Army.” There is indeed no issue that the fascist minions of the Duterte regime will not use to scapegoat the NPA in order to gloss over their naked state terror.
What is more reprehensible is the fact that the farmers are so-called “land reform beneficiaries” under the reactionary regime’s Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, but are still being persecuted for having exercised their right to till their land. The fascistic dispersal of their collective farming by armed state police flies in the face of the peasants’ supposed status as “beneficiaries” and stands as yet another confirmation that CARP is but a bogus lip service of a land reform.
In the face of the looming food crisis, which even the neoliberals and technocrats in the bourgeois system have now sounded alarm bells on, the persecution of peasants is all the more contemptuous. Instead of providing land and production support, the regime up to its last remaining days continues to harass, send to jail or even murder peasants in the name of state terror and counterinsurgency.
In persecuting the peasants and condemning their families to further destitution, the enemy has bred yet more potential recruits to the revolution. In righteous indignation over this recent attack against the peasants in Tarlac, new Red fighters will certainly firm up NPA platoons and membership in underground mass organizations will swell, even as the ruling clique busies itself in the changing of guards in rotten semifeudal and semicolonial system. More sympathizers and supporters will flock to the cause of the agrarian revolution and the people’s war.
Revolutionary peasants in Southern Mindanao wholly stand by the farmers of Hacienda Tinang in their struggle for land and food security. We hold the US-Duterte regime and its armed forces responsible for inflicting more torment to the already miserable lot of the peasants in Tarlac, where landlordism and fascism continue to perpetuate backward semifeudal conditions against the masses. We harbor no illusion that the incoming “US-Marcos II regime,” especially in light of its complicit silence over the incident, will be any different in words or in deed in matters most material to the peasantry.
For poor peasants and Lumad in Southern Mindanao, the beacon of hope still shines brighter in the countryside. Having gone through six years of Duterte hell taught us all but one thing: the agrarian revolution we wage alongside our genuine army, the New People’s Army, remains our shield and weapon in facing the next few years against the next wannabe-tyrant.