Farmers join BALIK EDSA protests, vow to fight Marcos Jr’s Charter Change – updates from the peasant movement of the Philippines

Farmers group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) today joins thousands of freedom and democracy-loving citizens in the commemoration of the 38th year of the Edsa People Power uprising.

“Today, with our commitment to oppose the Marcos Jr-led Charter Change, farmers commemorate the 1986 uprising’s legacy of ending Marcos Sr’s fascist rule which scourged the countryside and ravaged Philippine agriculture,” KMP National Chairperson Danilo Ramos said.

According to Ramos: “we take inspiration from the heroic struggle of the Filipino people that toppled a dictator almost four decades ago. More than the yearly ceremonial commemorations, we strive to continue Edsa’s legacy of defense of democracy and struggle against fascist dictatorship and tyranny. Another Edsa uprising is possible in the future and it would be led by the Filipino masses who are fed up with Marcos Jr’s leadership and this rotten social system.”

“Fascism and undeclared Martial Law are concrete realities in peasant communities which up to this day face actual military rule due to heightened militarization,” Ramos explains. He declares that Executive Order 70 which created the NTF ELCAC (National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict), and Memorandum Order Number 32 which appointed additional battalions over Samar, Negros, and Bicol have created the conditions for an undeclared Martial Law nationwide. Hundreds of farmers were killed concerning land dispute cases, making the Philippines the deadliest country in the world for land rights defenders.

“The killings and attacks on the people’s human rights has been identical if not worse with those committed during Marcos’ Martial Law,” the peasant leader comments. When not outright killed through bullets, farmers are killed slowly with hunger, indebtedness, and bankruptcy,” Ramos adds.

He cites in particular the Marcos regime’s current penchant for Charter Change that will wholly sell out the country’s remaining industries to foreign businesses. “Marcos Jr’s destructive ChaCha attempt is similar to his father’s wreckage of the domestic seed culture with the so-called Green Revolution which facilitated the propagation and dominance of imported chemical-intensive seed varieties,” Ramos says.

Ramos further comments that Marcos Jr is swiftly copying, if not transcending his father’s corruption and cronyism.” “Marcos Jr and his cousin House Speaker Martin Romualdez are also breeding their cronies — those who will benefit from ChaCha’s term extension.”

“The peasant masses called for free land distribution and an end to feudal oppression during Marcos Sr’s dictatorial rule. These calls have only become more urgent thirty-eight years after EDSA especially as Marcos Jr wants to revise the 1987 Constitution to favor the economic and political interests of the few ruling elite and foreign powers,” Ramos said.

“We appeal to the Filipino people, especially the youth to unite and stand with us farmers in upholding our democracy, national patrimony, and sovereignty,” the KMP leader concluded.

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Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas or Peasant Movement of the Philippines (KMP) was founded at a time of great political upheaval and broad mass movement against the tyranny and abuses of the Marcos dictatorship. Hundreds of peasant leaders and land reform advocates from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao gathered during the historic founding of KMP on July 24, 1985. After thirty five years, KMP remains as the largest national democratic mass organization of peasants in the Philippines.

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