Lies at the southern tip of Southern Tagalog 222,254 hectares in
size 355,158 population and 70,688 households. Eighty percent of the households there were into subsistence farming
(mostly coconut monocropping) and fishing, getting by with an average
annual income of P5,000 to P6,000 ($) per year.
There exists a persistent feudal exploitation brought about by an
extreme insufficiency of information on basic rights of tenants and an
absence of viable mechanisms for resolving agrarian reform-related
The biggest landholdings in Bondoc Peninsula are the following:
Reyes with family holdings estimated at 12,000 to 16,000 hectares in
three municipalities(Buenavista, San Narciso and San Andres,
consisting of 10 barangays and 30 sub-villages). Before 1996, not
a single hectare was included in the agrarian reform program because of
the landowner’s “fearsome reputation.” Out of fear,
not one tenant wanted to apply for agrarian reform coverage. Tightly
guarded, the lands are hard to penetrate. A sharing of 60-40
prevails in the Villa Reyes property where 60% of the total harvest
goes to the landowner, while the tenant shoulders the production
family with total landholdings of 3,500 ha located in San Narcisio and
San Andres. Since the inception of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform
Program (CARP) in 1988, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has
hardly touched the landholdings for redistribution. More than 1,200
hectares of untitled properties and four titled landholdings are being
campaigned for CARP. Every tenant must shoulder the cost of production
for his/her coconut farming and pay 60% of his coconut harverst to the
landowner. The political power of the Uys is supreme. Local political structures
of governemnt must then subordinate their legally mandated capacities
and resources to this land-based power.
Matias estate, covering 2,800 ha.
located in the municipality of San Narciso. Movement of CARP
coverage in this area is very slow. Harassments of leaders of the
petioners by armed goons, as well as filing cases against the petioners
were the strategies use by the landowner to intimidate the farmers.
Landowner has influence from the police, army as well as the
Tan family/clan, covering 3,000 ha. A total of 400 ha. have been “engaged”
Superior Agro-Industrial estate,
covering 540 ha. Not a hectare was distributed. Farmers were
continuously harassed and some were evicted. The landowner was even
able to secure exclusion from the Department of Agrarian
Timberland areas covering 58,000
ha. have also been targeted by BDP and peasant groups for
reclassification and redistribution. The process has not gone beyond
Civil and Political Rights Violations
In the case of Hacienda Villa Reyes, the following incidents occurred in 2005
February 2005, two cases of qualified theft were submitted against
Jimson Asorez, a farmer leader, at the Municipal Trial Court in San
March and September, 2005. the land owner ( Reyes) thru his
Administrator, Edgar Quijano, continually filed qualified theft cases.
The number of farmers now facing charge reached 140, including a
In May 2005, the landowner filed 15 counts of qualified theft against 15 members of Samahan ng mga Petitioner sa Lupaing DR.
On June 28, at about 3:00 PM 18
armed men entered a sub-village of Hacienda Villa Reyes and forcibly
took the copra harvests of tenants. The armed goons also fired at the
tenants injuring one of them.
One July 22, 2005, at around 6:00 AM
11 armed men entered Sityo Malubigan, a sub-village of Haceinda Villa
Reyes to convince the chair of the organization, Danilo Cortez to join
them and bring back the sharing system between claimant Don Domingo
Reyes and the Petitioners.
In August, 2005, 9 leaders of Samahan
ng mga Petitioners sa Lupaing- DR were charged with 43 counts of
qualified theft of coconut at the RTC Gumaca. They had no lawyer to
defend them in court.
October 8, 2005, Arturo Mahilom one of the member of the samahan ng mga
Petitioner sa Lupaing-DR ( Association of Petitioner in DR Property)
forcibly taken by 4 armed men in Sitio Aromahan Brgy. Tala.
On November 9, 2005, Rolito Montinor,
chair of Samahan ng mga Petitioner sa Sityo Pader ( Association of
Petitioner of Sityo Pader a sub-village of Hacienda Villa Reyes) his
pregnant wife Mercy, their two children, were jailed in San Andres
Police Station for 9 counts of qualified theft of coconut. The bail
recommended for their release was php 30,000. Members of the
organization contributed and solicited money to bail out the
leader and his family, who had to stay in jail for 25 days before
sum could be reaised.
On November 25, 2005, at around 9:00
AM, 20 armed men and 3 armed women indentified as member of the New
Peoples Army, forced the members and leaders of Samahan ng mga
magsasaka sa Sityo Danao ( Association of Tenants at Sityo Danao) and
the Samahan ng mga Magsasaka sa Bayoyo. ( Association of Tenants at
Sityo Bayoyo), in Hacienda Villay Reyes, forced them to attend the
meeting, convinced the tenants to join them and pay shares to the
In November 2005, 10 goons of Reyes,
20 military personnel and 3 member of the Philippine National Police
(PNP) went to Sityo Bayoyo to arrest the leader of the organization
RogelioReubal for the qualified theft cases. The leader, fortunately,
On the first week of December 2005,
20 armed men identified as members of the New People’s Army,
convinced the member of Samahan ng mga Magsasaka sa Sityo Kabulihan (
Association of Tenants in Sityo Kabulihan) to join them because there
is nothing they can do about Agrarian Reform.
| In Matias Property the following incidents occured in 2005:
On May 8, 2005 in Sitio Nilantangan,
Brgy. Butanguiad, San Francisco, Guillermo “Poto”
Catandihan with his companions (hooligan of Matias family), gun-fired
the ground and poked a gun on head of Diosdado G. Roxas (AR beneficiaries/Petitiotioner of Matias property). After poking the gun, he punched Roxas.
On May 18 in Sitio Nilantangan, Guillermo “Poto” Catandihan
and his companions forced to harvest the coconuts of Panfilo
Albase. They also forcibly entered and destroyed the house things
of Albase, and robbed his farm tools. Allan Cantandihan
brother of Poto shouted the other petitioners around, that if they did
not pulled out their swine, Catindihan and his companions will rob the
On May 20 a witness narrated that Pablo Boy Peros house was set on fire
by an alias Tangkag and his companions (hoodlums of Matias
family). Peros just saw the remaining posts of his house.
On that same day, Claro Zaño, a goon of Matias family
Diosdado Maglente shown his caliber 45 while threatening Diosdado
Maglente (AR beneficiary) if he continue to go with
“Borlando” (Former SB Member and former Adminstrator of
Matias property turned farmer leader Rolando Zaño).
On June 5, Guillermo “Potong” Catandihan and his companions
indiscriminately gun-fired the house of Rolando Zaño.
Fausto Peros and Frederick Paule, Catandihan’s men, shouted and
gun-fired Huelito Abrenica and Doming Peros companions, luckily they
were not hit. The farmer filed a case but it was dismissed by the
Provincial Prosecutor but the case of the landowner against the farmers
was approved by the fiscal.
On September 5-15, the goons did not permit the farmers to enter
the main entrance of the property so the farmers try to look a hardest
way to just enter in the place.
Uy's and the New People's Army (NPA)
to agrarian struggles now loom in Bondoc Peninsula, Quezon Province,
Philippines, this time ironically coming from the Left in
collusion with the influential landowning Uy family. Cases of
harassments, arson, frustrated murder and consummated murders have been
reported since 1998. The cases are the following:
farmer-leader Edwin Vender on 8 June 1998 after being hacked and shot.
Reymundo Tejino on February 4, 2003 by the Ma. Theresa de Leon Command
of the New People’s Army (NPA)—the armed wing of the
Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) operating in Southern Quezon
for his alleged involvement in the military’s intelligence
network and counterrevolutionary measures. His wife and relatives
denied this and see the murder as a result of a long-standing alliance
between the Uys and the NPA which are both opposed to the
implementation of CARP.
Murder of Rodolfo Romero on 3 October 2003 by Rodrigo Ferancullo—the same criminal who murdered Vender.
peasant leader Felizardo Benitez on 20 March 2004 by Uy minion Reymundo
Carabot, Jr. His father, Barangay Chairman (village chief)
Reymudo Carabot, Sr. assisted in the suspect’s escape after
perpetrating the grisly deed.
The NPAs also
committed the following abuses: threats and intimidation;
assassination attempts against farmer leaders; robbery;
threatening a six-year old boy to crawl at gunpoint; acting in
collusion with the landowner in harassing farmers and depriving
them of their means of livelihood.
The situation forced many families
to leave their homes and seek security elsewhere, but which aggravated
their situation. Benitez’ family, for instance, had to
evacuate to a safer place where his wife delivered their sixth child
who soon died after being exposed to the elements. Nelia
Bitong, wife of farmer leader Alberto Bitong, died of heart attack due
to successive threats of the NPAs to her husband. Children of
affected families are also suffering from trauma and some were forced
to stop schooling in the process.
These attacks were executed by the
NPAs who claim that CARP is a bogus land reform intended to weaken the
revolutionary movement and those who advocate for its implementation
are considered counterrevolutionaries. The farmers, on the other
hand, assert their right to the kind of land reform and development
path that they envision. It has been ascertained that out of its 1,542
residents (or about 268 households) in the estimated 3,500 hectares,
98% eke out a living as share tenants with a 60%-40% sharing
arrangement in favor of the landowner.
|Harassments from other big landowners
On April 25, 2005, in the land of the Superior Agro-Industrial
Corporation in brgy. Pagsangahan San Francisco, 4 Alleged CPP-NPA
members claimed that they were the actual occupants of the landholdings
not the AR Beneficiaries and Petitioners. They threatened
the AR Beneficiaries to leave and vacate the land, if not they will be
killed. The victims (AR Beneficiaries/Petitioners) did not file any
case against the perpetrators and migrated to other place due to fear
from the threats of CPP-NPA.
On May 16, 2005 in Brgy. Nasalaan, San Francisco, Copra smoke-house of
Marciano Rodelas was set on fire. In simultaneous incidence, a
certain Mr. Avila (administrator of Tan et.al.) Rodelas son shot Igor
Rodelas, son of Marciano Rodelas. Igor luckily was not hit by
bullet. Marciano Rodelas filed a case at PARAD against
Avila. The case is on hearing.
Peasant Movement in Bondoc Peninsula
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Bondoc Peninsula (KMBP or Peasant Movement of Bondoc Peninsula) is a district-wide reform-oriented landless peasants’ organization affiliated with member organization of UNORKA - Pambansang Ugnayan ng Nagsasariling Lokal na mga Samahang Mamamayan sa Kanauyunan ,
or National Coordination of Autonomous Local Rural People’s
Organizations), and a network of PEACE Foundation, Inc. (Philippine
Ecumenical Action for Community Empowerment).
new peasant movement was able to succeed in its land struggle while it
continuously expands and develops the militant and democratic masses of
peasants. The new peasant movement has been able to expand through
democratic means, respecting the autonomy of the associations and the
initiative of the peasantry without resorting to intrigues, coercion
and force, especially intimidation and murder.
the hundreds of armed goons of landlords like the Reyes, Uy and others,
which are tolerated and even assisted at various levels by the AFP and
PNP, the new peasant movement was able to expand and consolidate its
ranks, surpassing even the organized mass base of the CPP-NPA without
resorting to armed might, intimidation and abuse.
Agrarian Reform and the Revolutionary Government
Representing the national-democratic movement, the NPA adheres
to revolutionary agrarian reform that may only happen through a
revolution, where political power is seized from the ruling
classes and transferred to a people's government under the
leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
At the minimum,
revolutionary land reform aims to reduce land rent and increase
the tenants' share of harvest. At the maximum, the lands shall be
confiscated from the landlords, nationalize them, and
redistribute them to the peasants for free.
(Visit http://www.philippinerevolution.org/pib/intrvw/issues.shtml for more information.)
Based on this
policy, the NPA regards CARP as bogus. Any agrarian reform
program outside the realm of revolution must be rejected.
To sustain the revolution,
revolutionary taxes shall be imposed (as much as possible through
negotiations) on exploitative ruling classes like the landlords.
Last August 1, 2004, the Ma.
Theresa de Leon (MTDL) command of the New People’s Army issued a
statement declaring legal farmers organizations and NGOs as legitimate
targets of the revolutionary action of all units of MTDL, in view of
the people’s steadfast agrarian reform struggles and in contrast with
the NPA’s agrarian revolution model of land redistribution after
seizure of state power and in the meantime, towing the line of the
60-40 or 50-50 sharing arrangements with the landowners.
This should come as no
surprise but the fact that the armed wrath of the CPP-NPA is now
directed towards legal, unarmed organizations is very telling and
dangerous. While militant peasant associations, human rights
institutions, church people and other progressive individuals in civil
society join ranks against oppressive landlords and their armed goons,
the CPP-NPA insists that it is only its methods which is correct
compared to all those who do not subscribe to its ideology.
The CPP-NPA is very angry that the bitter truth has been exposed: it is
not only the government, the military and the landlords who are
violating the human rights of the people. But through its
actions, the CPP-NPA itself who claim to be the “revolutionary
protectors” of the people have become part of the problem instead
of the solution. It is ironic and anomalous that peasants and
their families, including children and women, are the ones being
killed, harassed and threatened by the very same group that cites them
as the primary source of their strength.