Northern Mindanao Region
MINVIZCON Blg., IFI Compound
Bulua, Cagayan de Oro City
Tel.no: (088) 850-5854
For Immediate Release:
June 14, 2011
On June 14 at around 10:30 in the morning, the kampuhan set up by the
Buffalo-Tamaraw-Limus (BTL) in front of the Central Mindanao University in
Dologon, Maramag, Bukidnon, was dismantled by the security guards hired by
the university, assaulting protesters keeping guard over their camp.
Around 15 guards, from the security agency Chevron, were headed by Nestor
Honasan and mercilessly fired at the farmers and beat up those near them.
The BTL Women's Association joined the men in trying to defend their
group. Still, Billy Jardin, Gregorio Santillan and Larry de Vera all
sustained gunshot wounds and had to be rushed to the nearest hospital.
Currently, they are still waiting for surgery as the bullets have been
embedded in their legs. On the other hand, Weni Loable's eye was struck by
a stone fragment, with rock shards flying from the bullets that hit the
ground. He is waiting to be checked and is in danger of losing his
eyesight. No one from the authorities have helped the farmers who are
until now waiting to be attended by medical aides because they could not
afford the rates - even for x-ray alone.
Members of the BTL had set up the kampuhan on May 23 to protest the CMU’s
claim over the 400 hectares of land which more than 800 families have been
tilling for years. In 1987, the farmers had originally applied for 1,200
hectares of the land under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program. They
were given a Certificate of Land Ownership Award for 400 hectares in 1992.
However, the CLOA was canceled and in 2002-2007, they had no choice but to
go into a 5-year lease contract. The contract stated that they would not
be driven out of their lands.
However, when the lease expired, CMU insisted they relocate to San
Fernando, a hinterland municipality at the borders of Bukidnon and Davao
del Sur, and Talakag, another border municipality between Bukidnon and
Misamis Oriental. The farmers protested, arguing that the land which they
have developed for more than a decade was rightfully theirs. The BTL and
the BTL Women’s Association continue to condemn the CARPer and push for
the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill.
April Argen Pat B. Marzon
Staff, Amihan NMR
09052472573 / 09996221291
Rights, Uphold Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms!
AMIHAN Northern Mindanao
14 June 2011
The administration of Pres. Benigno Aquino III seriously puts into doubt
the respect for human rights of the farmers in the country. Aquino III is
heir to the vast Hacienda Luisita Incorporated landholdings where, in
2004, 14 farmer leaders were massacred in front of its gates for
protesting a bogus land distribution scheme that virtually dodges coverage
from former President Corazon Aquino’s agrarian reform program. The now
infamous Hacienda Luisita Massacre continues to hound the Aquino
The neglect of the plights of the farmers is becoming a central human
rights issue under the present administration, further illustrated by this
new brutal incident in Central Mindanao.
We, the members of AMIHAN Northern Mindanao, a coalition of 43
community-based organizations of peasant women in the Region, deeply
revile the acts of violence committed by the Security Guards under Chevron
Security Agency against the peaceful protest of the Buffalo-Tamaraw-Limus
(Bukidnon Free Farmers and Agricultural Laborers
Association – Triad Agricultural Manpower of Rural Active Workers
–Landless Tillers Inhabitants of Musuan) on June 14, 2011.
We condemn the indiscriminate firing of the guards on the protesters,
consequently wounding six farmers – Winnie Loable, Jose Benimerito,
Marilou Portin, Abelardo Jardin, Larry de Vera and Gregorio Santillan.The
guards also tore down the kampuhan (protest camps), took away the cooking
utensils and other essentials, and destroyed the group’s loudspeaker to
stop them from continuing their protest.
We salute BTL Women’s Association member Marilou Portin, and all the other
BTL members in kampuhan, for courageously fighting for their rights
despite the threats posed on them by the Central Mindanao University and
its hired goons. Their plight has been long, more than a decade, and yet
they continue to stand by their principles and hope for the realization of
We call on the Local Government Unit of Bukidnon to act for the immediate
arrest of guards and the authorities responsible for the incident, and to
assist in the treatment of the wounded farmers. Moreover, we challenge
them to support the call of the farmers for a genuine agrarian reform that
would not just dangle their land ownership in front of them and take it
away when it is already within their reach.
We call for the Central Mindanao University president, Maria Luisa Soliven,
be made accountable for the incident this early, and call for her
suspension to prevent her from interfering with the necessary
We call for the cancellation of Chevron Security Agency’s permit to
operate. They are not protectors of anything but brutal hired goons who,
like rabid guard dogs, would bite and kill at the beck and call of their
We call on the human rights workers
and advocates, and the international community to reverberate the
condemnation against the extent of the culture of impunity in Bukidnon – a
reflection of what is happening in many parts of the Philippines – and
extend assistance for the medication and other needs of the victims and
the protestors now in crises because hunger and diseases.
Most importantly, we call on the Government of the Philippines to review
the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER).
Despite the few boasted successes of the program, most of the Bukidnon
farmers do not support CARPER because they are its victims.
KILUSANG MAGBUBUKID NG PILIPINAS
MINVIZCON Blg. IFI Compound
Bulua, Cagyan de Oro City
Tel. No: (088) 850-5854
June 14, 2011
BTL Farmers: CMU guards assail,
June 14,2011. Dulugan, Maramag, Province of Bukidnon. At 10:30 am, in an
attept to demolish the three-week camp-out protest, the members of
Buffalo-Tamaraw-Limus as were assaulted by members of CHEVRON Securtiy –
the Security agency commissioned by Central Mindanao University. Fifteen
guards headed by George Gewan Jr breached the picket lines.
The violence left six farmers wounded, three of them directly hit by
bullets. Gregorio Santillan, Abelardo Jardin andLarry de Vera were shot by
bullets and are currently in the hospital treating their wounds. Winnie
Loable, Jose Bemininto and Marilou Portin were scratched by bullets as it
ricocheted pass them. A piece of bullet was found in the chest of Marilou.
The guards were not contented with shooting their firearms and tearing the
tents apart, items possesed by the farmers – a cooking pot, three
amplifiers, umbrella, wires, light bulbs, water container and four
sleeping mats were also forcibly confiscated.
As of 8 pm, the CMU adminstration remains silent regarding the incident,
an indication that they refuse to take responsility for the plight of the
wounded peasants. The incident solidifies the struggle of the BTL farmers.
Now more than ever, the harassment must end. They call on for justice and
oust of CMU president, Dr. Ma. Luisa Soliven.