Hold the oppressed and exploited people’s interests paramount

NDFP Media Office
Press statement
May 1, 2017

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) takes note of the daring dawn raid yesterday on three facilities in Davao City owned by Lapanday Foods Corporation (LFC) mounted by the 1st Pulang Bagani Company of the New People’s Army (NPA).

In a statement, Rigoberto Sanchez, spokesperson of the Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command said that the coordinated tactical offensives were punitive actions against the Lorenzo-owned LFC for its numerous crimes against agricutural workers, peasants and Lumad. LFC gained notoriety over the past seven years for stubbornly defying orders from both the courts and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to allow farm workers to occupy land that had already been awarded to them under the agrarian reform laws of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP).

Last week, heavily armed security guards of LFC blocked the agrarian reform beneficiaries from claiming their land in Madaum, Tagum City despite an installation order by the DAR and the presence of police escorts. Last December, company guards shot and wounded seven of the beneficiaries who tried to occupy the land.

The aggrieved farm workers had clearly exhausted all avenues within the GRP legal framework to assert their rights.

True to its calling as the genuine people’s army, the NPA did what the GRP, along with its security forces have consistently failed or refused to do — to punish those who have been exploiting and oppressing the masses and preventing them from asserting their legitimate demands.

The punitive action could have been prevented if LFC had chosen dialogue over repression, and social justice over rapaciousness.

It is equally telling that the NPA’s actions have taken place in the middle of discussions between the NDFP and the GRP on agrarian reform and rural development as part of a negotiated comprehensive agreement on socio-economic reforms.

There will be forces that will fight fiercely to preserve their positions of power and privilege and prevent reforms. But there is ample room for us to choose to be non-adversarial by holding the oppressed and exploited people’s interests paramount.

Alan Jazmines
Contact no. +31 949-137-7260