Backbreaking work under scorching heat – not demand – makes sugar farming “2nd hottest job” in PH

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by DANILO RAMOS
Secretary General
Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA)

Why exactly is Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz glad that the Bureau of Local Employment’s (BLE) latest data shows that to be a “sugarcane man” is now in demand in the country, next only to landing a job as a call center agent?

To say that “sugarcane farming is the 2nd hottest job” in the country is only accurate if one is describing backbreaking work cutting and hauling tons of sugarcane under the sweltering heat of the sun. One cannot even think of any “hotter” job, especially now that farmers are suffering due to the El Nino dry spell.

Baldoz’s statement that the “unexpected demand for sugarcane farmers and grinders can be credited to the stable sugar prices in the global market” is pure hogwash. According to their own data, the so-called “job openings” are attributed to only one sugar-producing area, held by the High Yield Sugar Farms in Matalam, North Cotabato. The term “sugarcane farmer” is even a euphemism for the lowly tapasero and sakada who continue to endure slave-like working conditions and slave-like wages in sugarcane haciendas and plantations since the Spanish colonial period.

Is Sec. Baldoz even aware that sugar workers only have work during planting and milling season? In between these periods or during off-milling, they do not earn anything from “sugarcane farming” and that is why farm workers call this period tiempo muerto or dead season. Due to this seasonal character, aggravated by the oppressive pakyaw or piecework scheme and rampant contractualization in the mills, sugar workers only have employment from 6 to 9 months.

The “job openings” in North Cotabato can be expectedly taken by experienced sugar workers from other areas such as Negros, who regularly risk life and limb to migrate to other sugar-producing areas as far as Tarlac, Batangas, Isabela and Mindanao just to seek employment during tiempo muerto.

Now that tiempo muerto is fast-approaching, the only jobs remaining are mainly for milling, and harvesting through cutting and hauling cane. While farmworkers do not even have daily duties in the fields, cutting and hauling takes more than eight (8) hours of work in a day. With the pakyaw scheme, workers strain themselves to complete their quotas, usually truckloads of cane for a group of farmworkers handled by a kapatas or kabo, feudal lead men who are still as alive and kicking under Daang Matuwid as the caciques and hacienderos of old.

Baldoz, who is probably serious when she reportedly said that DOLE will closely monitor job applications and referrals for sugar farming made online through their portal Phil-job.net, might as well dangle these “attractive wage rates” to the millions of unemployed youth browsing the internet for a “lucrative career” as sakada:

In Negros Occidental, 95% of the workers are paid the pakyaw rate. They are only paid from P500 – P1,000 every 15 days or only P1,000 – P2,000 in a month. According to DOLE, the pakyaw rate is legal even if the Regional Wage Board in Negros has pegged the minimum wage for plantation and agricultural workers at P245 and P235 daily respectively.

The situation in Batangas is almost the same where the pakyaw rate is widespread and most workers are contractual. The pakyaw rate is P1,500 for every 15 days. There is also a wage system based on the tonnage one can cut in a day. For a migratory worker or sakada, the rate is P120 – 180 per ton while the locals get P180 – 200.

In Bukidnon province in Mindanao, the usual wage is P150 a day even if the mandated minimum wage in the region is P274 a day. In North Cotabato, where the actual job openings supposedly exist, the minimum agricultural wage is P252, while “all workers paid by result, including those who are paid on piecework, takay, pakyaw or task basis, shall be entitled to receive not less than the prescribed minimum wage rates per eight (8) hours work a day, or a proportion thereof for working less than eight (8) hours.”

The sugar business is only sweet for sugar barons and landlords while those who toil with their sweat and blood live in extreme poverty.

Solidarity Message to KMU-SMR on its 6th Regional Congress

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The Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) salutes the Kilusang Mayo Uno – Southern Mindanao Region (KMU-SMR) on your 6th Regional Congress from March 31 to April 2, 2016 at GSP Camp Alano, Toril, Davao City.

Your theme “Intensify the fight against neoliberal attacks and militarization against workers and the people! Struggle for genuine, militant and anti-imperialist unionism! Struggle for national democracy with a socialist perspective!” is not merely a slogan but a challenge to boldly advance your work in the region and contribute greatly to the national democratic struggle of the Filipino people.

We are greatly inspired by your record of increasing your union membership by 235% since 2012 because of your correct application of solid organizing and trade union tactics. In particular, KMU-SMR continues to reap concrete victories in the struggle of agricultural workers in SUMIFRU banana plantations and other related ventures through strikes and actions by the unions and the alliance BIGWAS.

We have much to learn from these struggles and we must work closely with the militant trade union movement led by KMU. UMA’s main task is to organize agricultural workers in haciendas, plantations, and capitalist-run farms like banana plantations, most of which are found in Mindanao and the Southern Mindanao Region in particular. Together we must push forward the struggle for a National Minimum Wage, higher wages, better working and living conditions and job security. At the same time, we must advance the struggle for genuine land reform, Filipinization of land in the hands of foreigners and national industrialization. UMA is also at the forefront of establishing and defending land cultivation areas or “bungkalan” mainly for subsistence of agricultural workers, like in Negros and Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac.

We look forward to closer and stronger relations with KMU-SMR in organizing agricultural workers to achieve more victories in our struggle for genuine agrarian reform and national industrialization!

Long live KMU-SMR!
Long live the agricultural workers!
Long live the working class!
Struggle for genuine agrarian reform and national industrialization!

DANILO RAMOS
Secretary-General
Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura

#TiempoMuerto: Hacienda Luisita land reform status, still underreported

TM 1 HL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MARCH 29, 2016
Reference: Gi Estrada, UMA Media Officer, 09166114181
Follow @TiempoMuertoPH on twitter
www.umapilipinas.wordpress.com

DESTRUCTION OF CROPS, STATE OF LAND REFORM
IN HACIENDA LUISITA, STILL UNDERREPORTED

On March 20-21, 2016, the Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang-Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (AMBALA), sent out several urgent alerts via text and social media updating the public on atrocities against farmers in Barangay Mapalacsiao, Tarlac City in Hacienda Luisita. More than 20 hectares of collective farms called “bungkalan” areas were destroyed using eight (8) tractors manned by goons allegedly hired by known Cojuangco-Aquino farm administrators. The areas are mostly planted to monggo (mung bean) and other vegetables and fruit trees.

The following alleged perpetrators were identified by AMBALA: Arsenio “Arsing” Valentino, a former Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI) administrator and now a president of a local Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organization (ARBO) guided by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR); and Buena Timbol, a trusted aide of the Cojuangco-Aquinos handling affairs of the Luisita Estate Management (LEM) group and Tarlac Development Corporation (TADECO). Even without a court order, the perpetrators enjoyed active assistance from the Tarlac police and local government officials identified as Edison Diaz, barangay chairman of nearby village Lourdes (formerly Texas) and Rael Gatus, chairman of Barangay Mapalacsiao. According to farmers, they are being evicted from areas targeted for the Cojuangco-Aquinos’ aryendo or leaseback scheme and other “development projects.” AMBALA’s bungkalan areas are being dismantled to replant sugarcane or for land use conversion.

Alternative media group Southern Tagalog Exposure released on its Facebook page, exclusive photos and interviews  with AMBALA leaders regarding the incidents. We also monitored news coverage only from online outfits Bulatlat.com and Interaksyon.com while the Malaysia-based SAYS.com posted a story on the struggle of Luisita farmers. We did not monitor any report on the incidents from local or national newspapers, radio and television stations. Please inform us if we have missed your media outfit’s coverage of this particular issue.

Among the victims, farmer Charlito “Tatang Gerry” Catalan and his family have experienced several attacks since 2014. On April 3, 2014, Tatang Gerry was among AMBALA members unlawfully arrested by a team of fully-armed police led by no less than the local Tarlac police chief Felix Verbo. The farmers were charged with violation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (RA 6657), an absurd complaint which was later junked. On June 25, 2014, while AMBALA members walked from Tarlac to Manila for a nationwide peasant protest, the ricefields, vegetable plots and fruit trees within the  farm of Tatang Gerry and AMBALA’s kubol (headquarters) in Mapalacsiao were destroyed with assistance from local DAR officials.

According to AMBALA Chairperson Florida Sibayan, Tatang Gerry and other farmers received threats that their farms and homes will be completely demolished, if they do not voluntarily leave by April 2. During the Holy Week, the Luisita Watch network reposted in social media, stories of earlier atrocities in Hacienda Luisita which occured from 2013-2014 as reported by Rappler.com, Bulatlat.com and Catholic media outfit UCAN News. These reports show that the recent incidents are part of continuing attacks against Luisita farmworkers. These attacks undermine land reform yet again in this controversial sugar estate controlled by no less than the family of Philippine President Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino.

The Supreme Court mandated total land distribution in Hacienda Luisita on April 24, 2012, but farmers now experience serious displacement and human rights violations four years after this supposed favorable ruling. Today, incidentally, is adapted by peasant groups all over the world as “International Day of the Landless.” We urge our friends in the media to continue to shed light on the long-standing issues of land reform and social justice in Hacienda Luisita.  For references, please contact FLORIDA SIBAYAN, AMBALA Chairperson at 09100357963.

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See UMA’s earlier post here.

 

SAKADA2

About #TiempoMuerto. The Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura or UMA’s #TiempoMuerto project monitors sugar workers’ issues and media reporting on hunger and poverty during the dreaded tiempo muerto or dead season. UMA has established media monitors in major sugar-producing areas such as Northern and Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, Negros Island and the Visayas and Northern Mindanao. 

Tiempos muertos refers to the off-milling season when sugar production temporarily grinds to a halt and sugar workers are left without any stable source of income. We urge our friends in the media to shed light on issues behind hunger and poverty in the country’s sugarcane areas and amplify the voices of our oppressed sugar workers. This project is supported by the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC).

Mintras Buhi: Bungkalan sa Negros

mintras buhi

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“Mintras Buhi” (2015) is a short documentary on the land cultivation areas in former sugarcane haciendas in Murcia and Don Salvador Benedicto towns initiated by farmworkers under the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW). Produced by University of the Philippines Manila Development Studies #TeamNegros students Praxis 2015 in cooperation with NNARA-Youth and the Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA)

ComVal banana workers’ protest vs union-busting, backed by agriworkers

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NEWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 23, 2016
Reference: Gi Estrada, UMA media officer, 09166114181

The Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) supports the ongoing protest actions of banana plantation workers under the Musahamat Workers Labor Union (MWLU-II-NAFLU-KMU) in Pantukan, Compostela Valley against union-busting and consecutive illegal dismissals perpetrated by the management of the Musahamat Farms Inc. since February 26, 2016.

UMA, which recently held its national congress in Mindanao, is one with the thousands of plantation workers in the island who wish to improve their working conditions, raise wages and claim their rightful benefits – rights that workers’ cannot possibly win without organizing themselves into militant unions.

“We laud the MWLU-II-NAFLU-KMU for their fierce struggle against union-busting,” said Danilo Ramos, UMA Secretary General. The struggle of agricultural workers in Mindanao is also supported by Anakpawis Partylist, whose vice-president, Ariel Casilao is a leader of NAFLU-KMU in the region.

According to MWLU-II-NAFLU-KMU, 52 workers have been dismissed, 19 have been placed under 30-day suspension and 19 union members, including 9 union leaders are to be given their walking papers. The lay-offs occurred merely days after the existing sole and exclusive bargaining agent (SEBA) of Farm 2 workers, Musahamat Workers Labor Union (Farm II) or MWLU-II-NAFLU-KMU won the certification election (CE) last February 22.

“Their hard-won victories in establishing the union and clinching the certification election must not be for naught. We must support their just struggle for decent work, wages and the right to organize,” added Ramos.

Before these incidents, the union experienced a smear campaign instigated by the Philippine Army’s 46th Infantry Battalion to maliciously link their union to the New People’s Army (NPA). State-sponsored harassment and vilification of the workers and their union started on August 22, 2014 and continued up to early this year.

This prompted the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) to file a complaint on February 26, 2015 before the International Labor Organization (ILO) to report the harassment against MWLU officials, specifically for violations of ILO Convention 87 on Freedom of Association, and on ILO Convention 98, on the Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining.

At present there are 321 members of the union. Musahamat Farms Inc. was established in the Philippines in 2008 and is a subsidiary of Kuwait-based Sabel International Group W.L.L.

“We firmly support the MWLU-II-NAFLU-KMU’s call to reinstate all dismissed workers and to stop union-busting and harassment of the workers,” ended Ramos.

 

Food crops destroyed by Aquino-Cojuangco minions in Hacienda Luisita

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Farmer Charlito “Tatang Gerry” Catalan and wife Dina, shown harvesting monggo from the piece of land they cultivate in Hacienda Luisita in this file photo from Bulatlat.com dated April 2014. Their home is among those reportedly destroyed by Cojuangco-Aquino goons in Barangay Mapalacsiao today.

NEWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MARCH 22, 2016
Reference: Gi Estrada, UMA Media Officer, 09166114181

The national agriworkers federation Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) condemns the ongoing destruction of crops, farmhuts and homes of supposed agrarian reform beneficiaries in Hacienda Luisita, Tarlac.

As of this writing, more than 20 hectares planted mostly to monggo (mung bean) and other food crops in several collective farms or bungkalan areas of the Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (AMBALA) in Barangay Mapalacsiao have been destroyed by 8 tractors manned by goons reportedly hired by known Cojuangco-Aquino aides Buena Timbol and Arsing Valentino.  AMBALA is UMA’s local affliate in Tarlac.

“This is not the first time that such atrocities were commited against Luisita farmers under Aquino,” said Danilo Ramos, UMA Secretary General, noting that the atrocities were timed during the Lenten season.

“These actions are most unholy and should be condemned by all,” he added.

Even farmhuts and the home of farmer Charlito Catalan were reportedly destroyed through orders of Timbol and Valentino who are also known “aryendadors” or brokers of the illicit leaseback system. The two are also known administrators of Cojuangco-Aquino firms Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI) and the Tarlac Development Corpoiration (TADECO).

Despite – or due to his close links to the landlords, Valentino is also appointed by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) as president of a local Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organization or ARBO, tagged by farmworkers as a conduit for corruption and bogus land reform projects.

The destruction of crops and property which commenced even without a court order, were reportedly assisted by barangay captains Edison Diaz of Lourded (Texas) and Rael Gatus of Mapalacsiao and around 20 personnel from the Tarlac-Philippine National Police (PNP) and army soldiers in civilian clothes.

AMBALA leaders are currently filing blotters and formal complaints against the identified perpetrators at the DAR provincial office and other authorities in Tarlac City.

It must be recalled however that on June 25, 2014, the DAR itself through its Provincial Agrarian Reform Office led by Atty. Jose Eduardo Narcisco, with assistance from fully-armed policemen led by SPO3  Dela Cruz  of the Tarlac City  PNP assigned at the Mapalacsiao precinct and Bgry. Capt Diaz, led the  destruction of food crops and fruit trees in the same area in Hacienda Luisita.

The DAR is also instrumental in the illegal arrest, smear campaign and filing of trumped-up charges against Hacienda Luisita farmers who were slapped with violation of RA 6657 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law – for cultivating the land promised by agrarian reform.

In 2014, complaints were filed at the Department of Justice (DOJ) against the said perpetrators and other members of President BS Aquino’s family who are involved in such atrocities against the farmers, but up to now, no action has been taken by authorities.

UMA dared  all presidentiables especially President BS Aquino’s anointed, Mar Roxas to speak out against these atrocities. “Criminal complaints are waiting for President BS Aquino once he is out of power,” said Ramos.

Ramos added that atrocities like this happen because Aquino implemented fake land distribution in Hacienda Luisita.

“The public must be made aware that it has been four years since the historic Supreme Court decision for total land distribution in Hacienda Luisita. This kind of violence against our farmers and barefaced destruction of food crops is the Daang Matuwid that hacienderos like Mar Roxas wish to continue,” he ended.

Photos in slideshow by Southern Tagalog Exposure:

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Agriworkers warn of perennial “tiempo muerto” as hacienderos, fascists rule 2016 Elections

BACOLOD CITY – Agricultural workers under the national federation Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) and the Negros-based National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW) warned the voting public of perennial “tiempo muerto” if the most despotic haciendero brats and fascist heirs dominate the coming May National Elections.

“Tiempo Muerto” refers to the dreaded dead season in the sugarcane industry, when production temporarily grinds to a halt and farmworkers are left without any source of income for three to six months. This period, which is set to begin in the next few weeks, leads to great suffering and hunger for thousands of sugar workers and their families.

In a media forum at the Negros Press Club today, UMA, NFSW and the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) here in Negros bluntly rejected both President BS Aquino’s anointed successor, Liberal Party presidential candidate Mar Roxas, and fallen dictator Marcos’s heir and namesake, Fendinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. who is running for vice-president, as they clearly represent “both sides of the same haciendero and fascist coin.”

“Being anti-Marcos does not necessarily mean that one is pro-Aquino or pro-Daang Matuwid and Roxas. Both Mar and Bongbong are despicable representatives of everything that is wrong and rotten in the circus called the ‘Philippine Elections,’ said Danilo Ramos, UMA Secretary General.

Roxas is a scion of the landed Roxas-Araneta clan and a professed backer of sugar barons in this region. Mar’s family is involved in land grabbing activities in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan and in Mascap, Montalban, Rizal. Bongbong, meanwhile is the unrepentant apologist of the fascist dictator Ferdinand Marcos who aims to distort the people’s memory of the Martial Law regime from 1972-86. Gross human rights violations were committed during this period including the infamous massacre of hacienda workers in Escalante, Negros in 1985.

“As long as despotic landlords and fascists dominate the Philippine political landscape, poverty, hunger and deaths in the countryside will continue to reign. We nevertheless challenge candidates to heed and adhere to the agriworkers’ electoral agenda,” said Ramos

The government estimates the number of sugar workers in the country at around 700,000 with 5 million dependents. UMA member organizations and advocates representing bioethanol and sugar-producing provinces Isabela in Northern Luzon and Bukidnon in Mindanao, were also present to raise the following points for presidential bets:

Implement genuine agrarian reform and the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) authored in the 16th Congress by the Anakpawis Partylist and Makabayan senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares. Junk all schemes exempting vast landholdings from agrarian reform such as the stock distribution option (SDO), various Agribusiness Venture Arrangements (AVA) like leaseback, contract growing, corporative scheme; sugar block farming and the illicit and rampant ‘aryendo’ or leaseback scheme.

Increase wages of workers, especially of farmworkers who are among the most underpaid sectors in Philippine society. Ensure humane working conditions, job security and an end to contractualization. Uphold the right to organize and to negotiate with management and employers through collective bargaining agreements. Stop union-busting and state-sponsored repression and harassment.

Stop expansion of agricultural plantations controlled by big local landlords and foreign corporations. Stop liberalization of agriculture. Push for national industrialization. Stop militarization, political killings and criminalization of agrarian disputes. Release all political prisoners including peace consultants of the National Democratic Front (NDF) and resume peace talks to solve the root causes of the armed conflict.

“Tiempo Muerto will continue to be an annual crisis period for sugar workers until we decisively end land monopoly and the feudal and fascist reign of traditional politicians like those that come from the Aquino, Marcos and Roxas clans.”

Ramos added that UMA and its newly-formed Tiempo Muerto media network will closely monitor the pronouncements made by these politicians in mainstream media on their platform and their commitment for the rights and welfare of sugar workers, especially during the elections and the onset of the dead season crisis period.

 Please follow @UMApilipinas and @TiempoMuertoPH on Twitter and the hashtag #TiempoMuerto

Reference: Gi Estrada, UMA media officer, 09166114181

Photos by Jen Balora, NFSW-Teatro Bungkal

Sugar workers brace for “Tiempo Muerto”

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UMA NEWS

BACOLOD CITY — Sugar workers under the national agriworkers federation Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) gathered here in the country’s sugar-producing capital Negros Island for a 2-day media training, a few weeks before the onset of tiempo muerto or dead season, when the sugar industry temporarily grinds to a halt and farmworkers are left without any stable source of income.

Revitalized by its successful national congress held in Bukidnon last month, UMA is now poised to intensify its campaigns for the rights and welfare of agricultural workers all over the country, especially with the onslaught of tiempo muerto this year, which can be aggravated by the El Nino dry spell.

“The tiempo muerto is a yearly crisis period for sugar workers. The public is largely unaware of the plight of the thousands of farmworkers during this dead season, and the hunger and poverty experienced by around 5 million of their dependents,” said Danilo Ramos, UMA Secretary General.

The media training, which was held during the weekend at the Sugar Workers Development Center in downtown Bacolod, is part of UMA’s the Tiempo Muerto media monitoring project supported by the Canada-based World Association for Christian Communication (WACC). The project aims to gather and evaluate the quality of mainstream media reports on poverty and hunger during this crisis period, in order to spur positive change in media practices and the public’s understanding and appreciation of sugar workers’ plight during tiempo muerto.

The sibling tandem of renowned journalists Inday Espina-Varona of ABSCBN News Online and Nonoy Espina of Interaksyon.com were among the training’s resource persons. Varona recently received the Hildegarde Award from the St. Scholastica’s College for her outstanding coverage of the spate of killings of the lumad or indigenous peoples in Mindanao.

“The Tiempo Muerto project is a challenge to our friends in the media to diligently cover the issues and uncover important matters hounding the sugar industry and its productive forces. Sugar workers who still endure slave-like conditions even after decades of the government’s land reform promises must not stay invisible in mainstream media. The media can help sugar workers illuminate the public; we must all draw inspiration from the toiling masses’ struggle for genuine land reform, food security and true economic development,” said Ramos.

Ramos added that “(UMA) likewise aims to shake this haciendero regime and its cabal of yellow spin doctors and trolls lurking in corporate and social media – we will not allow another six years of ‘tiempo muerto’ under another haciendero dispensation,” referring to the candidacy of Liberal Party presidentiable Mar Roxas, who hails from a family of local sugar barons who have consistently pushed their landlord interests in national politics.

After this training, Tiempo Muerto media monitors will also be active in other sugar-producing areas such as Isabela, Tarlac, Batangas and Bukidnon.

For news stories to be easily monitored by this project, UMA encourages journalists and alternative media groups to use its official hashtag #TiempoMuerto when sharing content on farmworkers issues and news on the sugar and bioethanol industry online.

Reference: Gi Estrada, UMA media officer, 01966114181

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Pagkilala at Pagpupugay kay Ka Nestor Villanueva

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PAGKILALA AT PAGPUPUGAY KAY KA NESTOR VILLANUEVA, Tagapangulo, Katipunan ng mga samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (KASAMA-TK)

Kami, mula sa UNYON NG MGA MANGGAGAWA SA AGRIKULTURA (UMA), pambansang progresibong sentro ng mga unyon, pederasyon, asosasyon at organisasyong masa ng mga manggagawang agrikultural sa Pilipinas, ay nagpupugay kay Ka NESTOR VILLANUEVA, matatag na lider ng uring magsasaka at masang anakpawis.

Taos pusong pakikiramay kay Ka Lani, kabiyak ng puso ni Ka Nestor at kasama sa pakikibaka para sa tunay na reporma sa lupa (TRL), pambansang kalayaan at demokrasya na may sosyalistang perspektiba; sa mga anak na sina Nesty at Sierra, ipagmamalaki n’yo at ikararangal si Ka Nestor bilang asawa, ama at bilang kasama. Ginugol niya ang kanyang panahon, talino at kasanayan para sa interes ng mga inaapi at pinagsasamantalahan sa ating bansa. Aktibong nakibaka kasama ng libu-libong magsasaka para sa lupa at pambansang industriyalisasyon, nakipagkabit-bisig sa uring manggagawa at malawak na hanay ng mamamayang lumalaban para sa tunay na pagbabago.

Una pa man, matatag na nanindigan para igiit ang kanilang karapatan sa lupa at tirahan sa kanilang barangay, kung saan nais kamkamin ng panginoong maylupa ang lupang sakahan na malaon nang binubungkal kasama ang mga magbubukid sa baryo. Hindi alintana ang sakripisyo at panganib sa buhay dahil sa kontra-magbubukid na programa, patakaran at anti-insurgency campaign ng rehimeng US-Aquino at mga nagdaang rehimen.

Ka NESTOR, mananatili ka sa aming puso at alaala; ang iyong ginawa ay halimbawa ng pagiging mapagkumbaba at matatag na paninindigan sa tama at para sa kagalingan ng masa. Dakila ang ating gawaing paglingkuran ang sambayanan. Dapat nating ipagmalaki at ikarangal na tayo ay bahagi ng kilusang mapagpalaya – tunay na nagsusulong ng interes ng sambayanan, nakikibaka laban sa pyudalismo, burukrata kapitalismo at dominasyon at pandarambong ng mga dayuhan sa ating bansa.

Pagpupugay kay Ka Nestor at mga kasamang nag-alay ng buhay para sa bayan – kayo na tunay na martir at bayani ng sambayanan. Mabuhay kayo!

Mamamayang pinagsasamantalahan at inaapi, pahigpitin ang ating pagkakaisa. Makibaka, maglingkod at magtagumpay!

1 Marso 2016

Lalawigan ng Laguna