The NPA-Panay Region under Coronacion Chiva Waling-Waling Command strongly condemns the violent dispersal and shooting of poor peasants in Hacienda Montecarba (Tan Estate) last February 11, 2017, in Barangay Culilang, President Roxas, Capiz.
The peasants were unarmed pursuing their rightful ownership of a parcel of land as agrarian beneficiaries and in accordance with the law of the reactionary state. The Tan Estate is a 300-hectare land covering the boundary-villages of Dulangan, in Pilar and Culilang in President Roxas both of Capiz province. The estate is now administered by Fernando Bacanto, the village chief of Barangay Culilang, as the owner, Nemencio Tan, has been deceased few years back.
About 199 hectares of the Tan Estate were covered by CARP and 132 farmers-beneficiaries were awarded the Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA). CLOA holders since 1997, about 60 of them gathered and staged Kampuhan since February 5, to dramatize their claims.
However, they were violently dispersed and shot. Initial reports show that Fernando Bacanto, Jun Bacanto, and Leopoldo Lachica were involved the violent dispersal and shooting of these defenseless peasants. Killed was Orlando Eslana, while Melinda Arroyo Eslana was in critical state. Four others wounded were Ana Bocala, Adel Vergara, Lida Amo, and Rita Bocala. Policemen from President Roxas who were supposedly present to guard had taken no action to prevent the bloody incident. This shows they are for the landlord-administrator’s interests.
We join in sympathy with the victims and their families’ grief and sorrow. This is really a grave violation of the peasants’ right to parcel of land for their living with their hungry children and families.
We knew it well, the gravity of this injustice against the peasants. For, we in the NPA are mostly from the peasants and also victims of social injustice who took up arms to struggle and solve this agrarian problem. It is our obligation to fight for the interests of the peasants, protect them, and render revolutionary justice.
This incident is instructive for the peasantry. Their struggle for land ownership against despotic landlord-administrator like Fernando Bacanto really needs to be linked with the broader revolutionary armed struggle of the people. The landlord class will never voluntarily give up their land grabbed estate and will not hesitate in taking lives of the struggling peasants because they are supported by the reactionary bureaucracy, oppressive laws, and the armed agents of the reactionary state.
May the Culilang tragedy will not become a threat for the peasants and your peasant movement, and retreat from agrarian issues and social justice. But instead, this incident may serve as a beacon on your understanding of class struggle and the necessity of expanding and consolidating your ranks until sufficient force is attained in your struggle against exploitative and oppressive class. You are fighting a just cause and justice must be served against this oppression.
Justice for the peasants!
Coronacion Chiva “Waling-Waling” Command