Ka EFREN AKSASATO
Spokesperson, NDFP Far South Mindanao Chapter
The burning up of a Dole-Stanfilco-owned boomspray unit in Allah Valley Area in South Cotabato on 6 October 2014 is a punitive action meted out by the New People’s Army – Far South Mindanao against the multinational giant Itochu-Dole.
The operation that was effectively executed by operatives of the Julito Banda Command – Front 73 (JBC-F73) was carried out in a Dole-Stanfilco banana plantation in sitio El Bantong, Barangay Rang-ay, Banga, South Cotabato. It took place at early evening, the plantation’s spraying schedule.
The said company was punished for the serious infringements and destructions it caused to the people and the environment. Since Dole started its encroachment in Allah Valley more than ten years ago, thousands of peasants and their families have already lost their lands and means of living to the aggressive expansion of the company’s pineapple and banana plantations. The massive conversion of rice fields and farmlands into mono-crop plantations resulted to a huge threat in food security.
The plantation system and the use of poisonous agrichemicals cause grave damages to the environment and the people. Massive floods and siltation are becoming rampant in Allah Valley, and the increasing chemical contamination in the air, water systems and food sources cause serious health problems to more and more people.
Dole employs the mercenary 27th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army, in suppressing the people’s resistance and in ensuring their unimpeded land grabbing. The 27th Infantry Battalion is also the company’s instrument in quashing the farm workers’ movement and subduing the labor leaders.
A widely organized mass movement in Allah Valley forced the company to stop aerial spraying. Farmers living near the plantation areas have carried out spontaneous actions to express their disapproval of the plantation, such as lobbing stones at a passing boomspray.
The complaints and grievances against Dole remonstrated by the people were categorically investigated and proven by the revolutionary movement. Adhering to its policy in protecting the people’s security and welfare, the revolutionary mass organizations and the People’s army make certain that the people’s legitimate demands are properly addressed.
The burning of the farm equipment abides by the revolutionary movement’s policy to punish and expel environmentally destructive multinational businesses plundering the country’s resources.