Press Statement | 27 March, 2017
The New People’s Army-NEMR has been warning against the continuing destructive aerial spraying in banana plantations to avoid serious damage to the environment and health of the people around the plantation. This practice has been discontinued in other places like Davao City, because of the people’s opposition to its proven harmful effect. But with the capitalists’ greed for profit and utter disregard of the effects on the environment and the people, SUMIFRU, Dole and Del Monte continue to implement this.
Thus, last March 26, at 7:30 in the morning, a unit of the NPA-Front 14 launched a punitive action by shooting at the airplane piloted by Capt. Magbanua which was spraying the destructive chemical in the banana plantation of SUMIFRU in Barangay Sta. Fe, Tagbina, Surigao del Sur. The wing and wheel of the plane were struck forcing its emergency landing. The pilot was not hit and was safe.
Another reason for the punishment is SUMIFRU’s continuing land grabbing which deprive many peasants from farming for the people’s food security. The plantation does not benefit majority of the people compared to the destruction to life and livelihood of the residents. The small number of those employed suffer from low wages, lack of benefits and lack of job security. Only the capitalist, contractor, corrupt labor leader, and corrupt government officials, military and the police, benefit.
In addition, the NPA warns the airplane companies and pilots not to rent their equipment for aerial spraying in plantations such as those owned by SUMIFRU, Dole and Del Monte. This punitive action also serves as a warning so they will not suffer the same fate of Capt. Magbanua. We call upon you to look for other uses of your airplanes.
We call on the people affected by the operation of these type of plantations to continue and persevere in your demands such as genuine agrarian reform, end to contractualization, bigger wages and more work benefits. Continue to resist land grabbing and the continuing expansion of the destructive imperialist plantations in the towns of Caraga and other regions to preserve the environment and for the good of the people.
Ka Ariel Montero
Regional Operational Command
New People’s Army-NEMR