Press Statement
20 April 2016

NDFP-Mindanao joins the entire Filipino nation and the world in celebration of Earth Day on April 22, which is made more significant today because climate change brought about by global warming continues to impact populations across the globe, causing unrest, severe hunger and deaths, especially among the poor.

After the super typhoons (Ondoy in 2010, Sendong in 2011, Pablo in 2012 and Yolanda in 2014), we are now hit with one of the worst El Niño in years, registering record highs in temperature, and causing forest fires in mounts Apo, Kitanglad, Matutum, Parker and others. Many agrarian areas, especially in Mindanao, suffer severe drought. Since the last quarter of 2015 until present, this has adversely affected tens of millions of peasants whose crops have failed.

El Niño worsens the incidence of hunger in the country. Many farmers are forced to sell their meagre land, including farm animals and other inputs. Others have no choice but to transfer to other towns and cities to scrounge for livelihood; while, at worst, there are those forcibly driven to criminality and to prostitution.

However, the reactionary government’s response to this is deliberate negligence, denying hungry peasants of much-needed calamity funds, food subsidies and rice stocks. While farmers go hungry, the bureaucracy in truth has taken advantage of the crisis to pocket chunks of the billions-worth of calamity funds, using bureaucratic technicalities to smokescreen their corruption. Thus, the Aquino III regime does not intend to seriously address the El Niño problem nor resolve the food crisis.

Dealing with these, angry peasant masses have risen in militant protest against an insensitive and irresponsive Aquino III regime, which has for so long also denied them of genuine agrarian reform and has been inutile in mitigating the dire effects of climate change in the country. Instead of a real solution, peasant protests are met with outright fascism.

This has taken a bloody turn during the April 1 Kidapawan massacre, where three farmers were killed, more than a hundred wounded, scores illegally arrested and imprisoned, including the elderly and pregnant women, and many still missing. This brutal suppression of the people’s basic rights will go down in history as one of the grimmest legacies of the US-Aquino III regime, testament to how anti-people ‘daang matuwid’ really is. After the massacre, Aquino III remained unremorseful for the deaths and wounding of the people he pretentiously calls his ‘boss’.

Despite its commitment to international conventions on climate change, including the recent Paris Summit, the US-Aquino III regime has not implemented any significant and effective policy changes for ecological preservation and the mitigation of the effects of climate change in the country.

The US-Aquino III regime has undoubtedly betrayed the Filipino people through the total sell-out of the nation’s patrimony. The US-Aquino III regime entices more imperialist mining corporations to plunder the country’s mineral resources, and ensure their unhampered operations. Of late, certain areas in the countryside in Mindanao were cleared for coal mining, which resulted in the forcible evacuation of whole communities, such as the Lumads from Surigao del Sur. This is in tandem with the push to construct more coal-fired power plants in the pretext of solving the country’s ‘energy crisis’. Coal-fired power plants however will not cater to the needs of the people but rather serve the voracious energy consumption of the big businesses of big landlords, big compradors and imperialists. This also proves the reactionary government’s utter lack of interest in pursuing cleaner, non-destructive sources of energy.

In Mindanao, the expansion of destructive imperialist plantations of Dole, Del Monte and Sumitomo Fruits continue uninterrupted, grabbing land from peasants and the Lumad and Moro peoples, and, exploiting agri-workers. They prey on farmers by buying-out drought-stricken agricultural land at very low rates. Moreover, these multinational agri-giants are notorious in using highly toxic chemicals.

The US and China are two of the largest polluters in the world because of frenzied imperialist production, which aggravates the Greenhouse effect. Imperialist countries pollute the earth with impunity, at the very expense of poor nations and natural environments across the globe. This is only reflective of the level of rapacity of the industrial production of monopoly capitalism, particularly the US, to extract super profit and to maintain world economic hegemony. In semi-colonies, forest denudation through wanton logging and agri-plantation expansion of multinational corporations and the plunder of natural resources though imperialist mining have a calamitous exponential effect in the aggravation of global warming.

The Filipino people therefore must strengthen its opposition to destructive imperialist mining and agri-plantations because of the damage it causes to life and the environment. We must advance the People’s Democratic Revolution to victory in order to establish a socialist society, which completely replaces the frenzied, anarchic production of capitalism with a socialist planned economy that judiciously utilizes and allocates our natural resources and rehabilitates the environment.

The NDFP-Mindanao holds accountable the ruling classes of big landlords and bourgeois comprador and their US imperialist master for the plunder of our natural resources and the destruction of the environment. We also hold the US-Aquino III regime criminally liable for the Kidapawan massacre and for the continuing disregard and neglect of the rights and welfare of the peasantry. Thus, we call on the NPA to do everything in its capacity to defend the people and the environment against imperialist corporations.#

Ka Oris