Pambangsang Katipunan ng mga Magbubukid, Southern Mindanao Region
Member, National Democratic Front of the Philippines
It is understandable that Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte views the April 29 NPA’s punitive action in the city as an “act of terrorism” against the Lorenzos, given that her husband, Atty. Mans Carpio, is a legal counsel of the Lorenzo-owned Lapanday Foods Corp. We can only expect that a GRP local chief executive who has vested interest in the companies of a landgrabbing comprador-landlord to be the latter’s spokesperson and defender.
Sara Duterte hardly made noise when Lapanday’s armed goons opened fire and wounded nine unarmed civilian peasants three days after the latter’s land occupation of the landgrabbed Lapanday banana plantation in Tagum City last December. Duterte also supported the appointment of PNP Supt. Alexander Tagum as Davao City Police Chief, the same fascist police officer who led the massacre of barricading El Niño victims in Kidapawan City in April last year.
Thus, for Sara Duterte to claim the NPA’s assault in the Lorenzo-owned businesses in Davao City a “personal insult,” is not only hypocritical but downright self-serving.
Nothing can be farther from the truth when she scored the NPA as “a group that pretends to champion social justice and equality.” For peasants around the region, the NPA’s series of raids in Lapanday’s plants in Mandug and Bunawan, and ranch in Pangyan, Calinan is a fitting retributive action by a true people’s army against a greedy feudal lord and capitalist.
We are overjoyed that the NPA punished the Lorenzos for oppressing peasants and Lumad who are victims of their direct landgrabbing and exploitative schemes through onerous growership contracts. We are joined by manufacturing and agricultural workers who slave away under inhumane working conditions while being paid pittance as wages because of Lapanday’s avarice.
The wealth that the Lorenzos had accumulated through the years came from the collective sweat and toil of peasants and workers alike. Lapanday plantations also encroached on vast tracts of land with no consideration to health risks or long-term effects to the environment. Lapanday companies grew from the numerous blood debts of slain peasants and Lumad who resisted its aggressive expansion.
With this recent tactical offensive, the NPA has yet again showed its distinct mettle as the people’s true army that struggles for genuine social justice. Once more, the NPA has defended the welfare of the downtrodden against the exploitation of the ruling class. No other army in the country protects the interests of the oppressed and consistently lives by the revolutionary aspiration of ending the shackles of feudalism and solving society’s ills.
RESTITUTO P. BAGUER