Criminalizing CARP beneficiaries
August 1, 2012
The continuing persecution of peasant activists who are struggling for their right to the land they’re tilling is outright condemnable. For months, the peasants of Brgy. Cantipay, Carmen, Cebu have been frustrating efforts of the town mayor to fence off their farm lots. In the entire time, they have withstood goons and police sent out by local government to quell their opposition to the illegal fencing.
Armed only with the legitimacy of their cause, they stood firmly in protesting the abuse of authority amidst partisan display of police might by the local executive. To highlight the justness of their cause and firmness of their resolve, the Cantipay Farmers’ Association (CAFA) filed administrative complaints against the mayor before the Office of the Ombudsman on July 10, 2012. While harboring no high hopes on our reactionary courts, the peasants would like to demonstrate that they would not cringe from whatever arena their struggle would take them in defense of their rights. In reprisal, the local police lodged trumped up charges of theft against the poor peasants.
Without due notice, they proceeded to arrest spouses Erlinda and Leonides Into on July 24 2012 at about 12:30 PM, two of those who filed the complaint against the mayor at the ombudsman. Not satisfied with that, they would file more charges of illegal possession of firearms and direct assault against the hapless victims. The victims are now penalized to languish in jail due to the high cost of bail recommended by the police for their freedom.
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