Lease is not equivalent to peace: resolve the social roots of war
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Negros | PRESS STATEMENT | Reference: BAYAN-Negros Public Information Department | Mobile #:09217859554 | The more Governor Alfredo Marañon, Jr. talks about his concept of peace, the more we suspect that he is equating it with business.
As the governor’s mind is kept busy with the multi-million selling and leasing of Capitol properties, he is also calling on armed groups particularly the New People’s Army to lay down their arms and join what he calls as the “mainstream” of society.
There is no doubt that the vast majority of peasants in the countryside want peace. But it is not like what Governor Marañon has in mind.
As the Armed Forces of the Philippines intensifies its campaign of suppression in the hinterland of Negros Occidental, we have not heard the governor talk in defense of human rights of the peasants. As the mercenary soldiers go on a rampage, we have not heard of the governor call on the AFP to respect the people’s rights.
As soldiers of the Revolutionary Proletarian Army hired by landlords harass protesting sugarworkers right in his hometown of Sagay, we have not heard Governor Marañon rebuff them or remind them that people have the right to protest.
As mining companies are about to level once more the mountains and ravage the forests and displace thousands of upland folk, we have not heard Governor Marañon talk in defense of the poor peasants.
Yet the governor wants peace.
He wants it in the context of peacefully allowing businesses to peacefully displace peasants and other oppressed sectors who should peacefully submit to their skewed concept of development.
But this is not peace.
Rather, peace is resolving the social roots of war. It is implementing land reform. It is resolving poverty – poverty that cannot be resolved by distributing pigs, cows and chickens like what the provincial government is doing now.
It is defending the patrimony from rapacious multi-national firms who want to mine our resources for profits. It is making sure that health centers and clinics are more numerous than detachments in the countryside. It is making sure that children of peasants can go to school and can eat three nutritious meals a day.
These, we believe, can lead to peace.
As Governor Marañon continues to peddle his concept of peace, we shall continue to make it known that peace is not the absence of conflict.
It is and will always be the absence of landlessness, poverty, inequity and injustice.###
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