By CRIS DIAZ
CAGAYAN de Oro City–About 100 leaders of various farmer groups in Northern Mindanao on Monday started a 1,497-kilometer trek to Quezon City to press the government to distribute the 517-hectare land owned by a state university in Bukidnon to the farmers.
Dubbed as “Baktas (March) BTL: For Land and Life,” the farmers expect to arrive in Quezon on Oct 11. while passing by various provinces for some “awareness-raising” actions before proceeding to Manila.
The leaders of the
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and the Buffalo Tamaraw Limus (BTL) Farmers Association, would camp out at the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) central office in Quezon City on Oct. 11 to 25 while holding forums and dialogues in schools and support institutions.
Winnie Loable, the chairperson of the BTL farmers association, said that the group would hand carry a petition to the DAR central office asking the agrarian officials to declare the distribution of the 517-hectare land in Bukidnon to the rightful farmer-tillers of land.
The state-owned Central Mindanao University (CMU) in Bukidnon has taken the farming lots from the rightful farmers who have been subjected to “harassment” and “rights violations,” said the group in a statement released to The Manila Times.
Erineo Udarbe, the KMP chairperson in Northern Mindanao, has called for unity among farmers in the region in the struggle to own lands that rightfully belongs to the farmers.
The collective journey and the camp out to press the government, through DAR, to officially declare the farmers as the rightful owners of the BTL-tilled lands, and at the same time recognize the rights of the “Lumads” to their ancestral domain, the group statement said. With report from Mark Francisco
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