Youth and student groups led by Anakbayan joined farmers from as far as Mindanao who travelled in a caravan to the national capital to protest the spate of political killings of farmers and peasant leaders amidst the Duterte regime’s “all-out war” against the revolutionary movement. They condemned the deceptive Oplan Kapayapaan counterinsurgency campaign now being waged by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for leading to human rights abuses.

“Stop killing farmers! We slam the killing of now over 46 activists and civilians who are mostly hapless farmers since the beginning of President Duterte’s term. We the youth as the hope of the nation are aghast at the alarming rate in which the poor and those fighting for their rights are being killed under Duterte. Change has clearly not come,” said University of the Philippines Diliman University Student Council officer Ben Te.

Hundreds of UP Diliman students led by the Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UP (STAND-UP) held a rally at Palma Hall before pushing outside the campus to join the farmers in a protest march towards gates of Malacanang in Mendiola.

According to human rights group Karapatan, 3 farmers in the persons of Cora Molave Lina and Arman and Arlyn Almonicar of the Nagkahiusang Mag-uuma sa Laak were killed in Compostela Valley in just one day last January 27. Meanwhile, peasant organizer Rommel Tucay of the Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon (AMGL) was illegally arrested in Carranglan, Nueva Ecija last January 22 and tortured by alleged military and police forces.

“We are here today to express our commitment to serve the masses of farmers, workers, and other oppressed sectors of our society. We believe that the essence of being an iskolar ng bayan is to be one with the Filipino people in their struggles. We will continue to stand up for every farmer who is killed, every lumad forced off their land, and every Filipino deprived of their rights,” said University of the Philippines Diliman University Student Council officer Shari Oliquino.

Meanwhile, Anakbayan National Chairperson Vencer Crisostomo called on the Filipino youth and people to hold more protests to hold the Duterte regime accountable for its failed promises of change and fascist all-out war against the Filipino people.

 

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