features from SOBRIETY for the PHILIPPINES:
(Without Fear or Favor)
Thursday, June 14, 2012
By INA ALLECO R. SILVERIO
MANILA — Grassroots human rights and peasant organizations in Southern Tagalog are poised to launch an all-out campaign to expose the increasing number of human rights violations in the region, specifically Quezon province in the Bondoc Peninsula. The groups said the Benigno Aquino III government has given its full-blessing to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to intensify military operations to clear areas for the extraction activities of mining corporations.
The broad formation will be led by different grass roots organizations based in Quezon such as Karapatan (Alliance for the Advancement of Human Rights), PIGLAS , the provincial peasant organization in Quezon, and Anakpawis Partylist Chapters in the province.
Regional and national organizations such as Karapatan, Bayan and Kasama-TK will also play major roles in the campaign. Groups and individuals such as lawyers, journalists and church people who are active in the advocacy for the defense of human rights from both local and international community are also invited to support the movement and its activities.
According to Axel Pinpin, secretary of the Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK), the Aquino government has targeted Quezon province because of its rich natural resources and substantial share in the total agricultural production in the whole region. Districts 3 and 4 of the province are more commonly known as South Quezon and Bondoc Peninsula respectively, and are considered to be the centers of agricultural production.
On the whole, Quezon province has 39 municipalities and two cities, covering a total land area of 870, 660 hectares. Some 513,681 hectares or almost 60 percent is agricultural. The Quezon coastline, meanwhile, stretches for more than one thousand kilometers. Given all this, almost 78 percent of the population work as farmers who rely on the production of coconuts, rice, corn and other agricultural products for their livelihood..... MORE
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