Statement of Erin Tañada, Partido Liberal vice president for external affairs, on Negros massacre
Bakit baril at bala ang sagot sa sakit ng sikmura? Arrest and prosecute killers — Erin
The field of dreams for the small group of Negros farmers has turned into killing fields. Diniligan na naman ng dugo ang bukid ng mga pangarap. We must be outraged at how the might of guns and goons confronted the farmers’ aspirations for land and food for their families. Bakit baril at bala ang sagot sa sakit ng sikmura?
The pieces of evidence, testimonies of witnesses, and other vital information should lead authorities to arrest and prosecute the killers.
We support calls for an independent investigation into the incident that should involve the Commission on Human Rights, the National Bureau of Investigation, and civil society groups. This is necessary to guarantee an impartial and thorough investigation, amid allegations by the police and military that some peasant groups have links to communist rebels. Authorities should also immediately investigate the hacienda owner’s security personnel and find out if policemen and military personnel are among its roster.
The Negros massacre is the continuing story of Cabesang Tales from Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere. Our farmers remain among the poorest in Philippine society. Our farmers seek only to earn enough to feed their family three square meals a day, have a roof over their head, send their children to school. Our farmers dream only to work and live in dignity.
Cabesang Tales’s age-old story is not only about food and jobs, it is also about freedom from want, it is also about justice. Pagkain at trabaho, kalayaan sa kahirapan, at katarungan.