MANILA, Philippines — Thousands of farmers from all over the country who have marched on Metro Manila to reiterate long-standing demands for land reform and respect for their rights held a night of protest songs and dances at their camp at the Department of Agrarian Reform in Quezon City Tuesday.
The farmers from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao joined “Lakbay Magsasaka” arriving in the capital on Monday and staging protests at the Philippine Coconut Authority and Camp Aguinaldo the next day.
On Wednesday, they will stage a rally at Mendiola.
At the DAR event, dubbed “Talim ng Karit,” they called for the overthrow of the perceived ills of Philippine society — imperialism, bureaucrat-capitalism and feudalism — and predicted that President Rodrigo “Duterte mismo, babagsak (Duterte himself will fall).”
Earlier, farmers and human rights groups accused the Duterte government of being no different from those of his predecessors, Benigno Aquino III and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, noting that little over a year into the current administration, 91 peasants have been killed.
Former National Democratic Front chief peace negotiator Luis Jalandoni took to the stage with his wife, peace panel member Coni Ledesma, and consultants Randy Felix Malayao, Alan Jazmines and Satur Ocampo.
Praising the farmers, Jalandoni said: “Kami ay nabibigyan ninyo ng malaki at malalim na inspirasyon dahil sa magiting ninyong pakikibaka (We gain great and profound inspiration from your valiant struggle).”
Mabuhay ang rebolusyon ng sambayanang Pilipino (Long liv the revolution of the Filipino people),” he added.
HERE ARE PHOTOS AND A VIDEO FROM ‘TALIM NG KARIT’: