Hon. Benigno Simeon Aquino III
President, Republic of the Philippines
New Executive Building
Malacañang Palace Compound J. P. Laurel St., San Miguel, Manila
Fax: (02) 735-8005
Hon. Ramon Paje
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)
2/F DENR Bldg., Visayas Avenue, Quezon City
Fax: (02) 920-4301
Hon. Virgilio Delos Reyes
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)
Elliptical Road, Diliman
Quezon City, Philippines
Tel: (632) 928-7031 to 39
Hon. Voltaire Gazmin
Department of National Defense (DND)
DND Building, Camp Aguinaldo
EDSA, Quezon City, Philippines
Tel: (632) 9825600
Hon. Leila De Lima
Department of Justice
Padre Faura Street, Ermita, Manila, Philippines
Tel: (632) 523 8481
Hon. Antonio Barcelon
Office of the Mayor
Nasugbu, Batangas, Philippines
Tel: (643) 412-0222
Mr. Henry T. Sy Sr.
Chairman, SM Land Inc.
10th Floor, Harbor Drive
Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City 1300, Philippines
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
To the Concerned Parties:
We express concern over the findings of an International Solidarity Mission (ISM) that was conducted by the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), KASAMA-TK (Peasant Alliance in Southern Tagalog), SAMBAT (Peasant Alliance in Batangas) and Asian Peasant Coalition (APC) in Hacienda Looc, Nasugbu town, in the province of Batangas, Philippines from February 11 to 15, 2012.
Composed of four villages of Calayo, Bulihan, Papaya and Looc, with an area of 8,650 hectares, the place is endowed with rich natural resources more than enough to provide its populace of more or less 10,000 farmers and fisherfolks. Now, the entire Hacienda Looc is in grave danger.
The ISM team find out that “the more than a decade of agrarian conflict in Hacienda Looc, though might be complicated, is a systematic process of conspiracy between the government and its agencies and SM Land Inc. ,the present real estate developer. Thru the different government policies and programs, they made land grabbing to appear as a legitimate and legal.
Moreover, the bogus agrarian reform programs like the Presidential Decree No.27 and the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) had denied the Hacienda Looc farmers of their rights to the lands. Using the CARP itself, real estate developers managed to exempt Hacienda Looc from agrarian reform.
Although the sale and/or transfer of those lands covered by agrarian reform is strictly prohibited by the law, legal maneuvers were done by land brokers and real estate developer to legitimately take back the rights of the farmers to till their land.
Large tracts of land, mostly farmland and forests, are being cleared to make way for the construction of golf courses, often resulting to soil erosion, downstream flooding and landslides. To keep lawn green and velvety, two tons of pesticides and insecticides are sprayed yearly which eventually get washed down into the water table, irrigation systems, rivers and sea. These pollute the waterways, and 90% of the chemicals sprayed on the course also affect the air, posing health problems to golfers themselves, caddies and local residents.
The landgrabbing and large scale tourism projects on agricultural lands resulting to landlessness and food insecurity” should be stopped in order to uphold the rights of the farmers and fsiherfolks, we would like to request you to immediately undertake the following measures in Hacienda Looc:
1. Recognize the rights of the farmers to own the land they have been cultivating for more than three decades and implement genuine land reform program;
2. For the local government to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and study on whatever applications of reclassification and conversion amidst the existence of Executive Order (EO 647) and Presidential Proclamation (PP) 1520;
3. The DAR should conduct comprehensive review on the agrarian cases at Hacienda Looc and conduct dialogues with regards to the human rights violations perpetuated by the security forces, 733rd CGPAF, 16th IB and Philippine Air Force;
4. The DENR should immediately investigate and stop the infrastructure and eco-tourism project of Fil-Estate, MSDC, SM Land Inc., Megaworld and other real-estate developer in Hacienda Looc;
5. For the local government to pass an ordinance protecting the farmers, fisher folks and communities from threats, harassments and intimidations of security forces specifically on the land they till and occupy;
6. The SM Land Inc. and other real estate developer in Hacienda Looc should stop land use conversions and large scale tourism projects on agricultural lands resulting to landlessness and food insecurity;
7. For the local government to approve an ordinance protecting communities from any military and civil- military operations and making or using public structures and private dwellings as military detachments;
8. Immediately conduct investigations and prosecute the security forces and 733rd CGPAF that commits grave human rights violations; and
9. Conduct series of dialogues to address the issues and concerns affecting the farmers and fisherfolks.
KMP Deputy Secretary General and
ISM Team Member