Over 100 farmer leaders from Northern Mindanao went far away from home and are now heading to Quezon City to stage a protest through 1,497 kilometers walk as a call on the government to distribute among them and other farmers the ownership of the 517-hectare land located at the state-owned Central Mindanao University (CMU) in Bukidnon.
In an article by Manilatimes.com, the actual protest dubbed as the “Baktas (March) BTL: For Land and Life” will start on Wednesday, October 11, after a two bus-convoy that will pass through different provinces on the way to Quezon City.
The leaders are from organizations such as the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and the Buffalo Tamaraw Limus (BTL ) Farmers Association, who will be putting up camps outside of the Central Office of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and will be conducting forums and dialogues in various schools and support institutions in Quezon City.
In a statement, farmers who are members of BTL claimed that they experienced “harassment” and “rights violations” when they were stripped off of their rights to the disputed farmlands which were taken by CMU.
On the other hand, KMP Northern Mindanao Chairman Erineo Udarbe urged fellow farmers in the whole region to fight for their rights to own the lands that are rightfully theirs.
Aside from the group’s advocacy for land rights, it is also pushing for the acquisition of the “lumad’s” or “native settlers’” rights to their ancestral domain.