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Friday, April 21, 2006

Bondoc Peninsula, Philippines

A. Background

The land area which occupied by Landowner, almost 100% plant by coconut. Landowner could occupied the land in big area could not separate with the Spain colonize history which gave the authority to Filipino to control the land in big area. Its also happened because Landowner claim the land and become their property. Tenancy agreement also one of the factor of Landowner. First, Tenancy agreement with the government and than Landowner claim the land, in fact they already titled the land.

Landlord or Land Owner who own very big area of land in Bondoc Peninsula:

a. Domingo Reyes who claim the land for 12.000 - 18.000 Ha which located in 3 municipalities, Buena vista, San Narciso and San Andres.

b.Uy Family who claim the land for 3.000 Ha which located in 2 municipalities, San Narciso and San Andres.

c. Matthias Family who claim the land for 2.800 Ha which located in San Francisco.

d.Tan Family who claim the land for + 1.000 Ha which located in 2 municipalities, San Francisco and San Andres.

The activities have done in Mindanao for 12 days, started March 31, 2005 and ended April 11, 2005. The objective from this activity is to understand the complexities of Philippines agrarian reform and development in the case of an area plantation in Bondoc Peninsula. Coconut plantations which we visited for exposure were:

a. Barangay Villa Reyes, San Andres, Quezon.

b.Barangay Lilukin, Buenavista, Quezon.

c. Barangay Pagsangahan, San Francisco, Quezon.

Field visit for exposure have done together with Community Organizing (CO) from Quezon Agrarian Reform, Rural Development and Democratization Services Inc (QUARRDS).

B. Learning Points

Herewith the learning points from Bondoc Peninsula which already separated into two groups of actors, peasant and people organization (PO) and Community Organizer (CO):

Peasant and PO

CO

a. The farmers use boycott for the strategy of struggling.

b. PO could not just have focus on land dispute but have to start to transform to sustainable organization, especially on economic by production structuring program.

c. People organization gets financial support from member's contribution and the others if the have activities.

d. Support from the other members could use to measure the solid of PO

e. The structure of PO is important to make consolidation easier.

a. Community organizing in field related to factors as follow:

- Supporting Logistic.

- Acceptance.

- Quality of integration.

- Trust.

- Possibilities.

b. Case updating is very important to know the successful or un successful.

c. National issues which have related impact to community have to share to farmer as beneficiary.

d. National campaigns have to get support from the community.

e. Empowerment of the farmer's rights is very important as a tool for organizing.

f. We must explain and prepare for farmer readiness to face the risks.

g. Gathering supporting documents is very important for advocacy

h. The farmers have to decide their own strategy for struggling

i. CO has to understand the government structure comprehension.

j. CO has to know the area geography.

k. Alternatives solution very important to handle the community surfeited

l. Legal bases important for the struggling

m. We must use different way to solve horizontal conflict by dialog between each party

C. Understanding of Points Identified

Kilusang Magbubukid ng Bondoc Peninsula (KMBP) as people organization on district level which have 5 people organization on municipality level. KMBP have 3,360 members. KMBP still focus on land dispute (CARP implementation) but already started transform to sustainable organization, especially on economic by production structuring program.[1] There is no people organization on Central Quezon level but already build 13 people organization on barangay level with 418 members. People organization gets financial support from member's contribution and the others if the have activities.

The structure of people organization is very important for consolidation and to cover big area. The community organizer could just meet and/or invite the farmer leaders from the structure of people organization and then the farmers leaders will disseminate the information to all the members on his/her location.

Regular and ad hoc meeting is very important for people organization and community organizer to know the progress or regress the case. What is the main factor could make the case regress. The meeting also could use for socialize the national campaign because the issue which have relation to the farmers have to get support from the farmers it selves.

The strategy for struggling, like boycott have to decide by the farmers themselves and the community organizer (CO) just explain to the farmers about the possibility from the strategy which the farmers already chosen. The discussion on risk analysis is very important for farmers and community organizer to make preventive action just on case something goes wrong. By doing risk analysis, we could identify the best strategy for struggling based on our own power. It's also important to make an analysis the possibility of landowner response, like harassment. The reaction or response of Landowner to the farmers as petitioner is criminalizing the farmers. Herewith are some examples:

a. There are 4 cases farmer criminalize for 38 farmers on Domingo Reyes property but the cases still delayed on regional court.

b.There are 5 cases farmer criminalize on Uy family property since 1997. The criminalize charge are frustrated murder, arson and qualified thief.

c. There are 1 estafa case for 1 farmer and some trespassing cases for 20 farmers on Matthias property.

The harassment type which have done by non state[2] actors are:

a. Revolutionary tax collection by NPA.

b.Barangay intelligent network.

c. Hired killer.

d.Physical attack by NPA which made 1 farmer died and 2 farmers got frustrated murder.

The harassment types which have done by private military[3] from Landowner are:

a. Arson.

b.Ambush.

c. Forcible eviction.

d.Murder by the Goons or the Blue Guards.[4]

The harassment type which have done by military, police and/or barangay official are:

a. Verbal threat.

b.Illegal detention.

c. Annihilation.

D. Reflection

Communities organizing in field related to factors as follow:

- Supporting Logistic, especially for transportation on the first time when community organizer went to the field and build farmers awareness on their rights based on CARP.

- Acceptance and trust also the most important factors as response from the community. It doesn't matter what kind of program from the community organizer if there is no acceptance and trust from each others

- Quality of integration from the community organizer. The community organizers have to keep their integrity continuously. This is the hardest things to do because the community organizers have to stay live low profile, keep the ideology, face the questions from the others the kind of job.

- Possibilities. This factor is important for community organizer and the community to make an analysis "How strong we are and how weak we are".

- Creativity is very important to make community more dynamic, a lot of improvement and also make farmers face the conflict happily.

The farmers use boycott for the strategy of struggling. The farmers have not sold the copra and the sharing to landowner. The reason for using boycott strategy for struggling because all the farmers who have land dispute or want to implement the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) area tenant with sharing 70 - 30 with the benefit for Landowner. All the needs of expenses are farmer's responsibility as tenant.



[1] PEACE is supporting to develop sustainable organization of KMBP on economic sector by geotextile program.

[2] It mean National People's Army (NPA), Barangay official which pro to Landowner and hired killer.

[3] They usually called by The Goons and/or The Blue Guards.

[4] There were already 3 murdered by The Goons and/or The Blue Guards, on 1998, 2003 and 2004.

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