Agrarian violence claimed two more lives this month. A leader of Task Force Mapalad (TFM), Rico Adeva, 39, was gunned down by three men as he and his wife Nenita were walking to their home in Barangay Dos Hermanas, Silay City, Negros Occidental on Black Saturday. He suffered seven bullet wounds - in the head, stomach, chest, and hand. Meanwhile, in Davao, the Secretary General of the National Coordination of Autonomous Local Rural People's Organizations (UNORKA), Eric Cabanit, was assassinated by two masked men while he was in a public market in Panabo last April 24, 2006. His daughter, who was with him when the shooting happened, was also wounded and is still in critical condition. |
The killing of Adeva and Cabanit are clearly agrarian reform-related. Indeed, we expect more cases of violence because CARP is already in its last - and arguably most difficult - stretch. The government has already distributed non-controversial public and private lands, while controversial and large haciendas remain untouched. Big land owners have cultivated a sense of impunity hardened by the government's coddling of landed interests, private armies, and the lack of political will to redistribute lands.
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