February 20, 2013
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) commended and congratulated the New People’s Army (NPA) for successfully launching simultaneous raids against large multinational plantations in Bukidnon. “The punitive attacks against the multinational plantations have long been demanded by the indigenous people and peasant masses in Bukidnon and other parts of Mindanao whose ancestral lands have been seized, plundered, despoiled and poisoned by big foreign multinational corporations.”
Yesterday, several companies of NPA Red fighters under the North Central Mindanao Region (NCMR) command simultaneously attacked the Del Monte motorpool garage at Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon; the Del Monte fertilizer warehouse and logistics office at Vista Villa, Sumilao, Bukidnon; and the Dole Philippines office in Impasug-ong, Bukidnon. They proceeded to disable the equipment and destroy other capital goods used in the pineapple plantations.
Other NPA units set up several checkpoints along the highway stretching from Malaybalay, Bukidnon to Cagayan de Oro to prevent the entry military reinforcements. Initial reports by the NPA command indicate that at least ten high-powered rifles and scores of assorted firearms were confiscated in the simultaneous raids.
According to NDF-Mindanao spokesperson Jorge “Ka Oris” Madlos, the simultaneous raids on the plantations in Bukidnon are punitive measures against the multinational corporations whose operations in the province are among the root causes of the massive flooding in Cagayan de Oro in the aftermath of typhoon Sendong in December 2011. “This is one way of delivering justice to the 2,000 people who died in the floods.”
“We have been calling on the owners and operators of these plantations to reorient their businesses and stop the expansion of their plantations in Mindanao,” added Madlos. “These plantations have caused grave damage to the environment.”
The Del Monte and Dole companies are among the biggest multinational corporations operating in the Philippines. Del Monte has 23,000 hectares of pineapple plantations in the country. Its Camp Philips plantation in Bukidnon spans 9,000 hectares. It also operates a 5,000-hectare banana plantation in Agusan del Norte. Dole Philippines, on the other hand, operates more than 35,000 hectares of pineapple and banana plantations in various parts of Mindanao.
“Workers and farm-workers employed by these big multinational corporations are among the most exploited and oppressed,” pointed out the CPP.
“Under the Aquino regime, foreign multinational corporations are ever expanding their operations,” said the CPP. Peasant organizations exposed last year an offer by the Aquino government to open up another 44,000 hectares of land in Quezon, Bukidnon for plantations, threatening peasants and rice production in the area. The Aquino regime also supports these multinational corporations by providing them armed protection by allowing them to set up Investment Defense Forces that will be trained and commanded by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
The CPP calls for subjecting these vast plantations to land reform and converting these to the production of food crops primarily for local consumption. “We must put an end to the dominance and control of foreign big multinational corporations which decide which crops to produce for the export market.”
The CPP urged the NPA in various parts of Mindanao to continue stepping up its offensives against foreign multinational corporations and their armed minions. “The revolutionary forces must punish the worst of the plunderers and destroyers of the environment which are responsible for grave calamities which have killed thousands upon thousands and dealt massive harm on the people’s livelihood over the past several years.”