Manila, Philippines – The Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) denounced the killings of Lucila Vargas, 60 years old, a Vice Chairperson of Nagkakaisang Magsasaka ng San Isidro (NAGKAISA) and Auditor of Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Bulacan (AMB) and husband Roger B. Vargas, 65 years old, a member of NAGKAISA, farmer residents of Brgy. San Isidro, San Jose Del Monte city who are asserting their rights against land grabbing. AMB is a provincial chapter of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), a national organization of farmers. Their farm is near the site of the 200-hectare MRT-7 inter-modal station, a flagship Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project of the Aquino administration.
The incident happened last September 19, 2015 at Igay Road, Purok 4, Barangay Paradise 3, San Jose Del Monte City, Bulacan. The couple were fired upon by two unidentified motorcycle-riding men while on their way to Grotto market in Brgy. Tungkong Mangga of the said city to sell farm products.
“We are saddened about the situation of farmers being killed because of agrarian problem. It is a clear manifestation of impunity of land grabbers against farmers who assert their rights,” stated by Sr. Francis Añover, rsm, National Coordinator of RMP.
According to reports, Roger was hit twice in the head and two gunshot wounds at the torso while Lucila was hit at the torso.
Tanggol Magsasaka, a farmers’ rights group and KMP indicated that the day before the incident, the couple had an argument with the armed security guards of Superb Security Agency hired by former Ilocos Sur Governor Luis “Chavit” Singson who is claiming ownership of 11 hectares of land at the said barangay.
“We demand a stop to the extra-judicial killings and other forms of human rights violations against farmers. We are also opposing the deployment of soldiers under the 48th Infrantry Battalion of the Philippine Army in Paradise 3 Village that threatens the farmers’ struggle for their rights to land”, Añover concluded. ###
The RMP is a national organization, inter-congregational and inter-diocesan in character, of women and men religious, priests and lay. We live and work with the peasants (farmers, fisherfolks, indigenous peoples and agricultural workers).