Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Sumilao Update: Metro Manila Leg

Almost two months after leaving Sumilao, Bukidnon, farmers from Sumilao have finally entered Metro Manila. The marchers, yesterday were able to hold a dialogue with some senators to air their grievances. Their march ended at the San Carlos Seminary for an overnight respite. The local government of Makati was kind enough to allow the march to pass through their city without a hitch.

Today, the marchers will leave the seminary at 10 AM. They will proceed to Pasig where the main office of San Miguel Corporation is located. SMC bought the land from Norberto Quisumbing to construct a piggery, the sale viewed by some as not in good faith. The conversion plan was submitted by Quisumbing to the DAR to prevent it from being covered by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.

SMC did not adhere to the conversion plan which could lead to the nullity of the sale. This will lead to the 144-hectare land being finally awarded to the Sumilao farmers. The marches will then proceed to Quezon City where the Ateneo de Manila University will celebrate a mass for them. They will proceed to the House of Representatives to hold a picket. On Thursday, the farmers will setup camp in front of the DAR office. They will attempt to hold a rally on Mediola bridge.

I received an update from Gari Lazaro early today and informed me that the men will shave their heads. This is against Higaonon culture.

I hope that bloggers would join in spreading the story of Sumilao's March for Justice. I also would like to ask people to share whatever they can give to these farmers who have walked 1,700km just so they can be heard.

*Updates and backgrounder can be viewed here.