MisOr farmers’ group joins Monday’s transport strike

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY  (MindaNews/17 September) — In solidarity with the transport sector, the Misamis Oriental Farmers’ Association-Kilusan ng Magbubukid sa Pilipinas (Mofa-KMP) will launch “Welgang Mag-uuma” on Monday, September 19 to coincide with the nationwide transport strike.

Ireneo Udarbe, Mofa-KMP, in an emailed statement, dated September 16, said they will mobilize their members to participate in the nationwide strike that will be spearheaded in the region by  the Solidarity of Transport Alliance in Region 10-Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Starex-Piston).

“We will mobilize our members to help man the ‘persuasion point’ all over the city on Monday. It has now become more legitimate, necessary and urgent for the people to initiate widespread and sustaining actions against the leniency of the Aquino administration towards the oil companies,” said Udarbe.

He said the oil companies have manipulated oil prices “according to their greed for super profits to the detriment of the working masses.”

“The wanton oil price increases have made the already marginalized sectors become more and more desperately poor everyday,” Udarbe said.

In an earlier interview, Starex-Piston chairperson Santos Hinosolango said they will mobilize their member-organizations here, from the province of Bukidnon and the cities of Iligan and Gingoog.

“The people are once again called upon to unite and push for the long-sought immediate economic relief and long term solutions to the skyrocketing oil prices,” the Starex-Piston’s emailed statement, Friday, said.

With the support of Mofa-KMP, the northern Mindanao regional chapters of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, Kilusang Mayo Uno, Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap and Anakbayan, Hinosolango said they will hold “persuasion points” at the major junctions of Barangay Puerto, Lapasan, Carmen, Bulua and Velez St-national highway.

“We will officially start the transport strike at 4 o’clock in the morning and we will end it by converging our member-organizations and allied groups in a short program at the Velez St-national highway junction at 3pm,” said Hinosolango.

Udarbe, in a telephone interview, Saturday, said their group will also launch a series of protest actions in the coming weeks to highlight their sector’s demands.

“We will hold the ‘Rural Stakeholders’ Dialogue for Land Rights, Job Security and Social Justice’ on September 23, here. We expect to gather representatives from various government agencies that are relevant in resolving agrarian problems, such as the Department of Agriculture, Department of Agrarian Reform, Philippine Coconut Authority, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples, among others,” Udarbe said.

He said they aim to gather 12,000 peasants on the third week next month to commemorate the peasant month dubbed as “Lakbayan sa Mag-uuma.”

“We will be expecting our members as far as Gingoog City, east of the province, and Lugait town from the west. We will march from our various respective point of origins and will converge in Cagayan de Oro City to press for reforms in the coconut industry,”  he said. (Cong B. Corrales/MindaNews)