MASIPAG statement on the 50th Martial Law Commemoration
Magsasaka at Siyentipiko para sa Pag-unlad ng Agrikultura (MASIPAG) expresses our unity and solidarity with the Filipino people in commemorating the declaration of Martial Law and combating its historical revisionism purveyed by the powers that be. We are one in seeking justice for all the victims during one of the darkest times of our land. 50 years later, we are still in unison with all the freedom-loving Filipino people in saying “never again, never forget!”
“Importante na alalahanin ang Martial Law dahil bahagi ito ng ating madilim na kasaysayan. Maraming mga magulang, kapatid, anak at mahal sa buhay ang nagsakripisyo ng buhay upang labanan ang diktadura. Makasaysayan ito dahil sa sama-samang pagkilos ng libo-libong mamamayan upang patalsikin ang diktadurang Marcos Sr.” said Rodolfo Cortez, MASIPAG farmer leader from Negros Occidental.
(It is important to remember Martial Law because it is part of our dark history. Many parents, siblings, children and loved ones sacrificed their lives to fight for our freedom. What unraveled during Martial Law was historic because of the collective action of the thousands of Filipino shown to fight for our freedom and democracy)
Indeed, the creation of MASIPAG itself was a product of the collective action initiated by the farmers all around the country during the fall of MASAGANA 99- the flagship agricultural program of the Marcos Sr. administration during Martial Law. By 1985, farmers all around the country gathered in the University of the Philippines Los Baños to once and for all breakaway from the structural and military violence imposed by the combined punitive forces of MASAGANA 99 and Martial Law towards the Filipino farmers only demanding for a better alternative and pro-farmer agricultural system.
Today, the son of the mastermind of MASAGANA 99 and Martial Law plans to revive and intensify the MASAGANA 99 project under the name MASAGANA 150 and MASAGANA 200 all while also maintaining the militarization of the countryside through, development aggression, Anti-terrorism Law and massive state surveillance and harassment towards farmers effectively subsuming it under a de facto Martial Law.
“Kaming mga magsasaka ay tutol sa planong ibalik muli ni Marcos Jr. ang MASAGANA progam sa mukha ng MASAGANA 150. Ang MASAGANA 99 ang nagbukas ng pinto upang makapasok ang mga kemikal na input at HYV (High Yielding Varieties) sa ating bansa na produkto ng mga transnasyunal na korporasyon. Binago nito ang sistema ng pagsasaka sa buong bansa na dahilan upang malugmok ang mga magsasaka sa kahirapan, maraming mga magsasaka ang nalubog sa utang dahil dito.
Kasabay ng pagkasira ng kultura ay nasira rin ang sakahan dahil sa malalang paggamit ng abono at kemikal. Kung ang MASAGANA 99 noon ay bahirap lang ang dala sa mgamagsasaka, sigurado na pahirap rin ang dala ng MASAGANA 150” Cortez added.
(We farmers are against Marcos Jr.’s plan to bring back the MASAGANA program through MASAGANA 150. MASAGANA 99 opened the door for chemical inputs and HYV to enter our country that are products of transnational corporations. This changed the farming system in the whole country which caused the farmers to fall into poverty. Many farmers went into debt because of it. Along with the destruction of our bayanihan culture, our farms were also damaged due to the heavy use of fertilizers and chemicals. If the MASAGANA 99 brought hardship to farmers, then, it is sure that the MASAGANA 150 will also bring hardship).
As the military fascist during Martial Law persecute rightful dissenting citizens, its agricultural program MASAGANA 99 were killing farmers in their farms due to exposures to fatal chemical inputs and inaccessible and unsustainable HYV seeds that eventually led to famine, landlessness, and loss in biodiversity that the present generation continuously experience.
Today, as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of Martial Law amid its lasting effect that enabled the now prevailing disinformation, the worsening food and agricultural crisis, and further state negligence of our farmers, fighting for our freedom, democracy and sovereignty in land and food has never been more urgent.
50 years ago, Martial Law has shown us how it excavated our freedom and democracy, buried us with backward and corrupt programs and policies such as MASAGANA 99, then sealed it with massive military violence: they tried to bury us but they didn’t know we were the seeds.
Against forgetting, against fascism, indeed we are the seeds that continue to bloom and deepen our roots in further fighting for genuine and sustainable change.