Magsasaka at Siyentipiko para sa Pag-unlad ng Agrikultura or MASIPAG is one with the Filipino people in commemorating the 37th year anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution. MASIPAG upholds the EDSA People Power Revolution spirit and continuing the fight of the Filipino people, especially of the Filipino farmers, in achieving a farmer-led agriculture and people-led food system.
MASIPAG will never forget the very reason why the farmer-led network was created a year before the EDSA People Power Revolution. MASIPAG owes it to the bravery of the thousands of farmers, scientists, and rural development workers of their time who convened the Bahanggunian Hinggil sa Isyu ng Bigas also known as the BIGAS Conference in 1985 to once and for all combat Marcos Sr.’s failing Green Revolution through MASAGANA 99, amid Martial Law where state-sponsored harassments, killings, and abductions where being inflicted to the critiques of the failing government at that time.
During MASAGANA 99, the state of agriculture and food security of the country worsened with the government’s subservience to foreign and corporate interests being the driving force behind the implementation of its preferred methods- unsustainable and highly deadly chemical farming. Lives of the Filipino farmers also became so poor that many were driven into the cycle of debt and landlessness.
With the dictator’s son Marcos Jr., being the current president of the country, MASIPAG shall remain vigilant and critical in the projects and policies that his administration will implement especially in the field of rural development and agriculture.
MASIPAG also firmly rejects President Marcos Jr.’s categorization of the EDSA People Power Revolution as a “time in our history that divided the Filipino people” in his recently released statement.
The damages his late father inflicted through Martial Law and MASAGANA 99 was totalizing violence not only to the Filipino people and farmers but also to the Philippine sovereignty – and this totalizing violence cannot be categorized as something that plainly “divided” the Filipino people. For Marcos Jr. to define the EDSA People Power Revolution as a mere “time in our history that divided the Filipino people” is a flat-out attempt to revise our history and hide the totalizing and still being felt damage in agriculture and economy that his late father inflicted on the Filipino farmers.
Moreover, Marcos Jr.’s offer of “reconciliation to those with different political persuasions” under the guise of unity was lip service at best. We all have been seeing that since coming into power, he has been doing nothing but implement the same detrimental and sure-to-fail agriculture system that his father implemented during the ’70s and ’80s such as the proliferation of corporate-led technologies like Golden Rice and chemical inputs, as well as the revival of MASAGANA 99 under the banner of MASAGA 150 and 200. Rice Tariffication Law and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) are still in effect that have been damaging our economy and food sovereignty.
MASIPAG registers that real reconciliation starts by carefully listening to our farmers who have been at the forefront of feeding the nation despite the lack of structural support coming from the government. Real reconciliation begins in admitting the injustices committed by Marcos Sr. and its administration and honoring the farmers’ demand to implement genuine agrarian reform, reject Golden Rice and other corporate-led “solutions” to agriculture and food security, and implement programs and policies that are truly nationalist, accessibly scientific, and pro-farmer. ###