A LEADER of a farmers’ group urged Thomasians to study land-related problems in the country to understand the struggles of poor Filipino farmers.

Antonio Flores, secretary general of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), said students could help the farmers in their fight against land-grabbing and killings of farmer-leaders under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte by spreading awareness about the issues.

“Maraming estudyante rito ang open-minded [kaya] matututuhan [nila] ang pinaglalaban ng mga magsasaka. Ang aming mga kahilingan sa estudyante ay sana yakapin nila ang problema ng mga magsasaka lalo na sa usapin sa lupa para umunlad ang ating lipunan,” Flores told the Varsitarian in an interview last October.

In a protest staged on España Boulevard last month, farmers from all over the country clamored for “genuine” land reform by dismantling systems of land monopoly, haciendas and plantations in the country.

“Today, the Filipino peasant masses vow to further our struggle for genuine land reform through more rigorous land occupation and collective cultivation,” Flores said.

UST Simbahayan Director Mark Anthony Abenir, who welcomed the farmers in UST for a “solidarity lunch,” called on Thomasians to denounce state-sponsored killings under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Sana magising tayo sa mga nangyayaring mga pagpatayan…huwag nating suportahan ang mga ganong klase ng pananaw. [I]balik natin ang pagmamahal sa Diyos [at] pagmamahal natin sa mga kapwa natin. Kung gusto natin ng kapayapaan gumawa rin tayo ng nararapat na kapayapaan at hindi karahasan,” Abenir said.

In a Eucharistic celebration participated in by students and farmers, Caloocan Bishop Emeritus Deogracias Iñiguez, Jr. underscored the importance of being critical of the injustices in society.

“Ang paglikha ng Diyos ay hindi isang bagay na ginawa Niya minsan at ito’y natatapos. [Ito] ay patuloy na ginaganap Niya…at tayo ay Kanyang mga kasama, upang ang mga bagay-bagay ay patuloy na mabuhay, umunlad, at makarating sa kanyang dakilang layunin,” he said.

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