Two farmers killed for opposing a grand real estate development project in Nasugbu, Batangas
were buried March 9 while the killers are still unaccounted for.
The Ugnayan ng mga Mamamayan Laban sa Pangwawasak ng Kalupaan sa Hacienda Looc (Umalpaska),
of which the two were active members, asked the National Bureau of Investigation to take over an
investigation being done by the local police, which villagers
say is not doing an impartial and speedy job of determining the culprits.
Terry Sevilla, 33 and Roger Alla, 31 left behind a community determined to continue fighting the efforts of
the Fil-Estate group to build the Harbortown golf course and marinas in 8,650 hectares of farmlands in
Hacienda Looc, about 80 kilometers southwest of Manila.
Alla's mother Letty Diaz said her son, unmarried, was a very quiet farmer-fisherman and did not have
enemies and in fact befriended everyone -- even the pro-development town folk. She worries that now
no-one will provide livelihood for her in her old age.
She believes it is Alla's participation in rallies protesting against the project that made the killers decide to
make an example out of him to others who persist in resistance. "I believe is it a warning to our more militant
members that they can do this bad thing to our good children."
Sevilla's sisters, on the other hand, are angered that pro-development partisans in the hacienda are
gleefully spreading gosisp bordering on thinly veiled threats, that many more will follow the two's footsteps,
instead of offering condolences or just remaining silent to respect the dead.
The murders were done a day after the Umalpaska staged protests before the Manila office of the
Department of Environment and Natural Resources for its lifting of the cease and desist order on Fil-Estate
and the MSDC, a move which now allows the realty firms to start bulldozing a private road in Barangay
"Mga hayop ang gumawa nito, hindi sila tao!" (Monsters, not humans, did this!) Diaz cried over Alla's coffin
under the blazing noon sun.
Umalpaska chair Guillermo Bautista yelled uncontrollably "Lupa, katarungan, kalayaan!" (Land, justice,
freedom!) as Sevilla's coffin was being plastered into place.
Bautista reiterated a demand he made to Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) secretary Horacio
Morales to reverse the land-use conversion approval and press the military troops to leave the area.
The funeral for a time assumed a flavor of military honors for fallen soldiers as sunburnt youths held aloft
banners of Anakbayan, Umalpas ka, Bayan and other cause-oriented groups as the coffins were taken out
of a village chapel. Alla's youngest sister Dolores
clutched blooms of the bougainvilla, a poor man's flower, and a crucifix as the procession dragged through
the dusty and forlorn cane fields in the hacienda up, to the hillside cemetery in Barangay Looc.
The two bore many wounds on their knees and face, implying that they were tortured and dragged about
before they were finished off. Sevilla's brains, genitals, bowels and eyes were blown away. Both bore a
couple of dozens of bullet wounds from five different kinds of firearms, namely shotgun, .45 calibre pistol, 9
mm calibre pistol, M14 and M16.
Atty. Romeo Capulong of the Public Interest Law Center (PILC) and other lawyers who joined the tearful
funeral march said the local police can be charged with dereliction of duty as the massacre occured about
fifty meters away from a detachment in Barangay Looc, and no immediate assistance was given.
A fact finding mission led by the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) is conducting a citizens' inquiry
yesterday March 10, the complete results of which will be revealed Monday (March 13).
In , 1997, seven security guards of the Sentinel Security Agency killed in cold blood peasants Francisco
Marasigan and Maximo Carpinter at Sitio Hamilo, Barangay Papaya in this town. The killers are at large
since the government did not pursue the case.
Umalpaska leaders suspect some assailants belong to the same agency which was retained by Fil-Estate
despite its soiled reputation.
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas
Peasant Movement of the Philippines
11 March 2000
Anti-golf farmers killed in ambush
Unidentified men believed to be private security guards killed
two opponents of a grand real estate development project in
Nasugbu, Batangas (about 80 kilometers south of Manila) the night of March 4, as initial earthworks done by the Fil-Estate Realty
Corp. goes into full swing.
The Ugnayan ng mga Mamamayan Laban sa Pangwawasak ng
Kalupaan sa Hacienda Looc (Umalpaska), a citizens' alliance
fighting the efforts of the Fil-Estate group to build the
Harbortown golf course and marinas in 8,650 hectares of farmlands
in Hacienda Looc, announced 1,000 members will march on the
town hall to protest the escalating violence and condemn the local
governments for conniving with the developers.
Killed were Terry Sevilla and Roger Alla, both farmers in their early
30s. A third man, who refused to be identified for fear of this life,
escaped the carnage and reported to the farmers his ordeal.
The protesters also demanded the release of the corpses taken
away by the town's police forces without first seeking the consent
of the victims' families.
According to the lone witness, he was walking home to Barangay
Calayo with the two victims from farm work in Barangay Looc at
around 9 p.m. when a group of armed men came out of nowhere
and ambushed them without warning.
The murders were done a day after the Umalpas ka staged
protests before the Manila office of the Department of Environment
and Natural Resources for its lifting of the cease and desist order
on Fil-Estate and the MSDC, a move which now allows the realty
firms to start bulldozing a private road in Barangay Looc.
The farmers are on heightened alert against a fresh wave of
violence that claimed the lives of their comrades since they started
organizing against eviction.
On Feb. 13, 1997, seven drunken security guards of the Sentinel
Security Agency killed in cold blood peasants Francisco
Marasigan and Maximo Carpinter at Sitio Hamilo, Barangay
Papaya in this town. The killings caused an international uproar
and caused the stock market prices of Harbortown offerings plunge
to near zero.
Umalpaska chair Guillermo Bautista said that guards of Fil-Estate
Realty and MSDC are also burning down farmer's huts in Barangay
Patungan, as part of the rising cases of incidents that prompted
them to seek help from the government agencies in Manila.
The case grabbed headlines in 1996 when the Department of
Agrarian Reform (DAR) was implicated in a massive cancellation of
its own land awards to 10,000 CARP beneficiaries and subsequent
reclassification of the rice farms into non-agricultural use.
Action Alert for Land Struggle in Bukidnon
800 peasant families are
threatened with violent
eviction from farmlands
inside a state owned
school of the Central
Please visit the KMP website to read the Action
Alert on how you can
support their struggle.
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas,
Peasant Movement of the Philippines, is an active supporter of the farmers in Hacienda Looc. Their site also features updates on the struggle there. For more information on how to get involved in the Filipino peasant movement, also visit our interAct page.
Benefit Debut on the 101st Anniversary of the Philippine American War
Featuring Q & A with Filmmaker
and a special performance of Filipino resistance by
Pearl Ubungen Dancers & Musicians
All shows at 7:30. Tickets are $5 and are available in advance
Fine Arts Cinema - Berkeley
2451 Shattuck Ave. at Haste
(5 blocks south of the downtown Berkeley BART)
Thursday 7:30 pm, February 3, 2000
Victoria Theater - San Francisco
2961 16th Street at South Van Ness Ave.
(near the Mission St. BART)
Thursday 7:30 pm, February 10, 2000
Year 2000 (yawn) has a much more thrilling payoff --"The Golf War," which
comes on the eve of the 101st anniversary of the start of the Philippine
American War. Americans still can't keep their itchy fingers out of this
rich and fertile land.
The documentary untangles a tale of U.S. involvement in a local battle for
land. The U.S. Agency for Development recommended that a farming and fishing
community be converted for tourism. Now, Filipino villagers face violent and
illegal eviction for a golf resort. One of the planned golf courses is being
designed by Jack Nicholas. Even Tiger Woods makes an appearance to promote
golf in the Philippines.
As the conflict escalates, the peasants and a guerrilla army ally against
the landgrabbers. The documentary contrasts the carefree golf lifestyle with
the peasants' struggle to save their ancestral land.
PEARL UBUNGEN DANCERS & MUSICIANS
The internationally acclaimed Pearl Ubungen Dancers & Musicians will
premiere excerpts from their work-in-progress Makibaka! Performances will
feature dancer Wailana Simcock and choreographer Pearl Ubungen.
Makibaka! means struggle in Tagalog, the national language of the
Philippines. It has a political connotation to activism, and is also the
name of the first Filipina women's organization, formed in the late 60's.
The Makibaka! CD-Rom and Performance Project will explore cultural memory of
and resistance to the U.S. invasion and subsequent occupation of the
Philippines. While the Philippines' 'independence" from Spain (1898) is
celebrated, little note has been taken of the occupation. This action
solidified the U.S. role as a global power and led a century-long diaspora
of Filipinos to the United States.
We have had an overwhelming response, so purchase your tickets now. To
reserve your tickets, please write a check or money order for the total
amount ($5 x the number of tickets) and mail or drop off to.
71 Sharon St.
San Francisco, CA 94114
***Please indicate which night you are wanting tickets for.
We must receive the funds by February 1 for the Berkeley - Fine Arts Cinema
Feb. 3 screening and by February 8 for the San Francisco - Victoria Theater
Feb. 10 screening.
Your tickets will be available at "Will Call" at the box office. You must
pick up your tickets by 7:15 pm the night of the show.
See you (and Tiger Woods) there.
Seattle Premiere as Activists Converge to Resist the World
Trade Organization Summit
Opening International Solidarity Night -- Q & A with Filmmaker
Mon, Nov 29 6:30 pm -- The Filipino Community Center
5740 Martin Luther King Way S. @ Orcas, Seattle WA
Donations accepted at the door
While world leaders sip on cocktails and hors d'ouevres on November 29, The
Golf War documentary will make its Seattle premiere during the WTO
Ministerial Summit. The documentary takes a hard look at how one village in
the Phillippines is coping in the era of so-called free trade agreements.
"What we need is to be able to farm, plant and produce food, not golf
balls," says Visitacean Darean in the film. She's a local leader who has
joined with other women to block bulldozers from excavating their ancestral
land for a golf resort.
The Golf War features armed guerrillas who threaten the developer and Tiger
Woods who is in the Philippines promoting golf. The documentary contrasts
the carefree golf lifestyle with the peasants' struggle to save their land.
Peasants in this small farming and fishing village on the China Sea are on
the front lines in the battle against international trade agreements such as
the WTO. They had won ownership of their ancestral land through a
government program. But then the U.S. Agency for International Development
(USAID) stepped in. The USAID paid for a study that recommended that part
of this agricultural land be converted into tourist resorts. So the
Philippine government illegally sold off the peasants' land to a real-estate
developer. The plan includes a yacht marina, upscale hotels and four golf
courses, one designed by Jack Nicklaus and another by Greg Norman.
"We have globalization, we have privatization, we have land conversion,"
says Romy Capulong, the peasants' attorney speaking in the film, "All of
these are just complete manifestations of U.S.-dictated policies, mainly
through the IMF and the World Bank, now through the World Trade
Find out how Tiger Woods responds to the peasants' situation in The Golf
War, as he plays in a pomotional golf tournament just 100 miles from this
community. And see how this remote village fighting back against the powers
in the corporate board room.
Learn more about the mobilization against corporate globalization planned around the WTO Ministerial Meeting at the Seattle WTO Web site.
Film premiere in Los Angeles at
Laemmle Theaters, October 8-14
"The Golf War" has just been transferred to 16mm film. Its debut will
take place in Los Angeles October 8-14 at Laemmle
Filmmakers Jen Schradie and Matt DeVries originally shot the entire
documentary on a mini-DV format -- a Sony VX-1000. The compact digital
package allowed them to shoot as a two-person crew which was invaluable
their security. They could pack the gear into their backpacks and travel
like tourists. And the equipment was light enough to carry while hiking
through the Philippine jungle with an armed guerrilla army.
"We could never have produced this documentary without DV technology,"
said DeVries. "Its portability, cost, and image quality allowed us to
shoot and interview in a tight and intimate way."
DeVries edited the show's content on a computer-based non-linear editing
system called a Media 100. Jeff Raskin, of 8Cutter, then edited the
final cut on a digital beta format at Insight Productions in Durham,
Carolina. And DuArt Film & Video is transferring the documentary from
video to 16mm film.
Having a film print will open up its distribution to larger venues, such
as art house theaters that own 16mm projectors. The Laemmle is the
premiere of "The Golf War" on film. The Laemmle eight theaters span
across the Los Angeles area and for years has brought independent films
to southern California. "The Golf War" is the latest of a string of
independent features and documentaries that are shot inexpensively with
digital video (aka DV) then released on film to large audiences.
"Production companies that can afford to shoot on film rarely tell these
types of stories, so digital video is democratizing the media," said