By Jonathan de Santos, VERA Files
Close to 3,000 families in Casiguran, Aurora stand to lose land that many of them have been tilling for half a century to make way for the extension of a Freeport zone that critics say does not benefit the community at all.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), which has been supporting the families in their struggle to own the land being transformed into the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (APECO), blamed the farmers' problems on a "powerful political dynasty" at a press conference at the Senate Tuesday.
Fr. Edwin Gariguez of the CBCP's National Secretariat for Social Action (CBCP-NASSA), who was at the press conference, called APECO a case of "large-scale plunder and landgrabbing," citing the questionable purchase by APECO of land from provincial environmental officer Benjamin Miña at P650,000 per hectare but paying only P45,000 per hectare to displaced residents.
Gariguez said, "The Philippine government hasRead More »from Farmers score Angaras for ‘landgrabbing’ in Aurora