Bayan USA condemns the shooting and violent dispersal of the residents of Patungan Cove in Maragondon, Cavite. This is the recent culmination in the decades-long land grabbing campaign against fisherfolk and farmers.
At least three were injured and more were arrested as no less than 300 members of the demolition team attempted to displace 1,200 residents of Patungan Cove on January 13. The demolition team was aided by the members of Cavite police, Bureau of Fire Protection and Seraph Security Agency. They fired at least 12 times at the residents who set up barricades around their community. They were allegedly brought from other barangays, were paid and were led to believe that they would do a “clean-up drive” at a resort.
Patungan Cove is part of the 8,650-hectare Hacienda Looc, an estate long claimed by the Sy clan through its Manila Southcoast Development Corporation (MSDC). The Sy clan is in collaboration with Maria Theresa Virata and her corporation. Virata is the granddaughter of Cesar Virata, Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s finance secretary. Together they aim to develop eco-tourism projects.
MSDC took advantage of loopholes in the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law in order to obtain land titles in Looc in 1990. Since 2004, farmlands have been converted and farmers and fisherfolk have been displaced to give way to condominiums, a golf course, beach resorts and other projects.
The Sy clan derives its wealth from engaging in unscrupulous labor practices, land grabbing and other exploitative practices. Henry Sy, former head of the clan, was named Philippines’ richest in 2018 before his death in 2019. As one of the country’s biggest commercial capitalists, he owned SM malls, which is notorious for enforcing labor contractualization and for decimating local businesses by flooding the local market with imported goods.
Bayan USA calls on Filipinos and allies in the U.S. to stand in solidarity with the Save Patungan Now Movement and to support the struggle of fisherfolk and peasants against land grabbing.
Stop the demolition!
Stop environmental plunder!
Save Patungan now!