NDF-Southern Mindanao propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Jan 15): NPA imposes punitive action vs. Sumifru, Highland banana firms in Davao
Rubi del Mundo, Spokesperson
NDFP Southern Mindanao
15 January 2018
Workers and peasants in corporate plantations around Southern Mindanao are rejoicing Saturday’s punitive action carried out by Red fighters of 1st Pulang Bagani Battalion-New People’s Army against foreign-owned Sumitomo Fruits Corp. (SUMIFRU) and Ayala-owned Highland Banana Corporation in Sitio Tigon and Sitio Sicao, Brgy. Tamayong, Calinan District in Davao City. Three boom truck sprayers were simultaneously gutted down and pushed down a cliff at around 8am on January 13, 2018.
The recent NPA action in Davao City is part of the revolutionary movement’s policy to penalize big bourgeois comprador companies which continue to exist with impunity by inflicting unimpeded environmental destruction and exploitation of peasants and workers.
SUMIFRU and Highland are both notorious for exploiting workers’ welfare by dishing out barely liveable wages, subjecting them to inhuman working conditions, union busting and other repressive labor practices. Particularly in their farms in Davao City, both companies push plantation workers to work almost 12 hours, sometimes 16 hours daily under different schemes meant to extract super-profit. Packing plant workers are also made to work the same length of hours without sufficient safety implements.
SUMIFRU and Highland, likewise, continue to utilize toxic chemical fertilizers and pesticides in their boom truck sprayers. Workers report that they are routinely exposed to the harmful chemicals being sprayed by boom trucks.
On the other hand, peasant families who initially expected to be alleviated from poverty by entering into agri-business venture agreements with SUMIFRU and Highland are faring no better under highly-exploitative arrangements that eventually cost them their lands. With no control over production, they fall prey to the companies’ exclusive and manipulative management schemes that have buried them deep into indebtedness and have resulted in the seizure of their lands.
SUMIFRU and Highlands have racked up billions in profit from the sweat and blood of thousands of workers who are paid slave wages under cruel working conditions. They are responsible for the landgrabbing of thousands of hectares as they launch aggressive corporate expansion through various means of swindling, intimidation, ambiguous legalese or “corporate assumption” in order to supposedly “salvage” banana
Without the punitive actions being meted out by the New People’s Army against foreign-owned and large corporations, the Filipino people and country’s resources will continue to be a watering hole for imperialist greed, especially with the US-Duterte regime’s adamant maneuver to betray national and economic sovereignty via federalism and the Charter Change. With the rate he is going, the fascist sell-out Rodrigo Duterte will stop at nothing to surrender the country to neoliberal interests at the expense of the working class. In these times of tyranny and repression, the masses look to the NPA to defend their democratic interests.