DAVAO CITY, 31 Aug. 2009 – The CPP-NPA-NDF aims to kill the banana and mining industries in Southern Mindanao in order to cripple the region’s economic base and to worsen the hardship of the local people that it hoped would further advance the revolutionary condition of this part of the country.
This warped Marxist perspective explains the recent doubled efforts of the CPP-NPA-NDF Southern Mindanao Regional Committee to sabotage the Stanfilco Banana Plantation in Maragusan town, Compostela Valley Province.
About 7:45 a.m. on Saturday, August 29, some 50 heavily armed men believed to be under the NPA Guerilla Front 27 led by Francisco Saramosing alias Isko burned downed at the vicinity of Purok 11 Sitio Surigaonon, Brgy Camanlangan, New Bataan town, ComVal Province two units of container van coming from Panabo City that were scheduled to haul banana fruits from the Stanfilco Banana Plantation in Maragusan.
The armed men stopped the prime mover trucks towing the container vans and asked their drivers to alight and heads off before setting the carriers in blaze.
One of the units owned by Chua Trucking was empty but the other one owned by Javier Trucking was loaded with knockdown corrugated carton boxes to be used in casing up banana fruits.
Later in the afternoon, the Maragusan United Workers Union (MUWU), a local affiliate of the CPP-NPA-NDF front National Federation of Labor Unions-Kilusang Mayo Uno (NAFLU-KMU), distributed leaflets that urged its members to oppose the Stanfilco plan to absorb and to eventually regularize more than half of its banana growers’ workers, a scheme supported by the Maragusan LGU.
MUWU-NALFLU-KMU claimed that Stanfilco’s and the town mayor’s plan is “pure harassment,” “an unfair labor practice,” “a form of union busting” and “a ploy to revert the workers to contractualization.”
The truth of the matter is that the Stanfilco plan would provide security of tenure and stability of income to the current banana growers’ workers – a situation that would not help any to the bloody revolution waged by the CPP-NPA-NDF.
All workers that would be absorbed and regularized by Stanfilco would cease to be MUWU-NAFLU-KMU members and therefore they would also stopped paying monthly union dues – one of the CPP-NPA-NDF’s local sources of funds aside from the “revolutionary taxes” it is extorting from the banana growers.
Stanfilco even earnestly assumed the banana growers’ obligations to the absorbed workers when it volunteered to pay the separation fees just “to buy peace.”
The Marxist communist party is just fooling the workers when it touted the idea that it is protecting them by opposing the novel Stanfilco plan.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines conservatively estimated that the CPP-NPA-NDF earned about P3-million in revolutionary taxes from Southern Mindanao Region’s agriculture sector in the fourth quarter of 2008.
Combined with the other sectors, except for the telecommunication industry that had no confirmed data, the CPP-NPA-NDF’s so-called “tax implementing scheme” netted almost P20-million in the last quarter of 2008, intelligence estimates of the Army’s 10ID showed.
ANAD Partylist-Mindanao sees the figure as a gross understatement. For instance, it is publicly known that NPA “revolutionary tax implementors” are extorting from ordinary banana growers in ComVal, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur and elsewhere in the region at least P100 a month for every hectare of planted land. Big banana growers are extorted some P100,000 every month or so.
The CPP Central Committee reportedly considered SMR as “the mother of all regions” because of the big money it produced for the party and the advance level of its armed struggle.
In view of the situation, ANAD Partylist urged the Stanfilco banana growers’ workers to emulate the example set by the rank-and-file employees of the Marsman Estate Plantation, Inc. (MEPI) in Sto. Tomas town, Davao del Norte when they rejected the NAFLU-KMU in a peaceful certification election on June 2007, and the workers of DOLE Phillippines in Polomolok, South Cotabato who are hostage by AMADO-KADENA-NAFLU-KMU through the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement but whose hearts and minds are loudly rejecting the communist front union.
The independent Davao Marsman Labor Union (DAMLU) is now struggling to defend the rights and to promote the welfare of the MEPI workers in view of the company’s business hardship but without resorting to violence and undemocratic methods.
Arthur J. Tariman
ANAD Mindanao News and Info Bureau
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