Quezon is one of the richest provinces in the Southern Tagalog in terms of natural resources and share in the total agricultural production in the whole region.
It is composed of 39 municipalities and 2 cities. It has a total land area of 870, 660 hectares. It is estimated that 513,681 hectares of which is agricultural representing 59% of the total land area. Its coastline stretches for more than one thousand kilometers.
Almost 78% of the province’s population is comprised of families of farmers who rely mainly in the production of coconuts, rice, corn and other agricultural products.
Districts 3 and 4 more commonly known as South Quezon and Bondoc Peninsula respectively are considered to be the centers of agricultural production where the largest concentration of peasants and fishermen are found.
Bondoc Peninsula is also called the “hacienda belt.” Thousands of hectares of land are hideously concentrated in the hands of a few landlords most especially in the towns of San Francisco, San Andres, San Narciso and Mulanay, leaving most land tillers landless and at the mercy of prominent land owners.
The towns Tagkawayan, Buenavista and San Andres on the other hand have very rich deposits of gold and other minerals.
Projects of both public and private sectors are focused in South Quezon and Bondoc Peninsula. Some of these are bio-diesel plant in the town of Gumaca, Mirant powerplant Extension in Pagbilao, Ogdel Bechtel Coal Fire Thermal Powerplant Extension in Atimonan, and the construction of a big dam in Macalelon.
This political-economic situation logically explains the ever-growing conflict between private developers contracted by the past and present governments and the displaced and dispossessed peoples.
At present, there are about 8 battalions of the Philippine Army deployed in 22 towns of South Quezon and Bondoc Peninsula. This is unheard of in the province even during the dark years of Martial Law. The heightened military presence in Bondoc Peninsula is part of the government’s counter insurgency program—OPLAN BAYANIHAN.
The strong opposition and organized struggle against the government’s wholesale of the vast resources of South Quezon and Bondoc Peninsula furthermore explains the large deployment of the military in the area resulting to brutal and brazen suppression of the people’s right to life and livelihood for the interest of the few.
In such a province like Quezon, it is quite alarming to note the large deployment of the military under the guise of conducting medical missions, construction of bridges and roads, literacy programs and the like. It is very interesting to underscore their presence in areas known to have strong legitimate resistance and movement against land monopoly and destruction of the province’s natural wealth.
|Catanauan||76th IBPA , 74th IBPA|
|Padre Burgos||1st Special Forces PA|
|Calauag||201st Brigade, 59th IBPA at CAFGU|
|San Francisco||74th IBPA, 2nd Infantry (Jungle Fighter) Division|
|General Luna||74th IBPA|
|Macalelon||416th PPMG, 85th IBPA|
|Sampaloc||1st Special Forces PA|
The Armed Forces of the Philippines have been cavorting in the trampling of human rights in Bondoc Peninsula and South Quezon, of course, with the sanction of its Commander-in-Chief, President Aquino.
From January 2011 to April 2012, Karapatan-Quezon and other groups were able to document different types of human rights violations involving 127 individual victims. Some of these documented cases are:
- 1 case of enforced Disappearance
- 4 cases of Torture
- 15 cases of illegal arrest and detention
- 5 cases of Illegal Search and Seizure
- 3 cases of Violation of Domicile
- 3 cases of Divestment of Property
- 2 cases of Coercion
- 17 cases of Threat, Harassment and Intimidation
With the current situation in the area, it is therefore imperative to gather all peace-loving sectors of the society and call to Defend and Save the People of Quezon from Militarization.
This broad formation will be led by different grass roots organizations based in Quezon such as Karapatan or Alliance for the Advancement of Human Rights, PIGLAS (provincial peasant organization in Quezon) and Anakpawis Partylist Chapters in the province.
Regional and national organizations such as Karapatan, BAYAN and KASAMA-TK will also play major parts in the campaign.
Groups and individuals like lawyers, journalists and church people who are active in their advocacy for the defense of human rights from both local and international will also be invited.
They will be organized under the name Save Bondoc Peninsula Movement.
General Objective: Immediately put an end to military abuse in the province of Quezon through the pull-out of military troops in the province.
1. To make the greater public aware of the real reasons behind the large-scale deployment of military troops in Quezon under Oplan Bayanihan.
2. Bring to justice the perpetrators of the human rights violations and the indemnification of their victims.
3. Gather the broadest support for the victims in the form of legal assistance, material/financial support and the like.