Filipino youth in Toronto are outraged about the killing of peasant organizers Silvestre Fortades Jr. and Rose Marie Galias. The husband and wife were shot dead at around 7 am on January 15, 2022 in Brgy. San Vicente, Barcelona, Sorsogon, according to Karapatan Sorsogon.
The couple was selling garlic, onions, and other produce when two pairs of unidentified men on motorcycles fired at them.
Fortades Jr. and Galias were both members of Samahan ng mga Magsasaka sa Sorsogon (SAMASOR) and Anakpawis Partylist – Sorsogon, organizations that fight for the rights of workers and peasants.
This incident has pushed the number of peasant victims of political killings under Duterte’s regime to 347. It is undeniable that the murders of Fortades Jr. and Galias were politically-fueled.
Peasant activists in the Philippines have a target on their head because they resist feudal exploitation. They demand democratic reforms such as better wages and working conditions, an end to extortionate loans, and the right to the land that they till.
Their resistance threatens the interests of the big landlords in the Philippines, who not only own huge swathes of land, but also wield immense political power. With many families of other slain peasants still seeking justice, the Philippine government perpetuates a culture of impunity and even sponsors these killings.
Anakbayan Toronto calls for justice for Fortades and Galias. We call for genuine land reform in the Philippines because the peasants have the right to the land that they till. We wholeheartedly support the struggle of SAMASOR and Anakpawis Partylist, and the struggle of our peasant brothers and sisters in the homeland.
STOP THE KILLING FARMERS!
JUSTICE FOR SILVESTRE FORTADES JR! JUSTICE FOR ROSE MARIE GALIAS!