Dear Friends in PAKISAMA,
We, the Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA), would like to express our solidarity with you on the occasion of your 7th National Congress on March 18-20, 2009, with the theme “Unity Amidst Challenges of the Time.”
This is a very important event not only for PAKISAMA, but for all the peasants in the Philippines, who continue to struggle to own land, improve their livelihoods, and uphold their dignity.
More than two decades ago, PAKISAMA was born out of the need for a strong national farmers’ alliance that will push for genuine agrarian and aquatic reform in the country.
Two decades later, the need for a stronger and more united peasant alliance has become even greater.
The nation’s supposed lawmakers seem intent on killing the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, by refusing to pass a law extending and reforming it, as mandated by the Constitution, and by passing a bogus resolution that removes the provisions on compulsory acquisition of the land, which is the very heart of land reform.
These challenges are heighted by the global financial meltdown, climate change, food crises, and bad governance in the lives especially of millions of landless and struggling women and men farmers, small fishers, and indigenous peoples.
We are one with you in this struggle as comrades from different Asian countries.
For it is only under a united front that we, small men and women farmers of Asia, will succeed in bringing about a better future for ourselves, our children, and our children’s children.
Mabuhay ang PAKISAMA!
Long live PAKISAMA!
Ms. Sudaporn Sittisathapornkul
Ms Esther Penunia