Lolit Solis on massacre of Negros Occidental sugarcane farmers: ‘Collateral damage ang mahihirap’
The massacre of nine sugarcane farmers in Sagay, Negro Occidental recently rocked the country, prompting lawmakers to call for an in-depth investigation into the ruthless killing. The nine farmers — four women, two minors — were slain in the evening of Saturday, Oct. 20, while inside a makeshift tent in the sugarcane field of Hacienda Nene in Purok Pine Tree, Barangay Bulanon.
The 13 farmers who occupied a section of the sugar plantation were members of the leftist labor group, National Federation of Sugarcane Workers. It has been reported that an unidentified group of men armed with rifles arrived and rained bullets on the farmers from 30 meters away.
The tragedy was met with condemnation and outcry from various groups. Veteran talent manager and columnist Lolit Solis found herself shocked over the news as she took to social media to air her sentiments.
In her Instagram post on Oct. 23, Solis shared a picture of the makeshift tent where the Sagay farmers were massacred.
“Grabe, at this time meron pa palang nangyayaring ganyan,” Solis said in disbelief. (This is serious, at this time something like this still happens.)
Solis could not help but feel pity for those who were involved in the massacre just because of “away lupa” (dispute over land).
She said, “Collateral damage na matatawag iyon mga mahihirap na napapatay dahil sa kahirapan nila. How sad na kailangan pang ibuwis ang buhay para sa konting biyaya na gusto mo makamit.”
(The poor who get killed because of their poverty are collateral damage. It is sad that you have to risk your life to earn the blessings you want to achieve.)
She also fervently hoped that such a fate will not happen again to other farmers and peasants: “Sana mabigyan lahat ng biyaya para hindi dumating sa ganito. Sana kahit konti mabigyan talaga iyon nangangailangan. Sana. Sana.”
(I hope everyone receives the graces so it does not have to reach this point. I hope those in need would really be given what they [need and deserve]. I really hope so.)
The killing of the nine farmers have since been blamed on communist rebels by the Philippine National Police. On the other hand, militant lawmakers suspected that it was the military and militia forces that carried out the attack. The Community Party of the Philippines has also dismissed the accusations that communists were behind the massacre.
Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte was slated to visit the wake of the fallen farmers before making his way to Naga City. In an update advisory from Malacanan’s Media Accreditation Relations Office (Maro) on Oct. 23, however, it was said that Duterte would no longer push through with his visit “due to inclement weather.” JB
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.