By MAJOY SISCAR, Bulatlat.com
Over 300 farmers and indigenous people from General Nakar in Quezon province are marching towards Malacañang as they continue to oppose the government plans to build the controversial Kaliwa Dam, saying this will submerge ancestral domains of indigenous peoples in the provinces of Quezon and Rizal.
“Residents not just in the REINA (Real, Infanta, Nakar) region but also in other regions of the nation must band together to make their opposition to projects that are repressive and damaging to life, livelihood, and nature heard louder,” farmer Joel Abrao said in a statement issued by Masipag, a farmer-led group that advocates sustainable agriculture.
The protest march dubbed as “Lakad Laban sa Kaliwa Dam” began last Feb. 15.
Today, farmers are expected to reach Teresa, Rizal. They are hoping to reach Malacañang by Feb. 23 to call on the government to stop the project.
“Only those big corporations who are profiting from the water industry, not ordinary folk, will benefit from the proposed construction of Kaliwa Dam. If they will prevent rivers from flowing, it will definitely have negative effect on the environment, most especially those residing near Agos river,” said Virginia Nazareno, a community leader from Kiday Community Farmers Association (KCFA) and a member of the MASIPAG women farmers organization from Sitio Kiday, baranga Pisa, Gen. Nakar.
The “Lakad Laban sa Kaliwa Dam” was led by Alyansa ng Mamamayan laban sa mapaniil na Dam o ALMADAM, with the support of various organizations including HARIBON, Integrated Development Program for Indigenous People in Southern Tagalog (IDPIP-ST), Catholic and Protestant Churches, and other peasant organizations under the MASIPAG Provincial consultative body of Northern Quezon, comprising of nine people’s organizations of small and indigenous farmers in Real, General Nakar, and Infanta. (JJE, RVO) (JJE, RVO)