Sumilao March

Sumilao Farmers Walk for Justice, Walk for Land.

On December 3 , 2007, 55 farmers of the Higaonon tribe from Sumilao, Bukidnon arrived in Metro Manila, 2 months after their march through 13 provinces from
Mindanao to ask the government to stop the conversion of the land they are claiming into a hog farm.

The farmers petitioned the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to issue a cease-and-desist order (CDO) on the contested 144-hectare property in Barangay (village) San Vicente, Sumilao which San Miguel Foods Inc. (SMFI) converted into a hog farm.

The Supreme Court of the Philippines had earlier dismissed the farmers’ rights lack of legal standing. Farmer Tuminhay stated that: “Our titles were cancelled because Norberto Quisumbing was allowed to convert his land on condition that he would implement a five-year development plan. Since he did not implement the plan, it is only proper that DAR renew the CARP process and give us back our titles.”

Quisumbing’s development plan for the property included the establishment of a development academy, a cultural center, an institute for livelihood science, a museum, library, golf course, a sports development complex, an agro-industrial park, forest development and support facilities, and construction of a 360-room hotel, restaurant, housing projects, inter alia.


Photographed by Scott L. Kho
for Ateneo de Manila University
Office of Social Concern and Involvement

December 5, 2007

Farmers from Sumilao marched along Aurora Blvd. headed towards Ateneo de Manila University along Katipunan Ave. where spent the night before proceeding to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) the following day, December 6.

Throughout their almost 3-month march, the farmers wore rubber slippers. When the slippers broke, they tied them to the bundle of broken slippers (photographed) which they carried as they marched towards the DAR.

Upon arrival at the Ateneo de Manila University, a mass presided by Arch. Bishop Cardinal Rosales and Jesuit Provincial Fr. Danny Huang, S.J. was offered for the intentions of the farmers.

A team of medical students and professionals from the Ateneo Medical School was also present to attend to the farmers’ needs and concerns.

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