Her father used to be a seasonal sugar agricultural worker (sacada) in Hacienda Luisita and even in Batangas up to the 1980’s. Her mother like him is a landless peasant. The back breaking work and very low pay of a sacada which was immortalized in the movie “Sacada” in the 70’s perpetuate one into endless poverty.
The Philippine government should ensure that all legal representations and assistance be provided her. Even if it cannot escape the gross negligence it made by acting belatedly on the case.
It should also be castigated for implementing the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) which only created illusions of reform while actually maintaining land monopoly and foolishly attempting to suppress peasant unrest.
Majority of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) come from the peasant class as Mary Jane Veloso. At first she worked in Dubai but cut short her stay there because she was almost raped. Later on she was tricked by a daughter of her godfather into working as a domestic worker in Malaysia which was non-existent. She was made to find work in Indonesia by the same person using a luggage with hidden drugs in it.
Many more would become like her as long as poverty is perpetuated by sham land reform programs. Instead the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) should be enacted. Its aim to break up the monopoly of a few landowners and foreign control of agricultural lands, to put an end to feudal and semi-feudal exploitation in the Philippine countryside.
Genuine land redistribution must be attended with a holistic program of support services that will empower the peasantry politically, nurture their productive strength and carry the spirit of true cooperativism. Agrarian reform must also be integrated with a program of national industrialization as key to genuine national development.
If this is achieved families would not be broken up by the urgent need to survive, because there would be an opportunity for everyone to live a decent and humane life.
Commute the death sentence of May Jane Veloso!
Review her case now!
Hold the Philippine government responsible for her predicament!
Stop the Labor Export Policy!
Implement the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill!
Please see these related links:
- Appeal for Urgent Action: Save the Life of Filipina Mary Jane Veloso! Stop the Executions in Indonesia!
- Case Profile: Mary Jane Veloso