What Christmas? Farmers take the long march


MARCH FOR CASIGURAN. More than a hundred farmers are marching from Aurora to Manila in hopes that government will hear their plea. Photo by Veejay Villafranca for Oxfam

December is usually a time of celebration, family reunions, and for the financially fortunate, shopping sprees. But for residents Casiguran, Aurora, the month of December will be spent fighting for the land they call home. Farmers, fisherfolk, indigenous peoples, and other residents from Casiguran are marching to Manila to convince government to put a stop to APECO, or the Aurora Pacific Ecozone and Freeport Authority. The project hopes to pave the way for social and economic development in Aurora and nearby provinces. But Casiguran residents describe it as “legalized land grabbing.” The protesters started marching on November 24 and are set to arrive in Manila on December 10, in time for Human Rights Day. The APECO is backed by Sen Edgardo Angara, who is running for governor of Aurora in the 2013 polls. 

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