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A Farmer's Murder

There is no way to express how grateful I am in words to people who bless and till the land so that we Filipinos have food on our table; in the same way that there is no word that can ever equal the cruelty of the armed men who ambushed a humble peasant leader, Ka Rene on his way home riding a motorcycle with two other relatives. I only know him from the news, how he marched 1700 kilometers with fellow farmers for two months to demand for justice and claim their rights and dignity. All they wanted was to ask for their 144 hectares of farming land in Sumilao, Bukidnon. As they say, "Ka Rene Penas was one of those farmers who boldly registered their disgust to the government for inefficient implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP)."

June 5, 2009, two days after the approval of CARP Extension with Reforms bill (HB 4077) by the House of Representative, Ka Rene was slain.

It is not enough for those people in power to encroach other people's land, they want to silence those who oppose them. While a lot of people sympathize with this loss, Ka Rene has won the fight for his fellows. His family and friends can now till their own lands.

The continuous rain all over the country will wash the blood that has tainted their lands, and when everything is over, the golden grains will spring again.

Blessed are the farmers who are bonafide patriots, the children of the land.

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Farah Samin's picture

Proud of you

I am glad that how you think about this people of our society. Your story has life in it.
I am proud of that farmer, I believe if they can get together they can form a revolution in
their life and also in their working sector.

Don't forget to share these stories with us.


katea's picture

Thank you

I appreciate your support, and although Ka Rene died fighting for his cause, it would surely make a difference in the lives of his fellow farmers and for those of us who depend on their nurturing hands.


Poverty is man-made that we can undo.

JaniceW's picture

Thank you

Katea, thank you for retelling this story of a courageous man whose only crime was to stand up for what was rightfully his. I am sure he did not set out to be a martyr but he will always be remembered for championing the cause of farmers and patriot Filipinos. And because he spoke out, his neighbours can now farm their own land. He is an inspiration to all of us on PulseWire working to effect change.

katea's picture

on courage

Every time I hear some people who are courageous enough to speak and stand for their principles and their rights despite the death threats, I wonder where they draw their strength from. You are right, they are such an inspiration.

Poverty is man-made that we can undo.

LauraB's picture

Katea, The farmer's


The farmer's manifesto states., "We will walk with our faith intact... We continue to walk to soften the hearts of the rich and powerful, we will walk to strengthen the will of the just and the faithful."

It is always hard to comprehend how walking, the act of walking and standing tall, frightens powers that are oppressing. Look at Iran right now- multitudes of citizens claiming their right to be heard- simply walking.

Ka Rene walked for the farmer's right to own their own lands which was a dangerous act. Thank you for bringing his story to us.


katea's picture

I am walking too

Although my path is different from them, I know I walk with them too.

I pray for Iran, and I pray for my country.

Thank you for reading.

Poverty is man-made that we can undo.

Kizzie's picture

Katea, By spreading the word


By spreading the word and spreading awareness about his struggle and story, you are making sure his life was not lost in vain. No one dies in vain, in my opinion. He has already inspired us in World Pulse just like Janice said! I'm sure he is going to inspire others in the Philippines to bring justice to farmers.


katea's picture


I just hope that there will be no need for human sacrifice to get the message across.

Poverty is man-made that we can undo.

Adelma A.Linatoc's picture

CARP-Still in limbo . . .

Dear Katea,

CARP for Luisita farmers are still a question.A lot of recepients died already and those who are firm in their fighting for their rights need to be supported because others who received what was offered to them cannot do something for the reason that life is so hard on these days.

katea's picture


We need to remind our newly elected President that he made a promise to these farmers that he needs to fulfill. Our country is in a very critical stage. There are so many issues that need focus and it's also up to us, citizens, to be vigilant.

Thank you for bringing that up.

Poverty is man-made that we can undo.

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