DILIMAN, QUEZON CITY (Oct. 11, 2016)—Martin Putzelt (2nd from right), a German rapporteur for the International Peace Observers Network (IPON) paid a courtesy call to Secretary Rafael Mariano to follow up on the land struggles and the human rights violations faced by farmers.
Undersecretary Sylvia Mallari (2nd from left) and Assistant Secretary Elmer Distor (extreme right) who represented Secretary Mariano in the meeting, informed Putzelt of the Secretary’s policy directives to protect and uphold the rights of farmers.
“Under Secretary Mariano’s leadership, we will see to it that no farmer will be evicted from his land. We will do our best to help aggrieved farmers get justice through the department’s agrarian legal services,” Distor said.
Mallari conveyed to Putzelt the department’s drive to strengthen its personnel and the bureaucracy to ensure a strong and effective workforce. “We are currently devising means and ways to accelerate procedures to better serve our farmers,” said Mallari.
IPON is an independent, non-profit human rights organization based in Hamburg, Germany. Their main work is to provide protective accompaniment human rights defenders and to monitor human rights situation in the Philippines. (Pinky Roque)