Posted by: piom2010 | June 1, 2010

AREA PROFILE South Luzon: Quezon

Quezon province is part of the Southern Tagalog Region. It stretches like a narrow belt along the eastern coast of Luzon from Desada Point in the north to Bicol in the south. It borders the provinces of Aurora to the north, Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur to the east, and Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna and Batangas to the west.

BRIEF PROFILE
Capital: Lucena City
Land Area: 11 946,3 sq km
Population: 1 500 000
Cities: Lucena
Number of Towns: 40

The Sierra Madre mountain range runs the entire length of the northern part of the province; its eastern slopes form a bold and almost inaccessible shoreline.

The highest peak, Mt Banahaw, rises to 2177 meters. The range precipitously dips at the Tayabas Isthmus. Here and in the Bondoc Peninsula, plains dominate the coastal areas while low-wooded hills form the interior. The province includes the Polilio group of islands and Alabat Island.

The province has no pronounced dry season; rainy months are from October to January.

Quezon’s economy is agriculture based, its major crops is coconut, rice, corn and roots crops.

Quezon province is the most militarized  area in the Southern Tagalog region, since 2001 up to present  the number of killings rose to 48, most of them farmers. The 74th , 76th, 1st, infantry battalion are operating in the province. The Philippine Airforce, provincial police mobile group are also here in province.

The year 2006 marked the end of Oplan Bantay Laya 1, but that year also saw the intensified military deployment and harsher military operations against residents of Quezon Province. It must be remembered that in 2006-2007, intensified militarization in Quezon caused the evacuation of families in their communities. More than 20 families of peasants and indigenous people were forced to evacuate to Metro Manila. The phenomena of internal refugees at that time forced various groups led by Tanggol Karapatan to hold a campaign for internal refugees, seeking the help of the religious, progressive people’s organizations, local government units, individuals, schools and private groups to provide shelter, food, medicine, clothing and other needs. It also sought help for these displaced people to lead normal lives by relocating them to other provinces where they can find their places in the society once more.

In the first quarter of 2009, civil military operations in Lucena City occurred where the barangays of Barra, Talao-talao, Cotta and Dalahican were affected. The Task Force Lucena conducted  house to house visits and interviews of residents to find out if they belonged to progressive people’s organizations and threatened them that if they continued their affiliation with such groups anything can happen to them. During the third quarter of 2009 and up to the present quarter, urban poor areas from Atimonan, Gumaca, Lopez and Plaridel encountered massive civil military operations.

Last October 15, 2009, clashes between the government armed forces and the left-winged armed group occurred at the tri boundaries of Barangay San Vicente, Magsaysay and Villarica of South Quezon. After the said incident, intensified military operation were done by the joint elements of 74th and 76th IBPA. This operation caused a continuous series of human rights violation among the residents of different barangays in the area.

Last October 13, 2008 a case of extra judicial killing and unlawful search and seizure was reported, committed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Mulanay, Quezon. A 30 year old farmer, Alejo De Luna, was killed by the elements of Bravo Squad of the 74th IB lead by 1st Lt. Bibat in Sitio Pasalilo, Brgy Mabini, Mulanay, Quezon at around six o’clock in the morning, while Alejo was busy with his usual day in the field. Another case of extra judicial killing occurred at barangay Villa Veronica Buenavista Quezon last August 3, 2009.

There are also reports that the military also go to the areas where there are members of  progressive organizations and partylist groups to tell the people not to join or vote in the coming election for the progressive partylist groups.

In  District 1 of the province, former Department of Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera is running for congreswoman, Devanadera is a known ally of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The people in the district says Devandera give them money to vote her this election.

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