DAR-sanitized list as compromise between Aquino and landlords to extend sham CARP hit
Militant farmers belonging to the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and the Alliance of Rural People for Aquino’s Removal Now! (Alarm Now!) today sneaked into the House of Representatives’ plenary hall lobby demanding the junking of a bill that would extend “the pro-landlord Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program and President Aquino’s resignation.”
Members of KMP, Pamalakaya, Amihan – National Federation of Peasant Women, Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA), and Alarm Now! attended a hearing of the House Committee on Agrarian Reform that discussed House Bill 252 or the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB). After the hearing, the farmers then trooped to the session hall lobby and calling on Congress to junk House Bill 4296 or the CARP Extension Bill sponsored by the committee and certified as urgent by President Benigno Aquino III.
Recent reports said that in a meeting in Malacanang last week, Aquino, together with the authors of HB 4296, already reached a compromise to pass the measure that will authorize the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to issue notices of coverage to lands included in the DAR’s so-called list of landholdings that were not yet issued notices of coverage before CARP expired last June 30, 2014.
“The DAR’s so-called list is nothing but another Hacienda Luisita-type list, a DAR-sanitized list that will automatically exempt from distribution vast landholdings of big landlords even before the passage of the sham CARP extension bill,” says Antonio Flores KMP secretary general and Alarm Now! co-convenor recalling the DAR’s controversial list of beneficiaries in Hacienda Luisita that included horse stable helpers.
“What HB 4296 seeks to extend is the agony of the Filipino peasantry and big landlords’ political, economic, and feudal control in the countryside. Another extension of the sham CARP will strengthen further big landlords, like the Cojuangco-Aquinos, control over vast landholdings and haciendas across the country,” Flores added.
Flores said Aquino’s plummeting popularity, as shown in the latest approval and trust ratings survey, is a proof of the public’s growing discontent with the sitting administration.
“Proponents of HB 4296 who are actually allies of the landlord president are maneuvering to resurrect a dead and anti-farmer law in vain attempt to resuscitate the politically dying haciendero regime. However, attempts of an anti-farmer CARP revival will not reverse the highly-volatile situation,” Flores said adding: “In fact, approving the sham CARP’s extension will hasten Aquino’s downfall.”
“Farmers nationwide who have experienced firsthand how it is to be deceived and deprived under CARP are now showing overwhelming support for the passage of a new land reform bill that will genuinely implement pro-farmer reforms in the agriculture sector,” Flores said.
KMP and its chapters nationwide are supporting House Bill 252 or the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) which advocates free land distribution and nationalization of all public lands.
“Kagaya ng lumalawak na mga panawagan — tama na, sobra na, CARP ibasura; tama na, sobra na, Aquino patalsikin,” Flores said. #