“Stop the drama!”
The militant peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) dared Akbayan to “stop the drama” and assailed “the landlord President’s most favoured party-list group” as “an opportunist party allied with the biggest landlord of the land.”
The KMP issued the statement after Akbayan issued a statement accusing the Makabayan bloc of forging an “unholy alliance” with landlords in Congress due to their opposition to the anti-peasant Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
“Akbayan must stop this drama and come clean that they are the ones who openly forged an unholy alliance with landlords in Congress and Malacanang in pushing and approving the sham CARP in 2009. It is an open book that they are the closest and most favoured ally of President Aquino, the country’s most powerful haciendero and chief political representative of big landlords,” says KMP secretary general Antonio Flores.
He said “Akbayan is fully aware that the sham CARP is not a land reform program and did not address and resolve the centuries old problem of peasants’ landlessness. It did not break the continuing control of the Cojuangco-Aquinos of Hacienda Luisita, the Roxas-Aranetas control of Araneta Estate, and other US-controlled vast plantations in Mindanao.”
“This Akbayan-instigated drama to resurrect the dead CARP is designed to once again shield the politically-isolated landlord President in the face of growing calls for his resignation like what it did in the past,” Flores said recalling that “Akbayan, during its stint and control of the House Committee on Human Rights, covered up and politically absolved the Cojuangco-Aquinos’ criminal liability in the November 2004 Hacienda Luisita massacre. It consciously did not release a committee report of the congressional investigation on the bloody carnage.”
“Today, Akbayan’s deafening silence on the P471 million landowner compensation paid by taxpayers to the Cojuangcos, through the illegal Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), despite the President’s relatives’ continuing control over Hacienda Luisita clearly exposes the shameless alliance between Akbayan and the Cojuangco-Aquino landlords,” he said.
“This politics of opportunism, deceit, and betrayal of farmers brought the Akbayan anti-peasant party to the high echelon of power of the haciendero government,” the peasant leader said adding: “they now control well-funded political positions in the Haciendero regime like the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs, the National Anti-Poverty Commission, the Commission on Human Rights, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and the Government Service Insurance System, among others.
“Akbayan’s current exploitation of farmers in its bid to resurrect the dead and bogus CARP seeks to perpetuate the landlord monopoly and control of vast agricultural lands in the country, the brazen corruption in the Department of Agrarian Reform, and the widespread land-grabbing of local and foreign agribusinesses in the countryside,” Flores said adding: “Aside from the bogus CARP, Akbayan continuously aim to benefit and plunder the coco levy funds and deny small coconut farmers of their just, legitimate, and rightful claim over the funds.”
“Courtesy of Akbayan’s politics of opportunism, deception, and cover-up,” their landlord allies in the Liberal Party like Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas, and Sen. Franklin Drilon perpetrates land-grabbing and corruption through the infamous DAP that targeted the Marcos ill-gotten wealth and agrarian reform funds.
In 1989, Abad was the Cojuangco-Aquino’s hatchet man of the stock distribution option scheme in Hacienda Luisita despite then Agrarian Reform Secretary Miriam Defensor’s resignation due to her opposition to the stock distribution option.”
“Immediately after the appointment of Abad as agrarian reform secretary, he carried out the ruthless task of deceiving and prolonging the Cojuangcos’ feudal exploitation of Hacienda Luisita farm workers,” he said.
Meanwhile, Roxas’ relatives, the Araneta clan, used the sham CARP’s provisions on exemption to evade distribution of more than 3,000 hectares of Araneta lands in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan.
The KMP recalled that “in 1990, upon the request of Abad, then Justice Secretary Drilon issued DOJ Opinion No. 44 stating that lands already reclassified into residential, industrial or commercial use or purpose prior to June 15, 1988 are not covered by CARP.”
“The DOJ Opinion 44 was upheld by the Supreme Court in the Natalia Realty case. Drilon’s anti-peasant opinion paved the way for the rampant, massive, and indiscriminate conversion of agricultural lands,” he added.
“Now, who’s in cahoots with landlords? Definitely not the Makabayan bloc,” KMP’s Flores said. #