Archive for the ‘CARP’ Category

Agusan del Sur News: AgSur NGO launches ‘FAITH-Gojo’

March 13, 2014

AGUSAN DEL SUR, March 13 (PIA) – Federation of Agrarian Reform Peoples Organization in Agusan del Sur, Inc. (FEDARPOADSI) recently launched an insurance product dubbed “FAITH-Gojo.” FEDARPOADSI is a SEC-registered agrarian reform beneficiaries organization based in Agusan del Sur which has a total number of 7,112 individual members belonging to a total of 32 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organizations (ARBOs).

FAITH –Gojo aims to provide unique insurance products which are not offered by established insurance companies such as burial assistance, maternity assistance, hospital daily assistance, graduation gift, and wedding anniversary souvenir.
– See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=1731394588432#sthash.Jj1hg3dp.dpuf

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Tunay na reporma sa lupa: hindi suntok sa buwan

February 6, 2009

Ilang-Ilang D. Quijano

Desididong ipagtagumpay ang laban para sa tunay na repormang agraryo. (Ilang-Ilang Quijano)

Rali ng mga magsasaka noong Enero 20: Desididong ipagtagumpay ang laban para sa tunay na repormang agraryo. (Ilang-Ilang Quijano)

HINDI miminsang tinanong si Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano kung seryoso sila sa pagtutulak na isabatas ang House Bill 3059 o Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB).

Dahil sa umano’y kabiguan ng Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) na ipamahagi ang mga lupain ng bansa sa mga magsasaka, idinisenyo ang GARB ng progresibong mga party-list kasama ng militanteng mga samahang magsasaka. Inihain nila sa Kongreso, noong 2007, ang panukalang batas na umano’y “kumakatawan sa di-kumukupas na adhikain para sa tunay na reporma sa lupa.”

Noong Hunyo 2008, nagtapos ang CARP. Sinimulan ng gobyernong Aquino 20 taon na ang nakakaraan para tugunan ang demokratikong panawagan ng kilusang masang nagpatalsik sa diktadura, nagtapos ito nang nananatiling konsentrado pa rin ang mga lupain ng bansa sa kamay ng iilang panginoong-maylupa.

Marami sa mga panginoong maylupang ito, matatagpuan mismo sa loob ng Kongreso, gaya ng mga Arroyo na malalawak ang lupain sa Negros Occidental. Kaya naman nang mapresyur ang mga kongresista na palawigin ang CARP na kapos pa sa target nitong mga lupaing dapat ipamahagi, ipinasa nila ang Joint Resolution 19 o anim na buwang ekstensiyon ng programa.(Basahin ang kaugnay na artikulo)

Inulan ng batikos ang Joint Resolution 19 dahil tinanggal sa CARP ang complusory land acquisition o sapilitang pagbawi ng lupa, at ginawa na lamang itong boluntaryo. Hindi rin maaaring amyendahan ang batas ng isang resolusyon lamang. Kalaunan, ibinasura na rin ng Kongreso ang House Bill 4077 o CARP Extension With Reforms na itinutulak naman ng ilan.

Pero hindi na lamang hahayaan ng mga magsasaka na tuluyang makalimutan ang kanilang problema sa kawalan ng lupa. Ngayong “patay na” ang huwad na CARP, ayon kay Rep. Mariano, panahon nang maipakilala ang GARB na isang radikal na programa para sa tunay na reporma sa lupa.

“Seryoso, pursigido, at ubos-kaya” nila itong itutulak na maisabatas, tawagin mang suntok sa buwan ng karamihan.

Layunin ng GARB

Matayog ang mga layunin ng GARB. Kabilang rito ang pagbasag sa monopolyo sa lupa ng iilang panginoong maylupa at dayuhang kompanya; pagwasak ng piyudal at mala-piyudal na pagsasamantala sa kanayunan; pairalin ang mga kooperatiba para sa pagpapataas ng produktibidad ng benepisyaryong magsasaka; at paunlarin ang agrikultura ng bansa bilang salalayan ng pambansang industriyalisasyon.

Sa GARB, ipapamahagi nang libre ang lahat ng mga lupaing agrikultural ng bansa sa mga magsasaka. Ito umano ang pinakamalaking pagkakaiba nito sa CARP, na maraming mga eksempsiyon na nagagamit ng mga panginoong maylupa at negosyante para patuloy na kontrolin ang mga lupain at agawin ang mga ito sa mga magsasaka.

Saklaw ng GARB ang mga pribadong lupain gaya ng malalaking asyenda, plantasyon ng mga korporasyong transnasyunal, lupaing pang-aquaculture, at mga lupaing nakatiwangwang. Saklaw din nito ang mga pampublikong lupain gaya ng mga lupaing idineklara ng gobyerno para sa gamit komersiyal, residensyal, at industriyal, reserbasyong militar, eryang panturismo, lupaing mineral, at special economic zones.

Wala rin sa GARB ang mga iskemang alternatibo gaya ng stock distribution option, leaseback, joint venture, corporative scheme, at farm management contract na mayroon ang CARP at ginamit para hadlangan ang aktuwal na pamamahagi ng lupa sa mga magsasaka. Sa ilalim ng GARB, hindi rin pagbabayarin ang mga magsasaka ng amortisasyon sa lupa, na sa ilalim ng CARP ay naging dahilan para mabawi ito sa kanila.

GARB, inaasam-asam

Inaasam-asam ng 72-anyos na si Rufina Nolasco ng Brgy. Balibag, Calatagan, Batangas, ang araw na mapapasakanilang muli ang lupain na sinaka ng kanila pang mga ninuno. Kasama si Nanay Rufina, tagapangulo ng Samahan ng Ugnayan ng Mangingisda at Magsasaka sa Calatagan, sa mga magsasakang bumiyahe sa Maynila para sa kilos-protesta noong Enero 22.

Ginunita ng mga magsasaka, sa pangunguna ng Kilusang Magubukid ng Pilipinas, ang ika-22 anibersaryo ng Mendiola Massacre kung saan 13 magsasaka ang namatay sa isang marahas na dispersal sa kilos-protestang nananawagan ng tunay na reporma sa lupa. Kasabay nito, iginiit ng grupo ang pagsasabatas ng GARB.

“Walang kagutuman noong nasa mga tao pa ang lupa,” wika ni Nanay Rufina, na kagaya ng libu-libo pa sa 16 barangay sa Calatagan ay itinaboy sa lupaing binakuran at patuloy na inaangkin ng pamilyang Zobel de Ayala, sa kabila ng dalawang desisyon ng Korte Suprema na pabor sa mga magsasaka. Maya’t maya ang banta ng demolisyon sa kanilang mga tahanan. Iginigiit pa nila maging ang pananatili sa laylayan ng kanilang dating mga sakahan.

Walang naramdamang tunay na reporma sa lupa sa nakaraang 20 taon, aniya. “Ito (GARB) ang tunay na maglilingkod sa mga magsasaka, dahil ipapamahagi nang libre ang lupa. Kaiba sa CARP, na ginagamit lamang para bawiin ang lupa mula sa mga magsasaka,” aniya.

Bunuan sa Kongreso

Noong Enero 21, inikot ng mga lider ng Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK) ang mga opisina ng mga kongresista para ikampanya ang GARB. Hindi sila pinansin at tinarayan pa sila ng iba. “Busy ako,” sabi umano sa kanila ni Rep. Elpidio Barzaga ng pangalawang distrito ng Cavite. Ang iba naman, gaya ni Rep. Justin Chipeco ng pangalawang distrito ng Laguna, nagsabing mas pabor siya sa ekstensiyon ng CARP kung ipananatili rito ang compulsory land acquisition.

Pinaunlakan naman sila ni House Speaker Prospero Nograles. Pero hindi siya nangakong susuportahan ang GARB at nagpahayag ng pagkiling sa pagreporma na lamang sa CARP. Sinabihan niya ang mga magsasaka na mag-lobby sa mga miyembro ng House Committee on Agrarian Reform. Pinangungunahan ang komite ni Akbayan Rep. Risa Baraquel Hontiveros, na may-akda namang ng HB 4077. “Kung ano ang committee report, ‘yun ang susuportahan ko,” aniya.

Gayunpaman, bukas umano siya sa debate hinggil sa GARB.

Para kay Rep. Mariano, makarating lamang sa plenaryo ang GARB, malaking tagumpay na para sa mga magsasakang nais ibalik sa pambansang usapin ang pangangailangan para sa tunay na reporma sa lupa, lalo sa gitna ng pandaigdigang krisis pampinansiya.

“Ang pagpapatupad ng tunay na reporma sa lupa ang magiging dahilan at daan sa pagkakaroon ng mas maunlad na agrikultura at mas matatag na pambansang ekonomiya na magiging pansalag sa mga bayo ng pandaigdigang krisis pampinansiya,” ayon sa mambabatas.

Sama-samang pagkilos

Sa pakikipagdiyalogo pa lamang sa mga kongresista at kay Nograles, ramdam na ni Imelda Lacandazo, tagapangulo ng Kasama-TK, na hindi magiging madali ang pakikipagbunuan para maipasa ng Kongreso ang GARB. Pero isa lamang umano ang pagsusulong ng GARB sa mga porma ng malaon nang pakikipaglaban ng mga magsasaka para sa tunay na reporma sa lupa.

“Tuluy-tuloy ang sama-samang pagkilos ng mga magsasaka. Natuto na ang mga magsasaka sa hakbang-hakbang na tunay na reporma sa lupa na sila mismo ang nagpapatupad,” aniya.

Inihalimbawa niya ang 2,800 ektarya sa Brgy. Macabud, Montalban, Rizal na ngayo’y kolektibong sinasaka ng mga magsasaka sa kabila ng tangkang land use conversion o pagpapalit-gamit ng lupa tungo sa golf courses at pabahay na pagmamay-ari ng pamilyang Ayala at Lopez.

Daan-daang magsasaka sa 1,700 ektaryang Hacienda Looc sa Nasugbu, Batangas, ang nakapanatili sa kanilang mga lupain sa kabila ng pagkansela ng kanilang mga Certificate of Land Ownership Award sa ilalim ng CARP at paninibasib ng mga kompanyang nais gamitin ang lupa para sa turismo.

Gayundin, sa Mamburao, Mindoro Occidental, hindi na nagbubuwis ang mga magsasaka sa may-ari ng isang 600-ektaryang lupain. Dati-rati, aabot sa 12 kaban ng palay kada ektarya at 60 porsiyento ng ani sa mangga ang kanilang ibinabayad sa panginoong maylupa na si Rodrigo Quintos.

Samantala, sa Hacienda Luisita ng pamilyang Cojuangco sa Tarlac, isa sa pinakamatingkad na halimbawa ng kabiguan ng CARP at lunsaran ng pakikibakang magsasaka na lumundo sa isang masaker noong 2004, may 1,800 ektarya na ang kolektibong tinatamnan ng mga magsasaka.

“Sa pamamagitan ng pag-oorganisa at sama-samang pagkilos, ‘yung hindi kayang ibigay na lupa ng gobyerno at mga kapitalista, kayang bawiin ng mga magsasaka. Ito ang tunay na diwa ng tunay na reporma sa lupa,” sabi naman ni Lita Mariano, pangkalahatang kalihim ng Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon, grupong kabilang din sa mga nagsusulong ng GARB.

Kaya’t maaaring suntok sa buwan ang pagsasabatas ng GARB – pero hindi ang pagkamit ng mga magsasaka sa tunay na reporma sa lupa.(PinoyWeekly)

GARB against land-grabbing by aliens

January 15, 2009

We are extremely alarmed at this growing new trend of international land-grabbing by resource-hungry nations, such as China, South Korea and the Middle Eastern countries.

The only protection we can see now — in fact it is already in Congress — is the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB), or House Bill 3059, a bill written by us peasants to protect our right to land and achieve food security for our country. It will ensure that our lands will be used for the benefit of the majority of the Filipino people and not just for the few moneyed elite.

Here in the Bicol region, two out of three farmers do not own the land they till. This jibes with the national data that seven in 10 farmers are landless. We have also received reports that foreign corporations are targeting thousands of hectares of agricultural lands in the region, particularly in the provinces of Albay and Camarines Sur, for biofuel plantation. Now if the global land grabbing spree is to reach us in full force, there would be no farmers left in Bicol.

Considering the push of the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo regime for Charter change and the extension of the fake Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), the “extinction” of the Filipino farmer is not far-fetched and we can say goodbye to food self-sufficiency for our country. Charter change will allow 100-percent foreign ownership of land, and CARP has been inutile at best and is even used as an excuse for rampant land-grabbing by both local and foreign corporations.

We are urging Congress to immediately pass GARB and junk CARP and Charter change. GARB will be our last line of defense in our efforts to protect our lands against this new type of invasion and it will be a big step forward for our economic prosperity.

FELIX PAZ, chair, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas-Bikol (KMP-Bikol), Barangay Alcala, Daraga, Albay

Ekstensiyon ng Carp, ekstensiyon ng panlilinlang?

January 8, 2009

Soliman A. Santos

Aasa pa ba dapat sa repormang agraryo sa kasalukuyang namamayaning sistema? (Ariston Valle)

Magsasakang Pilipino: Aasa pa ba dapat sa repormang agraryo sa kasalukuyang namamayaning sistema? (Ariston Valle)

PARA sa maraming grupo ng mga magsasaka, walang kabutihang maidudulot ang muling pagbuhay ng Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program o Carp, samantalang para sa kanila’y matagal na itong patay bilang programa ng gobyerno sa tunay na reporma sa lupa.

Bago nagtapos ang sesyon ng Kongreso noong nakaraang linggo, inaprubahan nito sa pamamagitan ng Joint Resolution 19 ang anim na buwang ekstensiyon ng Carp.

Tinawag itong ilegal, depektibo at di-konstitusyonal ng militanteng mga grupo ng magsasaka at mangingisda na tatlong araw at gabing nagbantay sa harap ng Batasan Complex sa Quezon City para iparinig ang kanilang panawagan: “Wag palawigin ang Carp, tunay na reporma sa lupa, ipatupad!”

Sa kabila ng malalamig na gabi ng Disyembre, nagkampo sila sa habang dinaraanan lamang ng mga kongresistang sakay ng magagarang sasakyan.

Insulto sa magsasaka

Insulto para sa mga magsasaka ang katuwiran ng mga mambabatas na sila ring may hawak ng malalawak na lupain. Pinirmahan daw nila ang resolusyong palawigin hanggang Hunyo 2009 ang Carp para masusing rebisahin ang 20-taong programa sa repormang agraryo. Pero hindi na isinama sa ektensiyon ang compulsory acquisition o sapilitang pagbawi ng lupa.

Sa halip, pinalitan ito ng voluntary acquisition. Ayon sa mga magsasaka, isa itong suntok sa buwan dahil walang asendero (na karamiha’y nasa Kongreso rin) ang boluntaryong magbibigay ng kanilang lupain para ipasailalim sa Carp.

Ayon sa Kilusang Magbubukid sa Pilipinas (KMP), ang resolusyong palawigin ang Carp ay isang panlilinlang na lalo lamang naglalantad sa kabulukan ng kasalukuyang programa sa repormang agraryo.

Umano’y isa rin itong hungkag na pangako na layon lamang patahimikin at lalo pang paasahin ang mga magsasakang naniniwala pa sa programa, kahit wala silang dahilan para ipagdiwang ang ekstensiyon ng Carp.

Wala pa ring lupa

Sa kabila ng 20 taon ng pag-iral ng Carp, nananatiling pito sa bawat 10 magsasaka ang walang sariling lupang binubungkal, ayon sa KMP.

Sa katunayan binigyan pa umano ng legal na batayan ng Carp ang pagkakait sa karapatan ng mga magsasaka sa lupa at ang pangangamkam ng lupa ng malalaking asendero.

Halimbawa nito ang dalawa sa pinakontrobersiyal na kaso ng agrarian dispute sa Central Luzon: ang 31, 000 ektaryang lupain sa loob ng Fort Magsaysay sa Laur, Nueva Ecija at ang 6, 453 ektaryang Hacienda Luisita na pag-aari ng pamilya ni dating Pangulong Corazon Aquino.

Hindi naipamahagi sa magsasaka ang mga lupaing ito kahit nakapailalim sa Carp. Sa katunayan, nagamit pa ang iba’t ibang iskema sa Carp, gaya ng Stock Distribution Option sa kaso ng Hacienda Luisita, para mapanatili sa asendero ang mga naturang lupain.

Talamak din ang pagkansela ng mga emancipation patent (EP) at certificate of land ownership award (CLOA) na ipinagkakaloob sa mga benepisyaryo ng Carp.

Ayon sa pinakahuling pag-aaral ng Sentro Para Sa Tunay na Repormang Agraryo (Sentra), iniulat mismo ng Department of Agrarian Refrom (DAR) noong Setyembre 2007 na may 5,049 EP at 103,392 CLOA ang pinawalang-bisa. Aabot sa 204,579 ektaryang lupain ang saklaw ng mga ito.

Bukod dito, marami pang nakabimbing mga kaso ng kanselasyon ng EP at CLOA. Hindi pa rin umano natutukoy ng DAR kung gaano karaming titulo ng lupa para sa mga benepisyaryong magsasaka ang kinansela o binawi nito simula nang mag-umpisa ang programa.

Pinagkakitaan ng asendero

Ipinakikita rin ng pag-aaral ng Sentra na kumikita pa ang mga asendero dahil sa Carp.

Mula noong 1972 hanggang 2005, umabot sa P41.6 Bilyong cash and bonds ang kompensasyong ibinayad ng Land Bank of the Philippines sa 83,203 asendero o P500,463 kada asendero. Sumasaklaw ito sa 1,348,758 ektarya. Noong 2005, P4.6-B ang napunta sa kompensasyon sa mga asendero lamang.

“Ipinapakita nito na ang Carp ay isang transaksiyon lamang sa pagitan ng gobyerno at mga asendero sa mahigit 20 taon,” ayon kay Ramos.

Bumababa rin taun-taon ang distribusyon ng lupa sa ilalim ng Carp. Mula sa orihinal na 10.3 milyong ektarya noong 1988, umabot na lamang ang saklaw nito sa 8.1 milyong ektarya o 21.76 porsiyentong pagbaba.

Isinisisi ito ng KMP sa pagtanggal sa saklaw ng programa ng kapwa pribado at pampublikong mga lupain dahil sa iba’t ibang iskema tulad ng pagpapalit-gamit sa lupa at pagpapalit-pananim.

Garb at tunay na reporma sa lupa

Ayaw nila sa Carp, pero hangarin ng militanteng mga magsasaka ang programang tunay na mapapasakanila ang lupa. “Ang dapat gawin ng mga mambabatas ay itapon ang Carp at lumikha ng isang bagong batas sa repormang agraryo,” sabi ni Ramos.

Sinusuportahan ng KMP at iba pang mga grupo gaya ng Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya sa Pilipinas at Amihan ang House Bill 3059 o Garb (Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill). Iniakda ito ni yumaong Rep. Crispin Beltran at isinusulong ngayon ni Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano, kasama sina Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo at Teodoro Casiño at Gabriela Rep. Liza Maza at Luzviminda Ilagan.

Layunin ng Garb na saklawin ang lahat ng lupang agrikultural sa bansa at ipamahagi ang mga ito sa mga magsasakang walang sariling lupa subalit handang magbungkal. Sa panukalang batas, walang pinapayagang eksempsiyon o iskema para makalusot ang mga asendero sa programa.

Kaiba rin sa Carp na pinagbabayad pa ang mga magsasaka para mapasakanila ang lupa, libre ang pamamahaging nais ng Garb.

Hinikayat ni Mariano ang mga nananawagan para sa ekstensiyon ng Carp na abandonahin ang “patay” nang programa at samahan ang mga magsasaka sa pagsuporta sa Garb.

Reklamo ni Ramos, sa mga debate sa Kongreso ay wala ni isa man sa mga kongresista at senador na sumusuporta sa ekstensiyon ng Carp ang bumanggit sa libreng pamamahagi ng lupa na nakasaad sa Garb. “Nanawagan sila ng ektensyon ng hungkag na Carp, pero hindi para sa libreng pamamahagi ng lupa sa mga magsasaka,” aniya.

Nagkakaisang lakas

Kaya iginiit ng KMP na sa lakas lamang ng nagkakaisang mga samahang magsasaka maikakampanya tunay na reporma sa lupa.

Inihalimbawa ng grupo ang laban ng mga magsasaka sa Hacienda Looc sa Batangas, na dahil sa paggigiit ay hindi napaalis sa kanilang lupa nang ideklara itong “di produktibo” at naitakas sa Carp noong panahon ni dating pangulong Fidel Ramos.

Marami pa umanong halimbawa ng paggigiit sa karapatan sa sariling lupa sa gitna ng kabiguan ng Carp, gaya ng paglaban ng mga magsasakang binawian ng CLOA sa Central Mindanao University sa Bukidnon at Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation sa Nueva Ecija. Pinalalayas man ng militar, hindi pa rin sila natitinag.

“Isa lang ang ipinakikita nito: na kapag ang mga magsasaka ay nagkakaisa, sa kabila ng panghaharas ng mga asendero katuwang ng mga ahente ng Estado, makakamtan nila ang lupang pilit na inaagaw sa kanila ng mga mangangamkam,” ani Ramos.(PinoyWeekly)

Editorial Cartoon: (CARP) Reviving the Monster

January 6, 2009

reviving-the-monster

Editorial Cartoon: (CARP “Extension”) Moro-Moro Gift

January 4, 2009

carp

Editorial Cartoon: (CARP) Patay

January 3, 2009

libing

Farmers go online to oust DAR chief

January 2, 2009

By Alcuin Papa
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:47:00 01/02/2009

Filed Under: Government, Agrarian Reform, Golf club mauling incident, Internet

MANILA, Philippines—Their hands are rough and covered with calluses from working the earth with plowshares and rudimentary farm implements. But this did not prevent some 65 farmers from going online to sign a petition for the ouster of Agrarian Reform Secretary Nasser Pangandaman and for a revamp of the department.

“Some of us had a hard time working the keyboard. Our hands are already hard and stiff from using our plowshares all our lives,” said Romeo Olaes, president of the Hacienda Yulo Farmers Alliance based in Laguna.

It is a new and unfamiliar step in the farmers’ campaign for genuine land reform, one that eschews strongly worded placards and noisy rallies. But the resolve of the farmers never faltered, Olaes said.

“The DAR has never supported the farmers in their struggle. All the time that he [Pangandaman] has been there, the department has never produced good results for the farmers,” Olaes said, adding that more farmers have indicated their desire to sign the online petition.

The Hacienda Yulo farmers are calling on the DAR to void an order exempting from land reform 3,256 hectares of the hacienda’s 7,100 hectares, said Vangie Mendoza, spokesperson for the farmers.

Exemption order

Mendoza said the exemption order was first handed down in 1993 to pave the way for the conversion of the land for industrial and commercial purposes. But no development has been undertaken while the farmers have been deprived of their livelihood, she said.

The online campaign for the ouster of Pangandaman was also partly inspired by the reported involvement of Pangandaman’s sons in a brawl with members of the De la Paz family at the Valley Golf and Country Club in Antipolo City last week.

According to the text of the petition, posted on http://www.petitiononline.com, the Antipolo incident “revealed how gross power can make of officials without the moorings of modesty and decency.”

“The incident between the Pangandamans and the De la Pazes reminds us of government officials’ abuse of power, including converting agriculture-productive lands into many golf courses nationwide. In the case of golf courses constructed within the Yulo landholdings as well as Valley Golf in Antipolo, farmers are disenfranchised of their right to own lands,” the petition read. “Since last year, we have called for the resignation of Mr. Pangandaman as DAR secretary… We urge the public to join us in this call. The farmers and the public do not deserve this kind of leader.”

In a phone interview, Pangandaman refused to comment on the petition, except to say “I am not resigning. I don’t want to comment further. It may just prolong the issue.”

Members of the Peace Foundation, who are supporting the 400 Hacienda Yulo farmers, on Thursday facilitated the farmers’ entry into the digital world. The farmers were given a crash course in the use of the computer and the Internet at their makeshift camp in front of the DAR offices in Quezon City.

The foundation’s Dong Calmada said the farmers were interested and attentive, “but the first three farmers had a tough time with the keyboard. So after that, we gave the others assistance.”

He said they brought along a laptop, a wireless Internet connection and a projector for their lecture.

“But we had some problems with the connection. So we are typing out all the information and will upload the petition later,” Calmada explained.

The activity was also kicked off by a Mass celebrated by activist priest Robert Reyes.

Homily

In his homily, the activist priest said it would be useful for the farmers to learn to use the Internet. “Wouldn’t it be nice if all farmers’ organizations like yours will have Internet connection?” he said, to the amusement of the farmers.

Reyes also said their online petition was an expression of their anger at Pangandaman and the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

“Do not apologize for your anger. Don’t let anyone take that anger away from you. Your anger comes from God, who together with you, is also angry,” the priest said.

The CARP law was supposed to expire last Wednesday but Congress passed a resolution extending it for another six months. But the terms of the extension do not compel landowners to give up their land. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has yet to sign the resolution.

Arroyo won’t sign CARP resolution–solon

January 2, 2009

By Lira Dalangin-Fernandez
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 15:52:00 01/02/2009

Filed Under: Legislation, Laws, Congress, Agrarian Reform

MANILA, Philippines — (UPDATE) President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will not sign Joint Resolution 19 extending the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program for six months and will just let it lapse into law, Speaker Prospero Nograles has said.

Nograles said this was the President’s inclination as the joint resolution has been in Malacañang for almost three weeks after the House of Representatives transmitted the measure there.

“I am told that this will just lapse into law,” Nograles said in a text message Friday when asked if the President signed the resolution.

Nograles said the President “wanted to insert the provision to allow agricultural lands to be used as collateral for bank loans” but this was not included in the joint resolution approved by the Senate and the House.

Joint Resolution 19 extended the land distribution component of CARP for six months or until June 30, 2009 but did not include compulsory land acquisition. For six months, only those lands that will be under voluntary offer to sell (VOS) and voluntary land transfer (VLT) will be subject to distribution.

The resolution will lapse into law on January 23 if Arroyo does not sign it, Nograles said. He added that the House transmitted the measure to the Office of the President on December 19, but that it was officially received between December 20 and 23.

Farmers groups from Task Force Mapalad slammed the resolution as a virtual death for CARP, saying it did not mean anything without the compulsory acquisition component. The group has threatened to raise the matter before the Supreme Court.

Nograles said that “technically, it does not really matter” whether or not the President signed the measure. He said lawmakers have vowed to pass new legislation within the six- month period so that the agrarian reform program would continue.

In a separate text message, Akbayan partylist Representative Risa Hontiveros said the President should instead restore the compulsory land acquisition component into the resolution.

She said advocates of agrarian reform would continue pushing for House Bill 4077, which proposes a P100-billion allocation for compulsory land acquisition and increases the budget for agriculture support services from 23 percent to 43 percent of the CARP annual budget.

Albay Representative Edcel Lagman, principal author of HB 4077, urged Arroyo to save CARP by vetoing the joint resolution.

Lagman said that “while the veto will result in the expiration of the land acquisition and distribution (LAD) component after Dec. 31, 2008, Congress in a special session or after the resumption of the regular sessions starting Jan. 19, 2009 can expeditiously act to revive the LAD with compulsory acquisition as the dominant mode for the mandatory coverage of the remaining landholdings consisting of 1.3 million hectares.”

“Allowing the LAD to lapse pending its authentic revival is better than a sham extension which is a virtual termination of the program,” Lagman had said.

Lagman said that the exclusion of the more important mode of compulsory acquisition would virtually kill CARP because:

• The remaining landholdings for coverage were those owned by landlords who have resisted or defied coverage for the past two decades and who obviously were not expected to belatedly volunteer to offer their lands for sale or transfer;
• Various independent and empirical studies have documented that the VOS and VLT have resulted to simulated and corrupted coverage under “artificial arrangements” with non-qualified beneficiaries;
• These studies have recommended the review and abandonment of VOS and VLT in favor of compulsory acquisition as the sole mode of coverage; and
• The VLT scheme has legally expired one year after the implementation of the CARP or 19 years ago pursuant to Section 20 (a) of Republic Act No. 6657 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARP) and has been illicitly extended to deodorize the reported high performance of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) on land coverage.

Statement on CARP Extension

December 28, 2008

BY AXEL PINPIN
Former Political Detainee
Indang, Cavite
DEMOCRATIC SPACE
Posted by Bulatat

I was released from prison almost in time for the expiration of the government’s Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) that paved a crossroad to the majority of farming sectors in the country.

Anent the current raging discourse on Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill proposed by Anakpawis versus extension of CARP backed by some farmers’ groups funded by pro-landlord technocrats, government instrumentalities and the CBCP, as an agriculturist who chose to devote more than a decade of my life into grassroots organizing instead of spending my time in big agro-corporations doing ivory tower research, which I believe remains inaccessible to its intended beneficiary, I have been provided with enough reasons to side with the total scrapping of CARP and against extension of the existing sham land reform program.

Data from a series of agrarian case consultations done by 10 provincial chapters of Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK or Association of Peasant Organizations in Southern Tagalog) show that land monopoly in the said region remains rampant and seven out of every 10 farmers stand landless, in spite of 20 years of CARP.

In Batangas, 71,813 hectares of agricultural lands are still under the control of 91 big landlords; while in Quezon province there are 211 landlords owning over 561,626 hectares of farmlands.

In my home province of Cavite, land and crop use conversion became commonplace after CARP was implemented in 1988. My memory of an agricultural Cavite, 20 years ago, remains very clear in spite of the seemingly endless encroachment of industrial and commercial complexes, golf courses and high-end residential subdivisions into the once verdant fields of my province.

I cannot blame the farmers who still pin their hopes on the extension and revival of CARP, despite the barefaced exploitation by the personalities behind their groups because these people are essentially pro-landlords and/or landlords themselves that expect million of pesos of funds if CARP is extended.

Whatever happened to the farmers that marched some 1,200 kilometers? Promises stay etched on their calloused feet, while the pseudo-farmers’ group and non-government organizations (NGOs) that orchestrated the march benefited from the sacrifices of the farmers.

And what happened to the farmers who never depended on CARP but continuously assert for a genuine land reform program? Bitter experience taught them lessons, one of which is that instead of waiting endlessly for CARP implementation or coverage, they decisively installed themselves and tilled the land and kept it productive – an active defense of the agricultural lands that is always threatened by monopoly, “development” and conversion.

Hence, while those exploited farmers wait interminably for CARP extension, farmers under the militant peasant movement in the country are already harvesting fruits of their labor.

We should put an end to the debate. Let us not further exploit the farmers. Let us work with them – not mislead them – for a genuine agrarian reform. Posted byBulatlat.com

CARP Extension to Worsen Landlessness Problem

December 28, 2008

Members of the progressive party-list bloc at the House of Representatives walked out of the session hall, December 17, as their colleagues adopted Joint Resolution No. 19. They said they decided not to be a party to the landlord-dominated House of Representatives’ “pretensions, and deception of the Filipino peasantry and the people” in extending the ‘bogus’ Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), which was further emasculated with the removal of the compulsory acquisition scheme.

BY RONALYN V. OLEA
(Bulatlat.com)

Members of the progressive party-list bloc at the House of Representatives walked out of the session hall, December 17 as their colleagues adopted Joint Resolution No. 19. They said they decided not to be a party to the landlord-dominated House of Representatives’ “pretensions and deception of the Filipino peasantry and the people” in extending the ‘bogus’ Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), which was further emasculated with the removal of the compulsory acquisition scheme.

Enacted on June 10, 1988, Republic Act 6657 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law was supposed to be implemented for 10 years. Falling short of its targets, the Agrarian Reform Law was extended by the Ramos administration for another ten years. It expired for the second time this June 2008.


Militant groups join farmers in calling for the scrapping of CARP extension . (Photo by Ronalyn Olea)

In a joint statement, Anakpawis Representative and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP or Peasant Movement of the Philippines) Chairperson Rafael Mariano, Bayan Muna Representatives Satur Ocampo and Teodoro Casiño Jr. and Gabriela Women’s Party list Representatives Liza Maza and Luzviminda Ilagan, said Joint Resolution 19 removed the compulsory acquisition scheme and deferred the acquisition of lands with pending notices of coverage, like the Arroyo lands in Negros.

“This is a shotgun legislation that has killed the anti-peasant CARP. This also further exposed the real character of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who certified the joint resolution as urgent, as the chief political representative of big landlords,” they said.

The legislators also condemned Arroyo’s allies in the House of Representatives for denying Mariano his right to interpellate during the presentation by the sponsors of the joint resolution.

Unconstitutional

In a separate statement, Danilo Ramos, KMP secretary general said the joint resolution extending CARP for another six months as ‘grossly unconstitutional and morally bankrupt.’

“Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile said CARP is legally defective and that the Upper House decided to sign the resolution extending CARP for another six months to undergo a thorough review of the agrarian reform program. What kind of political and moral attitude is that? If CARP extension is legally defective, then throw it in the dustbin of history…” said Ramos.

Bogus CARP


Nestor Villanueva, one of the farmers from Hacienda Yulo, supports HB 3059 or the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB). (Photo by Ronalyn Olea)

In an interview with Bulatlat, Nestor Villanueva, 51, a farmer in Hacienda Yulo in Canlubang, Laguna said he and the other farmers have not benefited from the CARP.

Villanueva said their ancestors have been tilling the land in Hacienda Yulo since 1910.

He said that during the Aquino administration, they fought for the distribution of land but the Hacienda Yulo was exempted from CARP coverage as the landlord declared the land as non-agricultural.

In 1990, the Department of Justice issued Opinion No. 44 that stated that all lands classified before 1988 as non-agricultural are exempted from coverage of land reform.

The local government, said Villanueva, also declared the land as a forest reserve and watershed. He said, however, that a subdivision and a golf course have been built inside the hacienda.

Villanueva is among millions of farmers who have remained landless under the CARP. The KMP said the CARP is the source of all the troubles of landless farmers over the last 20 years.

The KMP and Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya or National Unity of the Fisherfolk Movement in the Philippines) said CARP has provided the legal basis for the denial of farmers’ land rights, and the landgrabbing spree of big landlords inside Fort Magsaysay and Hacienda Luisita, courtesy of the law’s fatal flaws and wide loopholes. “The 3,100 hectares in Fort Magsaysay were cornered by the landlord syndicates, while the 6,453 hectares in Hacienda Luisita were kept untouchable because of CARP.”

Citing the recent study made by the Sentro Para Sa Tunay na Repormang Agraryo (Sentra or Center for Genuine Agrarian Reform), KMP and Pamalakaya said that on September 2007 the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) reported that 5,049 emancipation patents (Eps) and 103,392 certificates of land ownership awards (CLOAs) were canceled, covering 204,579 hectares of land acquired under the agrarian reform program.

Both groups asserted that the figures they cited did not yet include pending cases of cancellation of EPs and CLOAs before the DAR. They noted that the agrarian reform agency, up to now, has been unable to determine how many land titles were canceled or revoked by DAR.

The same Sentra study showed that landlords all over the country ‘profited immensely from the implementation of CARP.’ Citing data from the Land Bank of the Philippines, Sentra revealed that from 1972 to 2005, the compensation to 83,203 landowners for 1,348, 758 hectares has already reached P 41.6 billion ($833,500,300 at the current exchange rate of $1=P46.91) in cash and bonds, or an average of P 500,463 ($10,668) per landlord. In 2005, P 4.6 billion ($83,507,306 at the 2005 exchange rate of $1=P55.085) went to the compensation of landlords.

The two groups said the Congress should have instead passed House Bill 3059 or the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill authored by the late Anakpawis party list Representative Crispin Beltran and co-authored Mariano, Ocampo, Casiño, Maza and Ilagan. The bill seeks to cover all agricultural lands and distribute these lands to landless farmers across-the-nation for free.

Worse

In an interview with Bulatlat, Mariano said the joint resolution has further worsened the ‘bogus’ CARP.

He said that the resolution effectively removed even the token distribution of land under CARP.

The joint resolution extends the CARP for another six months, stating that private owners of agricultural land may enter into voluntary offer to sell (VOS) or voluntary land transfer (VLT) schemes. Mariano said it is unlikely for landlords to offer their land to landless farmers. “Even if they do, landlords can easily withdraw from the VOS,” he said.

Land grabbing, eviction

The legislators further said, “This sham joint resolution further strengthens the landlords’ monopoly and control over vast tracts of agricultural lands in the country and will surely lead to the massive eviction of peasants and land-grabbing in the countryside.”

Mariano explained, “Mapupuno ang kamay ng DAR ng petitions for exemptions, land-use conversion, cancellation of CLOAs and EPs.” (DAR will be flooded with petitions for exemptions, land-use conversion, cancellation of CLOAs and EPs.

He said landlords could also pressure local government units to issue zoning ordinances declaring agricultural land as non-agricultural or enter into corporative farming and other non-land transfer schemes.

Under the CARP, the KMP and Pamalakaya revealed, the scope for land distribution had been eroded from time to time. From the original 10.3 million hectares in 1988, the scope was adjusted down by 21.76 percent to 8.1 million hectares.

Globalization, Charter change

Mariano said that the VOS and VLT schemes conform with the World Bank model, “The willing to sell, willing to buy formula without government intervention is what the World Bank calls market-assisted land reform,” he explained.

“This suits globalization. Eventually, 100 percent foreign ownership of land would be allowed through Charter change,” he added.

Mariano said that after six months, foreign corporations and local landlords would have lorded over vast tracts of land, leaving little or nothing at all for distribution to landless farmers.

Attacks against farmers

Mariano said further that the CARP extension would intensify attacks against farmers. “Landlords will continue to criminalize farmers fighting for their land. Killings will also increase.”

He added, “Sa loob ng six months, ilan ang magsasakang pwedeng paalisin o paslangin? Karanasan natin iyan eh.” (In a span of six months, how many farmers would be evicted or killed? This has been our experience.)

According to human rights group Karapatan, 467 peasants have been killed under the Arroyo administration, while 10 were killed this year.

Mariano said that while the government uses bogus agrarian reform programs as a means of deception, repressive measures are also used against farmers.

Lessons

The peasant-lawmaker said that the landlord-dominated House Representatives proved once again that it is anti-peasant.

Mariano said the peasants have to continue relying on themselves in the struggle for genuine land reform in the countryside. He called on farmers to draw lessons from the struggles of farmers from the Hacienda Luisita, Hacienda Looc, Central Mindanao University in Bukinon, among others.

He said that amid threats of eviction, these farmers asserted their right to stay in the land they have been tilling for decades. The Hacienda Luisita farmers, Mariano added, have tilled more than 1,000 hectares of land in defiance of the Cojuangco landlords.

As Villanueva, the farmer from Hacienda Yulo, puts it, “Sa pamamagitan ng lakas ng magsasaka, maipapatupad ang tunay na reporma sa lupa. Kung taumbayan mismo ang may gusto, walang hindi kakayanin.” (Only through the strength of peasants would genuine agrarian reform be implemented. If the people so desires, nothing is impossible.)

Ipatupad ang GARB — magsasaka ng Ilokos

June 20, 2008

LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte — “Tunay na reporma sa lupa ang kailangan ng mga magsasaka at hindi ang mga bogus na programa tulad ng Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).”

Ito ang panawagan ng mga magsasaka ng Ilocos sa kanilang paggunita sa anibersaryo ng CARP noong Hunyo10.

Ayon kay Zaldy Alfiler, pangkalahatang kalihim ng Solidarity of Peasants Against Exploitation (Stop Exploitation), dahil sa mga bogus na programa sa reporma sa lupa tulad ng CARP, nananatiling mailap ang pangarap ng mga magsasaka na magkaroon ng sariling lupang bubungkalin at lumaya mula sa pyudal na pagsasamantala.

Ayon sa datos ng Stop Exploitation at ng Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), mula noong maipatupad ang CARP noong 1988, mahigit 9,500 na malalaking panginoong maylupa ang nagmamay-ari ng 2,820,000 ektarya ng lupa o 20% ng lupaing pang-agrikultura. Sa loob ng 20 taon, halos hindi nabawasan ang mga pagmamay-ari ng mga panginoong maylupa dito kung kaya naman 70% ng mga magsasaka ay nakikisaka.

Kanselasyon

Dagdag pa ni Alfiler, “Numanpay adda dagiti inwaras ti gobyerno babaen ti Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) a Certificate of Land Transfer (CLT) ken Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA), in-inut met a makankanselar dagitoy gapu ti panagkumplot dagiti apo’t daga ken DAR. Adu a dagdaga a naiwaras kadagiti mannalon ti ginuyod met laeng dagiti apo’t daga.” (Totoong may mga lupaing ipinamahagi ng gobyerno sa amamagitan ng CLT at CLOA ng DAR, pero unti-unti ring binabawi ito ng mga panginoong-maylupa).

Sa rehiyon ng Ilocos, tampok na kaso ang pagkansela ng mga CLT sa Cabugao, Ilocos Sur. Ayon kay Elmer Serrano, pangkalahatang kalihim ng Alyansa ti Kumpang ti Cabugao (Alkumpac), 37 magsasaka ang nakaambang mawalan ng lupa sa Brgy. Bato at 37 din sa Lipit kung magtatagumpay ang mga claimant ng mga lupain sa kanilang laban sa DAR.

Kung susuriin, ang mga lupaing iyon ay pag-aari na namin dahil kami ang nagsasaka at hindi ang mga nais magmay-ari nito,” giit ni Serrano.

Ang mga nasabing CLT ay ipinagkaloob noong dekada ’80 sa mga magsasaka ng Bato sa ilalim ng gobyernong Marcos na inaari ni Maximina Sajor na di-umano’y nagsanla kay Don Miguel Florendo bilang pambayad ng utang. Sa Lipit naman, may tatlong nag-aari ng lupain ngunit ang mga ito ay walang maipakitang papeles. Hanggang sa kasalukuyan ay wala pa ring nangyayari sa kaso sa DAR.

Ipatupad ang GARB

Sa pahayag ng Stop Exploitation, ipinaabot nito ang pakikiisa sa pagsasabatas ng Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) na inihanda ng Bayan Muna, Anakpawis at Gabriela Women’s Party.

Ani Elizabeth Alfiler ng Solidarity of Ilocos Associations of Women (Silaw), organization ng mga magsasakang kababaihan, layon ng House Bill 3059 na wakasan ang pagmomonopolyo at pagkontrol ng mga panginoong maylupa at mga dayuhang kapitalista na lupa.

“Daytoy ti pudpudno a mangipatungpal ti libre a pannakaiwaras ti daga ken mangikkat ti aniaman a klase ti panaggundaway iti kaaw-awayan. Panggep pay daytoy a pangatoen ti produksyon ken pastrek ti mannalon ken babbai,” (Ito ang tunay na magpapatupad ng libreng pamamahagi ng lupa at papawi sa anumang klase ng pagsasamantala sa kanayunan. Layon nitong pataasin ang produksyon at kita ng magsasaka at kababaihan) paliwanag ni Alfiler.

Hindi pabor and Silaw sa panukala ng gobyernong Arroyo sa ekstensyon ng CARP, ani Alfiler . “Magpapatuloy ang kawalan ng lupa at pagsasamantala sa mga magsasaka dahil ang makikinabang lamang nito ay si Gloria Arroyo kasama ang kakuntsaba niyang mga panginoong maylupa at dayuhang kapital,” giit pa nito.

Ayon kay Ireneo Agabao, isang lider ng Alkumpac, umaasa pa rin sila na makakamit nila ang kanilang pangarap. “Sa aming sama-samang pagkilos, maipapatupad ang tunay na reporma sa lupa,” pahayag ni Tata Inyong. # Rod Tajon(NorthernDispatch)

Bukas na Liham para kay Arsobispo Ledesma

June 19, 2008

9 Hunyo 2008
(Bisperas ng ika-20 taon ng Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program)

Mahal na Arsobispo,

Kami ang mga mamamayang nagbungkal sa lupa, nagpayaman ng bukirin, nagpakain sa sambayanan;
Kami ang mga magsasakang nagdidilig ng pawis sa binhing bubuhay sa lipunan, nagsusunog ng balat;
Mangingisda kaming nakipagtuos sa hanging habagat, sumisid sa mga perlas sa pusod ng karagatan ng buhay;
Kami ang mga tagabundok, mga naninirahan sa mga sapa at baybayin, sa mga dukhang dampa sa kagubatan, na tumuklas sa kayamanan ng lupa, nagdiskubre ng mga kaalaman, nagbuntis sa lahat ng bawat bagong bagay bunga ng aming direktang pakikisangkot sa paggawa.

Kami ang mga timawa sa lipunang alipin; mga Andres Bonifaciong lumaban sa pyudal na panggigipit ng kapangyarihan ng simbahan at estado noong panahon ng Espanyol;
Kami ang mga binansagang bandido sapagkat gusto naming bawiin ang lupang inagaw ng mga prayle; naghimagsik sa harap ng mga walang awang gwardya sibil para ipaglaban ang nararapat at makatarungan;
Kami ang mga tinraydor ng mga nagbenta-ng-kaluluwang mga Makapili.
Kami ang labing-apat na mga magsasakang pinatay sa paanan ng Mendiola.
Kami ang mga hindi isinulat sa mga dahon ng kasaysayan; nakamarka sa aming mga noo ang sumpa ng daan-taong pagkaalipin.

Kami ang walong daang magsasakang nanganganib mapalayas sa kwatro syentos ektaryang lupa sa loob ng Central Mindanao University;
Ipinagpipilitan ng mga may-kapangyarihang ito ay hindi sa amin, at kukunin dahil anila’y hindi para sa gamit pagsasaka;
Sabi nila, hindi ito kasali sa mga ipapamigay; wala kaming payapang gabi sa takot na posible itong dagitin ng patakarang “eksklusyon at eksempsyon” ng batas na gusto mong palawigin pa.
Kami ang mga nagsasakang itinaboy sa kalupaan ng Hacienda Puyat sa Batangas; mga hampas-lupa sa Aguinaldo Estate sa Tartaria Cavite.

Kami ang mga nagbubungkal na nangangarap maangkin ang tatlong libong ektaryang kalupaan sa Tagoloan at Villanueva na pinamamahalaan ng PHIVIDEC, at sa mahigit dos syentos beynte mil ektarya ng Dole at Del Monte Philippines sa Bukidnon;
Kami ang mga umiiyak sa pagbibigay ng higit sa reserbasyon ng lupa para sa kagamitang industriyal;  mga komersyal na negosyo, plantasyon ng kape, cacao at goma handog sa panginoong Amerika habang nauubos ang bukiring pagtatamnan ng kakainin ng ating mamamayan;
Kami ang naniniwala na sapat na ang krisis sa bigas at laganap na kagutuman upang iyong ikondena sa mga pulpito ang dalang delubyo ng kasalukuyang programa sa repormang agraryo.
Kami ang mga nagbubungkal sa Hacienda Zobel sa Batangas.

Kami ang mga nagtitiis sa pagbabayad upang mapasaamin ang lupang pinaniniwalaan naming matagal nang nabayaran;
Sa loob ng mahahabang taon, inihahatid namin ang rentang tersyo, sangkapat, kalahati sa pintuan ng bahay na marmol ng aming mga panginoong walang ibang hawak kundi ang mga papeles na ang lupa’y sa kanila, habang namamaluktot sa gutom ang aming mga supling.
Matagal na kaming nakabayad kahit wala kaming utang.
Kami ang mahigit tatlong daang magsasaka sa Gingoog na nagbayad ng “makatarungang bayad” sa mga panginoon alinsunod sa itinakda ng CARP, subalit binawian pa rin nila ng CLOA, CLT at EP.
Kami ang mga nagsasaka sa Hacienda Looc at Hacienda Roxas sa Nasugbu; mga itinakwil sa Hacienda Yulo sa Laguna.

Kami ang mga magsasakang ipinatawag ninyo sa isang konsultasyon tungkol sa aming kahirapan, madali sanang dinggin ang aming mga hiling; mga anak rin kami ng Diyos na dapat marinig.
Kinamumuhian namin ang kasalukuyang pekeng programa ng repormang agraryo, dalawampung taon nitong ipinagkanulo ang aming mga pangarap.
Nakakapanindig balahibo ang turingang ang programang ito ay katumbas ng panlipunang katarungan at pagkakapantay-pantay, inilibing nito ang anumang natitira pa naming pag-asa.
Nais gamitin ng mga oportunista ang aming kahirapan para magkapera, inilalako nila ang larawan ng aming kawalan saan mang sulok para maghanap ng mananakaw, na para bang hindi pa sapat ang syento kwarenta y tres bilyong piso na kanilang natangay nitong nakaraang  dalawampung mahahabang taon.
Kami ang mga tinuruan ninyong lumaban nang mapayapa, gamitin ang mga batas upang igiit ang aming mga karapatan.  Ngunit anong ginawa nila sa amin sa munisipyo ng Escalante, sa HaciendaLuisita?
Kami ang patuloy na natututo sa mayamang karanasan mula sa pakikipagtunggali sa         aming mga mambubusabos.

Kami ang mga alipin ng modernong panahon; habang kami’y nagkakayod upang kumain, sinisi nila ang kapalaran bilang salarin sa aming kahirapan, habang tinatakan kami ng samu’t saring mga marka sa aming mga noo bilang mga komunista, terorista, at iba pang mga bansag bunga ng aming pagpupunyaging magkalaman kahit mumo ang aming mga bitukang walang laman.
Ginamit nila ang mga rehas, kinitil ang aming mga mithiin; hayun, ang mga magnanakaw, malaya, nakaluhod at sumasamba sa kapital, nalalasing sa mamahaling alak; malinaw na hindi sumasakit ang ulo ng hukom para sila’y habulin.
Mahal sila ng kapalaran.

Kami ang mga magsasaka saan mang dako nitong Amihan, nagbungkal sa lupang hitik sa mga kwento ng magiting na paglaban sa aming parang walang katapusang pagkaalila;
Kami ang Dalmacio Gandinao, Nestor Ladica, at marami pang ibang walang pangalan, nagbahagi ng aming dugo at hininga para sa kalayaan ng kanayunan;
Kami ang mga amang tinadtad ng bala habang humihingi ng aming karapatang bumungkal; mga asawang binunutan ng kuko para umaming NPA; mga inang naghihintay sa anak na dinukot ng mga di-kilalang nagtatago sa dilim ng gabi.
Kami ang mga namatay subalit buhay sa alaala ng bawat mahirap na magsasaka sa lahat ng sulok.

Kami ang mga inismiran ang papel sa bawat pagsulong ng kasaysayan;
Nananaghoy ang lupa habang itinuturo sa mga aroganteng intelektwal, mga mapagkunwaring mga henyo, mga naghahanap  ng daan patungo sa bagong Israel, na kami, kami ang mganawawalang hibla sa krusada, ang pinaghahanap na kaputol sa masaganang bukas.

Hindi man nila lingunin ang kasalukuyang mukha ng aming pagkabusabos, kalikasan ang magtuturong bigyang halaga ang aming panaghoy. Bawat panaghoy, paglaban.  Bawat paglaban, tagumpay.

Huwag asahang aming hihintayin ang mga kamay, kasama ang iba pang uring pinagsasamantalahan, walang tigil naming babaybayin ang daan patungong kalayaan.

This poem was read 8pm of June 9, 2008  in the Vigil Rally at Gaston Park, Cagayan de Oro City. Originally in Cebuano, it was collectively written and edited by the following Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) member organizations in Northern Mindanao:
-Misamis Oriental Farmers’ Association (MOFA)
-Kahugpungan sa mga Mag-uuma sa Bukidnon  (KASAMA)
-Unyon sa mga Mag-uumasa Agusan Norte (UMAN)
-Nagkahiusang mga Mag-uuma sa Agusan Sur (NAMASUR)
-Gingoog City Farmers’ Association (GCUFA)
-Kahugpungan sa mga Mag-uuma sa Lanao Norte (KAMAS LANAO)
-Pambansang Lakas ng mga Mamamalakaya sa Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-North Mindanao)
-Kalumbay Lumad Organizatio

Acronyms Used

PHIVIDEC -Philippine Veterans Investment Development Coporation
CARP – Comprehensive Agreement on Agrarian Reform Program
CLOA- Certificate of Land Ownership Award
CLT- Certificate of Land Title
EP – Emancipation Patent
NPA – New People’s Army

Editorial Cartoon: The Real Tune

June 16, 2008

Very bad tune.

Transcript of House Plenary Proceedings

June 16, 2008

June 11, 2008

The distinguished Gentleman may now proceed, he has ten minutes.

QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE OF REP. CASIÑO

REP. CASIÑO. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, my dear colleagues.

This morning, I chanced upon several articles in the newspapers which had my name. Apparently, they were quoting from a press release released yesterday by the Akbayan Party-List, this is a press release dated June 10 copy of which, I have here. The title of the press release, Mr. Speaker, is “Akbayan: Landlords Cum Legislators Solons from the Bayan Bloc out to Kill Agrarian Reform.” The first paragraph says: As the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program expires today, Akbayan Representative Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel , principal author of the CARP extension with reforms bill, warned that the landlords in Congress in collusion with leftist Solons from the Bayan Bloc are out to maim, cripple and kill agrarian reform in the country. The news release goes on to say that Honorable Hontiveros-Baraquel slammed the emerging collusion between landlords in Congress and leftist Solons pushing for the so called genuine agrarian reform bill. “The similarity in their agenda is revoting,” Representative Hontiveros-Baraquel said. “They are doing a very synchronized performance to kill agrarian reform.”

The release further quotes our colleague, Honorable Hontiveros-Baraquel , as saying that the genuine agrarian reform bill authored by this Representation, by Congressman Ocampo, Congresswoman Liza Maza and Congresswoman Luz Ilagan and the late Congressman Crispin Beltran is all about stewardship and not a land reform program, it is confiscatory and even elderly farmers can lose their land.

Now, Mr. Speaker, my dear colleagues, we in the progressive Party-List Bloc composed of Representative from Bayan Muna, Anakpawis and Gabriela denounce these malicious and irresponsible charges. Such grave accusations and blatant lies are meant to destroy our reputation, honor and integrity. May I remind our colleague and her Party that if they want to gain media millage, and want to portrait themselves as heroes, please, don’t do it at our expense.

The Representative from Akbayan accused us, accuses us of killing agrarian reform in the country. May I remind my colleague what the original Sponsor of House Bill No. 400, the late and well-respected Representative Bonifacio Gillego, declared 20 years ago in explaining his negative vote on the mangled and maimed CARP bill enacted by the Eighth Congress. Congressman Gillego said, “Now the CARP has become a corpse. We the defunct Sponsors of House Bill No. 400 are called upon to render our final function to serve as pallbearers in the funeral rites of the original House Bill No. 400. As principal Sponsor of the deceased House Bill No. 400, my task is to deliver a funeral oration on CARP.”

Mr. Speaker, how can we possibly kill a 20-year old corpse? Matagal nang pinatay ng mga panginoong may-lupa sa Kongreso at mga korapt na opisyal ng gobyerno ang repormang agraryo sa Pilipinas. Ito’y isa nang zombie, isang halimaw na gustong bigyan ng panibagong buhay ng CARP extension bill. Ano ang pumatay sa repormang agraryo? Ang sarili nitong mga butas, congenital defects, kung tawagin ni Kagalang-galang Congressman Edcel Lagman, na inilagay ng mga kaaway ng CARP noong mga nagdaang Kongreso.

The most glaring defects, Mr. Speaker, of Republic Act No. 6657 and its extension House Bill No. 4077, which House Bill No. 4077 fails to correct, are, and let me cite just five:

(1) the limited coverage of agrarian reform. This includes the exclusion of lands that are technically classified as either forest, mineral, commercial or residential land, even if these are tenanted and actually used or suitable for agriculture. The exclusion of lands devoted to livestock, swine and poultry, fishponds, prawn farms, salt beds, fruit farms, orchards, vegetable and cut-flower farms, cacao, coffee and rubber plantations. Allowing the conversion and exclusion of lands already awarded to farmer-beneficiarie s from the program; allowing landowners to retain vast landholdings by instituting open-ended retention limits of five hectares for the owner, plus three hectares per child whether natural, adopted, legitimate or not.

Second, Mr. Speaker, provisions for alternative modes of compliance as outlined in the definition of agrarian reform and Sections 29 or 31 on corporate and commercial farms that allow landowners to enter into stock distribution schemes, leasehold, joint venture, lease back arrangements and other ways of going around the physical distribution of land to the ownership and control of the farmer-beneficiarie s. This leaves farmer-beneficiarie s confused, easily manipulated, and exploited by landowners and vulnerable to corporate back room maneuvers.

Third, Mr. Speaker, a payment scheme. Pinagbabayad po ang ating mga magsasaka ng 30 taon na may anim na porsiyentong interes bawat taon. Kaya marami ho sa mga beneficiaries ay ilegal na isinasangla o ibinebenta iyong kanilang lupa upang makabayad lamang sa Land Bank.

Pang-apat, isang valuation at compensation scheme na napakakumplikado at puno ng butas kaya ang DAR ay tinitingnan bilang isa sa mga corrupt na ahensiya ng ating pamahalaan.

At pang-lima, a voluntary offer to sell and voluntary land transfer scheme that gives landowners the upper hand in imposing their will on their former tenants with the connivance of unscrupulous DAR officials.

Mr. Speaker, Akbayan and the Honorable Hontiveros-Baraquel accuse us of colluding with landlords in the House. Nothing can be further from the truth. The landlords are against any form of agrarian reform. We, in the party-list, Progressive Party-List Bloc, want the opposite, a more comprehensive, thoroughgoing, and radical agrarian reform. And, in fact, we have filed a measure to this effect, House Bill No. 3059 or the genuine Agrarian Reform Bill.

Allow me to cite just some of the provisions of our bill that we would like to present as an alternative to the flawed program that I earlier discussed.

Una po, sa aming genuine Agrarian Reform Bill, ini-expand po natin ang coverage ng agrarian reform to cover even those lands that were earlier exempted by RA 6657;

Pangalawa, libreng lupa para sa mga magsasaka, free land for the tiller;

Third, free land but just compensation to the landowners based on a transparent procedure which will be based on the tax assessment of the land for the last three years;

Pang-apat, a ban on the conversion of agricultural lands at pagbawi po ng mga kinanselang CLOA at IPPs dahil sa land conversion;

And last, among other features, full control and ownership of the land, not the mere stewardship, provided that the farmer-beneficiary actually tills the land. Ang sa amin po, ibigay ang pagmamay-ari ng lupa sa magsasaka. Pero dapat naman, eh, sakahin at bungkalin ng magsasaka iyong lupa. Hindi iyong ibibigay sa kanya, ibebenta lang niya, isasangla lang niya, o kung ano pang gagawin. Kung ibinigay sa iyo ang lupa, make it productive at isaka mo, o ibungkal mo ang iyong lupa. Such property can be passed on to the beneficiary’ s children, if for any reason he cannot till the land. So, in fact, hindi lang ownership ng mismong benepisyaryo, puwede po itong manahin, puwede itong ipasa sa kanyang mga anak.

For the record, Mr. Speaker, we, in the Progressive Party-List Bloc have always been present at the committee hearings. Lahat ho ng hearings ng committee nandoon kami, maging sa probinsya. Present ho kami araw-araw dito sa plenaryo. And we have never, not once, questioned the quorum out of respect for our colleagues in the Minority who are for the bill even if we are against it.

We oppose the CARP Extension Bill because of our belief that the program has failed our farmers and will fail them again in the future. To cast unfounded aspersions on our motives without addressing the legitimate issues we have been raising is the height of irresponsibility and unparliamentary practice. The flaws of Agrarian Reform Law are the very reasons why the implementation of Agrarian Reform Program has taken a world record breaking 20 years with distressing results. What R.A. No. 6657 could not achieve in 20 years, I think we will never achieve through a five-year extension as long as this flawed provisions remain. A CARP Extension Bill that fails to correct these most glaring defects, is a bill that is more deplorable than the existing law it seeks to attend.

In any case, Mr. Speaker, I just wanted to set the record straight. We in the Progressive Party-List Bloc look forward to the debates in the coming months and hope that this will be fruitful. I hope that our differences, our heated arguments, our emotional deliberations notwithstanding, we retain our decency and healthy respect for our colleagues and not resort to unfounded accusations and malicious charges.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, distinguished colleagues.

REP. OCAMPO. Mr. Speaker.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Datumanong). What is the pleasure of the other Gentleman from Bayan Muna?

REP. OCAMPO. I just wish to make a manifestation in relation to the speech of Congressman Teddy Casiño.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Datumanong). The Gentleman may proceed.

REP. OCAMPO. Yesterday, when I got hold of the press release of Akbayan in Congress, quoting our colleague, Akbayan Representative Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel warning that landlords in Congress in collusion with leftist solons from the Bayan Bloc are out to maim cripple and kill agrarian reform in the country, I felt a personal assault being the senior Member of this group alluded to consisting of Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, and Gabriela Women’s Party. To be accused of colluding with the solons. I think in my personal capacity, I would assume that Congresswoman Hontiveros-Baraquel knows my background, that I have for forty years been fighting on the side of the peasants, that, I myself, I’m a son of peasants, that my family up to this day is a tenant family; and that I would never at in any instance collude with landlords to maim cripple and kill agrarian reform in the country. I am perfectly willing to dialogue and debate with the landlords and which we are prepared when our bill comes at the proper consideration. But to be so accused and put at a second level and say that our agenda is revolting, I think I cannot let this pass, Mr. Speaker, distinguished Gentleman. Being an elder, I am constrained to counsel my younger colleague; please in making such accusations look at our background, look at what we have worked through and lived through. Our lives are open books, and if she wishes to stand out as an advocate of agrarian reform, as my colleague said, not at our expense, please.

Congresswoman Hontiveros-Baraquel may recall that she thanked me because my group supported their position against allowing agricultural lot to be used as collateral for loans. Yet, she is now accusing us of colluding and trying to maim and kill agrarian reform in the country.

So, I would like to put on record – this is my personal feeling on this matter, and my advice to our colleague – we can debate on the merits of her bills and our bill but please, not such accusations gratuitously issued to the media if not delivered on the floor.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

REP. HONTIVEROS-BARAQUEL . Mr. Speaker.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Datumanong). The time of the Gentleman from Bayan Muna, the Honorable Casiňo, has already expired and unless the Majority Leader moves for an extension, then there will be no further interpellation.

REP. HONTIVEROS-BARAQUEL . Mr. Speaker.

REP. BONDOC. Mr. Speaker, I move for a brief extension of the time of the Gentleman from Bayan Muna.

I so move, Mr. Speaker.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Datumanong). By how many minutes?

REP. BONDOC. Five minutes.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Datumanong). Any objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the motion is approved. The time of the Gentleman from Bayan Muna is extended by five minutes.

REP. HONTIVEROS-BARAQUEL . Mr. Speaker.

REP. ABANTE. Mr. Speaker.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Datumanong). What is the pleasure of the Gentleman from the Sixth District of Manila?

REP. ABANTE. Mr. Speaker, after the speech of Congressman Casiňo is referred to the proper committee, I would like to stand up also on the question of personal privilege.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Datumanong). What is the pleasure now of the Lady from Akbayan?

REP. HONTIVEROS-BARAQUEL . Mr. Speaker, since I was mentioned by both the previous Speakers, I wish to make a brief manifestation by way of response.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Datumanong). Manifestation – so, this is another time. It’s not within the time of the Gentleman from Bayan Muna. The distinguished Lady may please proceed.

REP. HONTIVEROS-BARAQUEL . Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Both the previous speakers, Congressman Casiňo and Congressman Ocampo, said that I made malicious and irresponsible statements, that I declared blatant lies, that I’m guilty of unparliamentary practice, etcetera.

Just one point of fact, Mr. Speaker. The statement I made about the collusion between Congresspersons allied in the House, allied with landlords and other leftist solons – and I said other because I am leftist solon too — against the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Bill, is based on our track record of action or interventions on this CARP Extension Bill that we just made a final decision in the House last night.

The good Congressman Casiňo did say that they had always been present in the committee hearings and in the plenaries. It is, for example, a matter of record that they voted, together with Congresspersons allied with landlords, to repeat the public hearings in the regions and I submitted to that majority vote on the matter. It is also a matter of public record that they voted against the committee report. And these two interventions, Mr. Speaker, were in conjunction, were of the same position or preceding from the same position as Congresspersons in the House allied with the landlords. This at a time that the extension of the land acquisition and distribution component was deemed by those of us who supported the CARP Extension Bill as necessary to set up a line of defense for the peasants against further conversions, against further non-redistributive measures, etcetera.

Congressman Ocampo said that he took my statements as a personal assault. It is true I know his background and nothing in my statement was meant to diminish from his more than 40 years of fighting on the side of peasants and himself being a child of peasants. I certainly give him and his colleagues their due. And as he said, I did thank their group for supporting my position against farmlands as collateral provision which, by the way, was not contested by Congresspersons allied with landlords here in the House. The amendments that we, ourselves, as Akbayan, were fighting to propose as additional reforms if we had only reached the period of amendments were meant to improve the law and improve the implementation of the program together with, not separate from and not contradictory to extending the land acquisition and distribution component of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.

Lastly, Mr. Speaker, thirty years ago as a high school student, I signed a petition letter seeking the release of the then political prisoner Satur Ocampo. And I have maintained that respect for him as a human being and the same to his colleagues until now in the same way that I do not take affront at the attacks against the Agrarian Reform Bill or even the personal attack against me in the past in connection with this bill by some of their allied peasant federations. I likewise wish to express to Congressman Ocampo and his colleagues that I have no desire to hurt his or their personal feelings, but I believe that our expression of our positions on our bills and our expression of critique towards each other’s positions are part of that parliamentary process.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Your Honors.

REP. ESCUDERO. Mr. Speaker.

REP. CASIÑO. Mr. Speaker, Mr. Speaker, as a last point…

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Datumanong). What is the pleasure of the Gentleman from Sorsogon?

REP. ESCUDERO. Mr. Speaker.

REP. CASIÑO. Mr. Speaker.

REP. ESCUDERO. Mr. Speaker.

REP. CASIÑO. Mr. Speaker.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Datumanong). The Gentleman from Sorsogan is recognized.

REP. ESCUDERO. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, for further clarification of the issues raised…

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Datumanong). Is the Gentleman…

REP. ESCUDERO. …a brief manifestation re the privilege speeches.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Datumanong). Manifestation.

REP. ESCUDERO. As a further clarification re the three speeches delivered by the protagonists who incidentally are my colleagues in the Minority, may I make it of record of the 97 yesterday who voted for the extension of the agrarian reform, majority of them are landowners.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Datumanong). What is now the pleasure of the Gentleman from… The Gentleman from Bayan Muna has still five minutes for interpellation. Is there any one who wishes to interpellate him? There being none, his time is of…

REP. CASIÑO. Mr. Speaker.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Datumanong). The Gentleman from…

REP. CASIÑO. Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I do not wish to be interpellated. I would just like to make a last comment. We in Bayan Muna and the progressive party-lists wish…

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Datumanong). Comment on? Comment on?

REP. CASIÑO. On the response of Honorable Hontiveros-Baraquel .

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Datumanong). Would the Gentleman from Bayan Muna rather interpellate the distinguished Lady from Akbayan?

REP. CASIÑO. No.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Datumanong). Because a manifestation is subject to interpellation.

REP. CASIÑO. This is just a manifestation, Mr. Speaker. I do not want to prolong…

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Datumanong). Then, the Gentleman from Bayan Muna may proceed.

REP. CASIÑO. I do not want to prolong the issue. As I said, Mr. Speaker, we will always be open to critique. And we will be open to spirited debates, but to resort to these kinds of insinuations, name calling, which have no basis and which do not recognize at all the track record of our parties and our persons, I think, I am still of the position that that is not good parliamentary practice, Mr. Speaker. And so, I hope that in the succeeding debates, even though our colleague from Akbayan does not recognize our criticism of her statements, I hope that we will avoid these kinds of unparliamentary pronouncements and we will always be ready for debates. We will always be ready to be criticized, but there is a proper way of doing things in Congress, even in the parliament of the streets.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

BM’s Reply to PDI’s Editorial

June 16, 2008

The Opinion Editor

Philippine Daily Inquirer

Dear Editor:

In the news article “Party-list solons clash over CARP” published in page 6 of the Inquirer’s June 13 issue and the subsequent editorial titled “Unparliamentary? ” published on June 16, what was quoted and highlighted were our personal reactions to Akbayan party list representative Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel ‘s wild accusation that we colluded with the landlords in Congress on the issue of agrarian reform. Unfairly left out from the reports were the more important issues that we raised on the floor in Congress regarding the substantial differences between proponents of the government’s bogus agrarian reform law like Akbayan, and those who, like us, are pushing for a more genuine program.

It is of public knowledge that since its inception, Bayan Muna has consistently rejected the government’s Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) as a betrayal of our farmers’ just demand for genuine agrarian reform. Since we reject CARP itself, then we naturally oppose its extension. Only a malicious mind would label our well-established stand as a product of collusion with the landlords in Congress.

As early as 1988, the principal author of the CARP law in the 8th Congress, Rep. Bonifacio Gillego, already declared agrarian reform dead after the landlord bloc maimed and mangled his bill. Today, his worst fears have been confirmed. After 20 years, CARP has neither broken the prevalence of land monopoly in the country nor emancipated the peasantry from poverty and feudal oppression. Instead, CARP has deceived and oppressed the peasants through tokenism and the reconcentration of land ownership.

Unfortunately, the CARP extension bill (HB 4077), which is being pushed by the Arroyo government in connivance with groups like Hontiveros-Baraquel ‘s Akbayan, does not address CARP’s fundamental defects. Both CARP and HB 4077 lead to the further indebtedness of farmer-beneficiarie s, maintain the limited coverage of the existing program and worse, allow landlords to continue using the law itself to evade land distribution through notorious stratagems like land-use conversion, stock distribution options, corporative schemes, leasehold arrangements, and contract growing, among others.

The Arroyo government and Akbayan want Congress to extend a program that basically converts poor tenant-farmers into mortgage holders burdened with a 30-year debt serviceable at 6% interest per annum.

Surely, this runs contrary to the principle of social justice and the emancipation of peasants. In fact, thousands of emancipation patents and certificates of land transfer have been revoked because of the poor peasants’ failure to pay the amortization. Many more CARP lands have been illegally sold or re-mortgaged.

How can Akbayan and Hontiveros-Baraquel accuse us of colluding with landlords when we have, in fact, been pushing for a more comprehensive and radical agrarian reform measure under House Bill No. 3059? At the heart of our proposal is the redistribution of land through state expropriation that will undergo due process. The farmers shall receive the land free. The state will pay the landowners. Only if the land is sullied, meaning illegally acquired, will confiscation be in order.

Furthermore, owner-beneficiaries should till the land and will be prohibited from selling or transferring it except to their heirs who should also be willing to work the land. This is to ensure that the land will be used for the purpose for which it was given.

Akbayan and the landlords are united in saying our Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) or HB 3059 is a “mere stewardship program.” This grossly distorts and weakens the universally- accepted concept of “land to the tiller.” Akbayan’s idea of giving land reform beneficiaries the right to sell and transfer the land will encourage farmers to sell or mortgage, not to till, the land.

Their charges that GARB is unconstitutional and confiscatory is a gross misreading of our measure and a pro-landlord interpretation of the Constitution which explicitly allows the state to exercise its power of eminent domain in the national interest. This would logically include the pursuit of social justice through genuine agrarian reform.

For these reasons, we deemed it proper to move for regional hearings to determine our farmers’ views on both proposals. This was the first time that such regional consultations on the CARP extension and GARB were done, contrary to Rep. Baraquel’s claims that such hearings had already been held. Again, to ascribe this to our collusion with landlords is downright absurd.

Akbayan and its representative’ s statements were not only irresponsible and unparliamentary but worse, baseless and malicious accusations meant to gain media mileage for the extension of the bogus CARP at our expense. Thus, we were compelled to take to the floor in Congress and are writing this letter to set the record straight.

Representatives Satur Ocampo and Teddy Casiño

Bayan Muna Party-List

Farmers Ask CBCP: Support GARB, Not CARP Extension

June 11, 2008

Calling the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) of the Aquino regime “bogus,” farmers from Southern Tagalog, Central Luzon and Mindanao regions ask the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines to support House Bill No. 3059 or the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) which the late Anakpawis (Toiling Masses) Rep. Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran filed in the 14th Congress.

BY NOEL SALES BARCELONA
Contributed to Bulatlat
Vol. VIII, No. 18, June 8-14, 2008

Calling the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) of the Aquino regime “bogus,” farmers from Southern Tagalog, Central Luzon and Mindanao regions ask the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines to support House Bill No. 3059 or the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) which the late Anakpawis (Toiling Masses) Rep. Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran filed in the 14th Congress.

This developed as some 1,000 farmers from Southern Tagalog were staging a “Lakbayan para sa Lupa, Pagkain at Hustisyang Panlipunan” (March for Land, Food and Social Justice).

In the weekly Kapihan sa CyPress media forum at the Treehouse Restaurant, Matalino St., in Quezon City last June 7, Orly Marcellana, secretary-general of the Katipunan ng Samahang Magsasaka sa Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK or Association of Peasant Organizations in Southern Tagalog), a local chapter of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP or Peasant Movement of the Philippines ), and currently the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (New Patriotic Alliance or Bayan) regional chair, said that history has already proven the futility of the existing agrarian reform program, which is now 20 years old.

“In the two decades of CARP’s implementation, the farmers in the region remained landless, hungry and poor. We have enough of this bogus land reform,” said Marcellana.

Marcellana insisted that only GARB can introduce an almost-perfect solution to the landlessness problem of farmers in the country.

Rev. Ray Galloaga of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP), who works closely with the peasant folk in the region, cited the Scriptures and said that as part of the social justice program of Yahweh, Israelites-through their judges and kings-have implemented their own version of agrarian reform program

“Thus, it is rightful to support what the peasant-folks are fighting for right now and that is the passage of a progressive legislation on agrarian reform,” Galloaga said.

Earlier, Second National Rural Congress (NRC2) Chair and Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, expressed support to the extension of CARP.

CBCP even asked the President to certify the bill extending the CARP as urgent. She certified it as urgent early last week.

The Central Luzon experience

United Luisita Workers’ Union (ULWU) president and now Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA or Union of Agricultural Workers) Rene Galang shared his own experience with CARP inside the Cojuangco-owned Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac.

“Instead of giving the lands to the farmers and farm-workers for them to till, they (the Cojuangcos) have given us the Stock Distribution Option (SDO), a scheme that paved way for more abuse. Now that the Supreme Court has finally decided in favor of the farmers, the Cojuangco clan still refuses to give the farmers’ part of the hacienda which our colleagues have already shed their blood for,” Galang said, referring to the November 16, 2004 massacre.

Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon (AMGL or Alliance of Peasants in Central Luzon) chairman  Joseph Canlas said more and more lands are being grabbed by unscrupulous landlords and developers thus leaving more and more farmers landless and hungry.

Among the schemes used are crop conversion and land use conversion, in which lands are being developed into industrial and residential uses, and instead of being used for production of rice and other food lands are planted with cutflowers and other high-yielding crops, threatening the country’s food supply, Galang elaborated.

“That’s why, we are strongly supporting the bill that our beloved Ka Bel, filed in Congress,” said Galang.

CARP: the Mindanao experience

Mindanao has the same experience, said Antonio “Ka Tonying” Flores, KMP officer in Mindanao.

“Many lands have been classified as corporate farms, which can only be distributed if the corporation owning the farm voluntarily submits to CARP, as provided for by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988,” said Flores.

GARB

Incoming Anakpawis Rep. Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano, said that he would be fighting hard for the passage of the GARB and will ensure that the farmers would win this battle.

Mariano joins thousands of farmers that are expected to flock the foot of Mendiola bridge, this June 10, CARP’s 20th anniversary. Contributed to Bulatlat

Farmers Kick Off Week-long March for New Land Reform Bill

June 11, 2008

No less than 1,500 farmers, fisherfolk, agricultural workers and peasant women from Southern Tagalog provinces – Mindoro Occidental, Mindoro Oriental, Quezon, Batangas, Laguna, Cavite and Rizal have kicked off a week long rural people’s march to dramatize their opposition against the proposal to extend the 20-year-old Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), and push for the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) or House Bill No. 3059 principally authored by the late Anakpawis (Toiling Masses) Rep. Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran.

BY GERRY ALBERT CORPUZ
Contributed to Bulatlat
Vol. VIII, No. 18, June 8-14, 2008

No less than 1,500 farmers, fisherfolk, agricultural workers and peasant women from Southern Tagalog provinces – Mindoro Occidental, Mindoro Oriental, Quezon, Batangas, Laguna, Cavite and Rizal have kicked off a week long rural people’s march to dramatize their opposition against the proposal to extend the 20-year-old Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), and push for the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) or House Bill No. 3059 principally authored by the late Anakpawis (Toiling Masses) Rep. Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran.

Five of the biggest rural-based groups – Anakpawis, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP or Peasant Movement of the Philippines), Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya or National Alliance of Small Fisherfolk Organizations), Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA or Union of Workers in Agriculture) and Amihan- National Federation of Peasant Women, in cooperation with Katipunan ng Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK or Association of Peasant Organizations in Southern Tagalog) and Pamalakaya-Southern Tagalog will spearhead the “Lakbayan ng mga Magsasaka para sa Lupa, Pagkain at Hustisyang Panlipunan” (Peasant March for Land, Food and Justice).

“GARB is Beltran’s legacy to the Filipino farmers. It is a landmark piece of legislation that recognizes the class interest and class power of the peasantry,” said Kasama-TK secretary general Orly Marcellana.

Marcellana added: “The rice crisis we are experiencing is proof that CARP has done nothing to solve the landlessness of peasants and the development of agriculture in the country. Since CARP was implemented, more farmers have been driven away from their lands and homes because of massive land grabbing and land use conversions made legal by CARP. This bogus land reform program now being directed by Arroyo is a pest to farmers.”

Lakbayan organizers added that peasant and rural people joining the march are expected to enter the National Capital Region (NCR) on June 8 and would hold a vigil in Baclaran Church on the same day. On June 9, the farmers would march from Baclaran to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) National Office in Quezon City for an anti-CARP and pro-GARB solidarity night. On June 10, the farmers would march from DAR to Mendiola in Manila to demand the rejection of CARP extension, and the passage of HB 3059.

20 years of injustice

“For millions of farmers and rural people, CARP is equivalent to 20 years of social injustice and extreme massacre of peasant land rights. It is nothing but a token symbol of land reform. It is about time to bury this shotgun piece of legislation six feet under,” KMP secretary general Danilo Ramos said in a press statement.

“As far as truth- and justice-seeking farmers are concerned, the death of CARP is the new beginning for GARB, a landmark piece of legislation that will entail a thoroughgoing and justice driven agrarian reform program in the country. The free distribution of land to landless farmers is the corner stone of GARB which is a million times superior to the bankrupt character and orientation of CARP and CARP extension,” Ramos added.

Reply to detractors

Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap told detractors of GARB and proponents of CARP extension that CARP beneficiaries themselves were victims of the twenty year old bogus agrarian reform program.

“Proponents of this bogus land reform program failed to explain the real score behind thousands of cases of land reform reversals, compounded by confiscation of land titles, thousands of cases of land use conversions, across-the country land grabbing extravaganza and the unexplained P143-billion ($3,240,793,201) taxpayers’ money spent for CARP, which all happened in the 20 years of CARP,” the Pamalakaya leader added.

“Now GARB detractors have the guts to tell the farmers that CARP is meant for social justice despite the fact the CARP failed the tillers of this land over the last 20 years. The ring leaders of the pro-CARP syndicate in and out of Malacañang are obscuring the truth in the name of their respective political and material agenda,” Hicap added.

“These pro-CARP extension hooligans and anti-GARB shenanigans are misleading the farmers for fear of losing their rackets in and out of the Arroyo syndicate,” the Pamalakaya leader said.

CARP victims

KMP’s Ramos and Pamalakaya’s Hicap cited at least 7 big cases in Southern Tagalog where CARP beneficiaries including fishermen were eased out from their farmlands to give way to land use conversion projects undertaken by big landlords, private developers and the government:

• 10,000 farmers and fisherfolk beneficiaries, all CARP beneficiaries are still locked in a battle against Fil-Estate, the Manila South Coast Development Corporation and SM of Henry Sy over 8,650 hectares of prime agricultural lands, which private developers intend to develop into a major eco-tourism hub in Hacienda Looc, Nasugbu in Batangas. The Department of Agrarian Reform cancelled their Certificate of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) and Emancipation Patents (EPs) to pave way for land use conversion.

• The CLOAs of CARP beneficiaries were revoked by DAR in Hacienda Roxas in Nasugbu, Batangas covering 7,183 hectares of sugar lands to give way to eco-tourism, residential and commercial projects to be funded by foreign and local investors.

• In Hacienda Puyat in Batangas, some 1,800 hectares of land were denied to supposed CARP beneficiaries to pave way for the construction of golf courses and other eco-tourism projects.

• The DAR allowed the exemption and conversion of 10,000 hectares of sugar lands to livestock farms, poultry farms, fishponds in Hacienda Zobel in Calatagan, Batangas, and also gave the right to the Ayala clan to land-grab an additional 2,000 hectares of foreshore land to deny agrarian claims of farmers and fishermen in 19 out of Calatagan’s 24 barangays (villages).

• In Carmen and Silang towns, DAR approved the conversion of 2,500 hectares of land into golf courses and residential areas by the Ayala land group of companies, denying farmer beneficiaries of their rights to utilize prime agricultural lands which they tilled for generations.

• In Aguinaldo Estate, Tartaria, Silang in Cavite, 2,000 farming families were displaced from their farmlands, after DAR gave the go-signal for investors to convert the 197- hectare estate to commercial subdivision and a high-end golf course.

• The DAR also facilitated the conversion of 7,100 hectare Hacienda Yulo in Canluibang, Laguna into an array of subdivisions and golf courses, and victimized 457 families, whose CLOAs were cancelled by the agrarian reform agency.

They said from 1994 up to 2007, about 1,302,375 hectares of prime agricultural lands have been placed by DAR under conversion and such terrible act led to the massive land reform reversals with the cancellation of land titles all over the region. The group said around 173,000 hectares of prime agricultural lands in the region have been already been converted for commercial purposes; leaving tens of thousands of supposed to be CARP beneficiaries landless.

In 1993, Pamalakaya, KMP and the Sentro Para sa Tunay na Repormang Agraryo (Sentra or Center for Genuine Agrarian Reform) held a preliminary assessment of CARP from 1988 to 1993, and one of the most striking results of the program was revealed – a total of 10,958 certificate of land transfers (CLTs), 9,133 EPs and 2,303 CLOAs were cancelled by DAR covering 32, 041 hectares of prime agricultural lands affecting over 22,000 CARP beneficiaries.

The groups said while farmlands belonging to farmers are perpetually targeted for landgrabbing and conversion under CARP, lands leased to foreign corporations like Dole and Del Monte Philippines remained untouched. It said foreign corporations managed to keep 220,000 hectares of agricultural lands because these lands were devoted to production of export crops.

P100 billion for CARP extension

Meanwhile, another GARB co-author, Bayan Muna (People First) Rep. Teodoro Casiño, said the Filipino people will be forced to fund a fatally flawed agrarian reform program to the tune of not less than P100 billion ($2,266,288,951) in taxpayers’ money if CAR is extended.

“Merely extending the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (RA 6657) without correcting its fatal defects will cost the Filipino taxpayer P100 billion ($2,266,288,951) in wasted funds,” Casiño said.

The Bayan Muna party list lawmaker recalled: “ In my interpellation…of Rep. Edcel Lagman, sponsor of HB 4077, he candidly admitted that the so-called “necessary reforms” in the proposed CARL extension bill do not address what even he admits are the flaws and glaring loopholes in RA 6657.”

“Lagman even called said loopholes “congenital defects” that have sabotaged the government’s agrarian reform program for the last 20 years,” Casiño added. The Bayan Muna solon said the most glaring of these defects in RA 6657 that HB 4077 fails to correct are:

1. The limited coverage of agrarian reform:

• The exclusion of lands that are technically classified as either forest, mineral, commercial or residential land even if these are tenanted and actually used or suitable for agriculture (Sec. 3)

• The exclusion of lands devoted to livestock, swine and poultry farms, fishponds, prawn farms, salt beds, fruit farms, orchards, vegetable and cut-flower farms, cacao, coffee and rubber plantations (Sec. 10)

• Allowing the conversion and exclusion of lands already awarded to farmer beneficiaries from the program (Sec. 65)

• Allowing landowners to retain their vast landholdings by instituting open-ended retention limits of five hectares for the owner plus three hectares per child, whether natural or adopted, legitimate or not (Sec. 6)

• Provisions for alternative modes of compliance as outlined in the definition of agrarian reform (Secs. 3 and Sections 29-31) on corporate and commercial farms that allows landowners to enter into stock distribution schemes, leasehold, joint venture,leaseback arrangements and other ways of going around the physical distribution of land to the ownership and control of the farmer beneficiaries. This leaves farmer beneficiaries confused, easily manipulated and exploited by landowners and vulnerable to corporate
backroom maneuvers.

2. A payment scheme that keeps farmers in a continued life of servitude, paying for the land at 6 percent interest per year for 30 years (Sec. 26). Thus, most farmer beneficiaries end up illegally mortgaging or selling their land just to pay the landowner or the Land Bank
.
3. A valuation and compensation scheme (Sections 17 and 18) that is so contentious and complicated that it opens a myriad of opportunities for graft and corruption. Thus, DAR is seen as of the most corrupt government agencies.

4. A “voluntary offer to sell” and “voluntary land transfer” scheme (Sections 19-21) that gives landowners the upper hand in imposing their will on their former tenants, with the connivance of unscrupulous DAR officials.

“These are the very reasons why the implementation of the agrarian reform program has taken a world-record breaking 20 long years with distressing results. What RA 6657 could not achieve in 20 years it can never achieve through a five year extension as long as these provisions remain. A CARP extension bill that fails to correct these most glaring defects is a bill that is more deplorable than the existing law it seeks to extend,” Casiño said. Contributed to Bulatlat

Editorial Cartoon: Reviving Devil

June 9, 2008

Pag mga mahihirap, pinapabayaang mamatay.  Pag pahirap, pinipilit na mabuhay.  Grrr…

‘Success’ in occupying 1,600 ha of Luisita–farm workers

June 9, 2008

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT, Philippines–Farmers who lost their jobs following a joint labor and agrarian strike at the Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac in 2004 have been growing food and cash crops on a 1,600-hectare area there despite the non-implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program at the estate.

A “success story” is how Danilo Ramos, secretary-general of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (Movement of Farmers in the Philippines), called this move by some 5,000 farmers.

They tilled portions of the Cojuangco family-owned sugar estate when the Supreme Court stopped the Department of Agrarian Reform in 2007 from implementing CARP there. The same farmers asked the Court in 1989 to void the stock distribution scheme through which they only got shares of stock, not actual land ownership.

“CARP’s bankruptcy and built-in institutional denial of land rights failed to stop Hacienda Luisita workers from struggling and asserting their rights to land. Now, despite all odds and political obstacles, the farm workers are reaping the fruits of their hard labor and collective resistance,” Ramos said in a statement.

In the same statement, Rene Galang, president of the Unyon ng Mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) and chair of United Luisita Workers’ Union (ULWU), confirmed the occupation and cultivation of lands by displaced farm workers.

Galang said rice and vegetables were grown on the land owned by the family of former president Corazon Aquino.

“We are encouraging more farmers to join and form themselves into cooperation units to cover other hectares for their livelihood,” Galang said.

Sen. Benigno Aquino III, the son of the former president, on Sunday did not reply to a query if the family or the Hacienda Luisita Inc. allowed the farm workers to use the land.

There have been no known instances though when HLI tried to stop or evict tillers.

The Department of Agrarian Reform offices in Tarlac City, Concepcion and La Paz towns were known to have provided agricultural production support for farmers until the Supreme Court issued the temporary restraining order against the agency in 2007.

Luisita farmers also joined the march opposing the extension of the 20-year-old CARP, pushing instead for the passage of the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) or House Bill 3059 authored by the late Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran.

“Proponents of the bogus CARP failed to explain the real score behind thousands of cases of land reform reversals compounded by confiscation of land titles, thousands of cases of land use conversions, land grabbing and the unexplained P143 billion spent for CARP, which all happened in the 20 years of [the program’s implementation],” said Fernando Hicap, chair of the fisherfolk alliance Pamalakaya.

(pDI)

Groups set last-ditch effort for CARP extension

June 9, 2008

THE Reform CARP Movement promised to flood the tent city outside the Department of Agrarian Reform office in Quezon City with at least a thousand farmers and peasants pushing for the extension of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program beginning today, and also tomorrow, the CARP law’s expiration date.

At the same time, other farmers calling the 20-year-old CARP a failure and said they would have nothing to do with its extension.

The Reform CARP Movement counts as members Task Force Mapalad, Pambansang Ugnayan ng mga Nagsasariling Lokal na Organisasyon sa Kanayunan, Task Force Baha-Talibayog and other farmers who have been picketing DAR since May to press for CARP extension.

The groups said the proposed five-year extension would give DAR the time to distribute its backlog of 1.1 million hectares consisting of private agricultural lands 60 hectares or more to about half a million farmers nationwide. “More than 3 million hectares were distributed during 20 years of CARP. Most of these lands are still in the hands of farmer-beneficiaries whose lives have certainly improved compared to those who remained mere tenants or farm workers,” the group said in a joint statement.

But Hacienda Luisita farm workers under the Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura, United Luisita Workers Union and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas said CARP cannot take credit for the fact that thousands of farm workers and their families in Luisita now have more than 1,600 hectares for cultivation. They instead blamed government policies for encouraging land use conversion, land-grabbing, ejectment, crop conversion and other schemes that dispossess tillers, as well as high farm inputs and lack of agricultural support services that have led to the decreased rice production in the country.

“This is the reason why we are against any special session in Congress for CARP extension, they should let the anti-farmer program die a natural death,” the second groups said in a statement.

The Luisita farm workers accused government and the Aquino-Cojuangco clan of working together despite apparent political differences to reverse farm workers’ gains, adding that soldiers remain deployed for psy-war tactics in the 10 barrios straddled by the hacienda.

Last month, the Philippine Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Areas in a study of stakeholders composed of farmers, indigenous peoples, urban poor and fisherfolks nationwide, said the stakeholders gave government a 70 to 75 percent rating in its implementation of major asset reform laws such as CARP, the Indigenous People’s Rights, Fisheries Code and various socialized housing program. Governance weakness, red tape and weak inter-agency coordination were blamed for the poor performance. – Randy Nobleza(MALAYA)

Editorial Cartoon: Parinig

June 7, 2008

Para sa mga binulag.

Editorial Cartoon: The CARP Illusion

June 6, 2008

Papatayin na lang ang magsasaka, inuuto pa.

Programa sa lupa, nauwi sa wala

June 6, 2008

Soliman A. Santos

Protesta ng mga magsasaka noong 2007 laban sa Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (Ilang-Ilang Quijano)

PANAKa-NAKA ang pag-ulan at pag-init, pero balewala ito sa kanila. Malayo ang nilakbay ng mga magsasakang ito – marami ang mula sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng Timog Katagalugan – kung kaya di sila pahahadlang sa pagdadalawang-isip ng panahon. Nagluluto, kumakain at nagpoprotesta sila sa bungad ng DAR (Department of Agrarian Reform).

Balewala sa mga magsasaka ang sakripisyong sandaling mawala sa kanilang pagsasaka. Ano ba naman ito kumpara sa 20 taon ng paghihintay?

“Hinahamon namin si Ginang Arroyo at ang DAR na itigil ang pagapapalit-gamit sa lupa,” bungad ni Orly Marcellana, pangkalahatang kalihim ng Kasama-TK (Katipunan ng mga Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan).

Kasama ni Marcellana ang mga magsasaka mula sa Hacienda de Calatagan, Batangas. Tulad ng 80 porsiyento ng mga magsasaka sa Pilipinas, di nila pag-aari ang lupang pinagtatamnan. Pag-aari ito ng Ayala Land Corporation, korporasyong pag-aari ng isa sa pinakamayamang pamilya sa buong bansa, ang mga Zobel de Ayala.

“Hinahamon naming ibalik ang 97 ektaryang lupain ng Hacienda Fule sa mga magsasaka na napalayas dahil sa pagpapalit-gamit ng lupa mula sa pagiging agrikultural tungong komersiyal na lupain ng Ayala Land Corp,” ani Marcellana.

Sa simula ng kanilang pagkakampo sa DAR noong nakaraang linggo, nagpupuyos ang damdamin ng mga magsasaka ng nasabing asyenda. Paano ba naman, pinalayas ng mga Ayala ang mga magsasaka mula sa 19 na barangay ng Calatagan. Matagal na nilang hiling na mapasakanila ang mahigit 10,000 ektaryang lupang sinasaka sa ilalim ng Carp (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program). Pero sa halip na ipamahagi ng gobyerno ang lupa, kinatigan pa ang pagpapalusot ng mga Ayala na “pastulan” daw ang lupa at hindi sakahan.

Halimbawa lamang daw ito ng kapalpakan ng gobyerno sa pagpapatupad ng repormang agraryo sa bansa.

Bigong reporma
Ayon sa KMP (Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas), pito hanggang walo sa 10 magsasaka ang wala pa ring sariling lupa. Hindi umano winasak at winakasan ng Carp ang monopolyo sa lupa sa loob ng 20 taon.

Mahigit sampung milyong ektaryang lupain ang target ng DAR, ahensiyang pangunahing nagpapatupad ng Carp, noong maitatag ito. Ayon sa DAR, nakapamahagi na ito ng mahigit anim na milyong ektarya sa tulong ng Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Pero mahihinuha sa mismong datos ng gobyerno ang napakalaking limitasyon ng naging saklaw ng Carp. Umabot sa 1.9 milyong ektarya lamang ng pribadong lupaing agrikultural ang naipamahagi sa mga magsasaka simula noong 1988. Kasama pa rito ang kalat-kalat na mga lupang ipinamahagi sa panahon ng diktadurang Marcos sa ilalim ng na Presidential Decree 27. Sa 1.9 milyong ektaryang ito, 82% ang may mga kaso pa, at wala pang aktuwal o pisikal na pamamahagi ng lupa sa magsasaka.

“Marami kasing butas ang Carp na kumbinyenteng ginamit at ginagamit ng mga panginoong maylupa para makaiwas sa makitid na saklaw nito,” paliwanag ni Rafael Mariano, tagapangulo ng KMP at hahalili sa yumaong Crispin Beltran bilang kinakatawan sa Kamara ng Anakpawis Party-list.

Kabilang sa mga butas: “Mga lupaing na-exempt dahil sa mga order at exemptions na inilabas ng DAR, Darab (DAR Adjudication Board), at ng korte; mga lupaing nanatili sa kamay ng mga panginoong maylupa dahil sa paggamit ng kanilang karapatang mapanatili sa kanila ang holdings; mga lupa at magsasakang saklaw ng inisyung order for land conversion; mga lupain at magsasakang sinaklaw ng mga order ng ejectment; mga lupa at magsasakang saklaw ng kinanselang certificate of land ownership at emancipation patents,” sabi pa ni Mariano.

Nandiyan din ang mga lupang nababawi sa magsasaka dahil sa iba’t ibang kaparaanan o kaya hindi lang makabayad ng amortisisasyon. Gayundin ang mga lupaing talagang hindi nakasama, na hindi inirehstro ng mga nag-mamay-ari nito doon sa ginanap na land registration noong 1988.
Noong 1995, ang mahigit 10 milyong ekraryang dapat ipmahagi ng DAR ay nabawasan pa ng mahigit dalawang milyong ektarya dahil sa mga executive issuances, administrative orders, Supreme Court rulings, at mga susog sa Carl (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law). Sa esensiya, malakihang binawasan ang ipapamahaging lupaing agrikultural.

Ang kabuuang lawak ng mga sakahan sa bansa, ayon sa 1991 Census of Agriculture, ay 9,974,871 ektarya, ang ibig sabihin nito ay saklaw lamang ng Carp ay 43% ng lahat ng sakahan sa bansa. May kabuuang 5.7 milyong ektarya ng sakahan ang hindi nakapaloob sa reporma sa lupa.

Hindi pa umano ibinawas ng DAR sa ”total accomplishment report” nito ang mga lupain na kinansela ang mga Certificate of Land Transfer, Emancipation Patent at Certificate of Land Ownership Award, gayundin ang inaprubahang mga pagpapalit-gamit ng lupa, mga ineksempt sa Carp gamit ang DOJ Opinion No. 44 at Seksyon 20 ng Local Government Code ng 1991), at mga proklamasyon na nagdedeklara sa ilang erya bilang mga “tourism zones”.

Sinagkaan din ng Carp ang karapatan ng mga mangingisdang Pilipino na pakinabangan ang mahigit 800,000 ektarya ng palaisdaan sa buong bansa. Sa ilalim ng huwad na reporma sa lupa, tiniyak ng gobyerno na hindi maisasama sa Carp ang pamamahagi ng fishponds at prawn farms at iba pang katulad nito sa mga kooperatiba, asosasyon at organisasyon ng mga mangingisda, ayon pa sa KMP.

Gatasan
Ang masaklap pa, ginagamit ng gobyerno ang mga magsasaka para mangalap ng bilyong pondo sa labas ng bansa at mga institusyong pampinansiya.

Iniulat mismo ng DAR noong Hunyo 17,2007 na “may kabuuang P62.31-B ang ginastos na mula sa internasyunal na mga institusyong nagpopondo para gumawa ng mga daan, tulay, irigasyon, mga dryer at para sa maiinom na tubig, kuryente, pautang at maging mga pagsasanay at mga programang pangkabuhayan sa mga agrarian reform communities.”

Ayon sa KMP, ginagawa itong ”gatasan” dahil ang nakikinabang sa pondo ay ang administrasyong rehimeng Arroyo at mga tiwaling opisyal ng DAR sa pakikipagsabuwatan ng kolaborisyunista at repormistang mga grupo ng mga magsasaka at institusyon.

Sa nakalipas na 10 taon (1998-2007), umabot sa P 119-B ang ginastos para sa implementasyon ng Carp na nanggaling sa pagbebenta ng non-performing assets ng gobyerno at nabawing nakaw na yaman ng pamilyang Marcos. Labas pa dito ang mga pondo na nakalap mula sa European Union at World Bank at iba pang dayuhang pondo.

Hindi lamang ang KMP ang nakapansin nito. Kahit si Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr., pinasisiyasat kung ano ang nangyari sa napakalaking pondo ng gobyerno sa Carp.

Nadismaya diumano si Pimentel nang hindi maayos na naipaliwanag ng DAR sa Senado kung ano ang eksaktong mga pinagkagastahan ito sa milyun-milyong pondo sa loob ng 20 taong implementasyon ng Carp.

Kaya hindi nagtataka ang KMP kung bakit ginawang sertipikadong urgent sa Kongreso ang panukalang palawigin pa ng limang taon ang Carp. “Ibig sabihin, napakabulagsak na paraan ng paggamit ng pondo ng publiko. Kailangang mai-account nang maayos ang pondong ito,” sabi ni Pimentel.

Partikular na ipinagpapaliwanag ni Pimentel sa DAR kung paano nito ginastos ang P30 Bilyong mula sa nasamsam na yaman ng mga Marcos na inilaan sa repormang agraryo noong 2003. Hanggang sa kasalukuyan diumano, hindi pa rin ito sapat na nasasagot ng DAR at gobyernong Arroyo.

Tunay na repormang agraryo
Sa kabilang banda, ayaw na ng mga magsasaka na palawigin pa ang Carp. “Isang malagim na halimbawa ang karanasan namin ng kawalang- katarungan at kainutilan ng Carp,” sabi ni Romy Cayao, tagangulo ng Kasama-TK.

Sa halip, isinusulong nila ang “tunay na repormang agraryo.” Sinusuportahan ng KMP at mga alyadong grupo nito sa buong bansa ang Garb (Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill) o House Bill 3059, na isinampa ng progresibong mga party-list na Anakpawis, Bayan Muna at Gabriela sa Kongreso. (Basahin ang kaugnay na artikulo)

Sa kanyang pag-upo sa Kamara, inaasahang lalabanan ni Mariano ang panukalang pagpapalawig pa sa implementasyon ng Carp. Ikakampanya niya ang isang tunay na repormang agraryo sa kalidad ng Garb.

Kuha na niya ang suporta ng mga magsasaka sa Timog Katagalugan. Kuha niya ang suporta ng mga magsasaka sa buong bayan.

Ano ang CARP?

Magtatapos na sa Hunyo 10, 2008 ang Carp o Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, ang batas sa repormang agraryo na mandato ng Republic Act No. 6657, na pinirmahan ni dating Pangulong Corazon Aquino noong Hunyo 10, 1988. Ito ang ika-11 batas sa repormang agraryo sa bansa sa loob ng 50 taon, sumunod sa mga batas sa repormang agraryo ng mga presidenteng sina Manuel Quezon, Ramon Magsaysay, Diosdado Macapagal at Ferdinand Marcos.

Ayon sa RA 6657, layon ng Carp na magkaroon ng pantay na distribusyon at pag-aari ng lupa. Sampung taon ang lawig nito para maipamahagi ang lupa sa mga magsasaka. Subalit hindi ito nangyari kaya noong Hunyo 1998, pinalawig pa ang termino nito ng karagdagan pang 10 taon at binigyan ng P50 Bilyong pondo para sa implementasyon nito.

Ipinaliwanag ng RA 6657 ang repormang agraryo bilang “pamamahagi ng lupa, anumang pananim o prutas na produkto nito, sa mga magsasaka at regular na manggagawang-bukid na walang lupa” at “lahat ng kasunduang alternatibo sa pamamahagi ng lupa, tulad ng profit-sharing, labor administration at pamamahagi ng shares of stock na magbibigay-daan sa pagtanggap ng mga benepisyaryo ng makatuwirang hatian sa bunga ng lupang kanilang binungkal.”

Nakasaad rin sa naturang batas na dapat ipamahagi ang malalawak na lupaing agrikultural sa mga magsasakang nagbubungkal, habang hanggang limang ektarya lamang ang matitira sa mga panginoong maylupa at tatlong ektarya sa kanyang bawat anak.
Gayunman dahil sa mga butas ng Carp, natatakasan ng mga panginoong maylupa ang pamamahagi ng lupa sa pamamagitan ng reklasipikasyon ng kanilang lupain. Hindi kasi kasama sa saklaw ng Carp ang mga lupaing residensiyal, komersiyal at industriyal.
Para sa mga magsakaka, nagsilbi at nanatiling instrumento ang Carp upang patuloy na ipagkait ang saligang karapatan ng mga magsasaka na ariin ang lupang sinasaka. Taliwas sa ipinangako nitong pamamahagi ng lupa, pinanatili nito ang monopolyo at konsentrasyon ng malalawak na lupain sa kamay ng iilan.

Soliman Santos

Panukalang ‘totoong reporma sa lupa’

Hindi pa man pormal na nanunumpa bilang kinatawan ng Anakpawis na hahalili kay Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran sa Kamara, abala na si Rafael Mariano sa pagtutulak sa panukalang batas na Garb, o Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill. Para sa kanya at sa organisadong mga magsasakang kinabibilangan niya, isang hakbang ang Garb para s tunay na reporma sa lupa na di nakamit sa Carp.

Pero batid niya ang limitasyon pakikipaglaban sa Kamara na pinamumugaran ng mga pulitikong panginoong maylupa.

Ito ang ilan sa mga sagot niya nang tanungin ng Pinoy Weekly hinggil sa Garb noong nakaraang taon:

Anong kaibahan ng Garb sa Carp?
Ito ay pusupusan at tunay na reporma sa lupa. Bunga ito ng naging matagumpay na konsultasyon sa hanay ng organisadong mga magsasaka.

Malaki ang kaibahan nito pangunahin sa sasaklawin ng programa. Kasama na rito ang mga lupaing nasa kontrol pa rin ng malalaking agrocorporation lalo na ng mga dayuhan na kalakhang matatagpuan sa Mindanaw. Kasama sa coverage ng bill na ito kahit yung mga lupaing naitakas sa saklaw ng huwad na Carp.

Doon sa mga may-ari ng lupa na nagpapabuwis, na target saklawin ng programang ito, kung mayroon silang ipinuhunan, dahil sa ilang beses nilang piyudal na pagpiga ng land rent, ilang beses na rin namang naibalik sa kanila. Kaya hindi na dapat pagbayarin o singilin pa ng amortisasyon ang mga magsasaka. Kaya nga prinsipyo ito ng libreng pamamahagi ng lupa bilang sentral na nilalalaman ng isang batas sa tunay na reporma sa lupa. Gayundin ang laman diyan, no retention. Walang ititira, lalo na yung lupain ng malalaking despotikong maylupa na mayroong magsasaka. Dapat wala ’yang retention holdings na ’yan.

Ang primary beneficiaries ay mga magsasaka at farmworkers na walang lupa. Naglalayon talaga itong batas na ito na basagin ang monopolyong kontrol sa lupa ng iilan at maipamahagi ito ng libre sa mga magsasaka.

Hindi natin papayagan ang non-land transfer schemes na kung tutuusin corporate landgrabbing tulad ng leaseback agreement, SDO (stock distribution option), profit and production sharing scheme.

Sa mga lugar na hindi pa masasaklaw ng programa, dapat ’yung signipikanteng pagpapababa ng upa sa lupa, pero malaunan dapat saklawin din.

Ang isa pang kaibahan nito, maikli lang ang period ng iplementasyon. Kung limang taon, limang taon lang. Hindi extendable. Nagbubunyi kasi ang mga panginoong maylupa sa ekstensiyon.

Kung may uunahin ’yan ng malalakihan tulad ng lupain ni Danding (Cojuangco), Hacienda Luisita. Isasama natin pati yung mga lupain ng mga military reservation kuno pero may mga magsasaka at produktibo.

Kitang-kita ang malaking kaibahan nito sa huwad na reporma sa lupa na Carp. Magmula sa period of implementation, na maikli lang, hanggang sa moda ng pag-a-acquire, kailangan compulsory acquisition at distribution.

Ang tanong, lulusot ba ito? Maipapatupad ba ito sa isang Kongreso lalo na ang mga kongresista kung hindi man tuwirang panginoong maylupa ay nagtataguyod ng makauring interes ng panginoong maylupa, komprador, at dayuhan?

Bakit gusto ng gobyerno ng ekstensiyon ng Carp?
Magtatagumpay sila sa panloloko at panlilinlang sa Carp. Sasabihin nila naipamahagi na lahat. Sasabihin nilang nagtagumpay na tayo ang kailangan lang tapusin. Hindi lang kailangan tapusin ito ngayon, kailangan iekstend. Pagdating ng panahon na ’yon, inaasahan marahil nila kaya na nilang mapatanggap sa nililinlang nilang mga magsasaka na tapos na ang reporma sa lupa.

Gusto rin ito ng US dahil ang mga lupain ngayon na nakatakas sa tunay na reporma sa lupa. Ang gobyernong papet, inilalako ang mga lupang ito para gamitin sa agribusiness na magsusuplay sa pagangailangan ng merkado ng US.

Ilang-Ilang Quijano

(PinoyWeekly)

Bishops seek special session for passage of Carp extension bill

June 6, 2008

THE Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Thursday appealed to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to call for a special session in Congress for lawmakers to pass the bill seeking to extend the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (Carp).

Bishop Broderick Pabillo, chairman of the CBCP-National Secretariat for Social Action (Nassa), said ordering the majority bloc in the House of Representatives to hold a special session will prove that Arroyo is sincere in her efforts to extend the law.

Arroyo Watch: Sun.Star blog on President Arroyo

“We are appealing to the President to call for a special session in Congress for the passage of the Carp extension bill,” he said.

On Tuesday, the Chief Executive certified as urgent the bill seeking to extend Carp.

For her part, Akbayan party-list Representative Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel said it will be easy for the President to call for a special session as she already did the same in the passage of the national budget.

Pabillo is saddened by the delays in deliberating the bill as Congress has yet to reach the discussions on the merits of the proposed law.

“We think it is both delaying tactic and lack of interest of lawmakers,” he lamented.

He said the non-passage of the law could lead to the stalling of contested land disputes being tackled by civilian courts.

There are almost 1.8 million hectares out of the nine million hectares of Carp-able land that remains undistributed.

The Carp is set to expire on June 10 while Congress will go on recess on June 13. (FP/Sunnex)

Karpa

June 4, 2008

Dalawampung taon na ang nakakalipas nang pinakawalan ang karpa sa irigasyon ng mga magsasaka. Maraming magagandang prediksyon ang nagsipaglutangan sa ere nang una itong pumasag.  Kesyo maghahatid daw ito ng kaunlaran sa magsasaka, makakatulong sa agrikultura, at sa pambansang eknomya.

Dalawampung taon pakaraan nun, eto’t papalitan na ang karpa.

At ang magsasaka?

Karamihan ay patay na.  May mga pinatay, may mga namatay sa konsumisyon, namatay sa kahirapan at gutom, namatay sa natural na paraan.  Ang iba ay nawalan na ng lupa.  May inagawan, linoko, at may nagbenta dahil sa kawalan ng silbi ng lupa at suporta ng gobyerno.  Ang ilan ay lumuwas na. Naging manggagawa para lang umangat… ng kunti, nagbenta ng katawan para lang umangat… ng kunti, nagpagamit sa mga kalokohan para lang umangat… ng kunti.

Pero meron din namang nagtamasa ng pakinabang sa karpang ito. Ang ilan ay ang mga madiskarteng magsasaka.  Ang iba ay ang mga wais at mapagsamantalang magsasaka.  At karamihan ay ang mga panginoong may-lupa na pansamantalang nasagasaan ng unang mga taon ng karpa.

Sa loob ng dalawampung taon ng karpa, maraming magsasaka ang naperwisyo.  Marami ang natinik hanggang sa mamatay, iilan lang ang nabusg at nasarapan.

At ngayon, may gana pa ang gobyerno na maglagay ng isa pang karpa sa sapa ng naghihingalong magsasaka.

Hmmm.. Ang susunod na karpa kayang ito ay hybrid?

Karpang tutulong sa transpormasyon ng mga lupang agrikultural tungo sa mga taniman ng jathropa? o tubo? o iba pang mga pananim na gagamitin para sa binabalak na bio-fuel?

Katulad ng sa naunang karpa, siguradong all praises na naman ang isdang ito sa oras na pakawalan ito sa kanayunan.  Abot hanggang tenga ang magiging ngiti ng mga asenderong naghahari.  Talaga ngang mapapakinabangan ang kasalukuyang pamahalaan, kaya naman kelangan nila itong suportahan sa darating na halalan.

Hrrggggh! Matinik sana kayo! Mga gago(*)!

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Note: ang gago ay salitang espanyol na ang ibig sabihin ay idiot. kaya para sa mga konserbatibong makakabasa ng pyesang ito, wag kayong mag-alala, di ako nagmumura. hehehehe.