Misamis Oriental farmers march vs 40th year of PD 27-A A +A
Monday, October 22, 2012
AROUND 2,000 farmers from all over Misamis Oriental marched on Sunday and convened at the Barangay Agusan Covered Court to show their protest on the 40th anniversary of Presidential Decree (PD) 27.
PD 27, according to the farmers, highlights commercial exploitation that fuels the centuries-old agrarian unrest in the country and cases of human rights violations.
Dubbed as “Lakbayan sa Mag-uuma alang sa Yuta, Katungod ug Hustisya,” farmers also held a concert and solidarity night before proceeding to another 15-kilometer walk today, Monday, from Barangay Agusan to the regional office of the Department of Agrarian Reform in Barangay Carmen, Cagayan de Oro City.
PD 27, signed by late president Ferdinand Marcos in October 1972, was anchored on the fundamental objective of addressing valid and legitimate grievances of land ownership, giving rise to violent conflict and social tension in the countryside.
Under PD 27, “certificate of land transfer provides that the tenant farmer is deemed to be the owner of the agricultural land subject to the conditions that the cost of the portion transferred to him, including the interest, shall be paid in 15 equal annual amortizations, and that he must be a member of a barrio association upon organization of such association in his legality.”
Richard Colao, secretary general of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas Northern Mindanao Chapter, said that farmers joining the protest will bring to the public the victories they have achieved from local struggles through collective strength and action.
Colao, in a statement, said farmers will hold a short rally to government offices that they pass by today, including the Provincial Capitol and the City Government to “pressure local officials to support House Bill (HB) 374 or the genuine agrarian reform bill (GARB) and seek concrete and practical resolution to their local issues/problems at hand.”
According to Colao, PD 27, the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL) of the late President Corazon Aquino, and the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, extension with reforms (Carper) of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, are not only the longest and most repressive -- not to mention the most expensive land reform program in the world -- but also failed in uplifting the lives of majority of farmers in the country.
In Northern Mindanao, farmers in Upper Puerto and the indigenous people (IPs) in the municipality of Opol in Misamis Oriental can attest to violations employed by big corporations claiming the lands belonging to their ancestral domain.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 22, 2012.