Farmers: DAR scheme in Luisita to sow chaos-A A +A
Thursday, February 28, 2013
MABALACAT CITY -- Farmers belonging to various groups in Central Luzon asserted that the scheme being implemented by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) would sow chaos in Hacienda Luisita.
Earlier, DAR officials released the list of 6,212 farm-worker-beneficiaries (FWBs) and hinted essentially the implementation of provisions in the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with "Reforms" (Carper).
"DAR officials announced that FWBs are obliged to pay amortization, when morally and historically they are the legitimate owners of the land. In addition, the decision of the Supreme Court, never mentioned any amortization to be paid by the beneficiaries," said Joseph Canlas, Alyansa ng mga Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luson (AMGL) chairperson and Anakpawis Partylist-Central Luzon regional coordinator.
"The list excluded legitimate farmers and included those who are not. We struggled vigorously and many of our fellow farmworkers sacrificed their lives for the land, and now DAR officials are announcing we should pay amortization. This is an outrage," Florida Sibayan said, Ambala Vice chairperson.
The groups, namely: Alyansa ng Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (Ambala, Farmworkers' Alliance in Hacienda Luisita), Anakpawis Partylist, and AMGL, claimed that DAR's method or implementation of Carper is not realizing social justice and only worsening the situation in of Hacienda Luisita.
It continues to favor the interest of the Cojuangco-Aquinos and put the farmworkers at a disadvantage.
DAR's list intends to confuse the farmworkers, cite disagreement among those who are included and not and derail them from resolutely struggling for free land distribution.
"If DAR implements Carper in Hacienda Luisita, the farmworkers would be usual victims of machinations of landlords such as petitioning to cancel the issued certificate of land ownership awards (CLOAs) as how they do it at present. In the long run, the Cojuangco-Aquinos would have control over the land, and the farmworkers' struggle would be undermined," Canlas said.
AMGL and Ambala urged the farmworkers to concretely cultivate the remaining sugar lands and disregard the list furnished by DAR.
"It should always be pointed that the farmworkers are the legitimate owners of the lands, thus, they have every right to cultivate them. DAR should stop acting as an authority and its list is only a disruption, an instrument of deception and advancement of the Cojuangco-Aquino interests," Canlas said.
"We urge our fellow farmworkers to cultivate the lands and 'bungkalan' campaign led by Ambala. This is the only way to realize our decades-old dream to acquire land. We should be vigilant against the plot of the Cojuangco-Aquinos and deception by DAR," Sibayan said.
AMAGL and Anakpawis Partylist-Central Luzon accused President Benigno Aquino III of using DAR to serve his family's interest.
The groups said that the Cojuangco-Aquinos are exactly implementing their planned scenario and utilizing the Aquino government's apparatus to sabotage land reform in Hacienda Luisita.
"This is exactly what where expecting from the Aquino government. They would never give up their control over Hacienda Luisita, and would do everything to regain control. Aquino is totally anti-peasant and anti-people, and an out-and-out fraud of promising change or his worn-out line 'matuwid na daan,'" Canlas said.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on March 01, 2013.