TARLAC CITY -- The Anakpawis party-list and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas are asking the House of Representatives to junk House Bill 4296 or the Land Acquisition and Distribution (LAD) bill or Notice of Coverage (NOC) extension bill.
Aside from the LAD, the farmers also asked the Congress assailed the Resolution of Both Houses No. 1 or charter change on economic provisions of the Philippine constitution as double-whammy to Filipino farmers.
Anakpawis Representative Fernando “Ka Pando” Hicap said that HB 4296 is simply the extension of the “dead law” Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) while RBH 1 is a “betrayal to the Filipino people and beneficial to foreign monopoly.”
“Pinapalayas na ng CARP ang mga magsasaka, ngayon sa Chacha, dadambungin pa ng mga dayuhan ang kalupaan sa ating bansa. (CARP has been displacing farmers from the land, at present with Chacha, foreign investors would be grabbing for lands in the country),” Hicap said .
He added that CARP has been instrumental in keeping farm workers in the 6,453-hectare Hacienda Luisita in deep poverty and misery by the implementation of its stock-distribution option (SDO) provision in 1989.
While the Cojuangco-Aquino family enjoyed the riches from the vast sugar plantation, farm workers were sorely indebted as they could not cultivate a tiny parcel of land as source of their food needs, according to Hicap.
The farmers used to take home P9.50 per day and they waged the strike on November of 2004. Ten days after, the striking farm workers were massacred by government forces, Hicap claimed.
The group lamented that the entry of foreign investors in the countryside was always preceded by land grabbing and dislocation of poor farmers.
They cited the case of the 8,650-hectare Hacienda Looc in Batangas, the 7,100-hectare Hacienda Yulo in Laguna, the 2,000-hectare Hacienda Dolores in Porac Pampanga, as well as the 36,000-hectare Clark Green City project in Tarlac.
It has long been proposed as main provision of charter change to repeal the protectionist policies and allow 100% foreign land ownership, the farmers complained.
“Laging entry-point ang CARP para palayasin ang mga magsasaka, iko-cover, kasunod ang pagkansela sa cloa, at pagpasok ng mga malalaking dayuhan at lokal na negosyante,” (It is customary that CARP serve as an entry-point to displace farmers, the lands would be covered, then the cancellation of cloa and the entry of big foreign and local business) Hicap said.
The party-list has been pushing for free land distribution and nationalization of agricultural lands through their House Bill 252 or Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB).
“Dapat libreng ipamahagi ang mga lupa sa mga magsasaka dahil ito ang magpapalaya sa kanila, at hindi sa pamamagitan ng CARP na wala namang pinag-iba sa bentahan ng lupa,” (Lands should be freely distributed to farmers as this is a step for their emancipation, not the way with CARP which is no different to selling of lands) Hicap said.
“Hindi biro ang Chacha, gagawin nitong alipin ang mga Pilipino sa sarili nating bansa, na ngayon na nga ay nararanasan na natin, ito ay malaking katrayduran sa mamamayang Pilipino,” (Chacha is no joke, this would make slaves of Filipinos in our own country, which we are already undergoing, this is a colossal betrayal to the Filipino people) Hicap added.
The group called on various sectors including small-and-medium entrepreneurs (SMEs), church, professionals and other middle-class sectors to join the farmers’ cause.