PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday, September 19, said the sale of agrarian reform lands back to the original landowners is invalid and will not be honored under his administration.
In a speech delivered in Capiz, Duterte warned that if landlords would insist that they have the right over the parcels of land since they bought it back from the agrarian reform beneficiaries, he would take the side of the beneficiaries.
"If they would insist, because it is prohibited to buy itong mga lupa na ibinigay sa land reform [beneficiaries] at binili ninyo at gusto ng tenant kunin at ayaw ninyong ibigay, I will side with the tenants kasi alam ninyo na hindi ninyo pwedeng bilhin 'yan," he said.
(If they would insist, because it is prohibited to buy the lands given to beneficiaries, and you bought it buy the tenant wants it back but you don't want to give it to them, I will side with the tenants because you know you can't acquire that.)
"So pagdating sa akin, kung magdating sa table ko (when it reaches my table), I will not honor that contract. Do not give me that s***," Duterte added.
Duterte issued the warning, as he lashed out at land owners who lord over people, especially the sugar barons.
He stressed that it is invalid for a beneficiary of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (Carp) to sell his land back to the previous owners of land covered by the.
"Ibinigay na sa beneficiaries, tenants, at binili ulit. Look, sabihin ko na sa inyo. Sa panahon ko, I will not honor that sale," the President said during the decommissioning of arms and forces of former communist rebels in Capiz.
(The parcels of land were given to beneficiaries or tenants, but were sold back to the original owners. Look, I'll tell you, during my time, I will not honor that sale.)
"Kung sabihin mo na binili mo ulit, eh mahirap 'yung tao. Maybe for the first time in his life, he got hold of so much money, at illan lang 'yan. And yet, when it is gone, dissipated, either intentionally or sa mga gastos sa buhay, wala silang mabalikan," he added.
(If you'll say you bought it back, you have to consider that the beneficiary is poor. Maybe for the first time in his life, he got hold of so much money, and it's not enough. And yet, when it is gone, dissipated, either intentionally or either for expenses, they have nothing to go back to.)
Land reform is being fast-tracked under Duterte's administration in a bid to put an end to unfair distribution of land that has been one of the root causes of insurgency in the country.
The President said he would defend farmers who want to retrieve the lands re-acquired by original owners, as the properties are under the agrarian reform program.
He told the rich to just help farmers by lending them money.
In case of farmers who suffer from selling their lands, the President assured that his government is ready to provide assistance.
He also directed Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones to hasten the land reform process for faster distribution of land titles to beneficiaries.
"Ako wala akong problema. Maubos ang pera sa gobyerno, mas mabuti. Sa tao, mas mabuti (I don't have a problem if we will spend the money for the governmnent, better if it would also be spent for the people)," Duterte said.
"Sabihin ko ngayon sa Secretary, I will go by two years and so many month from now, kumpletuhin na niya ang land reform dito at ibigay na ang lahay ng lupa sa gobyerno sa tao dito para to complete the story," he added.
(I'm telling the Secretary now, I will go by two years and so many months from now, complete the land reform and give the governmetn's land to the people to complete the story.) (SunStar Philippines)