THE Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) on Saturday urged Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio Delos Reyes to pack up and leave his post as the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) expires tomorrow.
“The bogus CARP’s days are numbered. The Filipino peasantry will never mourn its death because it is a total failure,” Rafael Mariano, the group’s chairperson, said.
The KMP said “the entire CARP, including its fake land acquisition and distribution component will end on June 30, 2014.”
“After June 30, Delos Reyes will be running the DAR under the guise of extending so-called support services and promoting block farming schemes in service of big landlords. We advise Secretary Delos Reyes to pack his things up,” Mariano said.
He said the DAR’s line of extending the issuance of notice of coverage is another deception.
“The notice of coverage is not land distribution,” Mariano said, citing the DAR’s issuance of notice of coverage to the Cojuangco-owned Tarlac Development Corporation (Tadeco) landholdings inside Hacienda Luisita. He said despite the issuance of a notice of coverage, relatives of President Benigno Aquino 3rd built concrete walls around the Tadeco property.
Mariano maintained that CARP was a failure.
“For more than 26 years, CARP failed to distribute lands to millions of landless tillers. Vast haciendas are still intact, undistributed, and remain at the hands of big landlords,” he said.
Citing figures from the research think-tank Ibon Foundation, Mariano said lands “under leasehold arrangements increased from 582,476 hectares in 1988 to 1,740,345 hectares in 2012. Some 1.2 million hectares are under agribusiness contracts.”
“This means that at the very least, there are some 2.9 million hectares of private agricultural lands that remains undistributed,” Mariano said adding: “Haciendas and plantations devoted to cash crops production that are still intact 26 years after the strongest evidence of the sham CARP’s failure.”
“This also shows that millions of farmers are still under contract agreements with plantation owners and agribusiness corporations, many of which contracts are onerous to the interests of farmers and farm workers. Landlords exists and the Aquino government’s so-called ‘landed poor’ is a farce, a brazen deception to cover-up CARP’s failure,” the peasant leader said.
Without any law on land reform, the KMP expects farmers to launch “a series of protest actions demanding free land distribution and intensify land cultivation campaigns in the countryside.”
“CARP’s death on June 30 signals the intensification of the Filipino peasantry’s direct actions, mass struggles, and demand for a new and genuine land reform law,” the peasant leader said.
The KMP urged Congress to defy President Aquino’s order to extend CARP for another two years and immediately tackle House Bill 252 or the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill that seeks to break landlord control and monopoly of lands through the nationalization and free distribution of lands to farmers.
“CARP’s failure dictates that the passage of a new and genuine land reform law is in order. We call on Congress to give GARB a chance,” the KMP leader said.