PRESIDENTIAL candidate and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte should not be trusted at all since he could change his stand on any issue in just one day, the leftist farmers’ organization KilusangMagbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) warned on Monday after Duterte immediately changed his position on land reform.
According to Antonio Flores, KMP secretary-general, the mayor–an independent presidential candidate in the 2016 elections–during a forum entitled “Peasant Challenge 2016 and Beyond” held at the University of the Philippines in Quezon City vowed to carry out genuine land reform purportedly to uplift the lives of poor farmers, peasants and farm workers.
Duterte even severely criticized total failure of the government agrarian reform centrepiece, the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
The CARP started during the term of then-President Corazon Aquino, mother of President Benigno Aquino 3rd.
The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) admitted last year that there are over 50,000 beneficiaries of CARP who have not received land from the government.
Duterte’s strong position received wide applause from activists and farmers who were present at the forum.
In less than 12 hours, the mayor, however, vowed at a forum with big businessmen in Makati City (Metro Manila) the following day that he was very much open to the idea that foreigners should be allowed to lease lands in the Philippines up to 90 years.
KMP Chairman Rafael Mariano described Duterte’s plan as “worse” than the existing law that allows foreigners to lease lands for 50 years, renewable for additional 25 years, for a total of only 75 years.
Mariano said the plan effectively gives foreigners lifetime ownership of land in the country.