symbolizing him as pest to farmers' crops
and livelihood. (Photo by AMGL)
“Aquino is a total fraud in promising land distribution when he and his own family has attempted to obstruct it in Hacienda Luisita. We are not stupid to believe this broken record promises,” Joseph Canlas said, Amgl chairperson.
Amgl said that Aquino has never in anytime abandoned the implementation of CARPer, but instead promoted it as its provisions are being used by landowners to get back lands, displace farmers and convert agricultural lands. The group said that this little act of pro-CARPer groups is part of deceiving farmers and saving the image of Aquino who is publicly known as a “haciendero” or coming from a landlord family.
Amgl said that Akbayan, a group allied to Aquino, is presently maneuvering to the Dept. of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Sec. Virgilio Delos Reyes to totally thwart the Supreme Court decision of distributing Hacienda Luisita to the farmworkers.
“Akbayan is pushing for CARPer implementation at the same time blaming Delos Reyes for the snail-paced execution,” Canlas said.
“These groups allied with Aquino are launching this massive propaganda campaign of deceiving farmers and trying to package that CARPer would resolve the centuries-old problem of landlessness. These groups are either protecting the interests of the landlord or trying to rake up the budget of the agrarian reform program,” he said.
Amgl said that if CARP and CARPer were really designed to resolve landlessness, farmers in the region, as well as in other parts of the country should have not been displace and would not be facing threats of land grabbing and displacement.
Amgl is protesting against the systematic land grabbing and displacement of farmers, with CARPer as main instrument of landlords, developers and foreign corporations. The group’s members are usual victims of land grabbing and displacement from different provinces in Central Luzon such as farmworkers of Hacienda Luisita; Nueva Ecija farmers from Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation (FMMR) in Laur and those to be affected by the planned Central Luzon Expressway (CLEx) project; Tarlac farmers affected by the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEx) project and land grabbing; farmers from Pangasinan who are victims of land grabbing by the Cojuangcos and Gov. Amado Espino; Aurora farmers from areas affected by the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport (Apeco) project; Zambales farmers affected by land grabbing and mining operations; Pampanga farmers affected by land-use conversion projects such as the expansion of the Clark International Airport and subdivision projects; Bulacan and Bataan farmers victimized by land grabbing in different areas.
Amgl is also criticizing president Aquino for promoting his Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program which the group said is only serving private and foreign interests and sacrificing the welfare of poor farmers.
Amgl stated that the Metro-Luzon Urban Beltway (MLUB) project and the North Luzon Agri-Business Quadrangle are some of Aquino’s PPP centerpiece program in the region. In addition, the government plans to construct two additional dams located in San Jose, Tarlac and General Tinio, Nueva Ecija. The group said that the TPLEx and Central Luzon Expressway (CLEx) and North Luzon East Expressway (NLEx East) projects are threatening to displace farmers in Tarlac, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija and Bulacan.
Amgl added that Aquino’s PPP program in the region included the construction of Balog-balog dam in San Jose, Tarlac and Balintingon dam in General Tinio, Nueva Ecija.
“If CARPer is really designed to serve the farmers, they should have owned the lands they are tilling for decades and should not be threatened by these government projects promoted by Aquino,” Canlas said.
Amgl finally demanded the repeal of CARPer and passage of the House Bill 374 or Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) which provisions “free” land distribution and “nationalization” of agricultural lands. GARB is filed in the House of Representatives by Anakpawis Rep. and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) chair Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano, who is a farmer from Quezon, Nueva Ecija.
“As Aquino has asserted his landlord face, using CARPer to swindle farmers, it would only fuel up the brewing peasant unrest in the region. By this time, Aquino and pro-CARPer groups would be put in the trash bin of history,” Canlas said. #