“We totally support GARB and we are calling for the junking of Republic Act 6657 or Comprehensive Agrarian Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) and RA 9700 or CARP Extension with ‘Reforms’ (CARPer). GARB is far more pro-peasant than those pro-landlord laws CARP and CARPer,” said Joseph Canlas, AMGL chair.
The group said that CARP has only brought poverty and dislocation to Central Luzon farmers. It has never effected reform in the region and brought about, landgrabbing, dislocation of many farmers and Land Use Conversion (LUCs). It has even salvaged the Cojuangco-Aquinos’ interest on Hacienda Luisita through the Stock Distribution Option (SDO).
“We support GARB as it proposes free land distribution, the very important thing CARP and CARPer could never do. We have many areas threatened of landgrabbing, thus, GARB is the only legislative act that could serve our interest,” Canlas said.
AMGL said that CARP and CARPer have no protection on farmers on areas of land dispute such as the 3,100-hectare agricultural lands of Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation (FMMR) in Laur, Nueva Ecija, dispute in San Miguel, Bulacan where Rep. Luis Villafuerte is grabbing the 375-hectare productive agricultural lands in Sitio Malapad na Parang, and in 200-hectare agricultural lands at Bgy. Tungkong Mangga, San Jose Del Monte city, the 200-hectare lands in Bgy. Prado Siongco, Lubao town, Pampanga where the Pinedas demolished houses of small farmers, in Bgy. Tebag West in Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan where farmers are being displaced, in local farms of Bayambang town in Pangasinan under threat of landgrabbing by the Central Azucarera de Tarlac, the 154-hectare productive ricelands in Bgy. Balangcinaway and adjacent barangays in Tarlac City, in Bgy. San Roque, La Paz town, also of Tarlac province. There are also dispute in local farms of Orion town, Bataan province.
“CARPer is useless to the farmers of the region, it is helpless against the programs of massive LUCs such as the SCTEx and other projects. GARB is our only shield against these, thus, we are here to present our basis for our support,” Canlas added. #