(Photo by AMGL)
“The Aquino government is totally useless to us farmers, worse, he is the promoter of CARPer, Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and other programs that displace us from our lands,” said Joseph Canlas, Amgl chairperson.
“CARPer is causing massive cancellation of Certificate of Land Ownership Awards (CLOA), Certificate of Land Transfer (CLT) and Emancipation Patents (EP) majorly in Nueva Ecija and other provinces within the region,” he added.
Amgl said that CARPer is the methodical means of landlords, real estate developers and local and foreign investors to eject farmers from the land. It carries on the anti-peasant provisions of CARP such as ejecting farmers who could not afford to pay the annual amortization and those who cultivate lands that were foreclosed by the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP). As CARPer strengthened the landlord’s hold to the lands, awarding of CLOAs to poor farmers in the region is unattainable.
“Being awarded with CLOAs are now impossible as even the stage of covering the lands are being barred by the landlords. Even with CLOAs, farmers are now facing the trouble of how to pay for the lands as the amount were dictated by the landlords,” Canlas said.
Amgl is citing the case of farmers at Brgy. Manggang Marikit, Bagong Barrio and Yuson (Mambayu) in Guimba town. The Mambayu farmers are cultivating lands used to be part of Hacienda Daves since 1992 but now they are being ejected by the Municipal Agrarian Reform Office (MARO) and Provincial Agrarian Reform Office (PARO). The farmers said that MARO and PARO officials intend to replace them with farmers listed on their ListaSaka but are essentially planning to sell the lands to speculators and real estate developers in anticipation of the construction of highways within the province.
The group added that Nueva Ecija CARP farmer-beneficiaries compose about 42% of the regional total or nearly 96,000 cultivating about 169,000-hectares based on its 2010 accomplishment report. Amgl disprove the numbers as vast haciendas and estate remain intact and farmers tilling them are now facing foreclosure, ejectment and CLOA cancellation cases. Lands are such Hacienda Gabaldon, Kilantang, Anggara in Guimba town, Rueda in Quezon town, De Santos in Guimba, Cuyapo and Nampicuan towns, Tinio in Talavera town, and estates Ilagan, Gonzales, Domingo, Sanggalang, Joson, Angeles, Padre Crisostom Estate in many towns of the province.
“In Sta. Rosa, Jaen, San Leonardo and southern towns, member-farmers of Amgl are now facing cancellation cases of their CLOAs and EPs, so how could the government claim that they are distributing hundred-thousand hectares of land,” Canlas said.
In addition, Amgl said that land grabbing and displacement worsened during the two-year implementation of CARPer. The group is citing cases: near the interchange of Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (Sctex) and Sta. Rosa-Tarlac national road in Tarlac City and La Paz town; the 13,000-hectares covered by the Republic Act 10083 or Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Act of 2010 (Apeco) in Casiguran and 312-hectare Food Basket program in Maria Aurora, Aurora province; the 386.8-hectares involving 12 barangays in Bayambang town, Pangasinan claimed by the Cojuangco-owned Central Azucarera de Tarlac (CAT) Realty Corp.; land grabbing of military officials and displacement of farmers within the 3,100-hectares in Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation in Laur, Nueva Ecija; the 57,930-hectare watershed program of Lopez-controlled Energy Development Corp. (EDC) and California Energy (CalEn) that displaces indigenous peoples’ communities in Pantabangan and Carranglan towns, Nueva Ecija; displacement in many areas in Bataan; massive cancellation of CLOA, CLT and EP in many towns of Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Tarlac and Pangasinan and land grabbing of Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Villafuerte of the 300-hectares in San Miguel, Bulacan.
“The classic case of the futility of CARP and CARPer is Hacienda Luisita. Everybody knows that the Stock Distribution Option (SDO) of CARP caused poverty and misery to the farmworkers and CARPer was not able to repeal it, actually it extended its implementation,” Canlas said.
Amgl said that the recent decision of the Supreme Court forcing farmworkers to choose between “stocks” and “land distribution” mainly involves CARPer. The group claimed that land distribution through CARPer is impossible as it provisioned that farmworkers should acquire the attestation of the Cojuangco-Aquinos that they are indeed tenants of the hacienda.
“The Cojuangco denied that there are tenants in Hacienda Luisita since 1967, thus, it is impossible to implement CARPer or for the farmworkers to actually be given lands. In addition, that CARPer empowers the Cojuangco-Aquino to dictate the amount the farmworkers should pay for the land. Hacienda Luisita lands are estimated to value from P1 million to P4 million per hectare, which is clearly unattainable for the farmers,” Canlas said.
“The futility of CARP and CARPer was the very reason Hacienda Luisita farmworkers waged the strike on November of 2004, they demanded to junk SDO and genuine land distribution. Thus, last July 15, they launched the ‘bungkalan’ (cultivation) in Brgy. Balete,” he added.
Amgl said that bungkalan is the very implementation of genuine land reform in Hacienda Luisita. Thus, farmers from different provinces are to join the farmworkers in tilling the lands to illustrate the primacy of the peasant movement to protect and promote their rights to land.
“We don’t rely on CARPer or schemes like the SDO, the actual tilling of the lands is the very aim of our struggle and the only way we could realize this is through our united strength through the peasant movement,” Canlas said.
“We declare Aquino as an enemy of the Filipino farmers as he protects the landlord interests such as his family and implements programs that kick us out from our lands. Aquino is an anti-peasant and anti-people president, the Filipino people should unite to oppose against his agenda,” Canlas declared. #