Solon says completion of land reform by 2016 a sure failure

A FARMER lawmaker said farmers can expect nothing but failure from the government’s so-called land reform targets under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPer) or R.A 9700.

Anakpawis Rep. Rafael V. Mariano issued the statement in reaction to the President’s pronouncement that he will complete the implementation of land reform by 2016 by extending CARPer.

“CARPer which emanated from the sham Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) orchestrated during the presidency of Corazon C. Aquino only frustrated farmers who were deceived into believing that CARPer would address the decades-old problem of land monopoly by few landlord families and widespread landlessness and oppression of millions of farmers,” said Mariano.

“The 24 years of CARP only led to failed land reform and we can only expect the same from CARPer,” said Mariano who also stressed that extending CARPer until 2016 will be ‘disastrous for farmers’ and ‘politically costly’ for President Benigno Aquino III.

“CARPer is even worse than CARP. DAR’s huge backlog in the acquisition and distribution of private agricultural lands is one proof. Haciendas and vast landholdings remain under the control and ownership of big landlords and transnational corporations. Agrarian disputes in several haciendas like Luisita, Yulo, Looc have outlived 11 agrarian reform programs by the government and will surely outlive the pro-landlord CARPer.

Mariano said both CARP and CARPer, did not realize distribution of lands to poor farmers, instead it paved the way for massive cancellations of Certificate of Land Ownership Awards (CLOA), Certificate of Land Transfer (CLT) and Emancipation Patents (EP).
He added that CARPer’s extension until 2016 will total to 28 years of failed land reform program in the Philippines. “Indeed, it will come full circle – an unsuccessful land reform program from one Aquino president to another,” said Mariano.

“A genuine and complete land reform under a landlord president is impossible. President Aquino is deceiving the farmers and even more so making a fool of himself by saying that he will implement land reform even as his relatives – the Cojuangco-Aquinos, are moving heaven and earth to block the distribution of Hacienda Luisita,” Mariano said.

The Anakpawis solon called on prelates of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to support the passage of House Bill 374 or the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) that seeks free land distribution to farmers. “In the interest of social justice, we ask the CBCP to reconsider their position on CARPer and support GARB instead.”

On June 11 and 12, farmers will hold nationally coordinated protests and major mobilization at DAR and Mendiola against the 24 years of bogus CARP.

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