Farmers says Aquino’s Cha-cha last straw vs national patrimony

THE Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) today warned both Houses of Congress “not to play with fire” calling Charter change moves as “the last straw against the country’s national patrimony and could lead to intensified peasant uprisings.”

“After Malacanang’s green light to the plunder of our natural resources to foreign mining firms through Executive Order No. 79, now comes Congress pushing the 100 percent foreign ownership of lands. The sell-out of our lands is the last straw against our national patrimony,” says KMP deputy secretary general Randall Echanis

“The removal of the constitutional restrictions against foreign ownership of land is the last straw against our national patrimony, he said .” Obviously, Echanis said, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Speaker Feliciano Belmonte won’t do the Cha-cha without the blessings of President Aquino.

“Amending the economic provisions of the Constitution, particularly the removal of restrictions on 100 percent foreign ownership of lands and public utilities, are clearly linked with Aquino’s program to attract foreign investments,” says Echanis.

“It is the height of irony and injustice that foreigners will be given full ownership and control over vast tracts of lands while millions of Filipino farmers remain landless,” he said.

Echanis said amending the economic provisions of the Constitution will not address the worsening poverty and landlessness suffered by the Filipino peasantry and the people.

“Instead, the economy that was already devastated by the so-called free market globalization will continue to worsen. Charter change will hasten the full-scale liberalization, deregulation, and privatization of the economy,” Echanis said.

The peasant leader said that lifting the constitutional restrictions on foreign ownership will remove any remaining pretensions of economic sovereignty.

“With foreign agri-businesses and mining corporations having full ownership of lands through Cha-cha, the wide-scale land-grabbing and environmental plunder will surely intensify with impunity,” Echanis said.

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