No to extension of CARPER – Anakpawis

ANAKPAWIS Rep. Rafael Mariano is opposed to the proposal of Cagayan De Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez and Abante Mindanao Rep. Maximo Rodriguez of extending the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER) that is due to conclude in 2014.

The Rodriguez brothers filed House Bill 6614 seeking to extend CARPER for another five years.

Mariano said extending CARPER is equivalent to perpetuating the decades-old suffering of poor Filipino peasants who endure landlessness, land grabbing and rural poverty due to the pro-landlord CARPER.

“History proved the futility of CARPER and its predecessor CARP, in addressing the problem of landlessness and agricultural backwardness in the country. CARP institutionalized land monopoly in the countryside. Only 9,500 families composed of biggest landowners of the country, own the 20% or 2,820,000 hectares of agricultural lands. It caused widespread landlessness, locking out farmers from opportunities for decent livelihood. As a result, poverty and unemployment are at highest in the countryside with 71% of poor Filipinos living in rural areas.”

“We earlier filed House Bill 2521 calling for the repeal of the Stock Distribution Option (SDO) under CARP that authorized big landlords to retain and exempt their landholdings from actual land distribution,” Mariano said.

“CARP and CARPER failed because it is not designed to address the social justice issues of farmers but helped in the protection of economic and political interests of landowners.”

The Anakpawis solon added, “what we need is a new and progressive agrarian reform program that will genuinely resolve the widespread problem of landlessness among the Filipino peasantry.” At the start of the implementation of CARP under the first
In Congress, Mariano filed House Bill 374 or the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) that aims to dismantle land monopoly  and ensure free land distribution to farmers.

On the release of Hacienda Luisita list of beneficiaries

Regarding the Department of Agrarian Reform’s (DAR) release of the initial list of beneficiaries of Hacienda Luisita, Mariano strongly urged Hacienda Luisita farmers to closely scrutinize the list and remain vigilant against maneuvers by the DAR and the Cojuangco-Aquino family.

“Luisita farmers must continue with their militant assertion of their right to the lands. On November 16, we will commemorate the 8th anniversary of the gruesome Hacienda Luisita Massacre that killed 7 farmworkers. We must remember the cause that they died for — to recover the lands from the Cojuangco-Aquinos and realize genuine land reform.”

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