Distribution of CLOAs nothing more than a ‘showcase’ – Solon

ANAKPAWIS Rep. Fernando L. Hicap said the scheduled distribution of land titles to beneficiaries in Hacienda Luisita is nothing more than a ‘showcase’ of the Department of Agrarian Reform and the Aquino administration.

“We demand free distribution of Hacienda Luisita lands. Only through free land distribution can farmworker-beneficiaries be genuinely compensated for the decades that they have struggled with the Cojuangco-Aquinos over the ownership of lands,” Hicap said.

From September 30 – October 15, DAR will distribute certified true copies of Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) to 5,800 qualified farmworker-beneficiaries who signed and filed Application to Purchase and Farmers Undertaking (APFU) that were already generated by DAR and registered with the Register of Deeds.

“A land distribution program implemented under the framework of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) is bound to fail. That is  happening now in Hacienda Luisita. Farmworker-beneficiaries will receive a piece of paper from DAR but they will never really own the land. The Cojuangco-Aquinos, aided by DAR, have instituted schemes and maneuvers to land grab and reconcentrate the lands and prevent actual distribution,” said Hicap.

“Farmers will not really own the lands. Under CARP, they are obliged to pay for the land through amortization. Historically, farmers are unable to pay and eventually, they will lose their CLOA and land titles. The government and the land owners will regain ownership of the lands. It’s a vicious cycle of injustice.”

The solon who joined a national fact-finding mission in Hacienda Luisita last month said grave irregularities have tainted the so-called distribution of lands in Hacienda Luisita. “DAR’s actions in Hacienda Luisita strengthened the stronghold of the Cojuangco-Aquinos on the lands. DAR initiated an anomalous land survey that allowed renewed landgrabbing. It authorized militarization in Hacienda Luisita and forced farmworker-beneficiaries to participate in the ‘lottery land reform’ at gunpoint. Rights violations are happening in Hacienda Luisita.”

“The Aquino government cannot sugarcoat the real situation in Hacienda Luisita by brandishing that land reform is working. Farmers know that CARP and CARPER have failed. These bogus land reform programs only worked for the interest and advantage of land owners,” Hicap said.

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