Peasants' march for genuine agrarian reform

and social justice


Bonus Tracks: Radyo Anakpawis Mobile Community Radio


See also: HUMABOL federation of farmers in Bohol bats for the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill

and the non-extension of CARP, June 10, 2008



June 5-10,  2008




A giant locust effigy symbolizing the failed CARP (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program) with Arroyo sitting on it and directing it.

The 6-day Lakbayan started from Nasugbu (Batangas) on June 5 and ended with an 11-km march from Diliman (Quezon City) to Mendiola (at Morayta/CMRecto) in Manila on July 10.



NO TO CARP, YES TO GARB (Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill) is the demand of the protesters


Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Southern Tagalog
Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan

June 9, 2008 Secretary General, KASAMA-TK

On the fifth day of six-day protest march against CARP:
Around 1,000 Southern Luzon farmers and other sectors march to DAR, call for enactment of GARB

After triumphantly passing through at least seven police checkpoints and harassments, farmers from Batangas and Cavite converged with farmers and other sectors from Rizal, Laguna, and from as far as Quezon, Mindoro and Bicol yesterday. The protest march (lakbayan) began last Thursday in Nasugbu, Batangas.

The 1,000-strong contingent from Southern Luzon will march up to the Department of Agrarian Reform office in Quezon City to air their calls against the extension of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) and for the enactment of House Bill 3059 or the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB). The protesters, led by Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Southern Tagalog (BAYAN-ST), were warmly welcomed by supporters from the National Capital Region who held a solidarity night at the protest camp of farmers in front of DAR.

The protesters hope to air their calls at the foot of Mendiola bridge on June 10, the day CARP expires. Pres. Arroyo has certified the bill as urgent, even expressing the call for a special session after Congress adjourns on June 13, but the bill is yet to be passed by Congress and Senate. Administration Sen. Joker Arroyo yesterday expressed doubts that the bill will be passed through a special session because of reservations of some senators due to DAR’s failure to account for CARP funds in the last 20 years.

Orly Marcellana, secretary general of KASAMA-TK, said it was right for Senate not to rush approval of the bill extending CARP before investigating how the funds were used. He noted the P728M fertilizer scam and the swine scam as evidences of anomalies in agriculture funds. “CARP used up more than P100B in twenty years, and now Arroyo and pro-CARP congressmen want to extend it 5 more years with the same amount allocated. In 20 years of CARP, farmers have not benefited from the P100B. We are sure that a large amount of public funds will again be wasted and will only go to the pockets of corrupt government officials.”

Marcellana also called on the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines to withdraw its support to the CARP extension. “We call on the CBCP, Congress and Senate to listen to the experiences of farmers showing the futility of CARP. The problem with CARP is not only with regard to the funds used up but more so its failure to solve the landlessness of farmers.”

In Batangas, highlight cases include the following: Hacienda Looc in Nasugbu where around 10,000 farmers were affected by land-use conversion and the cancellation of certificate of land ownership awards and emancipation patents; and Hacienda Fule which led to the dislocation of 80 families due to land grabbing, conversion, and cancellation of CLOA.

The protesters carried with them a giant locust effigy, a pest of rice, with Pres. Arroyo riding on it to show that CARP and Arroyo are “pests” to farmers. They also wore buri hats and symbolic scythes with the calls “YES TO GARB!” and “NO TO CARP!”

Arman Albarillo, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan secretary general, added that the urgency of a bill such as GARB is especially important at this time that the nation is facing severe economic crisis. “GARB is the answer to the rice crisis and a looming food crisis because it would ensure the development of agriculture and its productivity in a manner that would benefit farmers and the Filipino masses, not the landlords and foreign capitalists.” ###

For more information, please contact Glen - 09082041782.


Danilo Ramos, KMP Secretary General

Orly Marcellana, secretary general of KASAMA-TK,

Participants in the Lakbayan take a rest at the QC City Hall before proceeding to the DAR main office in a torch parade.



Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Southern Tagalog
Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan
June 8, 2008 Secretary General, KASAMA-TK

Southern Tagalog protest march triumphantly enters NCR,
depict CARP as a “pest” being directed by Arroyo

After several attempts of the PNP-SWAT to thwart the delegations from Batangas and Cavite provinces, the protest march of Southern Tagalog led by the peasant group Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (KASAMA - TK) and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan – Southern Tagalog (BAYAN - ST) reached Zapote, Alabang at about 10 o’clock in the morning, merging with the peasant and multi-sectoral delegations coming from Rizal, Laguna, Quezon, and Mindoro provinces. Their victory was symbolically celebrated through a torch parade to the Baclaran Redemptorist Church .

This is the fourth day of the “Lakbayan para sa Lupa, Pagkain, at Hustisyang Panlipunan” of the Southern Tagalog region. The protest march against the extension of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) and for the enactment of the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB or House Bill 3059) began on Thursday from Nasugbu, Batangas.

According to Orly Marcellana, Secretary General of KASAMA – TK, “These torches radiantly express our struggle for land, food and social justice. The 20-year existence of CARP and Mrs. Arroyo’s claim to power have brought darkness and misery to our lives. The GARB, like these lighted torches, would cut through this darkness and end the misery of our people. It will truly advance the rights and welfare of the farmers and other sectors for land.”

He also said that extending the CARP for another five years would be like extending Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s term which we all do not wish to happen. “This is why we are calling on the church sector to withdraw their support to CARP extension. We also call on the Congressmen and Senators to listen to the experiences of farmers showing the futility of CARP,” he expressed further. ►








Some church groups expressed to the call of farmers against CARP in a press conference yesterday. Various groups welcomed the protesters at Baclaran church where a short program of solidarity was held in the night.

“The extent of CARP in the region is very offending to the people because it is very obvious whom it truly serves. If it was true that the cry for land of the farmers were addressed by CARP, then you will no longer see and hear these farmers’ sacrifices and grievances.”, Arman Albarillo, BAYAN – ST Secretary General said.

The delegation carried with them a giant locust, a pest of rice, symbolizing CARP, with Gloria Arroyo sitting on it and directing it. They wore peasant hats with the calls “YES TO GARB!” and “NO TO GARB!”. They also brought with them symbolic scythe bearing calls to enact the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill and to junk CARP.

Albarillo also called on police to stop blocking and delaying the protest march. “It is the right of farmers and various sectors to air their cries especially amid the worsening economic crisis and poverty.” Last January, police blocked the protest march of farmers for more than ten hours along the Zapote road.

The Lakbayan will end in a march to Mendiola on June 10, the day CARP expires.###

For more information, please contact Glen - 09082041782.

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Southern Tagalog
Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan
June 8, 2008 Secretary General, KASAMA-TK



Lakbayan ng mga Magsasaka Para Sa Lupa, Pagkain at
Hustisyang Panlipunan 2008
Anakpawis. KMP. Pamalakaya. UMA. Amihan
Kasama-Timog Katagalugan. Pamalakaya-Southern Tagalog
============ ========= ========= ========= =========
JUNE 9, 2008
Telefax: 928-41-84 (KMP) 434-3836 (Pamalakaya)

Anti-CARP groups hold vigil at DAR, set 11-km march to Mendiola tomorrow

Not less than 1,000 farmers, fisherfolk, agricultural workers, national minorities and peasant women from Southern Tagalog provinces--- - Mindoro Occidental, Mindoro Oriental, Quezon, Batangas, Laguna, Cavite and Rizal opposing the extension of the 20-year old Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) will hold a vigil and camp out tonight at the national office of Department of Agrarian Reform in Quezon City in preparation for tomorrow’s 11-kilomoter walk from DAR to Mendiola.

Spearheaded by five of the biggest rural based groups--- the Anakpawis party list, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) , Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) and Amihan- National Federation of Peasant Women, in cooperation with the farmer group Kasama-Timog Katagalugan and Pamalakaya-Southern Tagalog, the week long “Lakbayan ng mga Magsasaka Para sa Lupa, Pagkain at Hustisyang Panlipunan” wants CARP replaced by the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) or House Bill 3059 principally authored by the late Anakpawis party list. Rep. Crispin Beltran.

KMP secretary general Danilo Ramos said tomorrow anti-CARP and pro-GARB farmers will stage a symbolic political breakfast billed as “Agahan ng mga Magsasaka, Maralita at Tagapagtaguyod “ from 7 am to 8 am. The peasant leader said by 8 am, the farmers will start the 11-kilometer walk from DAR to Mendiola to call for the junking of CARP and the passage of Beltran’s land reform bill known as GARB or HB 3059.

Expected to join Ramos in the 11-km march tomorrow are Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap, Amihan chairwoman Carmen Buena, UMA national president Rene Galang, Kasama-TK secretary general Orly Marcellana, Pamalakaya-Southern Tagalog secretary general Pedro Gonzalez, incoming Anakpawis party list Rep. Rafael Mariano and leaders of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan).

The anti-CARP marchers will pass the Elliptical Road, the stretch of Quezon Avenue in Quezon City, Welcome Rotonda and España boulevard in Manila on their way to Mendiola in Manila. Lakbayan organizers said they have applied for a permit to stage their mass action in the historic Mendiola Bridge last week, but they have yet received any official response from Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim.

“If that is the case, then our application for permit is deemed approved, because under Batasang Pambansa 880, failure of the local government unit to issue an official response to the applied permit within three working days, the permit is approved. But with or without permit, we will proceed with our march to Mendiola,” KMP’s Ramos added.

The KMP leader also asked pro-CARP farmer groups to shift their political campaign from supporting CARP to GARB or HB 3059, asserting that the bill filed by Beltran is a million times superior, and political and morally correct than CARP.

“ We want to inform our pro-CARP colleagues that the end of this 20-year old bankrupt and bogus land reform program is the beginning of the Filipino farmers’ liberation from a socio-political nightmare known as CARP. For many Filipino farmers, CARP is a long-running curse deodorized by cases of token land reform, and it is high time to break from CARP and shift our political energy for GARB or HB 3059,” the KMP leader said. #

 Camping in front of the offices of the Dept of Agrarian Reform (DAR)


10 June 2008

For Reference:
REP. LUZ C. ILAGAN 0920-9213221
Abby Valenzuela,Public Information Officer, 0915-7639619


"Extending the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) is
extending the suffering of our farmers," Gabriela Women's Party
Representative Luzviminda C. Ilagan said when asked to explain her
"NO" vote to Committee Report No. 506 or the House Bill 4077 which
will extend the implementation of CARP.

Ilagan explained that her vote against CARP extension does not mean
that she is against agrarian reform. It is in fact one of the
advocacies of the Gabriela Women's Party to distribute lands to
Filipino farmers without condition. She does not approve the extension
of CARP because it is a program that never pursued the interest of the
peasant farmers in the country.

"Under CARP, there will be no genuine distribution of lands to the
farmers. This program applies non-distributive schemes as forms of
agrarian reform," she said.

There is no guarantee under CARP that the farmers will own the land
they till because the Certificates of Land Ownership Award,
Certificates of Land Transfer and Emancipation Patents to be given to
them can be forfeited.

CARP also subjects agricultural lands into massive land conversions
and exemptions, and therefore contributes to the rice crisis our
country is experiencing at present.

Farmers, especially women farmers, cannot depend on CARP. CARP offers
false hope or illusion that it will offer women support services
needed for them to do their duties and responsibilities as farmers and
as mothers.

"Gabriela Women's Party cannot let a bogus agrarian reform program to
continue denying the Filipino farmers ownership of their lands,"
Ilagan said.

Ilagan also calls on to her fellow members of the House of
Representatives to give attention to House Bill 3059 or the Genuine
Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB), explaining that this bill will give the
farmers what they want and need. GARB offers an agrarian reform
program wherein the distribution of lands to the farmers is not based
on amortization, but instead on providing support services to them.

The women's partylist representative reasons that if the Genuine
Agrarian Reform Bill will be approved, this country might achieve its
goal of food self-sufficiency and effectively resolve its rice crisis.

Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano
Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo
Bicol peasant leader Felix Paz
11-km March: DAR's Diliman, Quezon City  Offices to Mendiola, Manila


Pagkakaisa para sa Tunay na Repormang Agraryo
Northern Mindanao Region
MINBISCON Building, IFI Compound, Bulua, Cagayan de Oro City
Telefax (08822)738-732

11 June 2008
Media Release #04
For reference:
Roseal Cabatcha, RMP-NMR Coordinator
Mobile # (0910)300-1427

North Min Peasants slam CARP in its 20th year

Cagayan de Oro City--Farmers, agricultural workers, indigenous peoples and fisherfolks in Northern Mindanao yesterday say no to the extension of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) as it concluded its twentieth year.

Describing the the present land reform Program as bogus and pro-landlord, the member organizations of the Pagkakaisa para sa Tunay na Repormang Agraryo or PATRIA maintained that CARP “should not be extended since it will also extend the agony of the peasantry,” said the group’s spokesperson Sr. Mary Francis Anover, RSM.

PATRIA earlier slammed the exclusion and exemption clauses of the Program which saved the land of the big landlords and foreign agri-corporations from being distributed. It is also the alliance which spearheaded the anti-CARP extension campaign in Northern Mindanao, and called for the passage of the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) filed by the late Anakpawis Congressman Crispin Beltran.

The protest action, which started via a torch parade in the main streets of the city and a vigil concert at Gaston Park June9, displayed a scarecrow effigy having the head of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Organizers said that the doll represents CARP which is a brain-child of the landlord class with Macapagal-Arroyo as its prime representative. “While the traditional scarecrow shuns away birds, the scarecrow GMA, using CARP as its permit, shuns away peasants from their precious lands,” said Rudy Progella of the Misamis Oriental Farmers Association (MOFA).

Members of MOFA, Kalumbay Lumad Organization and Pamalakaya also picketed DAR Region 10 office earlier in the morning yesterday. They were joined by church groups like Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) and Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR).

After a march rally dubbed as “Martsa alang sa Tinood nga Repormang Agraryo” (March for Genuine Land Reform) which took off from the Provincial Capitol 11am, PATRIA member organizations proceeded to the Ampitheatre in Divisoria for the culmination rally attended by hundreds of peasants from the Region.

In his speech in the culmination rally, Bro. Andres Serafin, OFM, of the RMP in Northern Mindanao called on the CBCP to listen to the real clamor of the peasants. “It is very clear that the overwhelming majority of the peasants in the country are shouting for genuine agrarian reform, not through the loophole ridden and pro-landlord CARP, but through the passage of GARB,” the Franciscan brother emphasized.

Fr. Antonio Ablon, Main Convenor of PATRIA, also expressed that “the church is in solidarity with the poor by being with them, and listening to them. And their collective cry is: No to CARP extension, yes to GARB!”###



JUNE 9 2008
Telefax: 928-41-84 (KMP) 434-3836 (Pamalakaya)

Supporters of detained KMP leader blame Palace
security council over Echanis imprisonment

Supporters of detained peasant leader Randall Echanis, deputy secretary general of the militant peasant alliance Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, blamed the National Security Council over the continued imprisonment of the farmer leader in Leyte Provincial Jail since January 29 this year.

Leaders of KMP and conveners of Free Randall Echanis Movement (Freedom) comprised of members of the Echanis family, friends from the First Quarter Storm Movement (FQS), church and academic personalities and supporters gathered this morning to the Bantayog ng Mga Bayani to reiterate their call for the unconditional release of the peasant leader.

Bringing balloons and a pair of doves bearing messages for Echanis immediate release from Leyte Provincial Jail, the supporters of detained KMP leader let fly the balloons and white doves to depict their unwavering support for the imprisoned peasant leader.

“The illegal and immoral detention of Echanis by the ruling national security syndicate in Malacañang should be vigorously exposed and opposed, including all the Palace machinations done to keep the wrongly accused peasant leader in prison,” KMP secretary general Danilo Ramos said in a press statement.

Ramos said the filing of fabricated charges and the eventual arrest and detention of Echanis was orchestrated by the National Security Council (NSC) headed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, which include Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzalez and Department of Justice (DoJ) secretary Raul Gonzalez.

“The NSC is the principal author of this day-to-day political persecution of Echanis. The security mafia headed by Arroyo is moving heaven and earth to keep Echanis in prison in the name of the President’s political survival,” the KMP leader added.

On January 28, the 60 year old peasant leader was arrested in Bago City, Negros Occidental while attending a consultation with sugar farmers in Negros regarding the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) or House Bill 3059 principally authored by the late Anakpawis party list Rep. Crispin Beltran and the forthcoming 2nd National Rural Congress spearheaded by the influential Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and slated next month.

Earlier, KMP’s staunch ally---the fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) wrote an open letter to Jaro Archbishop and CBCP President Angel Lagdameo appealing to the Roman Catholic archbishops and Bishops’ support to the urgent and unconditional release of Echanis.

Echanis was arrested for multiple murder of 15 counts in connection with the mass graves discovered by the military in Hilongos, Leyte . The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said the KMP deputy secretary general, along with 51 co-accused ordered the purge of their comrades in Leyte in the early and mid-80s.

But government and military data, including court proceedings revealed that Echanis was held in solitary confinement by the military at the time the alleged crimes were committed. The Manila Regional Trial Court had dismissed all criminal charges filed by the Marcos government in the 80s. In 1992, the case of illegal possession of firearms was again dismissed by the Manila RTC for lack of merit. #




June 11, 2008
Rejoinder to Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel

We denounce Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel's malicious and irresponsible charge in a press release Tuesday that our organizations are "in collusion with landlords" and are out to "maim, cripple or kill 'agrarian reform' in the country."

Hontiveros-Baraquel's accusation is farthest from the truth. It's a cheap shot at progressive party list groups made to gain media mileage for the extension of the bogus Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.

If the Akbayan representative was referring to HB 4077, the bill extending CARP as the agrarian reform that will be maimed, crippled or killed, then she is terribly wrong. Agrarian reform died with the passage of CARP.

Let us remember what the original sponsor of House Bill 400, Rep. Bonifacio Gillego, declared 20 years ago on the mangled and maimed CARP bill that was enacted into law:

"Now the CARP has become a corpse, we, the defunct sponsors of House Bill No. 400, are called upon to render our final function: to serve as pallbearers in the funeral rites of the original House Bill No. 400. As the principal sponsor of the deceased House Bill No. 400, my task is to deliver a funeral oration on CARP."

Twenty years hence, this CARP, true to Rep. Gillego's indictment, has not broken the prevalence of land monopoly in the country and emancipated the peasantry, instead CARP has deceived and oppressed the peasants through tokenism and reconcentration of land ownership.




HB 4077 does not address the fundamental defects of CARP. CARP and HB 4077 reject free land distribution to the tillers, maintain limited coverage and worse, do not prohibit various schemes which landlords used to evade land distribution. These schemes include the notorious land-use conversion, various exemptions, stock distribution option, corporative scheme, leasehold arrangement, and contract growing among others.

Akbayan's 'agrarian reform program' of peasants compensating the landlords which have long exploited them and burdening them with amortization runs contrary to the principle of social justice and emancipation of peasants. In fact, thousands of emancipation patents and certificates of land transfer were revoked because of poor peasants' failure to pay the amortization.

Hontiveros saying that GARB is 'mere stewardship program' grossly distorts the universally accepted concept of 'land to the tillers.' Akbayan's idea of giving the land reform beneficiary the right to sell and transfer land weakens the precept of land to the tiller. It will encourage farmers to sell not to till the land.

Under GARB, the general means of redistribution is through State expropriation of lands which will undergo due process. The farmers shall receive the land free. The State will pay the landowners. Only if, the land is sullied, meaning illegally acquired, will confiscation be in order. It is absurd that Akbayan attacks GARB on this issue. Social justice must prevail over dishonored property rights of the few.

Bayan Muna                         Bayan Muna

ANAKPAWIS                       Gabriela Women's Party


Radyo Anakpawis Mobile Community Radio

◄ Bani Cambronero, anchorman of DZRA, Radyo Anakpawis, the first mobile community radio in the country, reported at regular intervals the progress of the peasants' march from Nasugbu, Batangas to the DAR offices in Quezon City and finally in Mendiola.


The audio files below are Bani's interview with Ka Bel during the Lakbayan held last January 16-22, 2008. Ka Bel talked about the genuine agrarian reform bill HB 3059 of which Ka Bel is the principal author.



Interview with Ka Bel Part-I       Interview with Ka Bel Part-2


Commenting on one of the "Pilipinas kong Mahal" tarpaulins which decorate the entire length of Quezon Avenue

A jeepney driver contributes to the Lakbayan fund, not minding that the march slowed him down.

Quote of the day:


"Ibayong pagsulong, paglawak at pagtatagumpay ng tunay, palaban at anti-imperayalistang unyonismo!"


Why are our farmers poor?

Download video clip of Sermon from the movie SAKADA

SAKADA  is a movie on agrarian unrest. It was shown only for a day in 1976 because the dictator Marcos promptly banned it. Government operatives confiscated the tapes. It was only years after EDSA II that it was made available for public showing again.





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