June 18, 2009
ROY MORILLA, KMP Public Information Officer (63-905-421- 7305)
Congress serves as broker to EU through Chacha, 100% foreign ownership
of land, group says
The militant peasant group, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP, Peasant
Movement of the Philippines) criticized the House of Representatives, led
by Speaker Prospero Nograles in pushing through with the Constitutional
Assembly and Charter Change (Chacha) and seen the move by the lawmaker
being a "broker" for the European Union (EU) as it requested to remove the
ban on foreign ownership of land through the World Trade Organization
"This is what we are talking about since Speaker Nograles proposed the
House Resolution 747 which allows the 100% foreign ownership of land, he
was always saying then that it was only about economic provisions as if
the people do not dissent his proposals that favors foreigners over
Filipinos," opened Antonio Flores, KMP Spokesperson.
The group expected this, such as EU pushing for the amendments as they are
scouting for more areas of investments such as lands or real estate, which
in turn makes the Arroyo government and Congress treacherous to the
Filipino people as they favor foreigners.
"The Arroyo government is selling out the country, disregarding the
fundamental issues such as peasants' centuries old call to own their
lands. This also explains the Arroyo government's pushing for the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with `Reforms' or CARPER
as it is a `token' land reform, would not pose as a contradiction and
could easily be junked by Congress," said Flores .
"We have our experiences about foreign ownership of land in Mindanao,
where Dole and Del Monte controlled hundreds of thousands of hectares of
lands, through leaseback agreements, cultivating their raw materials,
thus, peasants have been transformed to mere lowly agricultural workers
whose rights of their lands have been stripped off," Flores shared.
The peasant leader also noted than, "Also, if these foreign companies
convert the lands to eco-tourism establishments, for residential and
commercial purposes, peasants would be automatically displaced,
agricultural production would then be in peril."
"Now we realize that Speaker Nograles really wanted our camp-out in
Congress demolished on April as we totally opposed Chacha and 100% foreign
ownership of land, and we served as a protest ground at the vicinity to
anti-Chacha forces," recalled Flores.
The group called on all sectors, patriotic lawmakers, professionals,
business sector, church, workers, youth, all, to oppose Chacha on all
fronts as this would create an epoch of oppression to Filipinos and
foreign domination over the country.
"Our regional and provincial chapters are gearing up for heightened
protests against Chacha, though we are being killed like what happened to
Ka Fermin Lorico, Chair of Kaugmaon (KMP Negros Oriental), who was killed
on June 10 after their anti-Chacha rally in Dumaguete City. We will never
falter, never tire to fight Chacha," Flores declared.#
26 June 2009
Reference: Emmi de Jesus, Secretary General, 371-2302 / 0197-322-1203
GABRIELA KICKS OFF STORM OF ANTI CHACHA PROTEST TOWARDS SONA; GEARS FOR
JUNE 30 MARCHA KONTRA CHACHA
As the rainy season starts, militant women's group GABRIELA kicked off the
women's storm of protest against charter change expected to culminate on
the State of the Nation Address on July 27. This morning, members of the
women's group lined up along España for an hour-long noise barrage as part
of the build-up action for the Marcha Kontra ChaCha on June 30 where
various religious, youth, cause-oriented and civil society groups will
hold a march throughout the city of Manila.
"Women together with the rest of the Filipino people vow to foil any and
all attempts of Gloria Arroyo and her minions of charter changer and to
extend her term. We will not allow her to continue committing crimes
against women and the people," said Emmi de Jesus, GABRIELA secretary
De Jesus said that the people are not being fooled by Arroyo's denial of
any involvement in the charter change moves of Congress and the
government's tactic of sending feelers on options on how to extend
Arroyo's term. "Arroyo is desperate as her power nears its end. She is
dead-set in perpetuating her power through the amendment of the
constitution, "revolutionary" government or imposition of Martial Law."
"Should Arroyo insist on any of these schemes despite the protest of the
people, Arroyo can very well expect a term reduction rather than
extension. She will be ousted," said de Jesus.
The women's group said that their group is now actively campaigning in
communities, schools, factories and offices nationwide for women to join
the various protest actions against charter change.
"The reception of the people our campaign has reached so far is positive.
Women, in general, have had it with the Arroyo regime with its long list
of crimes including corruption, human rights violations, and denial of
basic services. We expect the number of women joining the protest actions
will increase until the State of the Nation Address on July 27," de Jesus