Kilusang Magbubukid ng
(Peasant Movement of the Philippines)
161-B Chico St., Proj. 2, Quezon City
Telefax 928-41-84 Email ad firstname.lastname@example.org
June 24, 2009
Roy Morilla, KMP Public Information Officer (0905-421-7305)
Groups “declare” the Philippine islands, “Chacha-Free Zone,” lambast
Arroyo’s selling of a tenth of country’s lands to foreign countries
About 20 members of militant peasant groups such as the Kilusang
Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP, Peasant Movement of the Philippines),
Pamalakaya-Pilipinas (fisherfolk), Amihan (peasant women), UMA
(agri-workers), NNARA-Youth (peasant advocates) and Anakpawis Partylist
“declared” the replica of the Philippine islands at Rizal Park, Manila as
a “Chacha-Free Zone.” They significantly protested againts the provision
of the Charter Change, allowing 100% foreign ownership of land.
“We are declaring the 7,107 islands of the country Cha-cha-Free Zone,”
said Danilo Ramos, KMP Secretary-General. He added, “This is to signify
our call against Chacha and the 100% foreign ownership of land. This is
against genuine land reform and against the fundamental interest of the
Filipino people to utilize our country’s land and should not to be sold to
Selling 10% of the country’s lands, 20% of agricultural lands
The group said that this is the implementation of President Arroyo’s plan
since she has been stating that 3 million hectares of lands would be
allocated to foreign countries, such 1 million hectares for Eduardo
“Danding” Cojuangco’s partnership with the Malaysian firm Kuok Group, 1
million hectares for China through the RP-China Agreement on Agriculture,
and about 0.4 million hectares for United Kingdom-based Japanese firm
Bio-Energy NL. Also, Arroyo’s trip to South Korea reports of deal on
“With the 3 million hectares alone, Arroyo is actually selling 10% (of the
30 million hectare) of the Philippine territory and 20% (of the about 14.1
million hectare) of our agricultural lands to foreign countries,”
“Selling the country is definitely treason, betrayal of the Filipino
people and long history of fighting against foreign rulers controlling our
lands, Arroyo should be condemned by Filipino citizenry for pushing the
100% foreign ownership of land,” added Ramos.
“Arroyo is turning our country into a big area for lease agreements that
usually take 25 years and renewable for another 25 years, which is
essentially selling out our lands as peasants cultivating the lands would
be transformed into poor farmworkers stripped off of their rights to land,
and foreign corporations would enjoy total control,” shared Ramos.
The Arroyo government is step-by-step selling our country as she started
with RP-China Treaty, Japanese-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement
(JPEPA), and other bilateral agreements that are onerous and unfavorable
to the country.
Also, the government is eager
to cash in the $1,000-per-hectare venture with Cojuangco and Kuok Group,
pushing for the utilization of 1 million hectares, making the project
value at $1 billion for 25 years.
In addition, Arroyo’s latest trip to Korea shows her hunger for the $649
million investment on biofuel and $49 million coconut-based sweeteners to
be cultivated on ‘idle’ lands. The Arroyo government depicts lands as idle
which are in reality lands kept from farmers cultivating them.
Moreover, KMP said that it criticized Arroyo’s subservience to the
European Union (EU) who was reported to request the Philippine government
to remove the ban of foreign ownership to land and to fully implement the
provisions of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
“Foreign countries formation such as the EU would certainly salivate with
the country’s vast resources, it is up to Filipinos to fight against this
measure and we could start by opposing Chacha and removing Arroyo from
power as she is the primary broker of this transaction,” said Ramos.
Foreign ownership through CARPER
“This is also a strong basis of why Arroyo pushed for the passage of the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with ‘Reforms’ (CARPER).
As it would easily pave the way the entry of foreign agro-corporations
through its market-oriented land reform component and agrarian reform
communities (ARCs). Moreover, CARP has a bloody record of displacing
farmers of their lands and favoring landlords and foreign
agro-corporations, thus, there is no contradiction between CARP and
foreign ownership of land,” Ramos said.
“Though there is CARP for 20 years, foreign agro-corporations such as Del
Monte, Dole and their subsidiaries have proliferated primarily in
Mindanao. With 100% foreign ownership, we would expect more of this
classic exploitative examples turning farmers into plain agricultural
workers with low wages, could easily be displaced and with no right to
their lands,” added Ramos.
Threat to sovereignty
“Also, 100% foreign ownership of land is not simply an issue of the
peasants, and definitely not a business decision, this is creeping direct
colonialism, threatens our sovereignty, as foreign countries would have
material control of our lands and natural resources, disregarding the
rights of Filipinos to their country,” added Ramos.
“We should take note that the minimum of 3 million hectares is already 10%
of our country, that is why all of us should oppose this measure of the
Arroyo government, various sectors, patriotic groups and forces,
government officials, the church, professional, the workers, the youth,
should totally protest this provision as this is a threat to the future of
the next generations to come,” the peasant leader called.#