Land and Justice:

Lakbayan 2010 contingents march to Mendiola

on the 23rd anniversary of the Mendiola Massacre




January 22, 3010


Video clips and slideshows


■    Jan 9 Press Conference    ■    Lakbayan Jan 15    ■   Lakbayan Jan 18



  Mendiola, January 22, 2010

January 21, 2010 - Makati to Quezon City  Dept of Agrarian Office
        Photo by Gege Pido





By Prof. Jose Maria Sison


International League of Peoples' Struggle

January 17, 2010


We of the International League of Peoples' Struggle are in firm solidarity with Anakpawis (Toiling Masses) and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (Peasant Movement of the Philippines)  in the carrying out of the National Lakbayan (caravan and long march) for Land and Justice from the southern and northern regions of the Philippines to the national capital in ten days, from January 12 to 22.


We applaud and congratulate you for resolutely and militantly organizing this unique mass undertaking which traverses more than 1000 kilometers. We are elated that this mass mobilization has started from the south in Davao City on January 12 and from the north in Tarlac city on January 16. 


We strongly support the broad masses of the people, especially the peasants, farm workers and fisherfolk, who are involved in this historic event.  We eagerly await the convergence of the caravans and long marchers in front of the Department of Agrarian Reform on January 21 and the march to Mendiola, near the presidential palace,  on January 22. We agree with all your objectives.


It is just to demand genuine land reform and the free distribution of land to the tillers as the solution to the land problem.  Land reform  must be realized on the strength  of the peasant  movement  and for the purpose of attaining the economic, social and political liberation of the peasant masses. It must not be limited to the confines of reactionary legislation.


The so-called Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER) is essentially  intended  to dampen the peasant demand for land and preserve the feudal and semifeudal forms of exploitation.  As in previous bogus land reform programs,  CARPER retains the same loopholes and tricks for the landlords to prevent or evade land reform. 


It is necessary to bring to national and international attention the local struggles for land and take up the most outstanding cases of land accumulation and landgrabbing at the expense of the peasants and the farm workers.  The people want to know more about the land greed, rapacity and brutality of certain landlord families that dominate the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system.


Two major presidential candidates, Benigno Conjuangco-Aquino III and Gilberto Cojuangco-Teodoro belong to the same big comprador-landlord clan which owns vast haciendas in Tarlac, Pangasinan, Isabela, Negros, Caraga, Palawan and elsewhere in the country. The land question must be in the agenda of the current electoral struggle. The progressive parties and candidates who espouse land reform deserve support.


It is necessary to expose, oppose and frustrate the escalating militarization of the countryside under the Oplan Bantay Laya of the US-Arroyo regime.  The gross and systematic human rights violations perpetrated by the regime are instigated and provided with logistics by US imperialism, especially under its  policy of global war of terrorism.  The official military, police and paramilitary forces collaborate with the private armies and gangs of foreign monopoly enterprises, the big compradors and landlords.


In their struggle against the imperialists and the local reactionaries, the toiling masses of workers and peasants must engage the active support of the middle social strata and middle forces of Philippine society.  It is necessary to heighten the unity of the broad masses of the people and intensify their militant struggle against the rotten ruling system and the rapidly worsening socio-economic and political crisis.


We  the International League of Peoples' Struggle support the broad masses of the Filipino people in their struggle for national independence and empowerment of the toiling masses, development through national industrialization and land reform, social justice, a national, scientific and mass culture and  international solidarity against imperialism and war. 


We are determined to coordinate the anti-imperialist and democratic struggles of the Filipino people with those of all other peoples of the world in order to help raise to a new and higher level the struggle of humankind for greater freedom, democracy, all-round development, social justice and world peace.###




Southern Tagalog Holds Grand Welcome Program For Bicol-Viz-Min Marchers

The Katipunan ng Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (KASAMA-TK) together with all the provincial sectors of the Southern Tagalog Region warmly welcomed the Bicol, Vizayas and Mindanao marchers today at Crossing, Calamba City, Laguna and staged a grand program for their fellow peasants. This is in spite of the numerous delays caused by military checkpoints during the marathon protest march and caravan.

KASAMA-TK Spokesperson Imelda Lacandazo said that no matter how many blockades the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) will impose on the protesters; these efforts are already futile in putting a stop to the Lakbayan’s already great momentum.

She shared the recent experience of the marchers in the Southern Luzon Command (SolCom) in Lucena City, Quezon where the military’s answer to the protesters’ anger and call for justice was literally playing “Cha-cha” music at full-radio blast. After the noise barrage, the AFP and PNP delayed the caravan, taking pictures of the plate numbers of the protesters’ vehicles without permission. A certain chief of police with a surname of “Moreno” also harassed the leaders and spokesperson of the caravan saying he “only wanted to talk to the drivers”. The protesters where again blocked by military elements upon leaving Candelaria shortly after having stationed in the area for lunch and then delayed again upon leaving Tiaong.

“Today marks one-week of the Lakbayan, marching through the scorching heat of the sun or under the patter of the rain. We can no longer see any more reasons to hold back. The military and police’s unwelcoming attitude towards the Lakbayan is a desperate move by the Arroyo government to silence the legitimate rights of the farmers to air their grievances in public,” Lacandazo stressed.

The Lakbayan ng Anakpawis Para sa Lupa at Katarungan reached Calamba City this evening where the marchers were welcomed with a festive mood from the Southern Tagalog main contingent. The 1,000 –throng Lakbayan delegates from Bicol-Vizayas-Mindanao merged with at least 1,500 rallyists coming from different wings of the Southern Tagalog region.

The contingents also held lit-up torches which, according to Lacandazo, symbolized the “ignition of unity in the peasants’ struggle throughout the country”. A short fireworks display and a flaming “LAKBAYAN 2010” were also some of the highlights of the welcoming event.

To showcase the cultural diversity, leaders of different regions led the chanting of their calls for genuine land reform and justice using different dialects. Filipino folk dances and different cultural performances also took place.

“We are here to commemorate our oneness in fury for experiencing the same conditions of poverty and injustice under this government’s continued exploitation to the poor. Particularly here in Southern Tagalog, the CALABARZON project can be considered as a man-made disaster comparable to the Haiti earthquake, yet the only difference is that the state causes the prolonged sufferings of the people,” Lacandazo stated.

The CALABARZON project was incidentally started by Corazon Aquino’s administration, almost the same period as the Mendiola Massacre. Decades later, the Arroyo regime still urges the ambitious multi-billion plan which is set to allegedly “urbanize the region”. Yet the project’s implications due to land use conversions include the displacement and loss of livelihood of at least 300,000 families including farmers, urban poor, fisher folks and indigenous people; according to Tin Macabetcha, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan – Southern Tagalog deputy secretary general.

“The people of Southern Tagalog have had enough of this regime’s disregard to the toiling masses, we will reach Mendiola and call for an end to this injustice no matter what the costs are,” Macabetcha said.



January 22, 2010

Militant farmers mark 23rd Commemoration of Mendiola Massacre
35 peasant victims of Oplan Bantay Laya 2 named in a tribute

Davao City --- In commemoration of the 23rd year of the Mendiola Massacre, hundreds of farmers belonging to the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and Anakpawis partylist staged a march rally here today highlighting the farmers' quest for justice and the genuine agrarian reform in the country.

“Today we mark history as we deliver the strongest condemnation against the continuing exploitation of the poor Filipino peasants and the worsening landlessness within the framework of the bogus and inutile Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER),” said Pedro Arnado, chairperson of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas - Southern Mindanao and regional coordinator of Anakpawis partylist.

As a form of protest against the government's counter-insurgency strategy Oplan Bantay Laya 2, a die-in of more than 700 farmers from Davao City, Davao Oriental and Davao Del Sur together with other sectoral and cause-oriented groups was held to reenact the Mendiola Massacre which happened 23 years ago. The action also emphasized the farmers' demand for genuine land reform.

The groups’ protest march ended at the Office of Speaker Prospero Nograles whom they hold responsible for the passage of the extended CARP and for authoring the unpopular HR 737 which seeks to allow 100% foreign ownership of Filipino land.

“Speaker Nograles has committed the worst crimes against the Filipino farmers when he allowed the passage of CARPER and have initiated a resolution that wants to sell out our lands and resources to foreign capitalists. He has further betrayed the country by conniving with Gloria Arroyo's attempt to change the constitution,” said Arnado.

Parallel protest actions are also being held by more than 1000 farmers in Tagum City, Caraga region, and more than 1000 farmers will be picketing DAR Region X in North Cotobato.

In the National Capital region more than 7,000 farmers are marching for Mendiola Bridge where the culminating protest of the 10-day Caravan for Land and Justice will be held.

35 peasant victims of Oplan Bantay Laya 2 named in a tribute

On the eve of the Mendiola Massacre commemoration, farmers held a vigil - cum - tribute at the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) for the peasants martyred under the Arroyo regime.

“This regime will be remembered for the killing of more than 561 peasant leaders and civilians, 35 of which are from the Davao region. Farmers throughout history will remember Mrs. Arroyo’s legacy of massacring those who fight for their rights, for peace and justice,” said Arnado.

From 2001 to 2009, KMP names the victims of the Arroyo regimes’ Oplan Bantay Laya 2 in Southern Mindanao alone:

Roy Latiban, Roberto Nepa, Olando Nerosa, Rolando Bacus, Ronel Bacus, Rosita Icatan, Sofronio Enoc, Charles Bayanban, Edgar Blas, Jaimae Daculo, Warlito Bayanban, Mostello Gabay, Ricardo Dulay, Bobit Budadong, Racel Tandog, Rodel Andoy, Abdulbayan Cervantes, Henerio Ynanez, Adronico Pudpud, Esther Patiga, Felimon Quirante, Recardo Canete, Joseph Saradpan, Rose dela Cruz, Domingo Layal, Nolie Llanoz, Diego Encarnacion, Rodrigo Panugan Sr., Rodrigo Panugan Jr., Dario Somoza, William Masibid, Marcial Latiban, Celso Pojas and lumad leaders Ludenio Monzon and Datu Dominador Diarog.

“The fact that these killings remain unresolved until now proves all the more that this regime shuns all venues where justice could be claimed and that it is the mastermind behind these gruesome deaths,” Arnado said.

For reference:
Pedro Arnado



Stop blaming typhoons for reduced rice production – KMU

Nationwide peasant caravan calls for genuine solutions to food crisis

Militant labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno today called on the government to stop blaming previous typhoons for reduced rice production in 2009, saying natural calamities merely highlight bigger problems in Philippine agriculture.

The Department of Agriculture said Wednesday that domestic rice production fell by more 3.31 percent in 2009. It said typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng, which battered the country in October and November last year, were responsible for the reduction. But KMU noted that the Philippines remains one of the world’s biggest importer of rice for more than a decade.

“The problem is the orientation of domestic agriculture, and of the economy as whole. The Philippine economy remains export-oriented, import-dependent. Local agricultural production is geared to meeting the cash-crop demands of the international market, not the food needs of the Filipino people,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

“The typhoons, while devastating indeed, are being used as scapegoats. They are not the main causes of problems in the country’s rice production. They merely highlight far bigger man-made problems in Philippine agriculture,” he added.

Labog said the agriculture’s orientation to foreign demands can be seen in the reduction of actual rice production through the years, especially with the advent of economic globalization. In 1989, the country produced almost 9.5 billion tons of palay, while in 2009, the figure is only 16.26 million tons.

“The figures show just how mindlessly anti-people the orientation of rice production in the country is. As a rice-eating people, we have reduced palay production in the face of a growing population, reduced rice exportation of other countries, and recent problems such as climate change,” Labog said.

“In blaming the recent typhoons, the government is being criminally negligent at best. What course of action does that analysis suggest? That we should pray harder, perhaps give more offering to saints, so typhoons won’t hit the country? Even religious people will not like that. Nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa,” said the labor leader.

KMU said the export orientation of Philippine agriculture is being implemented by big foreign agro-businesses and landlords, who monopolize land in the country, in connivance with the government.

“They are the ones responsible for prioritizing cash crops over rice and other products needed by Filipinos. They cannot be expected to prioritize the needs of the people over the needs of the global market. That’s another reason why their landholdings should either be nationalized or subjected to land reform and distributed to the tillers,” Labog said.

KMU said the ongoing nationwide caravan of farmers, dubbed as “Pambansang Lakbayan ng Anakpawis para sa Lupa at Katarungan,” articulates the call to end dependence on rice imports and to push for the development of agriculture through genuine land reform.

“Farmers in the nationwide Lakbayan are convinced that the festering problems of rice shortage and hunger can only be solved by dismantling the monopoly of lands and foreign domination over the economy,” Labog said. The caravan will climax with a mobilization to Mendiola on Jan. 22, the 23rd anniversary of the Mendiola. #



January 22, 2010
Reference: Garry Martinez / Chairperson/ 09393914418
Ailyn Abdula/ Media Liaison/ 09212708994

Filipino migrant groups join ‘Lakbayanis’quest for land and justice
“Genuine land reform will reunite us with our families and country.”

This was the statement of Filipino migrant organizations from all across the globe in expression of their solidarity to the ‘lakbayanis’ from all across the nation who held a 10-day march to Mendiola to demand genuine land reform.

“The Filipino migrant community believes that the government’s labor export program is not the solution to the economic crisis, and it is landlessness experienced by farmers in the communities we came from and in which our families back home are still struggling to survive that should be addressed. Because of our situation abroad, which ranges from being financially tight to downright dehumanizing, most of us have been unable to pay off our debts, much less secure a good future for our families despite years of hard toil. The global financial economic crisis continues to be a threat. It has forced and will continue to force thousands of us back to the countryside, which we believe will continue to be bereft of opportunities,” said in the statement.

The unity statement, which was given to the media, was signed by various Filipino migrant organizations based in fourteen (14) countries – Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Taiwan and the Philippines.

The declaration further stated that “only genuine land reform and national industrial development will uplift the Filipino people from poverty and address the root of forced migration. Indeed, only genuine land reform and national industrial development has the potential to reunite us with our families and enable us to truly offer our lives and labor in service of the country.”

The protest march, which was also in commemoration of the Mendiola Massacre, was attended by OFW victims and their families, vacationing members of Migrante International from Saudi Arabia and Australia, and members from the Ilocos and Southern Tagalog regions.

Since last Sunday, the different migrant organizations held various activities such as forum, film showings and assemblies to propagate the plight and struggle of the Filipino farmers. ###


Genuine land reform will reunite us with our families and country
Filipino migrants’ unity statement on the Nationwide Peasant Caravan for Land and Justice

The Filipino migrant community expresses its solidarity with the ongoing 10-day Nationwide Caravan for Land and Justice, wherein thousands of Filipino peasants are traveling from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao to reach Mendiola Bridge in Manila by January 22, the 23rd anniversary of the Mendiola Massacre. This historic caravan is a collective protest against the worsening landlessness, human rights violations against peasants, and plunder of agricultural funds under the administration of Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Majority of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) hail from backward rural communities that offer no decent livelihoods or opportunities for its impoverished people. It is estimated that seven out of 10 peasants do not own the land they till, and give around one half to two-thirds of their harvest to wealthy landowners. Meanwhile, agricultural workers (mostly victims of landgrabbing by corporations, the government, and landowners), receive less than US$1 per day during cropping season, and left to fend for themselves doing odd jobs for the rest of the year.

This situation has forced many of us to seek overseas work, in the hope that we may be able to provide for our families’ basic needs. We incur huge debts in the process of applying for work abroad, the amount needed for which ranges from US$ 2,000 to 4,000, including exorbitant placement fees and state exactions. However, upon reaching foreign shores, many of us realize that we are unable to fulfill our dreams after all. We realize that we have become victims of exploitation and abuse by our recruiters and employers. We realize that the government has sold us out to employers and foreign governments, which it shamelessly woos to open up their labor market even at the expense of our most basic human rights. The number of distressed OFWs increases by the day; so does the number of new deployments. The Arroyo administration has made it a point to break previous records of OFW deployment (currently at 4,500 workers per day) and OFW remittances (at US$1.5 billion in October 2009), clearly using labor export as an artificial means to sustain the perennially bankrupt Philippine economy.

The Filipino migrant community believes that the government’s labor export program is not the solution to the economic crisis, and landlessness experienced by farmers in the communities we came from and in which our families back home are still struggling to survive. Because of our situation abroad, which ranges from being financially tight to downright dehumanizing, most of us have been unable to pay off our debts, much less secure a good future for our families despite years of hard toil. The global financial economic crisis continues to be a threat. It has forced and will continue to force thousands of us back to the countryside, which we believe will continue to be bereft of opportunities.

It will be bereft of opportunities until lands are handed over to farmers instead of agricultural or mining corporations that merely extract natural resources and exploit labor for profit. It will be bereft of opportunities until the Arroyo administration puts an end to militarization, which only serves wealthy landowners and corporations, while terrorizing rural communities. Since 2001, there have been 561 civilian farmers extra-judicially killed, while hundreds more have been abducted and remain missing or illegally arrested and detained. The deaths of our farmers, such as in Hacienda Luisita, grieve us like we grieve the unjust deaths of our fellow OFWs at the hands of employers and foreign governments.

We salute the Filipino peasantry for undertaking this long march for land and justice. We urge the government to heed their calls, as well as ours, that only genuine land reform and national industrial development will uplift the Filipino people from poverty and address the root of forced migration. Indeed, only genuine land reform and national industrial development has the potential to reunite us with our families and enable us to truly offer our lives and labor in service of the country.

Migrante Australia
Migrante Melbourne
Philippine Australia Solidarity Association
Gabriela Australia
Pinoy In Austrian Society For Integrity, Reforms and Social Transformation (PINAS FIRST)
KASAMMAKO-(Katipunan ng mga Samahan ng Migranteng Manggagawa sa Korea)
Umangat Rome
PINAY-The Filipino Women's Organization in Quebec
Migrante Saudi Arabia
Migrante Partylist - KSA Chapter
Kapatiran sa Gitnang Silangan - Riyadh
Migrante Al Khobar
Migrante Jeddah
Kapatiran sa Gitnang Silangan - Dawadmi
Kapatiran sa Gitnang Silangan - Al Jouf
Samahang Manggagawa sa Saudi Arabia (MASA)
Migrante Eastern Province
Jeddah Filipino Society
Makabayan Saudi Arabia
MIGRANTE-Ras Al Kaimah
United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK)
Abra Tinguian Ilocano Society - Hong Kong (ATIS-HK)
Filipino Migrant Workers' Union - Hong Kong (FMWU-HK)
Cordillera Alliance in Hong Kong (CORALL-HK)
Association of Concerned Filipinos in Hong Kong (ACFIL-HK)
Abra Migrant Workers Welfare Association (AMWWA-HK)
Friends of Bethune House in Hong Kong (FBH-HK)
Filipino Migrants' Association - Hong Kong (FMA-HK)
LIKHA Filipino Migrants Cultural Organization (LIKHA)
Mission Volunteers (MOVERS) Hong Kong
MIGRANTE Sectoral Party - Hong Kong
Migrante - Shatin
Migrante - HSBC
Migrante - Chater Rd.
Migrante - Naguilian (Isabela) Hong Kong
Pinatud a Saleng ti Umili (PSU)
Filipino Friends in Hong Kong (FFHK)
Cuyapo Association in Hong Kong
Pangasinan Organization for Welfare, Empowerment and Rights (POWER)
MIGRANTE Netherlands (Amsterdam)
MIGRANTE Netherlands (Den Haag)
Filipina Circle for Advancement and Progress (FICAP)
Filipino Migrant Center (FMC)
Center for Japanese-Filipino Families (CJFF)
KAFIN-Migrante Saitama
Kafin Migrant Center
Philippine Society in Japan (PSJ)
Migrante international-taiwan chapter
Migranteng Ilonggo sa Taiwan
Gabriela womens party_Taiwan chapter
Migrante Aotearoa New Zealand

January 22, 2010 - Quezon City  Dept of Agrarian Office to Mendiola


January 22, 2010


Ipinaaabot ng Kabataan Party-list ang pakikiisa sa hanay ng mga magsasaka, manggagawang-bukid at mangingisda sa buong bansa sa pangunguna ng Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) at Anakpawis Party-list sa pagdaraos ng Pambansang Lakbayan.

Kasama at katuwang ng mga magsasaka, manggagawang-bukid at mangingisda ang sektor ng kabataan sa patuloy na pagpapanawagan at pakikipaglaban para sa tunay na reporma sa lupa, hustisya, at pagkakapantay-pantay. Pagpupugay at paghanga ang iginagawad ng Kabataan Party-list sa ating mga dakilang Lakbayani na hindi inalintana ang mahabang paglalakbay patungong Maynila para lang igiit ang kanilang mga karapatan sa lupa at kabuhayan, at upang singilin ang pamahalaan sa mga atake nito sa mamamayan sa ekonomiya at pulitika.

Kasabay ng pagkilos ng mga magsasaka ay ang ating pag-alala sa ika-23 taong anibersaryo ng Mendiola Massacre. Dalawampu’t tatlong taon na ang nakakaraan ngunit nananatiling ilap ang hustisya at huwad pa rin ang repormang agraryo ng gobyerno.

Wasto ang paniningil ng ating mga Lakbayani sa rehimeng Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo dahil sa mga kasalanan nito sa mga magasasaka. Ang pagkakapasa sa CARPER (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Revisions) ay lalo lamang pinalalala ang sitwasyong agraryo sa Pilipinas. Ipinagpapatuloy lamang nito ang bulok at kontra-magsasakang mga patakaran sa ilalim ng matagal na panahong pagsasapatupad ng huwad na CARP. Wala itong ibang pinagsisilbihan kundi ang mga malalaking panginoong maylupa at negosyong interes sa kanayunan.

Naniniwala ang Kabataan Party-list, na siya rin namang adhikain ng ating mga Lakbayani, na upang makamit ang tunay na repormang agraryo, hindi dapat pagbayaran ng mga magsasaka ang lupang kanilang binubungkal – ito ang pinakamalaking pagkakamali ng CARP noon at CARPER ngayon. Sa ganitong kaayusan, mananatiling lugmok sa pasakit at utang ang ating mga magsasaka para lamang mapag-arian ang lupang sila naman ang nagbubungkal at nagpapayaman.

Sa bahagi ng Kabataan Party-list, ipagpapatuloy nito ang pagsusulong sa Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) kasama ang iba pang mga progresibong party-list at makabayang mambabatas sa kongreso.

Marapat ding alalahanin ngayong araw na ito ang mga biktima ng Hacienda Luisita Massacre. Tulad ng mga biktima ng Mendiola Massacre, hindi pa rin nakakamit ang hustisya para sa kanila. Ang kanilang mga pamilya at kasamahan ay patuloy pa ring pinagsasamantalahan at pinagkakaitan ng lupang sakahan at kabuhayan. Dapat silang pagpugayan dahil sa kabila ng lahat, sila ay naririto pa rin at patuloy na lumalaban.

Nagsisilbing inspirasyon ang mga Lakbayani sa kabataan na, gaano man kasalimuot ang paglalakbay, sa sama-samang pagkilos, matutunton rin ang landas ng pagbabago.

Mabuhay ang mga makabayang magsasaka!

Office of Rep. Raymond ‘Mong’ Palatino
Temporary Office at 3rd Floor, Main Building
House of Representatives, Batasan Complex, Quezon City

Kabataan Party-list Rep. Mong Palatino
Mobile: 09085927099
Gerg Anrol Cahiles , Media Officer, 09273670948




9th day of Lakbayan ng Anakpawis Para Sa Lupa at Katarungan Farmer marchers say DAR is joking on 200K hectare target for land di

Manila, Philippines- “It is a joke and a bad one.”

Peasant leaders of the 10-day Pambansang Lakbayan ng Anakpawis Para Sa Lupa at Katarungan on Thursday slammed the announcement of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) that agrarian reform agency is ready to distribute some 200,000 hectares of land to qualified farmer beneficiaries this year under the extended Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program with Reforms (CARPer) with the return of the compulsory acquisition scheme in the five year extended land reform law.

In a press statement, Lakbayan organizers Anakpawis party list, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), the Katipunan ng Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK) and the Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon (AMGL) said Agrarian reform secretary Nasser Pangandaman is joking and treating landless farmers and agrarian reform beneficiaries into an outrageous roller coaster ride when he announced DAR target for distribution in 2010.

“Secretary Pangandaman is the point person of landgrabbers and the land speculators in and out of Malacanang and in and out of the agrarian reform department. His statement suggests false hopes and political blackmail rolled into. He wants to convince landless farmers that everything is ok under CARPer which is not true,” said KMP secretary general Danilo Ramos and Anakpawis secretary general Cherry Clemente in a joint statement.

In its website ( the agrarian reform agency expressed optimism that the department will attain 200,000 hectare land distribution target for 2010 due largely to the restoration of compulsory acquisition as one of the modes of acquiring lands under Republic Act 9700 or the CARPer law. He said the increase in the budget of DAR will hasten the distribution of land to agrarian reform beneficiaries.

“First the target is too low compared to the more than 6 million hectares of prime agricultural lands concentrated in the hands of landed monopolies like big landlords, private corporations and multinational plantations and military landlords in AFP military reservations,” the Lakbayan leaders stressed.

KMP’s Ramos said DAR never mentioned that while the compulsory acquisition (CA) as a mode was restored in CARPer law, it evaded citing the other mode of land acquisition, which is voluntary offer to sell (VOS), which big landlords can range against compulsory acquisition to maintain their control over vast tracts of lands. The farmer leader said the VOS will also be used by landed monopolies to sell their lands at a price acceptable to them.

“Mr. Pangandaman is engaged in massive disinformation. He is not telling the truth about CARPer and the bankruptcy and anti-farmer character of this law,” added Ramos.
Anakpawis’ Clemente urged the House of Representatives to undertake a complete inventory and performance assessment of DAR since CARP was implemented in 1987, asserting that DAR’s accomplish reports were not verified and highly questionable.

The party list official said based on the data provided by the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS), the country has 14.1 million hectares of prime agricultural lands, of said total 9.9 million hectares are farmlands and about 4 million hectares more or less are devoted to livestock production which were exempted from land distribution since 1988.

“There are about 7 million hectares of prime agricultural lands or more are concentrated in the hands of the few, and we DAR has no proof that five million hectares or more of these lands were already distributed to farmer beneficiaries under the reactionary CARP regime” said Clemente.

KMP noted that in the September 2007 report of DAR, that following data were uncovered: 5,049 emancipation patents (EPs) and 103, 092 certificates of land ownership awards (CLOAs) were cancelled by the agrarian department covering 204,579 hectares of land. But think tank Ibon Foundation said at the middle of 2004, DAR cancelled 2,000 land titles of farmers involving 380,000 hectares of land.

Meanwhile, the 87-year old Damasa “Naynay Masang” de Castro, survivor of the 1987 Mendiola Massacre, now on wheel chair, will lead 2,000 marchers from Mindanao, Panay, Negros, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Bicol, Southern Tagalog, Ilocos provinces, La Union, Cordillera, Isabela, Cagayan and Central Luzon provinces will converge at DAR ‘s national office early this evening for the People’s Concert and Vigil for Land and Justice.

The Mendiola Massacre survivor and veteran of numerous fights on agrarian reform led the community of farmers in Barangay Langkaan 1 and Pala-pala in Dasmarinas, Cavite against the Japanese giant Marubeni in the mid 80s and early 90s --whom the old woman and her farmer colleagues accused of landgrabbing and violations of peasant land rights.

Tomorrow, the 10,000 marching farmers , fisherfolk, farmworkers and peasant women will be joined by 8,000 Manila based activists belonging to Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay), Gabriela, Bayan, Bayan Muna, Kabataan Party, League of Filipino Students (LFS) and eight militant party list congressmen—Bayan Muna Reps. Satur Ocampo, Atty. Neri Javier Colmenares and Teddy Casino, Anakpawis party list Reps. Rafael Mariano and Joel Maglunsod, Kabataan Party Rep. Raymond Palatino and Gabriela lawmakers Liza Maza and Luzviminda Ilagan. #



8th day of Lakbayan ng Anakpawis Para Sa Lupa at Katarungan Presidentiables asked: “How do you solve a problem like Hacienda Lui

Manila, Philippines- Arriving in Metro Manila for the 8th day of Pambansang Lakbayan ng Anakpawis Para sa Lupa at Katarungan (National Journey of Toiling Masses for Land and Justice), organizers of the 10-day long march posed this question to all presidential candidates, except Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Sen. Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III: “How do you solve a problem like Hacienda Luisita.”

Lakbayan organizers Danilo Ramos, secretary general of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and party list group Anakpawis secretary general Cherry Clemente in a joint statement asked presidential candidates Sen. Manuel Villar (Nacionalista Party), Sen. Dick Gordon, Lakas-Kampi merger party bet Gilbert Teodoro, independent candidates JC de los Reyes and Nicanor Perlas and Bro. Eddie Villanueva of Bangon Pilipinas to declare their position on Hacienda Luisita.

“Senator Aquino believes Hacienda Luisita is God’s gift to Cojuangco-Aquino clan, and therefore only God can take it back from them. So it is useless to ask this moral, legal and political question to him. It is obvious, Noynoy and the patriarchs and matriarchs of Cojuangco landed clan will not give up their immoral and unlawful claim on Luisita”, the Lakbayan leaders said in a joint statement.

KMP’s Ramos said the problems in Hacienda Luisita will not find a long lasting and just settlement under a Noynoy Aquino presidency, asserting that the 6,453-hectare sugar estate is the bread and butter and the source of economic and political power of the Cojuangco-Aquino for near century.

“So the 64-dollar question mark remains—how these presidentiables except Noynoy solve a problem like Hacienda Luisita?” the KMP leader reiterated.

KMP said Hacienda Luisita is only one of the more than 200 cases being handled by the group’s para-legal committee, adding that agrarian cases in different regions and provinces will also be carried by Lakbayan for concrete action and resolution including but not limited to cases of landgrabbing in Southern Tagalog orchestrated by landlord and developers identified with Ayala group of companies and the 3,100 hectare landgrabbing spree inside Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation in Laur, Nueva Ecija.

Ramos said the Lakbayan will also bring up issues of landgrabbing and land reform reversals with the expansion of plantations and mining in Mindanao island which he said have displaced thousands of farmers and indigenous peasants, the problems of coconut farmers in Bicol region and the widespread cancellation of farmer land titles in Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Panay and Negros island.

The KMP leader said the biggest gainer among the landlords during the nine years of Arroyo administration is business tycoon Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, who was able to control the P 130-billion coconut levy fund and enlarged landholdings from 3,000 hectares to 30,000 hectares in the span of 9 to 10 years.

Ramos said Danding has vast landholdings in Negros (3,000 hectares), Palawan, Tarlac, Caraga and Isabela provinces.

For her part, Clemente of Anakpawis party list announced that it will co-sponsor with KMP a presidential forum next month to present the farmers and the rural people’s agenda in the May 2010 elections.

The Anakpawis official said aside from Hacienda Luisita, the other highlight cases of agrarian problems to be discussed and debated during the forum will include controversial issues surrounding Hacienda Looc in Nasugbu, Batangas, the land reform reversals engineered by Calabarzon program in Southern Tagalog and other land issues in Mindanao, Visayas, Bicol, Northern and Central Luzon.

As of press time, the South contingent composed of 1,500 farmers from Mindanao, Panay, Negros, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Bicol and Southern Tagalog regions led by the Katipunan ng Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK) are still marching from San Pedro Laguna to Alabang in Muntinlupa City. They marchers are expected to arrive in Alabang by 10:00 a.m.

The 500-strong North contingent led by Alyansa ng Magbubukid ng Gitnang Luzon (AMGL) will arrive in Monumento, Caloocan by 2: 00 pm, and will proceed to Our Lady of Grace past 3:00 pm, where they will hold a solidarity night and vigil. On January 22, organizers expect to mobilize 7,000 people for the long march from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to Mendiola.

The 10-kilometer march from DAR to Don Chino Roces bridge in Manila will be spearheaded by senatorial candidates Rep. Satur Ocampo (Bayan Muna) and Rep. Liza Maza (Gabriela), Anakpawis party list Reps. Rafael Mariano and Joel Maglunsod, and leaders of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), Pamalakaya fisherfolk alliance, Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA), the urban poor group Kadamay, the militant driver’s group Piston and other sectoral groups affiliated with Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), the Katipunan ng Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK) and Alyansa ng Mga Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon (AMGL). #



Justice Veloso pushes through misinformation on his landgrabbing in Leyte

The militant Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP, Peasant Movement of the Philippines ) lambasted the recent misinformation drive by Court of Appeals Associate Justice Vicente Veloso on his landgrabbing of the 429-hectare lands at the tri-boundary of Alangalang and San Miguel towns, and Tacloban City in Leyte . The said area are part of the Marcos-declared Leyte Sab-a Basin, then administered by the defunct Leyte Sab-a Basin Dev't. Authority (LSBDA). LSBDA turned over the lands in 1991 to be subjected to land reform program but in 2002, Justice Veloso claimed that he owned the said lands.

"How can he say that the lands in question are not those occupied by his goons and the military, when we ourselves saw on our very eyes that his men are now cultivating the lands of victim Erlinda Bermudo at Bgy. Tabangohay, Alangalang, Leyte ," said Wilfredo Marbella, KMP Deputy Secretary-General in a press statement.

The Dept. of Agrarian Reform Region 8 (DAR 8) office recently corresponded that the lands claimed by the farmers under Sagupa-SB (KMP Eastern Visayas) are not those grabbed by Veloso and now being offered to be under Voluntary-Offer- to-Sell (VOS) of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with "Reforms" (CARPer).

"When we held a dialogue with DAR in Tacloban City last October 9, 2009, they could not immediately present any proof of Veloso's ownership, when it is the very basic issue. We were with Anakpawis Rep. and KMP Chair Rafael Mariano and Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño," said Marbella .

"Officials of DAR 8 promised to survey the lands but instead they became peddlers of Veloso's offer of VOS," he added.

"Officials of DAR 8 should not be afraid of Justice Veloso, instead should start doing their mandate and serve the peasants, they should not be the apologists of Veloso. We know that he is very influential and powerful, but the issue would escalate if they continue to side with Veloso and remain unresolved," Marbella said.

"The peasants from Eastern Visayas , including from Bgy. Tabangohay, joined the recent nationwide Lakbayan ng Anakpawis para sa Lupa at Katarungan, and they were able to share their issues to different sectors here in Manila, such as the youth-students, church people, workers, teachers, gov't employees and more. Support for them are now growing, thus, Justice Veloso should immediately return the lands he grabbed and pull-out his goons at the area," Marbella shared.

"Last January 14, peasants from Mindanao and Leyte rallied in front of DAR 8 office, officials invited KMP Secretary-General Danilo Ramos but simply excused themselves as they are in transition of changing officials, thus, no resolution was offered. The PNP was even called ready to disperse the Lakbayanis. Hence, they should not be surprised if peasants regularly rally at their office to call against Veloso's landgrabbing, " said Marbella .

"Also, in the recent plenary assembly of Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), we have asked for support for the issue and they are now studying the case. We are also in coordination with other church bodies to fully support the peasant victims," Marbella added.

"Thus, we continue our resolute campaign against Justice Veloso's landgrabbing, our call for land and justice. We will not forget that his goons has killed a peasant activist at the area on September 2008," called Marbella. #



Lakbayan marchers hurdle PNP checkpoints

Organizers of the 10-day Pambansang Lakbayan ng Anakpawis Para Sa Lupa at Katarungan on Saturday said the 170 marching farmers from Mindanao, Panay and Negros islands, Eastern Visayas and Central Visayas have been subjected to series of police checkpoints just to pass towns and municipalities on their way to the National Capital Region.

In text messages sent to Manila, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) secretary general Danilo Ramos said since day one of the Lakbayan, which officially kicked off in Davao City and Cagayan de Oro City, the peasant caravan and march frequently encountered checkpoints, and their vehicles were searched and checked by firearms carrying policemen and government troops as if the farmers are carrying high power rifles and explosives with them.

“The checkpoints are practically everywhere, as if this government is gearing for another all-out war and not for the May 2010 elections,” the KMP leader added. According to Ramos, the Lakbayan caravan and march hurdled checkpoints from Davao City to Butuan City and Surigao City, and from Surigao City to Liloan and Tacloban City in Leyte, and in Calbayog, Catbalogan and Catarman in Samar island before they reached the port in Allen, Northern Samar.

Last night, the PNP Sorsogon stopped the caravan from reaching the city. A negotiation was held between the police authorities and leaders of Lakbayan headed by Anakpawis party list Rep. Joel Maglunsod. After 20 minutes of negotiation, the Lakbayan was finally allowed to proceed in Sorsogon City past 8:00 last night.

This morning, the Lakbayan was stopped by policemen manning the PNP checkpoint in Castilla, Sorsogon, but through the intercession of Rep. Maglunsod and the insistence of caravan and march organizers, the marching peasants were allowed to proceed to Daraga and Legaspi City. The incident happened between 9:00 am and 10:00 am.

However, in Barangay Bascaran, Daraga, Albay, 11 caravan vehicles were stopped by military and police checkpoint. As of press time, negotiations are ongoing between the police officials and Lakbayan organizers.

Anakpawis Rep. Maglunsod said the 10-day Lakbayan was announced a week ahead of the schedule and the police and the military were all informed about the legal and legitimate activity of the farmers. “This long running nightmare of checkpoints, harassment and not so intelligence gathering adventures of the PNP and the AFP have been the usual staples of the Arroyo government to frustrate the people’s assertion of their rights,” the militant lawmaker observed.

Rep. Maglunsod said the organizers are expecting more of the same when they reach Tagkawayan, Quezon by 10:00 am tomorrow.

In a related development, the KMP, the fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) and Anakpawis party list said the Comelec decision exempting Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Units (CAFGUs) from gun and perform checkpoint functions is extremely dangerous.

“The Comelec decision exempting CAFGUs from the total gun ban is a major political, legal and moral blunder. The poll body merely puts a legal blanket to the killing spree and human rights violation activities of these paramilitary units, which they perform in accordance with the cruel intention and sinister agenda of the sitting presidency in Malacanang, the pro-Arroyo military clique and their warlord allies,” the groups said in their statement.

They said the Comelec should disband these paramilitary groups due to their long-running violations of human rights at any given period. “The best way to address the issue is to call for the immediate and unconditional disbandment of CAFGUs, period, period, period,” the groups said.

“Please allow us to reiterate the record straight--57 people were massacred by CAFGU forces in Maguindanao last year. Is that a joke or a remote incident to Comelec? Where is their sense of human rights, justice and political sensibility?” Anakpawis secretary general Cherry Clemente added.

Comelec commissioner Lucenito Tagle yesterday said the CAAs are allowed to carry firearms because they are considered units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, which are exempted from the nationwide gun ban imposed by the poll body during election period.

Organizers of Pambansang Lakbayan ng Anakpawis Para sa Lupa at Katarungan said aside from land and justice and concrete issues and struggles on agrarian reform, the grueling 10-day long caravan and long march from different parts of Mindanao, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Panay, Negros, Bicol, Southern Tagalog, Central Luzon, Ilocos, Cordillera and Cagayan Valley regions to the National Capital Region will also call for the dismantling of CAFGU units across the country.

Under Comelec resolution 8742 made effective last January 11, amending Resolution 8714, the CAFGU was exempted from gun ban along with members of the Presidential Security Group, Bureau of Fire Protection, Optical Media Board, the treasurers and deputy treasurers and members of the Internal Security Division of the Bureau of Treasury.

Prior to Comelec promulgation of Resolution 8714, Rear Admiral Alexander Pama, commander of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao opposed the disarming of CAAs because these paramilitary groups are tapped by fishing companies to secure their venture in the South. For his part, Lt. Gen. Ben Dolorfino, chief of Western Command said as far as the military is concerned, the CAFGUs are part of the military organization and not all CAFGUs are utilized by private companies operating in far flung areas.




Mindanaoan farmers to march against their dreadful experience of rights abuses by the Arroyo government

January 12, 2009, Davao City - Leaders of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas – Southern Mindanao Region (KMP-SMR) geared for their nationwide “Lakbayan ng Anakpawis para sa Lupa at Katarungan” (Toiling Masses’ March for Land and Justice) with their announcement of activities, kicked off with the peasant rally at the Freedom Park of Davao City and torch parade in front of the Office of House Speaker Prospero Nograles. This is in commemoration of the 23rd anniversary of the Mendiola Massacre that killed 13 peasants on January 22, 1987 during the Aquino regime.

KMP National Secretary-General, Danilo Ramos accompanied the regional and provincial leaders and said that the march and nationally-coordinated protest would be participated by tens of thousands of farmers nationwide. On January 21, they are expected to converge in front of the office of the Dept. of Agrarian Reform, coming from the north in Tarlac City and south from Davao City.

The protest is to drum up the fundamental call of Filipino farmers for genuine land reform and justice for countless victims of human rights violations.

“There is no justice served for the victims of Mendiola Massacre, worse, past and present governments continue their fascist attack on peasants struggling for genuine land reform, a concrete example is the Hacienda Luisita Massacre on Nov. 16, 2004,” said Ramos.

In addition, KMP-SMR Chair Pedro Arnado that they would join the full-size protest to put a halt on the systematic militarization on peasant communities at the region and violations of their basic rights.

“Since 2001 when the Arroyo regime sat in power, 32 peasant leaders and activists became victims of extra-judicial killings (EJK) as part of its implementation of Oplan Bantay Laya 1 and 2. Aside from these, more than 30,000 farmers have been subjected to militarization, hamletting, forced evacuation and other human rights abuses,” said Arnado.

He also mentioned the 32 peasant victims, namely, Roy Laitban, Roberto Nipa, Olando Renosa, Rolando Bacos, Rosita Icatan, Supronio Enoc, Charles Bayanban, Edgar Blas, Jaime Daculo, Warlito Bayanban, Mustilio Gabay, Ricardo Dulay, Henerio Banez, Esther Patiga, Egnacio Ecoy, Alvino Tacadao, George Antolin, Filimon Quilanti, Boy Navaris, Conrado Canete, Joseph Saradpan, Domingo Spaklayal, Nolie Lianos, Diego Encarnacion, Rodrigo Panogan, Sr., Rodrigo Panogan, Jr., Pedro Montoy, William Masibid, Bubit Budadona, Rasil Tandog, Rodil Andoy and Celso Pojas.

“They have become victims as they continue the peasants’ fight for genuine land reform,” said Arnado.

“Southern Mindanao has been under massive expansion of banana plantations owned by foreign and local agro-corporations, using deceptive measures on small peasants to grab lands. Also, the rich mountains have been targets of mining applications which peasants totally opposed,” he added.

“Because of these struggles, the government reacts with fascist attacks on peasants,” Arnado said.

Also, Jimmy Saipan, Chair Compostela Farmers’ Association (CFA) have shared their systematic experience of militarization and rights abuses.

“On May of 2008, 370 of us were forced to evacuate our farms at Bgy. Ngan, Nabunturan town of Compostela Valley province and take refuge at the gym of Bgy. Bangkerohan in Davao City,” said Saipan.

“Elements of the 25th and 65th Infantry Battalion of the Phil. Army, under the 10th Infantry Division have militarized our farms, thus, no one could work normally,” he added.

He added that militarization is combined with extra-judicial killings which victimized peasant leader Celso Pojas of Farmers’ Association of Davao City (FADC), Danny Qualbar, peasant leader opposing mining operations, Rebelyn Pitao, teacher and daughter of NPA leader Leonardo Pitao, Conrador Canete, an elderly and father of another NPA leader. Last year, the region was again subjected to massive militarization which was described as “garrison communities,” a nickname for hamletting and forced evacuation.

Generally, the experience and struggle of farmers from the region is identical with other regions. Ramos exampled the case of Hacienda Luisita, where agri-workers have been working on the lands for decades, but the Cojuangco family has avoided land reform and fabricated non-land transfer schemes such as the Stock Distribution Option (SDO) of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

Also, House Speaker Prospero Nograles has to answer to Mindanao farmers when he led the passage of Joint Resolution No. 1 on December of 2008, and CARP Extension with “Reforms” or CARPer on August last year. Worse, he has proposed the economic provision of 100% foreign ownership of land, encapsulated on the Arroyo regime’s efforts for Charter Change (Chacha).

“Rep. Nograles has to answer not just to Mindanaoan farmers but to all Filipino farmers who are clamoring for genuine land reform,” said Ramos.

“We condemn the revived Chacha efforts of the Arroyo-Nograles clique, thus, on our nationwide march and nationally-coordinated protests, we are calling for the passage of law pursuing genuine land reform, junking CARPer and Chacha. Support us on our struggle,” called Ramos.#


Militant farmers hit Nogie-Arroyo in anti-Concon rally
Submitted by Admin on Mon, 01/11/2010 - 09:37.
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PRESS RELEASE January 11, 2010

Davao City --- Militant farmers organizations from the Davao and North Cotabato region staged a torch parade from Freedom Park and held a protest rally in front of the office of Speaker Prospero Nograles to junk Malacanang's attempt for Constitutional Convention (CON-CON).

“The Arroyo-Nograles charter change agenda threatens the future of the farmers as well as the agricultural industry as a whole. This regime has caused the people nothing but a plague of economic, political and moral crisis. We cannot allow Mrs. Arroyo and her puppets to stay in power beyond 2010,” said Pedro Arnado, chairperson of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas – Southern Mindanao and Regional Coordinator of Anakpawis Partylist.

Arnado said farmers will mount bigger protest actions against any maneuver to change the Constitution.

“Cha-cha spells further disenfranchisement of peasant rights to land as the Nogie – Arroyo tandem promises to remove the restrictions of the Constitution to allow unbridled foreign control of Filipino owns," Arnado said.

A caravan for land from Mindanao to luzon

The protesters form part of the Mindanao delegation to the nationwide caravan and march for land and justice.

Today’s activities signal the start of the nationwide farmers’ caravan launched by the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas and Anakpawis Partylist to highlight the Hacienda Luisita and the Mendiola massacre commemoration on January 22.

On January 13, Mindanao delegates will travel to Butuan and Surigao where they will board the ferry to join the rest of the lakbayan delegates in Visayas

Landless farmers in Marilog

Arnado noted that 70 % of Filipino farmers have no land to till. He pointed out the case of the farmers in Lomundao, Marilog wherein 90% of the farmers are merely holding “stewardship rights” over the land they have tilled for more than 70 years.

He added, “Land conversion will intensify through Chacha and the Nograles Resolution (HR 737) which may be revived once the chacha trains get going. To date, foreign transnational companies such as DOLE Stanfilco occupy vast tracts of agricultural lands in Marilog.”

The groups also called for the junking of Republic Act 9700 which paved the way for the extension of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) that was fasttracked by Speaker Nograles.

Arnado pointed out that like Chacha, the extended CARP has worsened the conflict between the landed elites and the farmers since it allowed landlords to determine who are to be entitled to CARP. He added that through this provision alone, it is clear that the CARPER law will further disenfranchise farmers of their right to till. #



Peasant groups affirm landlessness, poverty root causes of migration

KMP supports Migrante, international groups against Global Forum on Migration and Development

About 200 members of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), Pamalakaya-Pilipinas, UMA and Amihan protested in front of the Department of Agrarian Reform – Central Office to protest against the coming Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), an informal international body led by the World Bank and US to focus on how to manage and exploit fully international migrants who reach to about 205 million and who remit about $ 2.26 trillion. The GFMD will be held at the PICC, Manila on October 29.

“We, peasant groups are against this move by the World Bank and US to exploit further migrants, now they know how valuable they are to the world economy,” opened Danilo Ramos, KMP Secretary-General. He added, “In the countryside, landlessness and poverty are the root causes of why people from the barrios go abroad and continue to dream of it. Moreover, this World Bank is also the mastermind that puppet governments such as Arroyo’s, implement market-oriented ‘land reform’ programs who in real-life serve the interests of rich countries and foreign-monopoly agro-corporations.”

“It is a sad fact that there are many who come from the countryside who go abroad, such as those sons and daughters of peasant families who even sold or pawned their lands, carabaos and other properties just to be able to pay for placement fees and everything,” Ramos shared. Adding, “This is all due to landlessness that creates the deep poverty they are in.”

As the GFMD nears, the group Migrante International plans a series of actions to go up against the said forum. “We fully support Migrante International’s campaign against the GFMD, we believed that this is to systematize further the already-exploitative and oppressive practices of governments and capitalists of rich countries of their migrant workers,” added Ramos. He mentioned, “We support the internationally-coordinated action of Zero-Remittance on October 29, Arroyo should feel the united effort of Filipino migrants around the world, who the government pay lip-service when they infuse US dollars to the economy but neglect in times of crisis.”

“We are here at DAR, fundamentally because this office is the main proponent of CARP, the government program that never served the interests of the landless peasants in the country, Arroyo is exploiting us Filipino peasants and migrants,” Ramos explained of the protest venue.

In support of the Zero-Remittance Day on October 29, KMP then relays the plan to all its regional and provincial chapters, for their member peasant families to remind their OFW relatives abroad to observe of the plan.

“This is to remind the public that Arroyo’s management of the country is very volatile and totally dependent to the remittances of the OFWs. The fundamentals she is blabbering about is nil, the real modern day heroes of the economy are the working and sacrificing OFWs abroad, and she is just enjoying the fruits of their labor, like us the peasants here, who cultivate and produce our food supply but her programs are to displace us from our farms and import rice that compete directly with our produce. This zero-remittance day should be more often, to shake up Arroyo,” Ramos suggested.#

DANILO RAMOS, KMP Secretary-General
ROY MORILLA, KMP Public Information Officer (+63-905-421-73-05)

Video clips and slideshows
Axel Pinpin reads his poem Message of Prof. Jose Maria Sison, read by Rita Baua of  ILPS PHilippine
  Jess Santiago

slide show of lakbayan