Two days before the third anniversary of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms, labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno said the program is a clear failure, as shown by the plight of farmers and farmworkers in Hacienda Luisita.
“It is not celebration which should greet CARPER’s third anniversary, but condemnation. It has clearly failed to implement land reform in the country, as shown by the situation of the farmers and farmworkers in Luisita,” said Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general.
“Aside from the fact that CARPER is behind schedule in achieving its targets, it has failed to cause the implementation of land reform in Luisita, the most controversial case of land dispute in the country. Because it is failing to implement land reform in Luisita, we see no reason why it can succeed elsewhere,” he added.
“The basis to distribute Luisita lands to farmers is very clear: the land was acquired through a loan from the government among the conditions for which is that it will be distributed to farmers after 10 years. Only a bogus land reform program such as the CARPER can maintain the status quo in Luisita,” he said.
Bungkalan, land occupation justified
KMU said because CARPER has failed to cause the implementation of land reform, farmers are justified in launching land occupations and waging campaigns similar to the Bungkalan in Luisita.
“Because CARPER has failed to truly distribute lands to tillers, farmers are justified in launching land occupations such as the Kampanyang Bungkalan in Luisita. The Filipino farmers and people have been clamoring for land reform since time immemorial and have grown impatient with the government’s failure,” Soluta said.
“Our leaders and members will mark the third anniversary of CARPER by going to Luisita and joining the farmers there in advancing the Kampanyang Bungkalan. Land occupation campaigns such as Bungkalan in Luisita provide farmers with immediate relief from poverty and hunger,” he added.
“We salute and unite with the farmers of Luisita in defying the Cojuangco landlord family’s ban on planting food crops in their Kampanyang Bungkalan. They are justified in waging this campaign and not letting poverty, hunger and repression kill them and their families,” Soluta said. Roger Soluta, KMU Secretary General