Full land reform in 2016 not possible – KASAMA TK

June 6, 2012

A press release from KASAMA TK’s Facebook.

Militant peasant federation Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (KASAMA-TK) slams Palace declaration that a full land reform will be implemented as Aquino steps down in power in 2016 through the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER).

“That’s next to impossible!” according to Axel Pinpin, secretary general of Kasama-TK, adding that “the Aquino-Cojuangco family shows no clear signs of sincerity to distribute the Luisita estate among tenants and farm workers.”

The group expresses doubt on Budget Secretary Florencio Abad’s optimism on the eyed success of 24-year old land reform program and raises concern that landlessness might grow even worse because of the fast growing difference between the rate of land use conversion and re-concentration and with the current DAR administration’s rate of acquisition and distribution of “CARPable” land in the region.

“This pronouncement is a mere showoff to accommodate pseudo-farmer organization’s media mileage to further lure peasant masses into reformism and provide opportunity for the landlord government to pose as champion of democratic reforms by playing this all too predictable skit where farmers air grievance, Malacanang opens door, government promises, farmers go straight home, hence “problem” is solved without changing a bit in the current social order,” Pinpin illustrates.

Pinpin stressed further that “this statement clearly sends the message that landowners’ interest would remain unscathed under the Aquino Administration, an assurance that no land will be distributed until or even after 2016 as long as CARP remains the framework of reform and the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill is not passed into law.”

“But for the militant peasant organizations, it has been quite clear that we cannot count on CARPER but only on our collective strength to boldly initiate genuine land reform through organized occupation of disputed vast estates for the benefit of poor peasants and farm workers and this form of struggle is slowly becoming the main trend in rural communities as the peasant masses have completely rejected the moribund land reform program despite continuous harassment by private armies and state security forces,” according to Orly Marcellana, convenor of Save Bondoc Peninsula Movement.

“CARP has had 24 years and billions of funds to bring about real changes for the peasant masses. It distributed only about 10% of all CARPable land these past two years of its extension, now it dreams to distribute the remaining 90% in two years? Bogus CARP is the longest running land reform in the world and is bound to fail over and over again,” the group declares in a statement.

Hoping for land reform beyond 2014 is just too much for farmers fighting for this cause for the past 24 years and as much as we are sure of the possibility that CARPER won’t be able to deliver its promises, Aquino might also find it possible to see his term end earlier than expected,” Pinpin ended.#


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