CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — Farmers marked yesterday the 31ST anniversary of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) with a challenge to Pres. Duterte to “dismantle haciendas and private agricultural lands and distribute them for free.”
The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) noted that the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), led by Sec. John Castriciones, commemorated the anniversary by handing out Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) to farmers.
But the KMP dubbed as “fake” the land distribution under a “fake land reform.”
“CARP has long been regarded as the longest-running, costliest and bloodiest government land reform program. CARP has only perpetuated land monopoly and social injustice,” said KMP leader and former Agrarian Reform Sec. Rafael Mariano.
He noted that “since 2018, DAR’s Castriciones and Duterte are going around the country giving out CLOAs but big landholdings and haciendas remain intact and under the control of big landlords and hacienderos.”
“In Negros alone, over 5,000 hectares of land remain under the control and ownership of Eduardo Danding Cojuangco Jr. DAR continued CARP and neglected the farmers’ demand for a genuinely redistributive land reform,” Mariano said.
He noted that “CLOA distribution is different altogether from actual installation of farmer-beneficiaries and the security of tenure of farmers on the land. DAR is bragging about its CLOA distribution accomplishment but keeps mum on massive displacement of farmers due to land use conversion and land grabbing.”
Mariano said “the actual hectarage for coverage and distribution may actually exceed DAR’s targeted 600,000 hectares. DAR targets to complete land distribution by 2022 but it has also allowed for the streamlining of land use conversion process.”
“We continue to assert free land distribution and genuine land reform,” he added.