In Hacienda Looc, Mariano said that farmers refused to leave even as their EPs and CLOAs were taken. The same is true with farmers at the Central Mindanao University (CMU) in Bukidnon and in Ha. San Antonio Sta. Isabel in Isabela.“Nakakapanatili sila dahil organisado.” (They are able to stay because they are organized.)
Mariano maintained that farmers should not be made to pay for the land they till. After all, their ancestors were the ones who developed the land, he said.
The peasant leader also cited successful campaigns for the decrease in land rent, decrease in interest of debt, for the increase in the farm gate prices of agricultural products, and increase in the wages of farm workers.
Mariano said that peasants also have asserted their right to organization despite threats and harassments from state security forces.
He said that the GARB is a response to the peasant mass movement’s campaign for land reform. The central objective of GARB is the free distribution of agricultural land.
Mariano said that free distribution will correct the historical social injustice against farmers who till and develop the land as the landlords wait for their share by virtue of pieces of paper. (Bulatlat.com)