June 30, 2010
On the day president-elect Benigno Aquino III is sworn into office, militant peasant groups led by Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (KASAMA-TK) challenged the new administration to uphold the interest of the rural poor by implementing genuine land reform.
The thousand throng farmers from the Southern Tagalog region merged under the national banner of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) trooped at the Department of Agrarian Reform before marching to Mendiola to begin their 100-day camp-out on the first day of Aquino in Malacañang.
“Though the last elections has created the impression that Noynoy has an overwhelming victory, this is not an automatic recognition of his presidency for the militant and progressive movement of the people – Aquino has much to prove of his vows during the campaign season for Daang Matuwid,” Guillermo Bautista, chairperson of KASAMA-TK said.
We will present to him a clear vision on how to take a straight path that leads to genuine change,” Bautista stressed.
Bautista particularly urged the Aquino regime to support the people’s agenda where on top of the list is the distribution of land to the farmers.
“The rural poor have been fighting for land for century, will Noynoy be any different by distributing his own hacienda to the tillers?” he asked.
“If he is any better to his predecessors, he must foremost strengthen the agricultural aspect of this country through urgent cancellation of conversion orders of agri-lands. His government must not rely on the dictates of the World Trade Organization and instead subsidize the local agricultural products,” Bautista added.
Meanwhile, Andrianne Mark Ng, Spokesperson of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Southern Tagalog, said that the “first order of the day for Noynoy is to prosecute the previous government of Gloria Arroyo on her numerous crimes and corruption cases to the people.
“Noynoy’s promise of “Walang mahirap, kung walang korap” should materialize with Arroyo going to jail,” he said mentioning corruption scandals including the P728M fertilizer fund.
“Arroyo even made last-minute stealing under her term with P1.7B El Niño fund. She and her cohorts must pay for viciously looting the people’s taxes to advance their self interests,” Ng added.
Ng also recognizes that the new administration has already been set with the support of the United States government. “The people are sick-and-tired of a US-president puppet.”
“We will be very vigilant in the first 100-days of this administration. Aquino must create pro-people policies and junk existing programs that maintained US control in our economy. If not, then Noynoy is no different from Arroyo,” Ng stated.
Bautista also stressed that the Aquino-Cojuangco clan still has a bloody record to clear with the Hacienda Luisita Massacre in 2004. Noynoy, at the very least should distribute his hacienda to the local peasants as his first step to Daang Tuwid. We will compel Noynoy to serve the interests of the Filipino people,” Bautista stressed.