How would a small poor village be faring in the time of the coronavirus? In a community in the central Philippines, the farmers’ struggle against land grabs amid threats of food insecurity has taken on greater urgency.
“The marching order to reject Mariano came directly from Malacañang and President Duterte.” — KMP
“(Agrarian Reform Sec Rafael) Mariano has made impressive pronouncements and policies in favor of poor farmers struggling to own their lands legitimately.” – Most. Rev. Rolando J. Tria Tirona
Farm workers cooperatives of Lapanday and their supporters are here in Manila and have set up a farmers’ camp in Mendiola. They want President Duterte to intercede in their land case and direct the Lorenzo family to return the lands to the agrarian reform beneficiaries.
“The long and arduous struggle and sacrifices of Hacienda Luisita farmers for the land are slowly being repaid. The CLOA distribution to Luisita farmers is just the start.” By CERES BUSY Bulatlat HACIENDA LUISITA, Tarlac — The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) chose this day to grant Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) to some…
“We are elated by Ka Paeng’s words. He said no one would be harassing us anymore. We could now go back to our farms.” –Florida Sibayan, chairperson of Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Asyenda Luisita (Ambala)
Known for his sharp memory, Ka Paeng admitted that he deliberately memorized the facts and figures about agrarian reform programs of all the administrations.
Incoming Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano and incoming Social Welfare and Development Secretary Judy Taguiwalo vowed to continue serving the people. Mariano said he would strengthen the possession of farmer-beneficiaries to the lands while Taguiwalo said she would ensure that the services and programs of government actually reach the people.
“Two Cojuangco-Aquinos have won the presidency with the promise to distribute Hacienda Luisita to us farmworkers. But look at what’s happening to us here now,” Sibayan said.
Two years after the Supreme Court ordered the distribution of Hacienda Luisita lands to farmworker-beneficiaries, the Cojuangco-Aquinos, with the help of the Department of Agrarian Reform, have been doing everything to maintain their stranglehold on Luisita, and to provent farmers from taking control of their own land.
On the second anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling on Hacienda Luisita, farmworker-beneficiaries stormed the main office of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). They called on Secretary Virgilio delos Reyes to face them in a dialogue but neither the DAR chief nor any of his representative talked to the farmers. Instead, anti-riot police pushed Hacienda Luisita farmers out of the DAR compound.
Two years after the SC decision, Hacienda Luisita farmers said DAR has not performed its mandate of distributing the land.