DAVAO CITY – A progressive farmers group welcomed the National Democratic Front nomination of its chairperson, Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano as secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) for the incoming administration.
Antonio Flores, secretarygeneral of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas said that the nomination of Mariano “is based on KMP’s resolute and militant struggle for genuine land reform.”
On Thursday night, incoming President Rodrigo Duterte said the NDF submitted a list of names that he might consider for appointment to head four Cabinet positions.
Flores said that in the absence of land reform law, “Duterte should seriously consider the NDF’s nomination of Ka Paeng (Mariano) to effect significant policy changes in the agrarian front.”
“Should Ka Paeng be appointed as DAR secretary, I am absolutely sure, he shall not depart and instead, will further link arms with the Filipino peasantry’s mass movement and militant struggle against land-grabbing, land use and crops conversion, and other forms of feudal and semi-feudal exploitation,” Flores said.
On May 17, KMP has asked Duterte to support and to “certify as urgent” the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB), “as a step towards achieving peace, social justice, and genuine change in the countryside.”
Other nominees were former Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño who replaced Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, after he declined the nomination, Silvestre Bello III, and University of the Philippines Diliman Professor Judy Taguiwalo. (davaotoday.com)