KMP to block CARP extension and push for new law on land reform

Jun. 14, 2007

MANILA — The militant Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) vowed to do everything in its power to block the extension of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) and said that it would push for a new law that would implement genuine land reform.

According to Danilo Ka Daning Ramos, secretary general of KMP, Nineteen years of CARPs deceit is enough, it has caused more harm than good to farmers and it is time to bury the CARP. Up till now seven out of ten farmers do not own the land they till, in Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog it is even worse because now eight out of ten farmers are landless. It is this glaring fact that proves that CARP is a failure and that continuing it would only make matters worse because the law itself is biased for landlords,
Since 1988 we have been saying that the CARP is a fake agrarian reform program geared to safeguard the concentration of land to the hands of a few and we have been proven correct in our analysis. Not only did landlords retain their lands they were able to expand, through outright land grabbing and land use conversion. Worse still sometimes it is the government itself who is evicting farmers from their lands like in Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija, the Tumandok lands in Capiz and in Central Mindanao University (CMU) in Bukidnon, said Ramos.
Aside from this the government has even allowed the expansion of foreign owned lands especially that in Mindanao particularly that of DOLE, Del Monte and Guthrie Farms, forcing farmers from the land they are tilling. It has used the military and the police to kill and harass farmers fighting for their land. In fact at least 54% of all the victims of extra judicial killings are farmers. We do not need CARP, what we need is genuine land reform. We are working now with our progressive party list groups to file a bill in the 14th Congress tentatively called the Genuine Land Reform Act, to replace CARP. A full blown campaign is also underway to further expose CARP and call for its junking, added the peasant leader.
What we need is the free distribution of land to the tiller and not some palliative excuse like CARP just to say that the government is doing something for at least 45 million landless peasants. Since it inception more than P119 billion has been spent on CARP, but it produced only showcases and did not solve our problem. It is time that the government heeds the peasant class demand, ended Ramos. # # #

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