NDFP highlights need for genuine agrarian reform 30 years after Mendiola massacre 

Jan. 21, 2017

NDFP negotiating panel spokesman Dan Borjal (Zea Io Ming C. Capistrano/davaotoday.com)

ROME, Italy —- The National Democratic Front of the Philippines said the lack of justice, 30 years after the Mendiola massacre shows the need for the country to have a genuine agrarian reform program.

“Thirty years later, there is still no justice for the martyrs of the massacre. Thirty years later, there is still no genuine land reform,” said NDFP negotiating panel chair Fidel Agcaoili in a statement read by NDF peace panel spokesperson, Dan Borjal.

The Mendiola massacre claimed the lives of 13 farmers and injured hundreds. But the NDFP said similar cases of attacks against farmers are still happening today.

“We cite the violent attacks against agrarian reform beneficiaries in Lapanday, in Tagum City, the continuing problem in Hacienda Luisita and other cases as clear proofs that there is still no resolution of the age-old land problem,” Agcaoili said.

Agcaoili added that former President Corazon Aquino promised to subject the Conjuanco-owned Hacienda Luisita to land reform.

“Ironically, Hacienda Luisita has become a centerpiece example of the broken promises of traditional politicians and previous GRP regimes,” he said.

Borjal, in an interview said, genuine agrarian reform will resolve poverty.

“There are a lot of migrant workers here in Italy. We have 10 million migrant workers in the Philippines because of poverty, there is no job which prompts Filipinos to go abroad,” Borjal said.

He said it is also the root cause of the armed conflict. The NDFP is decided to resolve this in this round of the peace negotiations.

“Once and for all we have to resolve the problem of landlessness besetting our farmers. They are majority of our people,” Borjal said.

Borjal said both parties are working on the issue while they were still in the Philippines.

He said, both parties are now starting the reconciliation of the two drafts on Friday afternoon. The discussion on CASER will continue for three more days. The peace talks will last until Jan. 25 here.(davaotoday.com)

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