Palace spokesman hit for “lack of concern” for farmers

Mar. 03, 2015

Malacanang spokesperson Edwin Lacierda was criticized by a farmer’s group for his alleged lack of concern for the call of the farmers to immediately pass the bill extending the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

According to members of Task Force Mapalad (TFM), they were hurt when Lacierda was quoted in the media on Monday as saying that Roman Catholic bishops should pressure Congress, and not the executive branch, about passing agrarian reform bills.

Alberto Jayme, Negros Chapter president of national peasant federation Task Force Mapalad (TFM), said they already appealed to Congress “many times.”

“The last time was when we went to Batasan on February 24 to talk to House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II.  But instead of him having a dialog with us, security men at Batasan pushed and dragged us out of Congress,” Jayme said.

“While we understand that President Benigno Aquino III had already done his part by certifying the bill seeking CARP extension as priority measure, we, with 74 Catholic bishops, again appeal to PNoy to defend us amid the stubbornness and apparent greed of some lawmakers in Congress blocking CARP’s extension and reform,” said Jayme.

TFM farmers said Mandaluyong City Rep. Gonzales and landlord-politicians led by congressmen from the Negros bloc, whose families and allies maintain control of vast landholdings or haciendas in the province, as among the “biggest bottlenecks to CARP.”

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