Samstag, 14. März 2009
"The Philippines would turn into an international pariah
if its people staged another uprising bloodless or
not to unseat those in power.
President Gloria Arroyo made the warning on Sunday,
which marked the start of rites marking the 23rd
anniversary of the so-called 1986 people-power revolt
that toppled then-President Ferdnand Marcos.
“The world embraced EDSA 1 in 1986. The world tolerated
EDSA 2 in 2001. The world will not forgive an
EDSA 3 but will instead condemn the Philippines as a
country whose political system is unstable,” President
Arroyo said in her address during the kickoff for EDSA
EDSA 2 catapulted her to Malacañang in 2001 after
the incumbent President Joseph “Erap” Estrada was
toppled in another bloodless uprising reminiscent of
EDSA 1. The President’s statements came amid speculations
that she intends to remain in power beyond
On December 17th your vote was against the Joint Resolution No. 19 on Agrarian Reform. What reasons did you have?
Joint Resolution 19 was nothing if not an action designed to remove compulsory acquisition under the guise of CARP extension. Any attempt to make agrarian reform optional and make the rights of farmers vulnerable should be exposed for what it is and condemned. Without compulsory acquisition, the Constitutional mandate to redistribute all agricultural lands will ne rendered inutile.
There are plans of Rufus Rodriges to file a bill that restore the essential provision of CARP, the compulsory acquisition and distribution of land. Some farmers group will bring the matter to the Supreme Court in order to examinate whether the Joint resolution is conforming to the law. What do you think about it? And what are the plans of Akbayan? What will you undertake?
AKBAYAN continues to push for the passage of House Bill 4077, and for the inclusion of more significant reform-oriented amendments. It also supports moves to bring the matter of the Joint Resolution to the Supreme Court so that it may finally be resolved. Its farmers groups will participate in the Supreme Court case as petitioners.
Some groups say, the Congress should pass House Bill No. 3059 or the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill. As much as I know, Akbayan gets involved with the extension of CARP, but not with the one of Genuine Agrarian Reform. What are your reasons?
AKBAYAN believes that HB 3059 is an unconstitutional measure. It provides for the confiscation of lands from landowners without just compensation, in violation of the constitutional provision that ensures just compensation. Lands defined as “sullied lands” will be confiscated. Under Sections 21-23 HB 3059, the process for the determination and confiscation of “sullied lands” merely involves the conduct of a consultation of affected farmers and the documentation of such cases.
The process enumerated under said provisions clearly violates Article 3, Section 1 of the Philippine Constitution which guarantees the right of every person to “due process of law.” The process indicated under Sections 21-23 of HB 3059 clearly violates “due process of law” as the landowner of alleged “sullied lands” are not given their “day in court” (likewise, Section 46 of HB 3059 already prohibits the incursion of all judicial courts on all agrarian cases) to answer the claim against their property and are not even allowed to participate in the said “consultations.”
It also falls short of the constitutional mandate to allow farmers to own their lands. The bill’s title is a misnomer since what is being proposed is not agrarian reform, which under general definition refers to the restructuring of landownership patterns towards “a more equitable distribution and ownership of land”, but rather some form of a stewardship/land allocation program for farmer-beneficiaries as ownership of awarded lands under this bill is not provided to the farmer-beneficiary.
In case that President Arroyo signes Joint Resolution No. 19, and there will be no other decision in Congress – what will be in the end of June 2009? What is your forecast? What possibilities will have the farmers? And what result the outcome of CARP will have on the whole society of the Philippines? What does it mean for the feeding of the whole population?
Our farmers will continue to press for the passage of an agrarian reform law consistent with what is written in the 1987 Constitution. Obviously, the struggle will be much harder as our leaders clearly demonstrated their aversion to agrarian reform and land distribution. The Joint Resolution will certainly impact on Philippine society. Directly, it will impact on the 1.3 million hectares of land yet undistributed and without notices of coverage. Indirectly, it will have a big impact on food security, because it will signal a situation where huge tracts of agricultural land that should be used for food will now be used for industrial/commercial/residential purposes.