KMP, Pamalakaya want Arroyo
son probe on coconut seedlings scam
Submitted by Admin on Mon, 05/04/2009 - 08:45.
Organizers of the 54-day Rural People's Camp Out for Genuine Land Reform
on Monday urged the leadership of the House of Representatives to
investigate the possible involvement of presidential son and Camarines Sur
Rep. Diosdado Macapagal-Arroyo on the coconut seedlings scam.
In a joint press statement, Danilo Ramos, secretary general of Kilusang
Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and Fernando Hicap, chair of the
left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya
ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) asked House Speaker Prospero Nograles to probe
Rep. Arroyo in connection with a reforestation project of the Department
of Agriculture in Camarines Sur where copra seedlings purchased for the
congressional district of the presidential son were allegedly overpriced
by P 47.50 per seedling.
The demand for the investigation of the coconut seedling scam was echoed
and supported by other militant peasant groups led by the Katipunan ng
Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK), Unyon ng Mga
Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) and the Amihan peasant women federation.
"Based on the prevailing market price, the price of coconut seedling is P
50 per seedling, but if it is for copra, it is cheaper by a mile or P 2.50
per seedling. There was a report that says the seedlings purchased for Mr.
Arroyo's district were for copra and not for coconut growing. This is
bureaucratic corruption to the highest order," the two leaders said in a
Ramos and Hicap said they would call the attention of their regional and
provincial chapters in Camarines Sur and in the Bicol region about the
alleged scam involving Rep.Arroyo. The two militant leaders said a
significant number of their members in Camarines Sur were also engaged in
copra production, and they could give substantive information about this
highly dubious and grossly anomalous reforestation project in the
"We don't have the exact figure how much the damage this bogus
reforestation project has cost to the taxpaying public. For the second,
third, fourth or fifth time around, Malacañang used the name of the
struggling farmers for their national raid of public funds," they said.
KMP said aside from Rep. Dato Arroyo, agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap and
the regional and provincial officials of the agriculture department should
also be grilled in the coconut seedling fund scam, which up to now remains
one of the topnotch bureaucratic mysteries in the Macapagal-Arroyo
In a related development, Pamalakaya also put to task House Speaker
Nograles to look into another scandal involving the Camarines Sur
lawmaker, this time concerning the expose of the Philippine Center for
Investigation Journalism (PCIJ) that Malacañang awarded the district of
Rep. Arroyo a total of 86 public works worth P 342.65 million in just 15
Pamalakaya said, another presidential son and Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel
Arroyo bagged projects for his district amounting to P 808.79 million
worth of public works contracts over the last four years. #
* the Rural People's Camp-out for Genuine Land Reform and Against Charter
Change is the camp-out at the gates of Philippine House of Representatives
in Batasan, Quezon City. It is organized by the members of Kilusang
Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP, Peasant Movement of the Philippines),
Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (KASAMA-TK, KMP
Southern Tagalog), Pamalakaya-Pilipinas (fisherfolk), Amihan (peasant
women) and Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA, Union of
Agricultural Workers). It is also calling for the passage of House Bill
3059 or Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) and junking of the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) extension. It started on
April 13 and to stay until June 6, (for 54 days).
Rural People's Camp-out for Genuine Land Reform and Against Charter Change
at the Gates of House of Representatives, Batasan, Quezon City,
Imelda Lacandazo, KMP National Vice-Chairperson and KASAMA-TK Spokesperson
Antonio Flores, KMP Spokesperson
Tel. No. (632) 487-68-66
On Hacienda Looc decision,
Peasant group calls on Chief Justice, lambasts DAR
Submitted by Admin on Wed, 04/08/2009 - 08:50.
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The militant Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP, Peasant Movement of
the Philippines) called the attention of Chief Justice Reynato Puno on the
decision of the Court of Appeals regarding the exemption of 1,219 hectares
of productive agricultural lands to be converted by the Fil-Estate into a
golf-course and tourist establishment.
“We want Chief Justice Reynato Puno to look unto this, as he personally
initiated the forum ‘Increasing Access to Justice: Bridging Gaps and
Removing Roadblocks’ last year that consulted the marginalized sectors,
particularly the peasantry on how the justice system works against the
their interests and gave recommendations to change it,” opened Danilo
Ramos, KMP Secretary-General, in a press statement. Ramos also attended
the said forum that was held on June 30 to July 1, 2008.
“That forum was about pushing the economic, social and cultural rights of
poor sectors, and for the peasantry, we are concretely pushing for genuine
land reform as it coins the totality of protection and promotion of
democratic rights of the peasants. Legislatively, we are pushing for the
junking of the anti-peasant Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP)
and the passage of House Bill 3059, Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB),”
“We would like to know personally from Chief Justice Puno how did the
Court of Appeals carried out the anti-peasant decision,” asked Ramos.
“We have campaigned heavily on the issue of Hacienda Looc, initiated
countless dialogues with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) but the
courts still favored the real-estate giant Fil-Estate. This undeniably
proves that CARP works against the interests of the peasants, and those
who push for CARP extension such as Akbayan, Unorka, Paragos, Task Force
Mapalad and their supporters should be ashamed of themselves as they are
total liars of saying CARP is for social-justice and those who want it to
be junked are pro-landlord,” Ramos said.
KMP lambasted DAR for boasting recently of their claimed 7.2 million
hectares accomplishment, as with the case of Hacienda Looc, it was their
technical personnels who declared it as more than 18 degrees of slope,
undeveloped and unproductive, the argument consequently used by the
Fil-Estate to file for its exemption. The DAR exempted the lands though it
is obviously agriculturally-productive and farmers have developed and
cultivated the said lands.
KMP and its chapter Samahan ng Magbubukid sa Batangas (SAMBAT, KMP
Batangas) together with Pamalakaya-Pilipinas and Haligi ng Batanguenong
Anakdagat (HABAGAT) are fighting for the lands in Hacienda Looc since 1995
when Fil-Estate attempted to landgrab the lands from the farmers.
“This is what we are explaining about, CARP, DAR, the courts and other
institution do not work for the interests of the peasants and work for the
interest of big landlords, compradors and foreign investors, thus,
oppressed peasants are left with relying to their united strength or the
peasant movement to stay at their farms, oftenly harassed by the
military.” said Ramos.
As part of the comprehensive campaign against CARP and the passage of
GARB, about 300 peasants from Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa
Timog Katagalugan (KASAMA-TK, KMP Southern Tagalog), Parawagan Upland
Farmers Association, Inc. (PUFAI, from Montalban, Rizal), Tungkong Mangga
Farmers Association, Inc. and Sandigan ng Samahang Magsasaka (from San
Jose del Monte, Bulacan) shall camp-out at the House of Representatives on
April 13, coinciding the resumption of session of the lower house.
Fisherfolk members of Pamalakaya-Pilipinas will also beef up their
camp-out. The camp-out will stay until June.
“The peasant camp-out would call on the junking of Joint Resolution No. 1
that extended CARP for 6 months, House Bill 4077 or the pretentious CARP
Extension with Reforms, and House Speaker Prospero Nograles House
Resolution 737, or the allowing of 100% foreign ownership of land, as part
of their moves for Charter Change,” shared Ramos.
“Our camp-out shall also call for the passage of GARB, it was filed on
November 13, 2007 but the Committee on Agrarian Reform tries to avoid it
to be discussed,” added Ramos.
The peasant group asked for Chief Justice Puno to intervene to the
Hacienda Looc case, as part of his continuing campaign for justice to
served the marginalized sectors. Prior to his forum about economic, social
and cultural rights, he organized the human rights summit which focused on
the persistent extra-judicial killings and other human rights violations
in the country. In addition, KMP demands pro-CARP groups such as Akbayan,
Unorka, Paragos and Task Force Mapalad to cease deceiving farmers as CARP
is undeniably anti-peasant, pro-landlord and pro-foreign monopoly
DANILO RAMOS, KMP Secretary-General, (928-41-84)
ROY MORILLA, KMP Public Information Officer (+63-905-421-73-05)*
Farmers rip land titles, seek ‘genuine’ CARP
Posted 03:18pm (Mla time) (Mla time)
By Lira Dalangin-Fernandez
MANILA, Philippines – Militant farmers ripped copies of their certificate
of land ownership award (CLOA) to press for “genuine” land reform during a
hearing of the House committee on agrarian reform on Wednesday.
Members of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) staged the protest
to signify their rejection of House Bill 4077, which will extend the
21-year-old Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) for another five
The farmers are pushing for House Bill 3059 or the Genuine Agrarian Reform
Bill (GARB) authored by militant partylist lawmakers, including the late
Crispin Beltran of Anakpawis, Satur Ocampo and Teodoro Casiño of Bayan
Muna, and Liza Maza and Luzviminda Ilagan of Gabriela.
Lawmakers are pressed for time to extend the CARP with only seven session
days left before Congress goes on sine die adjournment on June 3.
The CARP, which was supposed to expire in December 2008, was extended
until June this year through a joint congressional resolution that,
however, left out the compulsory acquisition component.
Called a “revolutionary” version of agrarian reform bill, GARB adopts
selective compensation, advocates the implementation of free distribution
of land, promotes the empowerment of women, and respects the rights to
ancestral domain and self-determination of indigenous peoples in land
Mariano said that GARB was the exact opposite of what was being proposed
under HB 4077 that requires farmers to pay high amortization before owning
Authored principally by Albay Representative Edcel Lagman and Akbayan
party list Representative Risa Hontiveros, HB 4077, is being debated in
plenary. The bill is among the priority measures that the House leadership
wants passed before the sine die adjournment.
”While GARB sees free distribution as the ultimate expression of social
justice, CARPer [CARP with extension and reforms] advocates land
distribution as a mere business transaction between the farmers and the
land-hungry landlords and corporate interests by pushing farmers to pay
for lands the government awarded them,” said KMP secretary general Danilo
”Where is justice in CARPer? It is nothing but a real estate venue
packaged as a real estate program by the state,” Ramos added.
Under GARB, the definition of agricultural lands will be expanded to
broaden its scope. It calls for the expropriation of all private lands
exceeding five hectares and for the distribution of lands to be completed
within five years. It also seeks the allocation of a Land Reform Support
Services Fund amounting to P50 billion to be released in tranches within
five years for the implementation of the support services component.
Reports have said that about 1.3 million hectares of land remain
undistributed despite the implementation of the CARP 21 years ago.
May 18, 2009
Militant groups to perform
exorcism rite vs. Chacha
The anti- Charter Change groups led by the left-leaning fisherfolk
alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas
(Pamalakaya) and the activist peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng
Pilipinas (KMP) tomorrow will lead an exorcism rite by the gate of the
House of Representatives to exorcise lawmakers loyal to President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo and who are obsessed with revising the 1987 Constitution
in the name of transnational interest and term extension of the President
and her allies in Congress.
The activity dubbed as “The Exorcism of the House of Arroyos” will be
joined by Amihan, a national federation of peasant women, the agricultural
workers group Unyon ng Mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) and the
Southern Tagalog based Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog
“This is in response to House Resolution No, 1109 and House Resolution
No.737 which refuse to die despite the public’s outrage and call for its
withdrawal. The House of Arroyos is inviting the Filipino people to major
political showdown, and this exorcism rite against Chacha will signal that
social volcano against moves to further cannibalize the reactionary
charter,” Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said in a press
According to Hicap, some 100 farmers and fisherfolk will lead the “ritual
tomorrow” against Chacha at the gate of Batasan Complex. Before noon,
forces identified with the umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan
(Bayan), a staunch ally of KMP and Pamalakaya will join the protest
against HR 737, a resolution authored by House Speaker Prospero Nograles
seeking to revise the economic provisions of the Constitution to allow 100
foreign ownership of land.
HR 1109 authored by Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Villafuerte seeks to convene
both Houses of Congress into a constituent assembly to effect Chacha. But
Villafuerte was reportedly withdrawing his sponsorship of the resolution
because there is no more enough time to proceed with the merger of both
KMP spokesperson Antonio Flores said the Speaker of the House should stop
dreaming of having his House Resolution 737 passed by three-fourths of
Congress or else he would see his anti-Chacha groups and personalities in
Nograles is not giving up HR Resolution No. 737, which seeks to lift
constitutional restrictions on foreign businessmen investing in the
country. One of the main features of his Chacha resolution is the granting
of 100 percent foreign ownership of land to foreign investors, which is
currently prohibited under the 1987 Constitution.
“Nograles’ Chacha is the ultimate sell out of our national patrimony. His
economic advocacy is comparable if not worse than the Treaty of Paris
signed by the United States and Spain on December 10, 1898 where Spain
ceded the control of the Philippines to the United States as the country’s
new colonial master. What kind of advocacy is that Mr. Speaker? This is a
throwback to era of colonialization,” Flores added.
Pamalakaya theorized that Nograles resolution is being pushed to
legitimize the plan of the Department of Agriculture to allow foreign
investors to purchase agricultural lands all over the country. Based on
the agriculture department’s blue print, a total of 1.5 million hectares
of lands are earmarked for agro-corporations who want to start
export-oriented businesses in the country.
“Nograles wants to please the agro-corporate clients of Malacañang. Once
HR 737 is endorsed and approved, the issue of term extension will be
incorporated as an integral part of changing the economic provisions of
the constitution because only the incumbents can fast-track the process
and details of Chacha at the earliest possible time,” said Pamalakaya.
“That could be the game plan of Malacañang in HR 737 because HR 1109 is
not acceptable to the public since it is an obvious scheme to perpetuate
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to power,” the group added.
Nograles said the debate on HR 737 will start next week before the session
adjourns on June 3. He said he would wait for Rep. Villafuerte’s speech
formally withdrawing the Bicol congressman’s sponsorship of HR 1109.
Meanwhile, Kasama-TK spokesperson Imelda Lacandazo, one of the organizers
of the 54-day Rural Camp Out for Genuine Land Reform and Against Chacha
challenged President Arroyo, the Senate and the House of Representatives
to certify HB 3059 or GARB as an urgent bill if the administration is
really sincere in implementing a thoroughgoing land reform in the country.
Declaring the 20-year old CARP as dead, KMP, Pamalakaya and Kasama-TK
together with peasant groups from BTL (Buffalo-Tamarraw-Limus) in Bukidnon
province cremated CARP to signify that the present land reform program is
dead and the country needs a new legislated agrarian reform program
While the first committee hearing of GARB is set on May 20, it is about
time for the Philippine Congress to give full consideration on the
proposed law without the resurrection of a dead law. There is no more room
for debate if CARP is extended or not, instead the government should pass
a new land reform law which is genuine and pro-farmer and GARB is
providing every assurance that is indeed an agrarian reform that arises
from the legitimate demands of the landless peasants all over the
country,” Kasama-TK said. #