August 5, 2011
Joseph Canlas, Chair, AMGL (0918-233-5050)
CL farmers junk CARPer on its 2nd year by tilling lands in Hacienda
About 200 farmers belonging to the regional group Alyansa ng mga
Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luson (Amgl, Peasant Alliance in Central Luzon) and
Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (Ambala) protested
the 2nd anniversary of the Republic Act 9700 or Comprehensive Agrarian
Reform Program Extension with “Reforms” (CARPer) at Mendiola, Manila. The
groups denounced president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino’s disregard of the land
reform agenda and continued implementation of programs that result
systematic land grabbing, displacement and land use conversion in the
region. Subsequently, they caravan towards Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac to
join the on-going cultivation of the 500-hectare lands claimed by the
Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) at Brgy. Balete.
“The Aquino government is totally useless to us farmers, worse, he is the
promoter of CARPer, Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and other programs
that displace us from our lands,” said Joseph Canlas, Amgl chairperson.
“CARPer is causing massive cancellation of Certificate of Land Ownership
Awards (CLOA), Certificate of Land Transfer (CLT) and Emancipation Patents
(EP) majorly in Nueva Ecija and other provinces within the region,” he
Amgl said that CARPer is the methodical means of landlords, real estate
developers and local and foreign investors to eject farmers from the land.
It carries on the anti-peasant provisions of CARP such as ejecting farmers
who could not afford to pay the annual amortization and those who
cultivate lands that were foreclosed by the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP).
As CARPer strengthened the landlord’s hold to the lands, awarding of CLOAs
to poor farmers in the region is unattainable.
“Being awarded with CLOAs are now impossible as even the stage of covering
the lands are being barred by the landlords. Even with CLOAs, farmers are
now facing the trouble of how to pay for the lands as the amount were
dictated by the landlords,” Canlas said.
Amgl is citing the case of farmers at Brgy. Manggang Marikit, Bagong
Barrio and Yuson (Mambayu) in Guimba town. The Mambayu farmers are
cultivating lands used to be part of Hacienda Daves since 1992 but now
they are being ejected by the Municipal Agrarian Reform Office (MARO) and
Provincial Agrarian Reform Office (PARO). The farmers said that MARO and
PARO officials intend to replace them with farmers listed on their
ListaSaka but are essentially planning to sell the lands to speculators
and real estate developers in anticipation of the construction of highways
within the province.
The group added that Nueva Ecija CARP farmer-beneficiaries compose about
42% of the regional total or nearly 96,000 cultivating about
169,000-hectares based on its 2010 accomplishment report. Amgl disprove
the numbers as vast haciendas and estate remain intact and farmers tilling
them are now facing foreclosure, ejectment and CLOA cancellation cases.
Lands are such Hacienda Gabaldon, Kilantang, Anggara in Guimba town, Rueda
in Quezon town, De Santos in Guimba, Cuyapo and Nampicuan towns, Tinio in
Talavera town, and estates Ilagan, Gonzales, Domingo, Sanggalang, Joson,
Angeles, Padre Crisostom Estate in many towns of the province.
“In Sta. Rosa, Jaen, San Leonardo and southern towns, member-farmers of
Amgl are now facing cancellation cases of their CLOAs and EPs, so how
could the government claim that they are distributing hundred-thousand
hectares of land,” Canlas said.
In addition, Amgl said that land grabbing and displacement worsened during
the two-year implementation of CARPer. The group is citing cases: near the
interchange of Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (Sctex) and Sta. Rosa-Tarlac
national road in Tarlac City and La Paz town; the 13,000-hectares covered
by the Republic Act 10083 or Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Act
of 2010 (Apeco) in Casiguran and 312-hectare Food Basket program in Maria
Aurora, Aurora province; the 386.8-hectares involving 12 barangays in
Bayambang town, Pangasinan claimed by the Cojuangco-owned Central
Azucarera de Tarlac (CAT) Realty Corp.; land grabbing of military
officials and displacement of farmers within the 3,100-hectares in Fort
Magsaysay Military Reservation in Laur, Nueva Ecija; the 57,930-hectare
watershed program of Lopez-controlled Energy Development Corp. (EDC) and
California Energy (CalEn) that displaces indigenous peoples’ communities
in Pantabangan and Carranglan towns, Nueva Ecija; displacement in many
areas in Bataan; massive cancellation of CLOA, CLT and EP in many towns of
Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Tarlac and Pangasinan and land grabbing of Camarines
Sur Rep. Luis Villafuerte of the 300-hectares in San Miguel, Bulacan.
“The classic case of the futility of CARP and CARPer is Hacienda Luisita.
Everybody knows that the Stock Distribution Option (SDO) of CARP caused
poverty and misery to the farmworkers and CARPer was not able to repeal
it, actually it extended its implementation,” Canlas said.
Amgl said that the recent decision of the Supreme Court forcing
farmworkers to choose between “stocks” and “land distribution” mainly
involves CARPer. The group claimed that land distribution through CARPer
is impossible as it provisioned that farmworkers should acquire the
attestation of the Cojuangco-Aquinos that they are indeed tenants of the
“The Cojuangco denied that there are tenants in Hacienda Luisita since
1967, thus, it is impossible to implement CARPer or for the farmworkers to
actually be given lands. In addition, that CARPer empowers the
Cojuangco-Aquino to dictate the amount the farmworkers should pay for the
land. Hacienda Luisita lands are estimated to value from P1 million to P4
million per hectare, which is clearly unattainable for the farmers,”
“The futility of CARP and CARPer was the very reason Hacienda Luisita
farmworkers waged the strike on November of 2004, they demanded to junk
SDO and genuine land distribution. Thus, last July 15, they launched the
‘bungkalan’ (cultivation) in Brgy. Balete,” he added.
Amgl said that bungkalan is the very implementation of genuine land reform
in Hacienda Luisita. Thus, farmers from different provinces are to join
the farmworkers in tilling the lands to illustrate the primacy of the
peasant movement to protect and promote their rights to land.
“We don’t rely on CARPer or schemes like the SDO, the actual tilling of
the lands is the very aim of our struggle and the only way we could
realize this is through our united strength through the peasant movement,”
“We declare Aquino as an enemy of the Filipino farmers as he protects the
landlord interests such as his family and implements programs that kick us
out from our lands. Aquino is an anti-peasant and anti-people president,
the Filipino people should unite to oppose against his agenda,” Canlas
July 27, 2011
Joseph Canlas, Chair, AMGL (0918-233-5050)
Phrases “land reform,” “Hacienda Luisita,” “farmers,” not mentioned in
Aquino’s SONA, “wang-wang” 18 times, group tallied
The regional farmers’ group Alyansa ng mga Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luson (Amgl,
Peasant alliance in Central Luzon) tallied significant words from the
full-text of president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino’s state of the nation
address (Sona) last July 25 and found out they were never mentioned. They
also noticed that Aquino used the word “wang-wang” 18 times.
“This is the latest insult of Aquino to the Filipino farmers. As if we are
not significant, like insects, not worthy to be mentioned on a Sona.
Aquino is fulfilling his role as an anti-peasant president, a landlord
icon and defender of the Cojuangco-Aquino interest in Hacienda Luisita,”
said Joseph Canlas, Amgl chairperson.
Amgl joined the people’s protest along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City,
led by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan. They are also the group who constantly
support the Hacienda Luisita farmworkers under Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang
Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (Ambala). Ambala is a member-organization of Amgl.
“When we are listening to Aquino’s speech at the protest, we simply
thought that it was not ‘edible,’ he is talking Gloria-like about facts
and figures that poor Filipinos have no use of. His manner of speech is
un-president, he is either talking about macro-economics or about small
things like ‘wang-wang,’” Canlas said.
Amgl counted that Aquino used the word “wang-wang” 18 times, while none
about pertinent agenda on the farmers. The tally was as the following:
“lupa” 2; “reporma sa lupa” (land reform) 0; “magsasaka”, “magbubukid”
(farmers) 0; Hacienda Luisita 0; “kahirapan” (poverty) 1; “agrikultura”
(agriculture) 2; “karapatan pantao” (human rights) 1; “kapayapaan” (peace)
0; “demokrasya” (democracy) 0 and “kalayaan” (freedom) 1.
“Aquino talked about land but he was not referring to land reform, poverty
but on the conditional cash transfer (CCT), agriculture related to his
development program copied from former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,
human rights referring to Bishop Palma of the CBCP, freedom about local
government units (LGU),” Canlas said.
“He never mentioned us farmers, the majority among us Filipinos,
especially Hacienda Luisita farmworkers, he has accepted that he is indeed
an enemy of the Filipino farmers. House helpers are luckier than us as he
promised them just wages and benefits,” he added.
The group added that Aquino has not committed to prosecute former
president Arroyo especially about the P728-million fertilizer scam and
other corruption cases involving the agriculture department. Aquino not at
all brought up the human rights abuses resulted by Arroyo’s
counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya.
“Central Luzon farmers have nothing to expect from Aquino, but devastating
programs such as his Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program, his
promotion of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with
‘Reforms’ (Carper), globalist policies such as privatization and
liberalization of the energy sectors involving hydro-electric dams that
cause displacement to indigenous peoples and destruction to crops. The
planned construction of superhighways are threatening to displace many
farmers from their land, including the Hacienda Luisita farmworkers,”
Hacienda Luisita “bungkalan” (cultivation)
“As we are totally disregarded by the Aquino government, we would take the
lead to uphold our rights to land and we are doing this now in Hacienda
Luisita,” Canlas said.
Amgl said that farmworkers under Ambala have occupied the 500-hectares
claimed by Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) at Brgy. Balete and Texas
since July 15. The farmworkers said that RCBC’s claim was a result of the
Cojuangco-Aquino’s deception of farmworker-beneficiaries selling lands
that they legitimately own.
“We are now at the process of parcelling the lands to be awarded to
deserving beneficiaries. We are prioritizing the families of the victims
of rights abuses, those who persistently struggled for their land rights
and the most impoverished. This is far more superior than Aquino’s CCT
program,” Canlas said.
Amgl affirmed that the bungkalan is the concretization of justice being
serve to the Hacienda Luisita farmworkers. They added that it encoins the
true meaning of social justice, opposite to the July 5 referendum-decision
of the Supreme Court.
“The high court have decided in favor of the Cojuangco-Aquinos, thus, we
are affirming the demand of the Hacienda Luisita farmworkers that is land.
We are strongly united for this bungkalan, thus, any attack of the
Cojuangco-Aquinos would be faced by broad protest and condemnation. We
also advice the RCBC management to demand the Cojuangco-Aquinos of any
losses they have incurred as they are the ones who ripped you off,” Canlas
The group said that RCBC should hold the Cojuangco-Aquinos for consciously
selling lands that are historically under dispute. The latter has the
clear intent of defrauding RCBC by assuring them that they would not be
affected by the agrarian dispute.
“We are constantly monitoring the movement of the RCBC security guards at
Brgy. Balete, but we are not considering them as our main adversary as
they have no record of abuses against the residents. But we are cautioning
them against colluding with the military based at the barangay hall, and
also with the corrupt barangay official who is a lackey of the
Cojuangco-Aquinos,” Canlas said.
Amgl said that Ambala is planning the sustained campaign of bungkalan,
particularly on other barangays as local farmworkers have also demanded to
cultivate the land.
“This bungkalan is the exact opposite of Aquino’s state of the nation
address as farmers could concretely benefit from the fruits of the land,
the harvested rice coming from these lands are going to feed the hungry
Hacienda Luisita farmworkers. On the contrary, Aquino and his corrupt
syndicate should eat the paper his sona was printed on,” Canlas said. #
by Pia Montalban
Saksi ka sa pagpapalit ng panahon
Panahong tag-araw at tag-ulan
Panahon ng pagkalubog sa putikan
Panahon ng paliligo sa patubigan
Panahong maapakan ni kalakian
Panahong sa pogpog ay mapasadahan
Panahon ng pagpunla ng mga binhi
Panahon ng paghihiwalay ng mga punla
Panahon ng pagtutundos ng batang palay
Panahon ng buwan-buwang paghihintay
Panahon ng pagtitig at pag-aabang
Panahon ng pagtigas at paglago
Panahon ng pagkatubog sa ginto
Panahon ng pag-ani ng mga bunga
Panahon ng paglilinis ng lupa
Saksi ka rin sa kasakiman ng mga bathala
Binhi ng mga martir na nakikibakang itinutundos nila sa lupa
Dugo ng mga may lakas-ng-loob mag-alsang pinandidilig nila
Matiyaga nilang iisa-isahin mga diwang mapanlaban
Hanggang sa anihin nila ang mga itinanim na kabuktutan
Gusto ka nilang magbuntis ng mga bangko at golf course
Mga hotel, mall, subdivision para sa mga gaya nilang panginoon
Gusto ka nilang patayin at piringan kakayanan mong saksihan
Mga panahong nagpapalit-palit na kalikasang nagtakda ng kaayusan
Ngunit ano mang pilit
Hindi piping-saksi mga kayod-kalabaw mong kaibigan
Hindi sila mangingimi sa pagtatanggol sa iyong ginahis na kapalaran
Hindi nila hahayaang magbunga ang kasakiman
Ilang beses mang magpumilit na magtundos ng kasamaan
Hindi ka namin hahayaang maglaho na lamang
Kapalit ng kanilang mga binhing negosyong sila lamang ang makikinabang
Hindi namin hahayaang mabalot ka ng aspaltong kagubatan.
"Umagang umaga, madaling araw, at umuulan pero tuloy ang pagtundos ng mga
palay na suhay na magtitiyak ng kabuhayan ng masang magsasakang may tapang
at sipag na maggigiit ng karapatang kanya."
*Libluban ang tawag sa kapampangan ng isang parsela o pitak ng lupa,
o isang kahon ng lupa na tinatamnan ng gulay man o palay.
August 10, 2011
Joseph Canlas, Chair, AMGL (0918-233-5050)
NE farmers gear for heightened protests against land grabbing,
Farmers belonging to the Alyansa ng mga Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luson (Amgl,
Peasant Alliance in Central Luzon) and its provincial chapter Amgl-Nueva
Ecija are gearing for heightened protests this month to resist systematic
land grabbing and displacement from their lands. Based on the 2010
accomplishment report of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP),
near 96,000 Nueva Ecija farmers compose about 36% of the
farmer-beneficiaries in Central Luzon, cultivating more than 41% or
169,000-hectares of productive agricultural lands. These FBs are now
facing cancellation cases of Certificate of Land Ownership Awards (CLOA),
Certificate of Land Transfer (CLT), Emancipation Patents (EP) and
foreclosure by the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP). Amgl believed that
this evident trend of foreclosure and ejectment cases are triggered by the
government’s regional ‘development’ program such as the “W-growth
corridor” involving the construction of inter-connecting super-highways
across the region.
“Every Filipino knows that Nueva Ecija is the rice granary of our country,
but the Aquino government is continuing the destruction of productive
agricultural lands through the implementation of CARP Extension with
‘Reforms’ (CARPer) and Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program,” said
Joseph Canlas, chair of Amgl.
Amgl cited that Nueva Ecija ranked 2nd in palay production in 2010
reaching to 560,379 metric tons supplying about 8.61% of the country’s
supply. This production level could produce about 7.29 million sacks of
rice. Compared to its 2007 level, it dropped by 2.36 million sacks of rice
from about 9.64 million.
“We believe that the province’s dwindling rice production is a result of
CARPer implementation, ejectment of farmers, increasing conversion of
productive agricultural lands and the full privatization of hydro-electric
dams that carelessly release water destroying rice crops,” Canlas said.
Amgl-NE mentioned the case of 142 farmers in Guimba town being ejected by
the municipal and provincial agrarian reform office (MARO and PARO).
Farmers from barangays Manggang Marikit, Bagong Barrio and Yuson (Mambayu)
are being harassed by elements of Guimba police and 81st Infantry
Battalion of the Philippine Army. The Mambayu farmers are cultivating the
100-hectares of land located at Brgy. Manggang Marikit that used to be
part of Haciend Daves since 1992. It was covered by CARP but the Dept. of
Agrarian Reform (DAR) leased it to a cotton agro-corporation that went
bankrupt thus, when the lands went idle farmers cultivated them and made
them productive. The MARO and PARO are now trying to eject the farmers as
they have awarded the lands to ListaSaka group.
“MARO and PARO is now using the CARP and CARPer provisions to eject the
Mambayu farmers who have cultivated lands for nearly 20 years. We firmly
believe that agrarian reform officials are in collusion with financiers
related to the ListaSaka as the CARPer law gives them the right to dictate
the price of the land to interested real estate developers and
agro-corporations,” Canlas said.
Amgl-NE has highlighted that the more than 2-decades of CARP
implementation and CARPer have not realized fundamental changes on
landlessness in the province. The group said that vast haciendas continue
to evade land distribution. Hacienda Gabaldon, Kilantang, Anggara in
Guimba town, Rueda in Quezon town, De Santos in Guimba, Cuyapo and
Nampicuan towns, Tinio in Talavera town, and estates Ilagan, Gonzales,
Domingo, Sanggalang, Joson, Angeles, Padre Crisostom Estate in many towns
of the province remain intact and farmers who are CLOA, CLT and EP holders
are facing cancellation and foreclosure cases.
The group said that Aquino is adopting the “W-corridor” development
program in light of inviting foreign and local investment in the region.
It is pinpointed by eco-zones and industrial hubs in the region namely,
Masinloc Eco Zone (Zambales), Subic Bay Special Economic Zone and Freeport
(Zambales), Bataan Technology Park in Morong, Bataan Export Processing
Zone in Mariveles, Clark Special Eco Zone, Hacienda Luisita Eco Zone,
Hermosa (Bataan) Eco Zone, Magalang (Pampanga) MADCI, Philippine Jewelry
Center in Meycauayan, Bulacan, Gapan, Cabanatuan City and Science City of
Muñoz in Nueva Ecija, then towards Baler and Dingalan freeport in Aurora.
In Aliaga town, Nueva Ecija, the municipal government is constructing the
270-hectare agro-industrial estate anticipating the construction of
Central Luzon Expressway (CLEx) 1.
Based on Aquino’s promotion of PPP, Nueva Ecija is a site of the CLEx 1
and 2, the Northern Luzon East Expressway (NLEx East) and the
Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway 3 (SCTEx 3) towards Aurora, definitely these
would convert hundreds of hectares of productive lands. AMGL said that
28.2-km CLEx 1 and 35.7-km CLEx 2, would roughly convert 141 and 178.5
hectares of lands, respectively, the 92.1-km NLEx East would about
460.5-hectares. The 3 phases of expressway would cover an estimated
780-hectares of lands.
“Aquino is promoting these projects to lure foreign investors in the
region and province with the price of ejecting farmers and converting
productive agricultural lands. The Aquino government is wiping out the
source of livelihood of Nueva Ecija farmers and threatening the country’s
food security,” Canlas said.
Aside from these haciendas, farmers cultivating the 3,100-hectares within
the Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation in Laur town are facing harassment
from the military. AMGL – NE reported that elements of the Armed Forces of
the Philippines (AFP), particularly the 81st Infantry Battalion under the
702nd Infantry Brigade and the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) units
1st Scout Rangers regiment, 1st Special Forces Regiment, Light Reaction
Battalion are actively operating in the province.
In protest of these programs, Amgl and Amgl-NE are planning a chain of
protests by the end of August.
“We are to drum up agrarian cases in the province until September and we
would raise our demand for land rights, cessation of land grabbing,
displacement and land use conversion. It is high time that Aquino to hear
the screams of Nueva Ecija farmers,” he added.
Amgl and Amgl-NE demanded the end of foreclosure cases against CARP
farmer-beneficiaries and immediate distribution of land and moratorium of
government projects related to the Aquino’s PPP.