Farmers protest on the bogus CARP's 36th anniversary

This article is available in Pilipino

Progressive organizations of farmers, fisherfolk and land rights advocates protested yesterday, June 10, before the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) national office in Quezon City. The action, led by the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), was launched to coincide with the 36th anniversary of the bogus Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

The peasant masses condemned the bogus land reform that worsened landlessness and lack of livelihood in the countryside. The KMP said CARP failed to distribute tens of thousands of hectares of farmlands nationwide. the program can be considered the longest, most expensive, and most repressive land reform enacted by the Philippine government.

Bulacan farmers who were victims of the bogus CARP participated in the protest. Some of them are from San Mateo and Norzagaray who were evicted from their farmland in 2018. Farmers from San Jose del Monte City who are victims of landgrabbing and land use conversion by landlords and big developers also joined. These companies and landlord families circumvent CARP and DAR policies to grab lands.

They also denounced DAR and Malacanang pronouncements of targetting the distribution of 100,000 Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOA) this 2024. Marcos even claimed that his regime has already distributed 70,000 CLOAs in 2023.

In the experience of Palawan farmers, the CLOA awarding event on April was a mere “photo ops.” The CLOAs are not even in the names of those who received them. The land they are currently tilling is not the land indicated in the distributed CLOAs. Worse, the distribution was a recycled event as the invited farmers have received their CLOAs long ago.

DAR bussed in people for the show. It covered the cost of the entire show, including the two-way fare of “beneficiaries” who came from distant municipalities. Food and snacks also abounded. The organizers even distributed t-shirts adorned with the slogan “Sariling Lupa para sa Bagong Bukas na Masagana” and the face of Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

“The CLOA distribution is just a piece of paper distribution while clearly and truly there is no real land reform in the country. The poor and landless farmers are still impoverished,” the KMP said.

In addition to all these sufferings, the military, police and National Task Force-Elcac harass and inflict violence against the peasant masses for resisting and struggling for genuine land reform and rights.

AB: Farmers protest on the bogus CARP's 36th anniversary