Tuesday, February 08, 2005

NR0208: GMA pitting farmers vs Marcos rights victims

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release February 8, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, Chief of Staff
Email: paggawa@edsamail.com.ph, anakpawis2003@yahoo.com
Cellphone number 09213907362
Visit geocities.com/ap_news

Rep. Beltran to Malacanang: Don't pit farmers vs Marcos rights victims;
amend agrarian reform law according to specifications of peasant organizations
and human rights groups

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that Macapagal-Arroyo
administration should not touch the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL)
without first consulting genuine peasant organizations and hearing the stand of
farmers all over the country regarding the said law, and the situation they
face under the CARL and the government's comprehensive agrarian reform program.

"Filipino farmers denounce the CARL and the CARP for being pro-landlord and
pro-land developer. There is no question that both have the be overhauled and
amended, but the amendments must be made to the specifications of peasant
organizations and the rural poor," he said. "At the onset, as a show of good
faith, the administration should stop its land conversion scheme and suspend
contracts for this in partnership with land developers. Millions of peasants
and their families have been dislocated and driven away from their communities
because of land conversion."

Beltran said it was, however, an attack against the victims of the Marcos
dictatorship seeking justice and indemnification to say that they will only
receive indemnification after the CARL is amended.
It has been stipulated that the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses once
recovered will be utilized for agrarian reform.

"There should be no conflict here.The interest of the farmers must not be
pitted against that of the Marcos victims. Knowing the Macapagal-Arroyo
administration and its machinations, it is aiming that neither the farmers
nor the Marcos victims will be able to receive compensation or indemnification.
We cannot allow this to happen," he said.

"Already there are expressions of apprehension that the Macapagal-Arroyo
administration has already earmarked the Marcos wealth to support its
floundering privatization and debt-payment schemes. Farmers organizations are
wary that not a single centavo will be used for the implementation of
genuine land distribution and the distribution of substantial agricultural and
agrarian subsidies once the Arroyo administration has its hands on the Marcos
wealth," he said.

Beltran said that the greatest obstacle lying in the path of both the farmers
seeking genuine agrarian reform and the Marcos victims' demand for
indemnification was the Macapagal-Arroyo administration's lack of political
will and sincerity to work out true solutions to both problems.

If it were sincere in working out these two important issues of justice and
pro-people reform, the President would've gotten right on the ball and began
the process of crafting solutions long before. It's becoming patently clear
that the only time Malacanang takes stock of these issues is when they crop
up again in the media as a result of national or international developments,"
he said. #


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