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True land reform law pressed

December 27, 2008 05:20 PM Saturday [ journal.com.ph ]

By: Jester P. Manalastas


LAWMAKERS should junk Joint Resolution No. 19 or the extension of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program for six months and instead push for the passage into law of a measure proposing genuine agrarian reform.


Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano stressed that President Macapagal-Arroyo’s rejection of the resolution will not save the existing CARP, a 20-year-old land reform program which has failed to uplift the lives of the farmers through genuine land reform.


Earlier, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman called on Mrs. Arroyo to veto the resolution which was approved before Congress went on a month-long Christmas break.


The CARP law is set to expire on December 31, however, an approved resolution will give it another six-month extension.


Lagman is opposed to the resolution because it removed the compulsory land acquisition feature of CARP, which is the heart and soul of the program.


But Mariano said that instead of pursuing the CARP extension, Congress should let it die and replace it with another measure that will ensure true land reform.


According to Mariano, the Arroyo administration has no political will in pursuing land reform as it is protecting the landlords.


“CARP extension proponents should give up the idea of trying to salvage a dead CARP abandoned by the House leadership and by Ms. Arroyo herself,” Mariano said.

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