TFM: 12 families control 20% of CARP-eligible land
Farmers’ organization Task Force Mapalad (TFM) marked International Women’s Day, which was observed yesterday, with a demonstration of around 3,000 farmers in Sagay City led by female leaders.
The organization reiterated calls for President Rodrigo Duterte to fast-track agrarian reform programs in Negros, which were previously raised during demonstrations last month.
“Mr. President, don’t stop distributing certificates of land ownership awards (CLOAs),” urged TFM Negros-Panay Chapter President Teresita Tarlac. “A big chunk of what President Duterte calls ‘the fat of the land’ is found in Negros – from the millions of metric tons of sugarcane that we grow.”
“If the president is sincere in bringing change, just like what he did in Boracay and what he [is doing] now in Manila Bay, he will kickstart CARP (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program) completion in Negros, where the problems of poverty and inequality are at their worst,” she added.
The organization noted, 20 percent of landholdings eligible for CARP distribution in Negros Occidental, or around 100,000 hectares, remain under the control of a few families. TFM identified them as “the Lacsons, Gustilos, Javelosas, Lopezes, Locsins, Ledesmas, Aranetas, Consings, Montinolas, Javellanas, Jalandonis, and Benedictos.”
Last month, the group called on Duterte to formally turn over 5,000 hectares of Negros Occidental property currently owned by Eduardo Cojuangco, Jr. In a separate press release, they noted CLOAs have already been issued but the said land has yet to be turned over.
The group also cited RA 6657, or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988, which they say mandates the Department of Agrarian Reform to distribute private landholdings of over 50 hectares to landless farmers.
“Despite the law, Cojuangco remained the owner of these commercial landholdings,” the group’s statement noted./WDJ