Philippines Congress serves as broker to EU through Chacha, 100% foreign ownership of land, group says

Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas  (Peasant Movement of the Philippines) | 19 June 2009


The militant peasant group, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP, Peasant Movement of the Philippines) criticized the House of Representatives, led by Speaker Prospero Nograles in pushing through with the Constitutional Assembly and Charter Change (Chacha) and seen the move by the lawmaker being a "broker" for the European Union (EU) as it requested to remove the ban on foreign ownership of land through the World Trade Organization (WTO) provisions.

"This is what we are talking about since Speaker Nograles proposed the House Resolution 747 which allows the 100% foreign ownership of land, he was always saying then that it was only about economic provisions as if the people do not dissent his proposals that favors foreigners over Filipinos," opened Antonio Flores, KMP Spokesperson.

The group expected this, such as EU pushing for the amendments as they are scouting for more areas of investments such as lands or real estate, which in turn makes the Arroyo government and Congress treacherous to the Filipino people as they favor foreigners.

"The Arroyo government is selling out the country, disregarding the fundamental issues such as peasants' centuries old call to own their lands.  This also explains the Arroyo government's pushing for the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with `Reforms' or CARPER as it is a `token' land reform, would not pose as a contradiction and could easily be junked by Congress," said Flores .

"We have our experiences about foreign ownership of land in Mindanao, where Dole and Del Monte controlled hundreds of thousands of hectares of lands, through leaseback agreements, cultivating their raw materials, thus, peasants have been transformed to mere lowly agricultural workers whose rights of their lands have been stripped off," Flores shared.

The peasant leader also noted, "Also, if these foreign companies convert the lands to eco-tourism establishments, for residential and commercial purposes, peasants would be automatically displaced, agricultural production would then be in peril."

"Now we realize that Speaker Nograles really wanted our 52 day camp-out in Congress demolished (as they did so on May 22) as we totally opposed Chacha and 100% foreign ownership of land, and we served as a protest ground at the vicinity to anti-Chacha forces," recalled Flores.

The group called on all sectors, patriotic lawmakers, professionals, business sector, church, workers, youth, all, to oppose Chacha on all fronts as this would create an epoch of oppression to Filipinos and foreign domination over the country.

"Our regional and provincial chapters are gearing up for heightened protests against Chacha, though we are being killed like what happened to Ka Fermin Lorico, Chair of Kaugmaon (KMP Negros Oriental), who was killed on June 10 after their anti-Chacha rally in Dumaguete City. We will never falter, never tire to fight Chacha," Flores declared.


ROY MORILLA, KMP Public Information Officer (63-905-421- 7305)
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Source: KMP

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