Duterte wants to speed up land reform
President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday said even without the presence of communist rebels, there will still be “friction” in the country as long as there is no real land reform.
“I told (Agrarian Reform Secretary John) Castriciones: 'Place under land reform all government-owned land before I end my presidency'.. I said, even without the communists, there will always be friction for as long as there is no real land reform,” Duterte said during the distribution of Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOA) to agrarian beneficiaries in Kidapawan City.
The regional agrarian reform office said the CLOA distribution in North Cotabato covered 11,443 hectares awarded to more than 6,000 beneficiaries.It said this was the largest landholding ever given to agrarian reform recipients in the history of the nation's agrarian reform program.
Duterte said his administration will continue implementing the land reform program as fast as they can.
“I intend to dispose of almost all government lands,” he said.
Duterte said he wants indigenous peoples and tribes to experience having a good life through land reform.
“Ten years or maybe I can lower to five, you can dispose of it,” he said. “That’s why I gave it to them, five year, ten years from now. Then can sell it, at least they will have millions (of pesos)”.
He appealed to the new landowners to stop listening to the communist group’s armed struggle which only caused bloodshed and lives of people.
“To Lumad people, since when did you experience conflict? Before communism had set here, right?... Lumad were peaceful. If they have conflict, they will just talk about it. Tribal. Now how many datu has died? For what? Following (CPP leader Jose Maria) Sison?”, said Duterte.
“That’s difficult. Fifty-two years. What did they show you? Bloodshed. Lives. Most of my soldiers are now killed, my police officers and barangay captains. Every day two, three,” he said.
Duterte said he believes in the land reform of the rebels and also to social justice but he told them to not resort it through armed struggle.
He then asked the lumads on how they can listen to Sison when he’s not living here in the Philippines.
“You only listen to his lectures. you can’t even see him.. (you) have not seen the guy,” Duterte said.
“You can’t see him, he is only talk. Then (he will declare) revolution. He is not admitting the killing here is (because) of him. He does not mention the war. He does not even mention the cost of the war... I can give it to you for free (because) we have democracy here, (it has) process,” he added.
Duterte warned the NPA not to touch the surveyed lands as it is intended for people. Ella Dionisio/DMS