This is a news release from the Farmworkers Agrarian Reform Movement (FARM) based in Hacienda Luisita

The allegation of Willy Marbella, Deputy Secretary General of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) that the reported resignation of Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secertary Virgilio de los Reyes is a “collateral damage” of an “evil conspiracy” between President Aquino and AKBAYAN to evade the distribution of Hacienda Luisita is malicious and preposterous.

Our organization, the Farmworkers Agrarian Reform Movement (FARM,) with members in four barangays of Hacienda Luisita , has been calling for the  redistribution of Hacienda Luisita. We firmly believe that the only existing land reform program that gives us a chance to own the land we till is the CARP.

In  our quest for land redistribution, we sought the support and were fortunate to be assisted by Akbayan and respected personalities like Bishop Broderick Pabillo, former COMELEC Chair Christian Monsod and Akbayan Represenatitive Arlene Bag-ao.

For the record, AKBAYAN has always supported our call for the immediate redistribution of Hacienda Luisita and the need for the delivery of a full package of support services to ensure that the beneficiaries will be able to make the land productive. During the deliberation for the extension of CARP, AKBAYAN through its representatives in Congress successfully pushed for the removal of the stock distribution as an option of landowners. We therefore find KMPs accusation against Akbayan totally incredible.

It is also unfortunate that KMP contradicts itself when it labelled CARP as  a bogus program. It is to be remembered that all pro-land redistribution farm workers in Luisita, including those aligned with KMP, argued for the revocation of the SDO using the pro-land redistribution provisions of the CARP. KMP needs only to read the legal documents of its main allies in Luisita to see that its own allies invoked CARP in arguing for land redistribution. If KMP is saying that CARP is bogus, is it saying that its allies in Luisita were wrong in questioning the SDO through the provisions of CARP?

In fact, the process of redistribution currently being undertaken by the DAR to redistribute the land is within the bounds of CARP. What this proves is that KMP is unable to accept the fact that CARP is the only existing policy that gives farm workers the right to own the lands they till.

Moreover, the Supreme Court decision clearly stipulated that the SDO has been revoked and that the land will have to be redistributed. No sitting or future DAR Secretary or President of the Philippines can reverse or set aside that ruling.

The inevitability of land redistribution of Luisita through the CARP has become some kind of a nightmare for KMP. It continues to attempt to discredit CARP by sowing intrigue. ###