SPECIAL REPORT

Peasant tells Aquino: You are our only hope

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(First of four parts)

President Benigno Aquino. FILE PHOTO

The few minutes she was allowed to talk to President Aquino in Malacañang’s stately Maharlika Hall on June 14 gave her a new lease on life.

Dorita Vargas, 63, did not miss the chance to reveal how she raised her six children—all girls—after her husband abandoned her and she took over his job in a sugar hacienda in Negros.

When she heard about the government’s land-to-the-tiller program, she filed a claim in the office of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Bacolod City for a piece of the plantation.

The effort has yet to take the sunburned, wrinkled woman to her vision of Shangri-la.

“When you won as President, we were so happy because we voted for you,” Vargas told Mr. Aquino. “We all voted for you because you came from a good family… Beloved President, you are our only hope of getting our own land.”

The President listened intently as he faced Dorita and representatives of 300 peasants from as far as Bukidnon who had been on a 10-day march to dramatize demands for the full implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

The program, initiated by the President’s mother, democracy icon Corazon Aquino, was launched 24 years ago. It ends in June 2014.

“Hayaan mo, nay, tutulungan ko kayo (Don’t worry, mom, I will help you),” the President said.

To the assembled group, Mr. Aquino, flanked by Cabinet officials, promised to fully implement the program before its expiration, renewing a vow he made when he ran for president.

It was the first time since the balloting that the President, whose family owns the sprawling Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac, definitively spoke publicly about the explosive land redistribution program.

The Palace issued a press statement on the President’s remarks during the two-hour meeting behind closed doors, which came seven months after the Supreme Court ordered the dismantling of his family’s plantation for distribution to its workers. The court held that a stock ownership option in the estate’s corporation, allowed by the CARP law in lieu of land distribution, had not improved the lives of the farmers.

Dorita recalled that the President said she would have the land she wanted before yearend. She said in a phone interview last week from her ramshackle hut in La Castellana outside Bacolod that Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes still had to carry out Mr. Aquino’s commitment to her.

“It is not the President’s fault,” she told the Inquirer, as the farmers, under the auspices of the Church-backed Task Force Mapalad (TFM), took to the streets again this month to voice their concerns about the continued slow implementation of the CARP.

On Dec. 14, she joined 56 farmers who went on a hunger strike to press their demands. The fasting ended after yet another meeting at the Palace with the President’s aides last night and yet another promise of compliance.

Last chance for dream

In a letter prepared by Church leaders in June, the farmers complained that De los Reyes had been “consistently underperforming” in carrying out the CARP, which was extended for another five years in 2009 and is now called the CARP extension with reforms, or Carper.

“These farmers risked their lives for Cory and believed her promise that CARP would liberate them from the bondage of serfdom. They voted for P-Noy because he represented their last chance at realizing their dream of having their own land. These are the mainstream peasants who have patiently abided by the cumbersome ways of democracy and have resisted the calls for violent revolution,” the letter said.

Fifty-two of the 100 members of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines endorsed the letter.

The program still has to distribute nearly 1 million hectares of the nation’s most productive estates, whose owners have evaded coverage for a quarter century. A large part of the 4.3 million ha distributed during the period comprised “nonprivate” lands.

On Dec. 11, the President motored to Ateneo de Manila University to hear the peasants, at the close of a 17-day, 340 kilometer march, complain that an ecozone project in Aurora’s remote coastal town of Casiguran is illegally depriving them of their land and their livelihood. He promised a review of the project.

 

Women lead battle

In her tearful narrative at the Palace meeting in June, Dorita Vargas summed up the plight of millions of Filipino women in different difficult climes and circumstances.

She is pinning her hopes on land reform, which Cory Aquino, the country’s first woman President, initiated to extricate Filipinos from poverty. Land reform was the centerpiece of Mrs. Aquino’s social justice program.

Ironically, women are now at the forefront of that struggle—whether as Carper campaigners or as simple wage earners. To eke out a living, some go to extremes as prostitutes and drug mules. Large numbers work as domestic helpers in affluent homes in the West, or besieged households in strife-torn countries such as Syria and Yemen.

It had been 29 years since her husband left her, Dorita told the President.

To support the family, she worked as a farmhand at Hacienda Cantikbil Manalo in La Castellana in Negros Occidental, planting sugarcane, fertilizing the fields, picking weeds, harvesting—for a measly P85 a day. The poverty threshold is a dollar a day, or roughly P40, but the amount she earned was certainly way below that level with six other mouths to feed.

After she joined a clamor to bring the plantation under CARP in 1995, disaster struck. She was fired and her thatched hut was put to the torch—a fate that often befell many peasants seeking to own a piece of the land they were tilling, according to civil society organizations in the reform movement.

More sorrow than joy

A program meant to ease pain wrought more suffering.

“When they destroyed my house, life became even more difficult,” Dorita said.

She raised chickens, goats and pigs to supplement her meager farm salary.

Two daughters who never went beyond elementary school married early and left home at a squatter colony beside a creek in La Castellana, where she had moved. They were the first casualties, she sadly narrated, of her broken family.

The four others were able to finish high school but likewise got married to men too destitute themselves to give them and their children a decent life. Two of these girls recently went abroad to work as house helps—one to Malaysia and the other to Dubai, leaving their four children with the grandmother.

Dorita cares for the grandchildren in her clapboard shack the size of a ping-pong table beside St. Vincent Parish, where she sells coffee. The OFW women chip in whatever money they could raise to educate their children. Dorita takes care of their daily needs from the squalid version of Starbucks. She could barely make both ends meet.

The daughter in Malaysia sent her P5,000 for this year’s schooling of two children now in college—a girl, 18, studying computer programming, and a boy, 16, taking up civil engineering. The other daughter in Dubai hasn’t yet sent home money. She still has to pay the expenses she had borrowed to get to the Gulf state.

On a recent stop in Dubai, I was told by a Filipino woman working at a hamburger restaurant that she was earning $200 a month—half of which went to repay expenses that brought her recent employment in the emirate and the other half barely enough for her bread and board.

Of the 22 workers who, along with Dorita Vargas, petitioned the dismantling of the 127-ha Hacienda Cantikbil Manalo 17 years ago, five have died. In February, a notice of valuation for the estate was handed down, but the potential beneficiaries were told that the land registration papers were missing and distribution could not be done.

“We’re being given the runaround,” Dorita told the President, who forthwith called Romulo Gonzaga, the register of deeds in Bacolod. With the speakerphone on, Mr. Aquino drew a pledge from Gonzaga that the missing papers would be produced within a week.

The papers have not surfaced six months later.

Underwhelming

Armando Jarilla, the TFM national coordinator, blames the President for the underwhelming performance of De los Reyes.

“Mr. De los Reyes can explain things in terms of what to do systems-wise, cost-benefit analysis, but in terms of actual operational implementation, it’s problematic,” Jarilla said. “On the whole, it is a P-Noy (Pres. Aquino’s moniker) problem. There are indications that agrarian reform is not close to P-Noy.”

The program is underfunded. Beneficiaries do not get the required support mechanisms—credit mainly to follow their dreams.

Still, Dorita remains upbeat.

“I believe the President is sincere,” she told the Inquirer last week. “If he will keep his word, we will all get our land.”

And what would she do with the land?

In an interview in the TFM headquarters in an apartment in Quezon City, the slight woman with dyed jet black hair and missing teeth recalled that DAR officials taunted her in meetings in Bacolod.

“You are an old woman, they tell me. How will you work in the field? I tell them, yes, it is true, I’m a woman. But I have brains. If I can no longer work, I have my grandchildren with me. I will raise pigs, raise money to pay workers who will work in the land. I tell my children, you will soon have land, you take care of it. If you work hard, know how to handle a shovel, you will do well.”

She may be down now, but she’s far from being out. (Next: Jimmy only wanted a piece of land, got Muntinlupa instead.)

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  • mumbaki ak

    agrarian reform- a downside of AQUINO? his Achilles’ heel?

    • Observer_din

      started with Cory,but the successors never did anything, Ramos none, Erap none, Gloria for almost 10 years as president none!!What she did is take the peoples money and distributed it to her family.. and may i say also that she gave some to bishops. LOL

  • jopal

    Anong ginawa ni PINOY  BAKIT PURO PAGHIHIRAP NA LANG NI DORITA VARGAS ANG MGA SINASABI DITO,  MERON BA SIYANG   nakuha na lupa o WALA……..???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
    MADILIM PA SA ALKETRAN ANG PAGASA
    ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  • kalikasanipagtanggol

    hayaan mo nay tutulungan ko kayo………..tutulungan ko kayo mapadali ang paghihintay niyo ng kasagutan sa mga tanong niyo…..isang malaking HINDI PUWEDE!

  • noyab

     yan ang real version ng “daang matuwid” wang wang style…..abangan ang susunod ng promise…

  • DonQuixoteDeRizal

    In my view, the root of Nay Dorita’s problem is not the land she till but the six children she can’t afford to raise.

    It is ironic that the bishops who wrote and approved the letter to the president can’t see or refuse to see the real problem of Nay Dorita.

    • koolkid_inthehouse

      I agree withe the RH bill but for P80 a day cant even buy you a Starbuck coffee. 
      WTF with you people, if they have a piece of land in the province, a hectare with industrious person like Nanay Dorita, she could earn more than that.

      Big land owners also exploit those who work under them.  They know they can’t afford 3 meal a day and they will loan them a hundred in time of emergencies and these poor peasants will be indebted to the landowners.

      Why don’t you put on the peasants shoes and see for youself how suffocating life under this system.

      • DonQuixoteDeRizal

        Been there before kid. A hectare of land can’t support a family of 7 to have a decent lives. I think you don’t know what you are talking about.

      • Observer_din

        thats what they want, give them that piece of land, up to them to make a living out of it. I think the farmers know what they’ll do with it.

  • kilawon(the return)

     Kamusta na ba ang HACIENDA LUISITA? tsk

  • http://www.facebook.com/german.entila German Entila

    On the surface, many show their sympathy to poor Dorita yet they all are fake and distant. One despises the fate and sufferings of poor Dorita such that she’s used for propaganda by the terrorist NPAs. It’s sad. She hopes to own a piece of land while another clings it. 

  • turbogirl9

    PEASANT REMAIN FORGOTTEN

    • Observer_din

      yes matagal na problem yan, ke Marcos for 20 years walang nagawa, si Gloria almost 10 years wala din nagawa, kasi sa tagal ng panunungkulan ng 2 ito nagpadamihan ng nakaw ang ginawa… hope this will make a new start for this problem,maski maumpisahan lang sa regime ni PNOY..

      • boldyak

        “….maski maumpisahan lang sa regime ni PNOY..”…HUH?…

      • Observer_din

        bakit,sa panahon ba ni boss Gloria mo me nagawa? ah oo nga pala, dami nyang nagawa…  wala ata kaming nabalitaan, kasi puro pagnanakaw ang nababalitaan namin.. hehehe

      • boldyak

        kaya pala ganyan na lang galit mo kay GMA wala ka palang nalaman na nagawa….busy ka kais noonsa pagbabatikos at wala kang nakikitang nagawa..tanongmo na lang sa DAR kung may nagawa…para sa kanila na manggaling kung nagsisinungaling ka o hindi….”inumpisahan ni Pnoy?”…hahaha…kailan ba tinatag ang agrarian reform?…sa panahon ni Pnoy?…hahaha

      • Observer_din

        ano ba nagawa nya?alam ko wala eh, kasi busy sya sa pag-ubos ng pera ng bayan.. sa pag-iisip kung paano mandadaya sa election..bakit wala yatang nabalita sa mga sinasabi mo??  HAHAHAHAHAHA

      • boldyak

        so wala ka taklagang alam na may nagawa si GMA?….kailan ka ba pinanganak?…kahapon?…research kasi kayo para naman lumawak ang kaalaman nyo…para kayong bulag na basta utos ng amo nyo, iyo na…kasi nga kung kulang ang alam nyo sa nangyayari…hamakin mong sabihin mo na inumpisahan ni Pnoy ang Agrarian Reform…hahaha…

      • Observer_din

        bakit di ako makareply, lagi nage-edit ang moderator?? wala naman ako masama sinabi. sabi ko lang wala talaga ako makitang achievement maski anong research ko, kundi puro pandaraya at pagnanakaw lang nakita ko.. maski saang site ka magpunta wala talaga… as in ZERO —–000000.. .heheheh

      • Observer_din

        pakisabi naman sa akin kung ano2 yung mga achievements ni boss GLORIA mo?? para mainform din ako.. hahahahah

      • boldyak

        mag research ka na lang, wag yung kung ano pinasasabi sa iyo ng amo mo yon din sabihin mo, kung amo panot wag ka naman maging parrot…

      • Observer_din

        nag-research na nga,lahat na ng website, puro kawlang hiyaan lang ni GLORIA nakita ko.. bat wala ka masabi kung ano nagawa niya?? kasi wala??? HAHAAHHAAH

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VBIZ5ZTCHCIQ7PILRDPH5EWWMY Fernando

    bAGO Siguro sa buong  panahon ng buhay ko rito sa lupa (69 years) ay baka hindi pa malutas ang suliraning itong kinagisnan ko na, 

    Sana naman ay maawa na ang mga taong may kakayahang lutasin ang ang problemang ito.

    MAAWA NAMAN KAO SA MGA TAONG MATAGAL NANG NAGDURUSA..

  • jjammess

    She will sell the land as soon as she gets it.

    • Observer_din

      I think whatever she do with it which she thinks could help her family is none of our business anymore… :)

  • Palku Kha

    malabo mangyari yan! yong hacienda luisita hanggang ngayon di pa na ipamimigay,ang iba pa kaya???

  • regd

    Ironic, she didn’t say God is her only hope given that the church spearheaded her cause. Some job you got there bishops & company, even the people you are serving loses their hope which is the very core of your job. 

    • Observer_din

      busy kasi sina bishops sa paglapit sa mga politicos, malapit na christmas para happy sila.. hehehe

  • ever green

    mendicants

  • cantonese

    I have to praise P’noy for talking to Nanay Dorita and giving her an assurance that she will have a land of her own within this year (Wow, few more days to go). BUT maybe a reminder to P’noy about his promise. You see, P’noy is very absent minded and forgetful about his election promises and do a complete reversal of that promise also you need to shout or go on hunger strike to be notice for he don’t hear words that he doesn’t want to hear. Now, Lets wait and see again and again about this promise to nanay Dorita.

    NO wang wang , Ay ka Indo.

  • http://ourleftfoot.blogspot.com/ Tristanism

    Where’s EdgarEdgar? Land tillers, oligarchs —  this fits right with you.

    • EdgarEdgar

      Chinga chang chong cheng chung! I didn’t know you’d miss me so soon tristan the drooling chink. I was in East Ave Med with the fasting farmers this morning, no wifi connection to check on you. I´m sure you don´t really care about peasant farmers and Filipinos. Chinks like you are no different from chinks in Indonesia and Malaysia who acquired a sense of social consciousness after some pogroms and race riots. The widespread kidnappings of chinks back in the 1990s was a good social re-engineering and wealth redistribution program thanks to anti-chinese presidents like FVR. The rest of the country was just happy to see them chinks abducted and disappear. Not all chinks are bad, but chinks like you have it coming. Chung cheng ching chong chang!

      • http://ourleftfoot.blogspot.com/ Tristanism

        Your chinese still sucks. 

        Merry christmas, tsong, wherever you are.

      • EdgarEdgar

        Your disdain for Filipinos stinks like a chinaman.

        Merry Christmas too, that’s if you chinks celebrate it.

      • http://ourleftfoot.blogspot.com/ Tristanism

        we celebrate kung-fu hustle day. we don’t usually include self-pitying chinamen in our celebration.

      • EdgarEdgar

        good to know you’re excluded. ching chong cheng ching chang chung gong ging geng gang gung.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GG4T5UNZ3P7SCHSRNJ7PF5JZMM Jimmy

    The Department of Agrarian Reform is useless…!!!! Taking lands from the landowners to be distributed to farmers is not only useless but nonsense….!!!!!  What the country needs is a good land reform and management of public lands…!!!

  • Palparan

    Peasant tells Aquino: You are our only hope — tama kayo kasi Hope Menthol cigarette ang palaging hinihit-hit ni Abnoy

    • Yobhtron

      Napasobra yata ng hitit mo ng sigarilyo.  Laman kasi ng utak mo usok.

  • virgoyap

    A piece of land is the dream of landless farmers. This is a beautiful Christmas gift this December. Hope they will be listened to by Malacanang.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LPLWHPS7B5WPHPRAREXBIP2BIY renato

    CARP/Land Reform is Aquino’s litmus test.  He has prioritized agriculture as his administration’s core industry; then start with land distribution.  But this is will be a declaration of war against the  the wealthiest landed Filipinos (his family included).  Mindanao alone has hectares and hectares of land leased by traditional datus to foreigners (DelMonte, Dole, etc.).  But who benefits from the lease(?), the datus in the name of ancestral domain.  Not RH, not Corona, but Land Reform is Aquino’s greatest legacy; that is if he will survive fighting it.  Sa ngayon ikaw pa rin PNoy ang pag-asa ng mga magsasaka!  Maligayang Pasko ng Pag-Asa.

    • Yobhtron

      Agreed. Let us just wait if the President can deliver.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5STEU22AD7YRHQSB6RE56ZDSYA J

    Kahit ang isang magsasaka ay nangungupahan lamang pero kung ang ani ay maganda at maganda din ang presyo ng palay o anumang produkto ng bukid, gaganda ang buhay ng isang magsasaka. Dahil mataas ang kikitain makakabili siya ng sarili niyang lupa at sa ganun tatayo sila sa sariling paa. 
    Kahit maibigay na ngayon ag lupa kay Aling Dorita hindi sapat ito upang sila ay kikita ng tamang ikabubuhay. 
    Alisin ang middle man. Hayaang idiretso ng magsasaka ipagbili ang produkto sa customer sa tamang halaga upang sila naman ay kumita.
    Gumawa ng anti-middleman law para sa mga magsasaka. Bigyan ng sapat na pondo upang sila ay maturuan ng tamang pagnenegosyo.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/BWG72KRWO3QIHI5MG3EMVFEMZ4 Nick

    to the peasants pinning their hopes on this presidency,tsk..tsk..sorry you are making a big mistake..pnoy is steadily failing the country..

  • boybakal

    I don’t understand why in the Philippines, farmers, farm workers want piece of land from big farm corporation.
    Whereas in the US, farm workers or farmers don’t ask for the land they work.
    Mexicans or braceros they call work in US farms. They never ask for the land.
    They have been tilling the land for so many years. They never complain.

    Maybe the reason is…Filipinos think that owning a piece of land is a sign of wealth.
    Give them the land and they will sell it.
    Why not give them just living wage, housing, and health care.
    Once you give them land, where will they get farm expenses. Production will be low, we’ll be short supply and will be importing.

    Panahon pa ni Mahoma tong land ownership…mauubos ang lupa sa kabibigay sa mga ito.

  • Philcruz

    I can understand the dreams of these workers to be freed from the bondage of poverty while working in a sugar farm.. or any farm for that matter. But I think we should stop blaming these farm owners. Sugar farming is no longer that profitable. Many would like to get out of this business if they get paid decent prices for their land.

    The real cause of such poverty is not the farm owners. It is the lack of education and the lack of other alternative industries that could give alternative jobs to these farm workers’ children. And this lack of economic activities is caused by the series of poor government leaders we have had over the decades. Over-all, blame it on the electorate for voting selfish instead of selfless people into office.

    But PNoy’s initial performance gives me hope. He seems to have that political will to do the right things. So far, so good. But we shall see. There’s still up to 2016 to see his real performance.

    Can he greatly minimize corruption at all levels?  Can he lay down the right policies to generate alternative industries and therefore alternative jobs? Can he provide the continuing motivation for government employees to alter their old ways and think of us as their “bosses” instead?

    And can he last up to 2016? He should watch his health and his security and safety.

  • boybakal

    Bigyan mo na lang ng pag asa Pnoy.
    Panahon pa yan ni Magsaysay, yan problema ng land reform.
    Pinagbibigyan ni Ramon, kay Marcos, binigyan din..wala ng katapusan.

    Kasi nga cycle na yan, anak, hirap, hingi lupa, anak ulit…mauubos ang lupa.
    Bigyan na lang sila ng parte ng dagat, malawak pa.
    Bakit naman ang mga Badjao, di humihingi ng lupa.

    Kidding aside, giving them land will not solve the problem…it is their destiny to be farm hand.
    If there will be no farm hand, no one will work in the farm, all landowners.

    • Philcruz

      Actually there had been some moves to mechanize sugar farms decades ago in order to increase productivity (increase outputs and reduce inputs).

      The ultimate objective of mechanization then was for the sugar industry to stay competitive in the world sugar market by keeping costs down and prices competitive. But these were opposed by the labor unions because mechanization would lead to manpower reduction. And so mechanization of sugar farms never really took off. And we are left to just bite the dust of other nations who have modernized their operations. We are stuck with a growing exploding population in the farm owner’s land and this land is not getting profitable over the years and yet this land is going to be taken away from the owner at below market price and without assurance of being paid immediately if at all.

      I can understand the plight of the land owners, too.

  • calixto909

    Now it’s all clear. We all read it clearly the answer of Aquino, hayaan mo, nay, tutulungan ko kayo. All promises only dishearteningly to be broken nor never be fulfilled. Is this the voice of matuwid na daan that got printed or the promise uttered for promise sake?

    If genuinely Aquino is a true leader not merely a sitting president, he should have immediately called for the DAR Secretary or told his aide to prepare a MEMO to him enjoining him to act favorably with dispatch on the complaints of the 300 farmers with a time table of one week.

    Had Aquino, done a complaint response with alacrity and without much fanfare then his endearment as a good and wise president be sealed that can be place to a hall of fame. Haphazardly, he didin’t

  • tunderlulo

    Mr. Matuwid na daan, itong mga tao ang pulubi na kumatok sa opisina mo pero sa uli ay pangako na madilim ang kabayaran. Bakit aangat bang buhay nila sa RH Law kasi iyon ang xmas gift mo sa kanila na nailathala lang kamakailan.

    Lupa na sakahin para mapagtmanan ang kailangan nila kasi sa sex nagbibigay sigla lang sng condom at pills hindi gamot sa gutom. Kung sex Aquino suportado ka kahit gastahin ng bilyones pero sa pagkain para umunlad ang buhay, pangako lang. pwe matuwid na daan, baluktot kamo.

  • Pitbulldog

    Do not entrust your hope on this idiot.  His mind is into his video games, alterrnating with this obsessions on GMA.  His heart belongs to HLI, so do not expect anything, because this BS president will just let all your expectations and anxieties pass.  Let the next leader worry about you.  If he is really sympathetic to you, he does not have to wait for the court to tell him what to do.  Ipokritong Ogag.  Distribute HLI.

  • riganom

    One solution is to confiscate all lands owned by foreigners who acquired Filipino citizenship in the 1970s or during the Marcos era.  Most of the foreigners who own the lands are Chinese who acquired Filipino citizenship so that real Filipinos remain displaced from land ownership.  For foreigners who acquired Filipino citizenship in the 1940s to the 1970s thru anomalous means, or are involved in bribery, tax evasion, smuggling, drug trafficking, human trafficking, unfair labor practice, cartel, substandard services and products, unfair business competition, and other bad ethical practices, the lands they acquired will also be confiscated.  For those who acquired citizenship during the same period but through legitimate means they can retain their lands below 1 hectare but ownership will not be inherited by their children, it will be returned back to the government which means to Filipinos.  Again, most of these are Chinese.  For those foreigners who acquired citizenship and then lands in the Philippines but not through anomalous means between the 1900s and the 1940s, they can have their first generation children inherit their lands of not more than 7 hectares through the present legal set.  Those more than 7 hectares, will be paid of inheritance tax 100% of the appraised value.  The second generation children will pay 400% of the appraised value for inheritance tax for lands of more than 7 hectares.  The 3rd generation will pay for the same land 800% of the appraised value for inheritance tax.  

    By this approach, hundreds of thousands of hectares can be recovered and be redistributed back to Filipinos from foreigners.  Huge amount of money can be generated to sustain the management of recovered lands for Filipinos.  Only real and original Filipinos can retain ownership of huge lands.  Only foreigners who became Filipino citizens without any anomalous means can retain their lands but this time not anymore huge sizes like that of Lucio Tan, Henry Sy, Concepcion of the Concepcion Industries, Gokongwei, and many other foreigners who have already controlled our country.  This is land reform but with a soft approach.

    • EdgarEdgar

      Tristanism below is a perfect example of a chink who came to this country, whose parents prospered by sucking the blood and living off the sweat of Filipinos. And yet he rejoices every time he sees the true sons and daughters of the land suffer from landlessness.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/25A7RL6OZ7JWSTMRQE2NQSK4UQ dd

      What’s wrong with foreigners owning land in the Philippines?  Crab mentality of the Filipinos, again.  If we cannot gain anything out of it, then no one else should.  Foreigners have the resources and financial capabilities to develop the land so it can employ people, generate business, industry and pay taxes.   Filipinos do not.  Instead we let squatters take over the land.  The land becomes useless because squatters do not pay rent or taxes, bring dirt and disease, suck the resources of the local government like leeches and lover property values.

    • Garo Ungaro

      If any group, has the capacity to buy the island will they allow it?…The problem is not this foreigners…its the people…why, will this foreigner be willing to buy and and sacrifice their life for a land…when there’s a group of people who has the rights to that land and is willing to sell their service/their land to somebody foreign, and complain, later. i was robbed? the mindset of some people brings this issue to the forefront.This so called foreigner..has the foresight..and play the game filipino plays…can u blamed them? ..our own short sightedness, enjoy now mentally…and somebody will just do it?…for us mentality…Now, after all this years blamed the foreigners…

      Remember, we got the land before…Now, we don’t have the land…who’s fault is that?…We can say what, we want? curse the government, the court system, the reality is they are taking over…These foreigners cannot do anything without the blessing of the government, the court system.. WAKE UP!…before we lost the island?…these are foreigners interested, on the island, the problem is very few native inhabitants, are interested, their belief is “I was born here and I am a native, but I have no land.?..”.

  • Rolly257

    I can understand the plight of Dorita Vargas, but the problem here would be that, she is not and was not a tiller of the land as what the story here is portrayed.

    She is 63 years old. Her husband left 29 years (1983) ago, and started employment as a farmhand until 1995.

    The big question would be…which piece of land is Dorita Vargas entitled to? Would that mean that every person who worked for a farm for wages can legally claim for the CARP/er program? How long would it take to process a claim? Are the registered owners willing to part with their lands?

  • Rolly257

    In reply to Pitbulldog:

    Who the next leader you mean, Binay…noooo, not a slim chance.

  • tra6Gpeche

    Ms Dorita Vargas’ words to President Aquino is a plea of a woman who is desperate, feeling hopeless and running out of time. Mr. Aquino, please make sure to implement CARP before your term is over. You are the only hope of these Filipino peasants. In the name of your beloved mother, do not disappoint and forsake them.

  • boldyak

    “The program is underfunded. Beneficiaries do not get the required support mechanisms”…mas importante kasi ang budget para sa congressman at senators…kaya wala muna pundo ang agrarian reform…mahirap na baka hindi na macontrol ang senado at congress kung unahin ang agrarian kesa Pork barrel…

    • Observer_din

      style ni Gloria yan, paggamit ng pondo ng gobyerno para walang komontra sa kanya, lahat ng institusyon binili at sinira niya, senado ,congress, supreme court at eto pinakamalupit, pati mga bishops binayaran niya ng pondo ng  gobyerno…  pinaka masamang leader sa kasaysayan ng pilipinas, no match si marcos sa kagarapalan ng pamilya arroyo/macapagal., 9 na taon nasadlak sa dusa ang bayan. tsk.. tsk… tsk

      • boldyak

        nahatulan na ba?..di ba nakakulong na?…alam nyo pala na masama ang paggamit ng pork barrel pambili ng congresso at senado, bakit ginagawa pa rin ngayon?…kung masamang leader si GMA dahil ginamit nya ang pork barrel sa pag kontrol ng legislative, hindi ba masama rin na leader ang amo nyo kung ginagawa nya rin ang gawain noon?…yung masama noon, masama rin ngayon pag ginawa…hayssss

      • Observer_din

        oo nakakaulong na kaya lang daming arte, nasa-sakitsakitan, si GMA di lang legislative pati supreme court at RCC ginamitan nya ng pera ng bayan.. pati mga bank account nila pinuno ng pera ng tao.. di na nahiya amo mo, malamang isa ka nakinabang don.. hehhehe

  • kilabot

    the peasant was like telling an information to a makapili.

  • Your_King

    Sorry to disappoint you folks but the President is all words and no actions. All promises with no follow-through. All talk and more talk. He’ll say all the right things to the poor but in the end never really directly help the poor.

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