Militant farmers slam DAR for eschewing collective land ownership

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Hacienda Luisita workers. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas on Monday said that “the ongoing deceptive raffle draw instigated by President Aquino’s DAR [Department of Agrarian Reform] in Hacienda Luisita is all for show” in time for President Aquino’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) and forms part of a grand scheme by the Cojuangcos to perpetuate control over the lands.”

On Thursday, five days before Aquino’s Sona, the DAR raffled off farm lots to farmer beneficiaries in Barangay (village) Cutcut inside Hacienda Luisita using a “tambiolo” (raffle drum).

“Aquino’s DAR intentionally ignored the farmworkers’ demand for collective ownership because this could hinder the re-concentration of lands to the Cojuangcos. Parceling the hacienda into individual and small lots could divide the ranks and unity of the farmworkers since they are easier to grab,” KMP secretary general Antonio Flores.

“Parceling out the whole hacienda into small lots is not equivalent to breaking land monopoly. The DAR only preserved the backward, disorganized and small-scale production that is in favor of the Cojuangcos,” he added.

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