Duterte: With or without Reds, gov’t to fast-track land reform
DIGOS CITY – With or without the communists, the government will fast-track the land reform and land distribution in the country, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Saturday.
The President made the promise in Kidapawan City, where he guested the ceremonial distribution of more than 6,000 Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) to agrarian reform beneficiaries in North Cotabato.
“I intend to dispose of all government lands, huwag nang patagalin (let’s not make it longer), with or without communists, iyang friction sa lupa, meron talaga iyan, so ibigay natin (there’s always that friction about land, so, let’s distribute it),” he said.
“I said this before, I’m saying this again now: no one is going to win this war (being waged by the Communist New People’s Army),” he said. “Without land reform, if land reform is not implemented, this war is not going to end if people continue to be deprived of land,” he said.
The President said there’s no need to listen to the communists because the government had agreed to distribute land.
“Bakit kayo makinig sa kumunista? Bakit kayo nakikinig kay Sison. Ang alam nya alam ko, sang ayon ako sa land reform ninyo, idaan lang sa proseso (Why do you listen to the communists? Why do you listen to Sison? What he knows, I also know. I agree with land reform but as long as there are rules to be followed), he said.
But although the President expressed commitment to subject government lands to agrarian reform, he remained mum on reforming thousands of hectares of private landholdings throughout the country.
Agrarian Reform Secretary John Rualo Catriciones said the distribution of over 6,000 CLOAs involving 11,243 hectares of agricultural land on Saturday represented the largest landholding ever given to agrarian reform beneficiaries in the history of the country’s agrarian reform program.
Speaking to hundreds of officials at the provincial Gym at the Capitol Compound in Barangay Amas in Kidapawan City on Saturday, Duterte said he was willing to give all the government lands particularly to the Lumads so that their children could benefit from them.
“Gusto ko lang makatikim ng milyon ang mga lumad (I want the lumad to taste millions),” Duterte said.
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