Duterte rejects sale of land awarded to agrarian reform beneficiaries
MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he would not honor the sale of land distributed under the land reform program, saying that it was prohibited by the law.
“Sa panahon ko, I will not honor that sale,” Duterte said during the decommissioning of arms and forces of former communist rebels in Jamindin, Capiz.
“Kung sabihin mo binili mo ulit e mahirap ‘yung tao eh, maybe for the first time in his life (he) got hold of so much money eh iilan lang ‘yan. And when it is gone, either dissipated intentionally or sa mga gastos sa buhay, wala silang mabalikan,” he added.
Duterte also urged Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones to hasten the land reform process to allow the faster distribution of land titles to agrarian reform beneficiaries.
“Sabihin ko ngayon sa Secretary, kumpletuhin na niya ang land reform at ibigay na niya lahat ng lupa sa gobyerno sa tao. Kung wala naman silbi ‘yang lupa ng gobyerno, ibigay mo na sa tao. That’s my offer to the communists. Bibigyan ko pa sila ng bahay,” he said.
The President has made land reform program among his government’s key initiatives to address communist insurgency in the Philippines, the longest-running in Asia.
During his speech, Duterte also assured rebel returnees of protection, even saying that he is open to arming them if communist rebels harassed them.
“Kung ipitin kayo ng mga komunista at they really want trouble, I will give you a new firearm,” Duterte said.”/ac