More than 2,000 farmers led by the militant peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) today, Independence Day, braved the rains and marched to Mendiola Bridge in Manila and the United States embassy to demand genuine land reform to the Aquino administration.
“There is no genuine independence when the Filipino peasantry are still locked in feudal bondage,” says KMP deputy secretary general Willy Marbella.
Marbella said that the continuing monopoly by landlords and foreign agribusinesses of vast tracts of lands belies claims of so-called Philippine independence.
“As long as vast tracts of lands are owned and controlled by big landlords and foreign agribusiness, there is no genuine freedom and democracy,” says Marbella.
The KMP assailed what it described as the government’s bogus Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) as the main culprit in continuing landlessness of Filipino farmers.
“CARP failed to address the growing problem of landlessness. It is simply designed as a market-oriented land reform program to cater the needs of advanced capitalist countries,” he said.
P-Noy Golden Kuhol
The farmers also burned a giant P-Noy Golden Kuhol effigy symbolizing plague to farmers brought by the pest golden kuhol in rice farms.
“For us, P-Noy stands for Pesteng Noy, Parasite Noy and Puppet Noy. The haciendero president is the biggest pest to the Filipino peasantry,” Marbella said.
The farmers then marched to the US embassy to condemn the intensifying US intervention in the country.
“The intensifying US economic, political, cultural and military intervention, coupled with Aquino’s rabid puppetry is the biggest slap to Philippine independence,” the peasant leader said. #