The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP, Peasant Movement of the Philippines) said Akbayan Partylist Rep. Riza Hontiveros-Baraquel’s accusations are anti-peasant and anti-people.
Baraquel accused Bayan Muna Representative Satur Ocampo and Anakpawis Representative Rafael Mariano, also the chairperson of KMP, of colluding with landlords in killing the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
Danilo Ramos, KMP secretary general, said that since martial law, Ocampo has continued upholding the people’s interests, particularly the peasant’s call for genuine agrarian reform.
Ramos said that Mariano’s ‘reputation and integrity as a fighter and defender of peasants’ rights and interests are incontestable. He said Mariano called for a genuine agrarian reform program during the Aquino regime, and was a survivor of the Mendiola Massacre on January 22, 1988.
“With all their historical experiences of leading the people’s movement for the struggle for democracy and basic rights, a non-peasant and a fashionista-lawmaker such as Akbayan Partylist Rep. Hontiveros-Baraquel should think first before she accuses someone of colluding with the landlords,” added Ramos.
KMP deemed that landlord-congressmen are happy about Akbayan’s accusations against the progressive party-list representatives, diverting attention from the main issue of “genuine agrarian reform” or “free land distribution.”
Ramos said further, “We should not fall into the trap of being divided, instead we should be united in calling for genuine agrarian reform or particularly the free land distribution.”
The group has been pushing for the passage of House Bill 3059 or the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB).
“Supporters of CARP extension should prove that they are really pro-farmers by supporting our bill, and moving on with the death of CARP… They should wake up with the reality that landlords benefited from CARP and support GARB instead,” Ramos said.(Bulatlat.com)