Farmers keep vigil Vs Cha-cha at Batasan Gates
The militant peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) today warned of intensified agrarian unrest once the proposed removal of protectionist economic provisions in the 1987 Constitution is approved by the House of Representatives.
The KMP, who is now on its second day of camp-out and vigil at the gates of Congress, issued the warning after House majority leader Neptali Gonzales said that Resolution of Both Houses No. 1, seeking to amend the Constitution’s restrictions on foreign ownership including land and resources, will be put to a vote on third and final reading tomorrow, June 10.
KMP chair Rafael Mariano said the “anti-peasant economic Cha-cha, coupled with a fake agrarian program, will breed agrarian unrest in the countryside.”
“The removal of the 1987 Charter’s restrictions on foreign ownership of lands would result to rampant and wide-scale land-grabbing. This brazen sell-out of our national patrimony will surely be faced with the fiercest resistance from the peasantry,” Mariano warned noting that “Cha-cha’s consequent displacement of farmers and plunder of natural resources will further push farmers to intensify the struggle against social injustice.”
He said “economic Charter change will worsen the export-oriented and import-dependent orientation of the economy. Local production that is dependent on imported inputs will be directed to serving the needs of globalization.”
“The productive forces, peasants and producers, will be the hardest hit by this so-called economic Charter change,” Mariano stressed adding “opening the economy, particularly giving foreigners 100 percent ownership rights of our lands, would be the biggest political catastrophe to farmers.”
The peasant leader also assailed as a “blatant lie” the so-called economic development being peddled by the proponents of economic Charter change.
“Foreign investments entering the country are merely speculative portfolio investments that bleed super-profits from our own reserves,” Mariano said.
The KMP said Cha-cha is not the solution to the country’s economic woes.
“Putting our lands, natural resources, and the whole economy into global auction will not solve the lingering poverty and hunger suffered by the Filipino people,” Mariano said.
“Only through a new and truly distributive agrarian reform program and national industrialization is the only solution for the country to achieve genuine economic development,” Mariano said.###