MASP supports the joint statement of AKBAYAN and CARP Movement on Joint Resolution 19

Joint Statement of AKBAYAN and Reform CARP Movement

 
Joint Resolution No.19 must be stricken down. It is clearly
unconstitutional since the Constitution mandates that the State shall
undertake the just distribution of all agricultural lands. The
constitutional provision clearly commands the State to distribute and
subject to agrarian reform not only those lands that are voluntarily
offered to sell but all agricultural lands.
 
CARL does not set a deadline. DOJ Opinion No. 009, Series of 1997, and
recently DOJ Memorandum dated 10 December 2008, state that the
schedule of implementation is merely directory and not mandatory. This
means that LAD is a continuing aspect that should, if possible, be
completed in 10 years, but if not, its implementation should be
allowed to continue.
 
Joint Resolution No.19 effectively cancels the distribution of 64
percent (64%) of new lands which are set to be covered by CARP as well
as halts the distribution of all lands that are being processed for
distribution under the compulsory acquisition mode. JR No.19 clearly
discriminates against thousands of farmers who have currently pending
application for coverage will not be acted on by government.
 
The resolution ends Land Acquisition and Distribution (LAD) under CARP
as landowners are not expected to voluntarily offer their lands under
CARP.  These are mostly private agricultural lands owned by landowners
including those lands owned by members of Congress and of the First
Family who have been resisting the program for the past twenty (20)
years. Landowners of landholdings currently under VOS and VLT are also
expected to withdraw their application for VOS and VLT to altogether
avoid CARP coverage.
 
The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) delivered the final blow on
CARP by issuing the DAR Memorandum No. 09-01804. The memorandum is an
operational directive that provides the guidelines in implementing the
Joint Resolution No.19.  However, it worsens the situation by ordering
the deferment of the "processing of Compulsory Acquisition (CA)
including landholdings already in the pipeline, and survey activities
for lands under CA until further notice".
 
JR No.19 and DAR Memorandum No. 09-01804 could spark chaos in the
countryside as the agrarian reform beneficiaries and landowners are
bound to fight head on over the issue. This early, the Joint
Resolution and DAR memorandum is being used by landowners to block the
distribution of agricultural lands, including holdings under
litigation at the DAR Adjudication Board (DARAB) or regular courts.
 
We urge Congress and DAR to stop subjecting agrarian reform to the
discretion of the landowners.
 
We call on the DAR to exercise political will and stick to its
Constitutional mandate of continuing to implement CARP until all
agricultural lands are covered. It must rescind Memorandum 09-01804.
 
And finally, we challenge Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to command her anti-
agrarian reform partymates in Congress to support the passage of HB
4077.  She should also clarify once and for all the government's
position the continuing nature of land acquisition and distribution as
DOJ Opinion No. 009, Series of 1997 and DOJ Memorandum provide.
 
___________________________________________________________
 
Reform CARP Movement is a coalition of peasant organizations, non-
government organizations, party list groups and individual advocates
who are pushing for the extension and reform of the Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
 
AKBAYAN, thru Rep. Risa Hontiveros, is the principal author of CARPER
in the House of Representative.
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