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Rather than arrest Satur, why not train your guns on Cuenca who continues to squat on farmers’ land? March 13, 2007

Posted by s511 in agrarian reform, Human Rights, left killings, party-list system and elections, The Left.

In behalf of Akbayan, I condemn in the strongest possible terms the continuing persecution and impending arrest of Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo.  The more than twenty year old charge of multiple murder against Satur committed at the time he was under military detention reflects the same disdain by the authorities for justice and the rule of law that met the arrest of Rep. Crispin Beltran on trumped up charges over a year ago.

Satur Ocampo had spent more than seven years in military detention for rebellion against dictatorial rule.  His decision to engage in parliamentary politics reflects an increasing trend by the radical left to shift to the legal arena in lieu of working underground. This direction must be encouraged rather than stifled because it enriches the proliferation of ideas that articulate the interests of a highly diversified society such as ours.  This is what democracy is all about.

Hard as it may seem for those with fossilized mindsets, the militarist ideology is not shared widely by the Filipino people.  Hence, the government solution to the problems of poverty and social unrest can never be attained through the barrel of a gun.

Only by genuinely addressing the basic needs of the people can this government hope to win them fully.  Mapalad farmers on hunger strike call on this government to give land to the landless as the peaceful solution to poverty and unrest.  Yet this government prefers to see them hungry and remains blind to the continuing violations committed by the landlord who now squats on the farmers’ land.

Rather than train its guns on Satur whose only “offense” is to leave the underground and work for basic reforms through legal engagement, this administration must use its police agencies to enforce the rule of law in hotspot areas where a few landlords of Negros continue to squat on carpable land that has long been declared as land for the farmers.

Etta P. Rosales
Akbayan Representative



1. wood - March 17, 2007

Hello Mrs Eta Rosales, i just wanna give justice to what you wrote if it is your ideas or of your Partylist Stand, I believe you’re a Euro Type of Communism, You gave the most bright idea and for your most personal target, your asking for the land of your supporters who are not legitimate on that place, your asking to give land to those who gave you their full support and if it is done, your an angel to them your present is heaven to them, tapos ikaw naman tuloy tuloy ka hangang sa mga kagustuhan mong sirain lahat ng ating mga presidente dito sa Pilipinas, ang sarap pakingan ang mga plataforma mo Japorms talaga, pati yong santo kayang kaya mong ipalahok sa iyong grupo,,,,,at sandali lang isa lang din akong 26 years old na tao…youth as you consider……pero hindi ikaw ang boses ko i have my own voice kahit ganito kamura edad ko…..Mrs Eta Rosales…………you wanna be part of the history ahahhahahaa this country will never read history on your time………kc pare pareho lang kayo mga salod sa Economic Rights ng Bawat Filipino, Kayo Sampu ng iyong Kasama at buong Administration……..if only i have the right to talk for the wiser Filipino People I will all condemn you……kayo kayo ang nagaaway……….kayo kayo ang nagpapalito sa ating gobyerno…………sawa na kami mga wise na Filipino……….di nyo na kami maloko Mrs Eta Rosales……………….

2. Chole Chua - March 29, 2007

This appeared in the visayan daily star last March 16, 2006.


For the past two weeks, national media had given us footages that touched the hearts of even the most hardened souls.

The picture created by Task Force Mapalad (TFM) was very cinematic. Women and men with shaven heads, some rushed to the hospital at the height of their supposed hunger strike, and recently chining themselves and writing their last will and testament in the event they die at the gates of the Department of Agrarian Reform.

Believe it or not, we sympathize with the innocent hunger strikers whom we strongly believe are just being used as pawns by their handlers, some of whom have the temerity to continue playing golf and sounding so righteous on national media while their people are getting hungry.

And yes, we totally agree with Dennis Murphy that “government should worry when it finds people like Florenda Hilario and Erlinda Gregorio”.

Government should indeed worry. These middle aged women are being used by supposed civil society leaders who are actually sowing anarchy, holding the government hostage, pressuring them to set aside the rule of law, at the expense of these hunger strikers lives.

Yes, Florenda is an original tiller of Hda. Malaga, formerly owned by Roberto Cuenca. The cooperative members and union workers acknowledge the fact that she worked alongside with them before the implementation of CARP.

In fact, they have reiterated their call to these hunger strikers to come home and settle the dispute so they can claim their land, not out of violence and fear, but in victory for the chance to co-exist in peace.

But let me stress, that this invitation is extended only TO THE ORIGINAL TILLERS OF THE FARM, whether they are with Task Force Mapalad or not.

Erlinda, on the other hand, is one reason why the union continues to refuse to accept the Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) issued by the DAR. The union stands by its position that only the original tillers are given the right over the land.

Let us not forget that on the other side of this story, the union members have mothers and grandmothers too who are trying to go on with their lives despite these continued threats of violence in the area. Let us not forget too the 152 students who risk losing their scholarships and other benefits if national government allows itself to be pressured by TFM.

It is unfortunate that these facts are not being highlighted in the national media. Yes, there have been attempts by national media to take the sides of the farmer beneficiaries belonging to the union and cooperative, but somehow, powerful forces have lobbied and prevented these voices and sentiments to be aired even among out toughest and broadsheets who boast truth and fairness in reporting.

The recent events in Malaga stemmed out of the foiled forced installation by TFM members last January 24, 2007 which ended in a shoot out between TFM members and union members. Yes, Mr. Murphy, TFM had two wounded members, not from bullets, but injuries arising from falling and most probably during the rampage which they initiated in the first place.

What TFM failed to disclose was the face that there were also two wounded from the other side, one union member and a security guard, both of whom were hospitalized because of gunshot wounds. Of course, we wouldn’t be surprised if TFM claims these were self inflicted.

But again, we don’t have a propagandist on our payroll. We can only fight theatrics with the TRUTH.

TFM failed to disclose too that they made an attempt to secure a medical certification from the municipal health doctor that their injuries were caused by bullets but which was denied because there were none underneath the bloodied bandages they showed local media and priest in the hope to win these people on their side.

What was more suspect was TFM came ready for that incident with their own video cameras, footages which were shown on national news. To many in Negros Occidental, that was a staged forced installation, instigating violence to pressure DAR and the government to install their farmer beneficiaries at the expense of people’s lives, both theirs and those belonging to the union.

When that failed, they staged their hunger strike in Metro Manila, again to pressure DAR and the national government. They won the first round, but lost in the end to have themselves installed, NOT BECAUSE OF RESISTING LANDOWNERS, or inefficient government heads, but because union members were able to amass support from other farmer beneficiaries to prevent the installation.

We should not blame the union for that aborted installation. Like the TFM’s claim, they are only defending their rights to the land they and their parents have long tilled, which is now under threat because TFM insists on including people who have never shed sweat or blood on the farm.

As we have continually reiterated, we are not against land reform. We just want the proper implementation of the law and justice for the original tillers. We want to finally put this issue to rest, mend broken family relationships, and live in peace and harmony.

This would have long been resolved if DAR would just review the CLOAs and admit they made a mistake in awarding rights to some TFM members who are not original tillers of the farm. We too are tired of living under strained conditions.

We appeal to the TFM leaders to stop subjecting your people to these theatrics. Stop using people as pawns. Stop deceiving the public. Start telling the truth.

Zoilo de la Cruz
Hda. Malaga Independent Workers Union

3. former member - April 19, 2007

@post 1, pwede ba ayusin mo english grammar mo, 26 years old ka na pala, utang na loob kundi kaya ng kokote mo ang subject and verb agreement wag ka nalang mag attempt…

4. Anonymous - June 6, 2007

agrarian reform in the phils is a failure. di pa nga tapos ang agrarian reform, there is already land re-concentration. better withhold land from the farmers. these farmers-beneficiaries will just sell the land to some landlord.

the land should be in the hands of people who are good steward of the land–those who know the real value of the land…kung ibibigay lang sa farmer na pag walang pera ay kaagad magbebenta ng lupa, buti pa e wag na mag agrarian reform at wag na sila tulungan.

i am from a poor family but my mother never sold a piece of land to make ends meet and i am happy for that. kami itong small landowner, kami pa ang naging biktima ng agrarian reform na iyan. paano maging carp beneficiary ang isang tao sa lupang classified as residential property at yung totoong may-ari ay may 7 hectares lang.

ngayon, may hullaballo na naman with land administration act. pag mag distribute ng lupa ang gobyerno, dapat the means of conveyance is only through succession and not through sale. dapat may perpetual prohibition against alienation to guard the poor farmers against their kamangmangan.

5. jonathan uygongco - July 10, 2007

Guv asking Gloria for probe
on DAR funds used for TFM
BY CARLA GOMEZ July 5, 2007 Visayan Daily Star
Negros Occidental Gov. Joseph Marañon yesterday said he is asking the Office of the President and the Department of Justice to immediately initiate an investigation into the serious complaints of Department of Agrarian Reform employees in Bacolod City on the alleged use of DAR funds for Task Force Mapalad.
This gives me more reason to believe that Agrarian Reform Secretary Nasser Pangandaman does not consult local officials on agrarian reform concerns in Negros Occidental because he is already biased towards the TFM, Marañon said.
In the past Marañon had been irked by Pangandaman’s failure to consult him during his visits to Negros Occidental for the implementation of land reform in Hacienda Velez Malaga, La Castellana, involving TFM beneficiaries.
Numerous incidents of violence have erupted at Velez Malaga that have, so far, resulted in the death of three farmer beneficiaries this year.
Marañon said he will present his call for an investigation to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo during her visit to Negros Occidental on July 13 for the Go Negosyo campaign, and the new Bacolod-Silay airport.
The president is expected to be accompanied by members of her Cabinet, he said.
The allegations that DAR resources are being used to fund TFM activities to the prejudice of the DAR employees and operations is alarming, he said.
The governor is calling for an examination of funds given DAR and an audit of its performance.
The governor was reacting to a position paper of the DAR employees composed of the United MAROs Association of Negros Occidental and the Department of Agrarian Reform Rank and File Employees Union.
The position paper slammed the recent relief of Stephen Leonidas and asked that he be retained as PARO of Negros Occidental.
It said Pangandaman abused his authority when he disregarded the rules on procedure and administrative due process in the transfer of Leonidas.
The TFM had earlier called for the relief of Leonidas for the alleged delay in the demarcation of property due its beneficiaries in Hacienda Velez-Malaga.
The DAR employees position paper slammed what it called the unwarranted pampering of TFM members who compose only a small percentage of the province’s farmer beneficiaries.
It also called for the ouster of DAR Undersecretary Narciso Nieto and DAR officials affiliated with TFM.
“The frequent demand for consultation done by the TFM members as well as the money or funds allotted for such consultations is a great loss to the department. Instead of prioritizing the benefits due to the DAR employees, oftentimes we prioritize TFM consultations as directed by our top DAR officials,” the position paper said.
Pangadaman, Nieto and other DAR employees rely so much on the advice and pronouncements of TFM members over the decisions of local DAR officials, making a mockery of their dignity and credibility, the position paper added.*CPG

6. jonathan uygongco - July 10, 2007


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