Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas KMP
Peasant Movement of the Philippines
17 August 2000
In a presscon held in Quezon City, the militant Kilusang Magbubukid ngPilipinas (KMP) today said that the Estrada government have once againexposed his blatant anti-peasant, pro-landlord and realty corporationstamd by rendering a decision favoring Fil-Estate Realty Corporation inthe controversial Hacienda Looc case.
The Office of the President rendered its decision on the controversial8,650 hectare agricultural land located at Nasugbu, Batangas last July5, 2000 signed by Executive Secretary Ronaldo Zamora. The decisionaffirmed the Department of Agrarian Reform's approval grantingFil-Estate's Harbortown project to convert Hacienda Looc into a worldclass tourism area but will dislocate about 10,000 farmers from theirfarmlands.
KMP chair Rafael Mariano said the Estrada government is filled with realestate personalities like Press Undersecretary Mike Toledo who is aformer Senior vice-president of Fil-Estate and in in-charge of themarketing strategy of Fil-Estate. "The reality that Estrada's government isdominated by realty brokers speaks that there is a hocus focus inMalacanang's decision," Mariano said.
Mariano also said the Estrada government unabashedly showed its realanti-poor face and does not hesitate to show his intension not to implementagrarian reform and turned its head on increasing military operations inthe countryside. "This latest decision of Malacanang clearly shows thatEstrada's government is run by corporate power like the Fil-Estate. As aconsequence, we are also convinced that militarization will intensify towreak terror in Hacienda Looc," Mariano added.
Guillermo Bautista, chair of the Ugnayan ng Mamamayan Laban saPamamaslang ng Kalupaan ng Hacienda Looc (Umalpas Ka) said that theywill continue to fight for their rights. "Whatever roadblock Fil-Estateand the Estrada government wanted to install we will continue to fightfor the achievement of genuine land reform in Hacienda Looc," Bautistasaid.
Hacienda Looc is one of the cases to be visited by an International FactFinding Mission (IFFM) headed by La Via Campesina, an internationalmovement of small and middle peasants in more than 63 countries, andFoodfirst Informations and Actions Network (FIAN) an interationalorganization working for the right to feed oneself. The IFFM will beconducted in the Philippines from August 18-25 this year. It is a partof La Via Campesina and FIAN International's Global Campaign forAgrarian Reform.
Bautista also called on the IFFM delegates to support the struggle ofthe people of Hacienda Looc. "We have no other choice but to bring thisto the attention of the people, especially before our fellow farmers andsympathisers both in the national and the international community tosupport our struggle because it is our children's lives that is now inserious danger," said Bautista.
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