By Prof. Jose Maria Sison, NDFP Chief Political Consultant
February 12, 2019
Duterte is belatedly distributing only a few token certificates of land transfer to a small number of presumed land reform beneficiaries for the purpose of propaganda. He is using his tokenism to make the big lie that he will distribute all the idle public land to the landless peasants who have long hungered for land of their own.
In fact, he is subjecting to “conversion” or exemption from land reform vast amounts of land previously considered as subject to land reform so that these lands could be repossessed by real estate corporations and landlords. As already exposed by former DAR secretary Rafael Mariano, “conversion” is a racket of Duterte and his fellow corrupt bureaucrats.
Duterte has been using the state terrorism of the reactionary armed forces and police to protect the landed oligarchy and the agri-corporations to keep their monopoly of the best agricultural land and to brutally attack both the mass movement of farm workers and poor peasants and the revolutionary movement that is carrying out genuine land reform.
As regards to tillable but idle public land, Duterte is actually giving this away to his fellow bureaucrats, landlords and agri-corporations that engage mainly in the production of palm oil, rubber,banana, pineapple and other fruits for export. Otherwise the mining companies favored by Duterte merely ruin the public land and natural environment.
Duterte is now the chief political agent and hatchet man of the landlords and the agri-corporations not only in Davao but in the entire country. He is merely boasting and lying by declaring that he can distribute all idle public land to the landless peasants and to do away with the role of the mass movement of farm workers and peasants, the people’s army and the people’s democratic government in carrying out genuine land reform and distributing land to the landless peasants.
Duterte has terminated the peace negotiations with the NDFP precisely because he is opposed to a comprehensive agreement on social and economic reforms, especially genuine agrarian reform and rural development. In all previous negotiations of the NDFP with the reactionary government, the latter has always blocked the full progress of negotiations on social and economic reforms, especially land reform.###