JAMINDAN, Capiz—President Rodrigo Roa Duterte warned wealthy landowners not to repurchase lands distributed by the government through its land reform program and should instead help poor land reform beneficiaries by providing them financial assistance.
In a speech during the decommissioning of firearms by former members of the Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Boncayao Brigade -Tabara-Paduano Group (RPA/ABB-TPG), President Duterte said rich hacienderos enjoyed the fruits of their possession of vast tracts of land for many, many decades and it is time to alleviate the condition of poor Filipinos.
“Look, sabihin ko na sa inyo. Sa panahon ko, I will not honor that sale,” the President warned. “Kung sabihin mo na binili mo uli, eh mahirap ‘yung tao eh. Maybe for the first time in his life, he got hold of so much money.”
“If they would insist because it is prohibited to buy itong mga lupa na ibinigay sa land reform at binili ninyo at gusto ninyong…gusto ng tenant kunin at ayaw ninyong ibigay, I will side with the tenants kasi alam ninyo na hindi ninyo pwedeng bilihin ‘yan.”
The President renewed his offer to the members of the New People’s Army (NPA), stressing he is ready to provide them land, shelter, and livelihood if they surrender to the government and shun violence.
He told the former members of RPA/ABB-TPG present during Thursday’s event that he has distributed thousands of land titles to the landless and has been doing it without much fanfare.
The President instructed the agrarian reform secretary to distribute idle state-owned lands to poor farmers to complete the land reform program of the government.
“Sabihin ko ngayon sa Secretary, I will go by two years and so many months from now. Kumpletuhin na niya ang land reform dito at ibigay na ang lahat ng lupa sa gobyerno sa tao dito para to complete the story,” he said.
“Kung wala namang silbi ‘yang lupa ng gobyerno, hindi naman ginagamit, ibigay mo na sa tao kay may problema tayo.”
The President was here in Capiz Thursday to oversee the decommissioning of more than 300 firearms surrendered by the RPA/ABB-TPG. The former combatants received various assistance from different government agencies as they start a new life in the mainstream society.
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