Filipino farmers mark agrarian reform anniversary, death of farmer-leader

Philippine national peasant federation PAKISAMA, a member of AFA, joined various small farmer organizations, non-government organizations, and coalitions in the Philippines in calling for President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to distribute Hacienda Luisita (a huge estate owned by the Aquino clan in the province of Tarlac) under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) within the first 100 days of his administration.

The call was made by the Reform CARP Movement during the commemoration of the 22nd anniversary of CARP in front of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) on June 10.

During the commemoration, PAKISAMA National President Crispino Aguelo said, “We expect more from him (President-elect Aquino III) because he said that he would pushfor serious changes for the sake of the Filipino people.”

A holy mass was held in front of the DAR, which was also attended by DAR officials and employees, to mark the 22nd anniversary of CARP and also to commemorate the 1st death anniversary of Renato “Ka Rene” Penas, former PAKISAMA National President, who was killed on June 5 last year, at the height of the campaign for the passage of the law extending and amending the agrarian reform law.

The holy mass was followed by a “boodle lunch”, where the all the event participants used their bare hands to partake of Filipino food laid out on a long table covered by banana leaves.

The “boodle lunch” was meant to signify the cooperation of all stakeholders for the successful completion of the agrarian reform program.

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