Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Farmer’s March to Calvary

Davao City- As the rest of the population are enjoying the weeklong break for the observation of Holy Week, farmers from Compostela Valley, Davao Provinces and South Cotabato will be reenacting Jesus Christ’s march to Calvary to reiterate their clamor for the immediate enactment of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARPER) Extension with Reforms Bill

The farmers under the Ugnayan ng mga Nagkakaisang Organisasyon sa Kanayunan (UNORKA) are calling for all Mindanao House Representatives’ support for and prioritization of the said bill as Congress reconvene on April 13.
The Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on their meeting last March 16 with the President and members of Senate and Congress were assured of the approval of the bill, but the farmers feared the numbers of House Representatives that are needed to pass the law is still lacking.

“There must be a minimum of 120 signatories in order to pass the CARPER Bill but only 84 representatives are reportedly in favor of CARPER bill the extension of agrarian reform law. The farmers have been staging different pilgrimages to fight for their land. From Sumilao to Calatagan Batangas, the farmers never ceased to struggle for land ownership. We are calling for the big bulk of “undecided” representatives to heed our call. Agrarian reform is the heart of the countryside,” Dagohoy Magaway, of Mindanao Farmer’s Development Center (MFDC) said.

As one farmer leader from Mati, Davao Oriental lamented, “Semana Santa o dili, grabe na among penitensiya. Sa pag-apud apod pa lang sa yuta taas taas na nga kalbaryo aang mong maagian. (Lent or not, we have been suffering tremendously. Just for land distribution, we have suffered long enough.).”

The Via Crucis or the stations of the cross are located at the different key areas of Compostela Valley, Mati, Digos and Calinan. The farmers especially those coming from agrarian reform communities from Compostela Valley, Mati (Davao Oriental) will start their walk from April 8 while those coming from Polomolok (South Cotabato) will join the Digos (Davao del Sur) community and start the march on April 10. Farmers from Calinan (Davao City) will wait for them in Ulas and together they would gather for a vigil in Almendras Gym until April 13.##

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