Monday, April 20, 2009

The Un-CARP-able story

In this blog, you would always read about CARP posts. Some are press releases or updates from other fellow advocate’s site. I have been immersed with the CARP extension with reforms (CARPER) Bill campaign just last year.

At first, it was all work. Then it became my personal advocacy. Agrarian reform is needed in the countryside. Land is very important to farmers. I know it. I grew up in a barrio where agriculture is the primary source of livelihood of people. Control and access to land is the only way to empower the small farmers; the farmers have been feeding this country and yet, they remain poor and powerless. They are always left at the mercy of the middlemen and brokers and even with the landowners.

I presume you have watched Ditsi Carolino’s documentary “Lupang Hinarang”. Not yet? Hhmm..What about the marches done by farmers from Sumilao, Bukidnon? Calatgan, Batangas? Banasi, Camarines Sur?

Okay, I’ll just assume you have known of the Sumilao Higaonon farmers from Bukidnon who have trekked 1, 700 kilometers to Manila just to fight for their 144 hectares of land. They made headlines for quite a time. They were fighting for the land that was a part of their ancestral domain, that was rightfully theirs and yet, the landowner devised schemes to change its usage and sold it to San Miguel Corporation (SMC). The fertile land was once planted by rice, but SMC wanted it for their piggery. It is just heartbreaking that the farmers have to take extrajudicial means to dramatize their plight.

But beyond this, my involvement with CARP campaign became a personal one. It took a different meaning. Aside from my personal advocacy in engaging the State and yes, calling all the legislators to finally sign the pending Bill, I confess that I got myself involved one way with another to Someone in the course of the campaign.

This I guess, is the most personal thing I have written here. I did not intend this blog to by personal blog. But as I reflect on the situation, I can’t help but smile, a bitter smile (!). Well, I thought it was something special. We talked till the wee hours of the morning not only about CARP and the State’s double standards, but also about almost everything. We texted, chat and exchange emails almost everyday. We started to share about the stories of our lives. It's 'Friendship' that is no longer defined in the realm of the said word. I thought there’s hope. But not everything is rosy as I thought it was. I could not contend with his past.

And just like the CARP Bill in Congress right now, everything about us is left hanging. (But there was no ‘us’, after all, I scold myself).

The legislators in Congress are s-l-o-w-l-y legally killing the law.

We no longer talk like we used to. Maybe this is the slooooow death of whatever we have.

I don't want to be left hanging.

Sad but I guess, I have to give up and just say




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