Advance the revolutionary land reform movement

Communist Party of the Philippines
June 11, 2013

For 25 years, the reactionary Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) has clearly demonstrated itself to be a big fraud. The backward and anti-progress landlord class continues to dominate Philippine economy and politics. The landlords continue to subject millions of Filipino peasants to feudal and semifeudal exploitation with their haciendas and other feudal holdings.

The CARP and its extension program, the CARPer, are no different from the Marcos dictatorship's Presidential Decree #27 and all previous bogus land reform programs since the inception of the neocolonial state. After seven decades, the Filipino peasantry remains landless and subjected to grave exploitation and oppression.

The CARP and all other previous bogus land reform programs are projects of deception by the landlord-dominated reactionary state. These merely seek to squash the widespread demand for land and quell the peasant masses' democratic struggle for genuine land reform.

The fraudulence of the CARP is underscored by the fact that the biggest haciendas remain untouched and under the monopoly control of the big landlords after 25 years of implementation. This is further stressed by the fact that the reactionary state is currently being administered by Benigno Aquino III, a scion of the Cojuangco landlord clan. Hacienda Luisita, the starkest symbol of feudal rule, continues to be under the control of the Cojuangcos through the use of deception, bureaucratic manipulation and armed suppression. Big haciendas continue to be a major feature of the rural landscape.

The Aquinos, Roxases, Aranetas and other big landlord families wallow in excessive luxury. They live in palatial homes, wear designer clothes, eat imported meat, drink expensive wine, party in lavish hotels, jetset and race their gas-guzzling sportscars for fun. They are impervious to the squalor and poverty of the peasants and other toiling masses.

The absence of genuine land reform is the most conspicuous demonstration of the absence of genuine democracy in the Philippines. The majority of the Filipino people comprised of landless peasants and poor farm-workers daily suffer from excessive land rent, extremely low wages, high-cost of agricultural inputs, low farm-gate prices, usurious loans and other forms of feudal and semifeudal exploitation and oppression.

Hundreds of thousands of peasants are displaced from their lands with the landlords' large-scale conversion of agricultural lands to non-agricultural use to skirt the land reform law and earn themselves a quick profit. The massive influx of foreign mining companies further displaces minority peoples from their lands and poisons agricultural lands and waterways. There is complete lack of economic progress to absorb the rural labor force into modern industries. The Philippine countryside is a sea of the unemployed and underemployed, where rural income is pulled down and peasant masses drown in hunger and poverty.

There is no social justice under the reactionary state's CARP. Peasant organizations have dismissed the CARP as a mere real estate transaction where feudal estates subjected to state acquisition are overvalued. Peasants lose their so-called certificates of land transfer in their inability to pay the exorbitant amortization rates. In the name of "economies of scale," so-called beneficiaries are compelled to join "agrarian reform communities" to force their integration into a vast plantation system for the production of bananas, sugar cane, rubber, oil palm and other export crops. They are made to buy seedlings and agricultural inputs and compelled to sell their produce to big landlords and exporters.

Foreign monopoly capitalists continue to take advantage of the feudal and semifeudal system and backward agricultural production to extract superprofits and plunder the Philippines of its wealth. The big landlords and big bourgeois compradors are the most trusted allies of the imperialists. They continue to serve as suppliers of cheap raw materials and conduits of surplus products from the imperialist countries.

The clamor for genuine land reform remains the biggest democratic demand of the Filipino people. It is the main content of the people's democratic revolution which seeks to correct the historic and social injustice inflicted on the peasant masses, and liberate them from feudal and semifeudal exploitation and oppression. By carrying out genuine land reform in consonance with national industrialization, the full potential of the Philippine productive forces are unleashed.

The demand for genuine land reform continues to fuel the people's war. On a daily basis, Red fighters of the New People's Army (NPA) and revolutionary forces under the leadership of the CPP plan out land reform campaigns in accordance with the Program for a People's Democratic Revolution. The minimum program for land reform is being carried out on a nationwide scale.

Under the auspices of the Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Magbubukid (PKM), an allied organization of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), the peasant masses are organized and mobilized to confront landlords with their demands to reduce land rent, raise wages of farm workers, bring down interest rates and raise farmgate prices. Under the guidance of the CPP, the PKM organizes rudimentary forms of cooperation and collectivization in order to raise production and generate additional income.

The CPP waves the banner of genuine land reform to destroy the economic base of landlord exploitation and oppression. In doing so, the revolutionary forces have succeeded in cultivating deep roots in the countryside, building the New People's Army and setting up organs of political power under the People's Democratic Government. The revolutionary land reform movement has positively impacted the peasant masses. The best sons and daughters of the peasant masses comprise the vast majority of the Red fighters of the NPA.

The people's war continues to rage nationwide. It will advance to the next higher stage in the coming years together with great advances in the revolutionary land reform movement.

(This statement was issued to coincide with the 25th year of the CARP which was signed into law by Corazon Cojuangco Aquino in June 10, 1998.)