Disarm, farm lands | Daily Tribune – Without Fear or Favor

Maralit, K. (2019, February 12). Disarm, farm lands. Daily Tribune – Without Fear or Favor. Retrieved February 12, 2019 from http://tribune.net.ph/index.php/2019/02/12/disarm-farm-lands/

Disarm, farm lands
By Kristina Maralit – February 12, 2019 12:28 AM

Reds get peace offer anew

Lay down your arms and cultivate your lands.

This was President Rodrigo Duterte’s offer to the New People’s Army (NPA) as he urged communist rebels to put an end to their decades-long armed struggle with the government as he will distribute all state-owned lands.

You cannot solve this through killing each other. We will be wiped out over foolish reasons

“I have always told everybody – the military, police, everyone, even the Cabinet – that we will not have peace until we do not arrive at a resolution with our rebel brothers and give them land,” the President said in his speech during the ceremonial distribution of Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) to more than 800 agrarian reform beneficiaries in Maguindanao last night.

“You cannot solve this through killing each other. We will be wiped out over foolish reasons,” he continued.

Joined by Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol and Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones, along with Maguindanao Gov. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu and other local officials, Mr. Duterte stressed there is no more need for the NPA’s revolutionary movement for the poor to have land to till because his administration is already implementing land reform.

“What for? Their campaign of giving land to the people, I’m already doing that,” he said.

“Drop your weapons. That will do no one any good. It is useless, very useless to fight. Let’s talk. Bury your arms. You don’t need it,” Mr. Duterte said.

“Join the government. This is not mine alone. This is ours,” he added.

Hands tied
Noting that his hands are tied when it comes to the rising prices of oil and its by-products even if the people threaten to “hang” him, the President encouraged new land owners to cultivate their lands as he said there will come a day when even the countries who are the richest in oil resources will be knocking on their doors.

The Philippines may not have been blessed with oil, but it was blessed with lands so rich that they can produce food not just for Filipinos but even other nations, he said.

“My Moro brothers, I just distributed those documents you are holding right now. That’s about on the average two, three hectares. I distributed something like 1,740 hectares. Many of you are beneficiaries. Take what is yours, cultivate it,” Mr. Duterte urged. “Just wait. The time will come that when food becomes scarce because of climate change, nothing will grow anymore in other lands. It will be us, those with lands, who can dictate the prices.”

Fertile lands are blessings
The President also mentioned that, although the country may not be much of a rice producer anymore, more agricultural products may be produced because of the vast farmlands.

He also vowed to spend a big portion of his remaining years in office to working toward achieving lasting peace in Mindanao and that he will start with restarting peace talks with Nur Misuari and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

Mr. Duterte expressed optimism that with Misuari’s help and leadership, the government will finally quash the security threat that is the Islamic State.

“I’m telling you now. Whatever else we need (for peace), I will give you as long as it is within the bounds of the Constitution,” he expressed.

Until that is realized, however, the Chief Exclusive made one last appeal to communist rebels to peacefully surrender and pledge allegiance to the government.

Published in Headlines | Daily Tribune – Without Fear or Favor

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