Rethinking Society Over a Cup of Coffee

4 march update on lupang hinirang lupang hinarang farmers' pilgrimage for CARPER

by Atty. Kaka J. Bag-ao

De La Salle University and Adamson University showed their overwhelming support to the farmers and to the CARPER!

Students of De La Salle University prepared the breakfast for the pilgrim-farmers yesterday. The farmers remembered their normal everyday life with their families that their sons and daughters would usually prepare for their meals before going to school. They had a sumptuous meal while having interactions with the students.

AT 9:00 in the morning, the farmers begun their walk going to Adamson University to attend a special mass dedicated for the farmers and their cause. Father Nonong Fajardo celebrated the mass stressing the importance of agrarian reform in the country. He reaffirmed that the Catholic Church and Adamson University are in solidarity with the farmers’ cause in advocating for the enactment of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with genuine reform.

Students of Adamson University prepared the lunch for the pilgrim-farmers. Once again, the farmers were moved by the generosity of the young people. After lunch, the farmers initiated a short program to explain further to the students the cause of the pilgrimage and how CARPER would benefit the small farmers and eventually the entire country. Many students expressed their support by signing the CARPER petition.

Then the farmers went to Malate Church. On their arrival and while waiting for the mass to start, 58 farmers (57 men and 1 woman) shaved their heads. They said that this action symbolizes their sacrifices. It likewise symbolizes the apathy of the legislators in agrarian reform issues.

The church was already full when the farmers went inside. More than 1,000 people including 9 bishops attended the mass and showed their support to agrarian reform program extension. The farmers decided to sit in the isle of the church.

After the mass, the farmers and some other supporters had a formation in front of the church. They lied down and chanted the CARPER calls. The mobilization lasted for about an hour. Due to the heat of the sun, one farmer from Sumilao, Bukidnon fainted.

Then the farmers plus 1,000 supporters from different religious groups, Task Force Mapalad (TFM), urban poor sector and others, continued their walk. They were supposed to go to Mendiola. They passed by the City Hall and Quiapo until the police officers approached them. The farmers were not allowed to proceed to Mendiola so they went to Asilo de San Vicente de Savl where they took some rest and had dinner. They likewise spent the night in the said place.

Today, they are having a reflection session in Asilo de San de Savl before then they will head off to Caritas Manila then to the Ateneo de Manila University to thank them for their support and to be in solidarity with the students who will go through a hunger act to support CARPER.