Rethinking Society Over a Cup of Coffee

march 29 lupang hinirang lupang hinarang citizens' signature campaign for CARPER updates

by Atty. Kaka J. Bag-ao

Sumilao Farmer Speaks Before Large JIL Crowd in Araneta

The farmers participated in the launching of “Bagong Pilipinas, Bagong Pilipino” Movement last March 28, 2009 at the Araneta Coliseum which was filled by thousands of JIL followers. The movement was a reinvention of Bangon Pilipinas Party, the political party of Jesus is Lord (JIL) evangelist Eduardo “Brother Eddie” Villanueva during the 2004 elections.

Further, the farmers also took part in the symbolic sending of Brother Eddie to the stage where representatives of multi-sectoral groups walked with him towards the stage. One of the farmers, Yoyong Merida from Sumilao, was also given an opportunity to address the huge JIL crowd and gave a brief talk on the cause of the farmers and their present campaign for the enactment of the pending bill in Congress to extend and reform CARP. The huge crowd welcomed and applauded the farmers’ presence and participation in the launch of the movement.

The organizers of the event also coordinated the signature campaign for CARPER initiated by the farmers among those who participated in the movement. The organizers also promised that the movement’s support for the farmers does not end at the Araneta event, but they will continue helping out the farmers in their signature campaign in their several local churches. It is to be remembered that Brother Eddie and the JIL movement has actively shown support to the farmers and for the passage of the CARPER Bill in Congress.

During the launch of the movement, Brother Eddie offered a seven-point roadmap for national recovery. Aside from the farmers, several personalities also spoke before the crowd to support the Bagong Pilipinas, Bagong Pilipino Movement. Among them were Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel, Leah Navarro, Josie Lichauco, Roy Seneres, Perfecto Yasay and Mayor Jonjon Villanueva. Special numbers were also given by Gary Granada and Noel Cabangon.

Farmers from Sumilao, Banasi and Calatagan who stayed in Manila are asking the public to join the CARPER campaign, as national development is founded on solid building blocks like agricultural development. Giving the farmers land to till enhances their opportunities for better income. Increased income for the rural poor results in an improved economy. An improved economy means a better country. Agrarian reform means economic development and food security not just for the farmers but also for all citizens in the country.

The farmers are also asking the public to join them in a March to Congress to bring the citizens’ petition for CARPER bearing 1 Million signatures. The march to Congress is scheduled to be held upon Congress’s resumption of session on April 13, 2009.

If you want to help gather signatures and schedule a screening of Lupang Hinarang, a film made by Ditsi Carolino (the filmmaker who made Bunso and Minsan Lang Sila Bata), please contact the following for details and information:

Kaka Bag-ao:
Jane Capacio:
Mally Gargar (BALAOD): 09224456384; 09177171879
Reggie Aquino/Junard Devila (KAISAHAN): 4330760
You may also visit the site for updates

CARPER Signature Campaign & Congress Watch

As of today, the farmers were able to gather 45,495 signatures in support of CARP Extension with Reforms and have become more emboldened in their quest for social justice as more and more individual citizens and sectors walk with them in their struggle.

As of today, 11 Senators are CARPER advocates and assured the bishops that they will help ensure that a new CARP law will be enacted, with compulsory acquisition restored, and with at least P147 billion budgetary allocation, to wit, Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile, Sen. Gringo Honasan, Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, Sen. Richard Gordon, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, Sen. Ping Lacson, Sen. Pong Biazon, Sen. Nene Pimentel, Sen. Mar Roxas, and Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri.

As of today, 97 representatives have signified their support for the cause of the farmers and pushed for the adherence to the Constitutional mandate of undertaking and completion of an effective agrarian reform program in the country. The latest additions are Representatives Art Defensor of Iloilo, Dan Fernandez of Laguna, and Candido Pancrudo of Bukidnon: