Gloria Arroyo: â€œThere is a new paradigm that is being proposed to open new lands for agriculture so that we can give farmers a chance to have their own land and, yet, avoid all this bloodshed that is happening (in the implementation of land reform).â€
You read it. Gloria Arroyo herself recognizes that agrarian violence has marred the implementation of agrarian reform.
Her solutions to the problem:
- Open two more million hectares for land reform.
- Spend a lot of money for support services.
- Allow farmers to collateralize their farms in exchange for loans.
The solution #1 sounds great but she pendulated on who will benefit from it. At first she said farmers; the next she said agribusiness. Although, my best bet is that, since Arroyo is an economist who views land as a great resource for business, it is the latter sitting on her mind. This bias is implied in solution #3. And most likely, solution #2 is geared towards that bottomline.
But are those agribusiness solutions indeed the solutions to the agrarian violence? Will they fairly indemnify those killed and almost killed by entities identified with the landlords? Will they really placate the growing number of farmers asserting their rights, even the right to choose the means with which to develop their farms?
Tsk, tsk. Arroyo made another blunder that further detaches herself from the farmers to whom her father, Diosdado Macapagal, former Philippine President, endeared himself.