Veep Robredo detached from the ‘laylayan’ – fisherfolk group
Manila, Philippines – Vice President (VP) Leni Robredo earned the ire of the fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Friday after opposing the two-year moratorium on land-use conversion (LUC) issued by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) through its Secretary Rafael Mariano.
Vice President Robredo joins economic team led by National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Ernesto Pernia in signing the position paper considering the moratorium on all land-use conversions.
“VP Robredo’s 180-degree turn from Liberal Party seems to exfoliate while her true color emerges. Despite her depressed-community visits, she still lacks analysis that land grabbing perpetrated by private firms with legal guarantees from the government is one of the main reasons why poverty prevails and informal settlers proliferate especially in the urban; they were mostly farmers and fishers displaced from their land in the countryside and coastal areas to pave way for conversion projects,” Fernando Hicap, Pamalakaya Chairperson said in a statement.
VP Robredo also said that LUC-moratorium will further the delay of the Yolanda-stricken areas rehabilitation. But the fisherfolk said her peers in the previous Aquino administration have already caused the delay of the housing projects and rehabilitation in Yolanda-hit communities. In fact, Aquino administration worsened the impact of the super-typhoon by implementing a ‘no build zone’ policy that prevented the fishers and farmers from returning to their communities especially those that are categorized as ‘danger zones’. Now VP Robredo is continuing the policy through her resettlement program that targets a complete effacement of the fisherfolk and poor families from their community.
“Veep Robredo’s resettlement program is demolition in disguise. Through its danger zone assumption, fisherfolk, farmers and other informal settlers faces looming threat of widespread demolition to pave way for its so called ‘development projects’. DAR’s moratorium on LUC is an initial victory for the peasants’ struggle for right to land but some of the Cabinets and officials want to continue the cruel and anti-farmer land-grabbing approach,” Hicap said.
Pamalakaya urged President Duterte to heed the democratic and just demands of the majority which are farmers and fishers and push through the moratorium of all land and coastal conversion instead of listening to small-faction of the economic team in his Cabinet. ###