Credit to Author: CATHERINE S. VALENTE, TMT| Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2019 11:56:15 +0000
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday warned officials of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) involved in the land use conversion to shape up or he would fire, charge or even kill them.
Duterte made the statement as he lamented the slow pace of conversion of government-owned lands.
“So kung nakikinig sila diyan sa conversion office ng DAR (If those in the land conversion office of the DAR) : Better prepare because you’re fired. Kung hindi kayo mag-ano, kasuhan ko kayo. ‘Pag hindi pa kayo natakot sa kaso, patayin ko na lang kayo (If you”ll not shape up, I will charge you. If you’re not threatened by a complaint, then I will kill you),” Duterte said in his speech at the annual assembly of the Provincial Union of Leaders Against Illegality in Lucena City.
“Ganun rin eh, patiisin mo ako para mo akong ginagago kasi. You know, you take me as a stupid idiot. Warning ako nang warning ako ng ganun tapos you do it again and again,” he added.
Duterte then vowed to pursue land reform in Quezon province in the remaining years of his term.
He ordered Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones to study the proposal.
“Kaya dito unahin ko. If there’s still government lands, pag-aralan na lang ninyo ‘yung mga agricultural on the – itong uphill. I will – within the three years of my remaining [term] ibibigay ko sa inyo lahat ‘yang lupa ng gobyerno dito,” the President said.
“Why are we hanging [on] to lose vacant lands when we can use them to satisfy the fundamental desire of every Filipino, not only agricultural workers but all to own a land,” he said.
Duterte had vowed to place Masbate and Negros under land reform to address the insurgency problem.
He had also placed under land reform North Cotabato, and ordered the distribution of lands there in December.
The communists see free distribution of agricultural land as a basic principle of genuine agrarian reform. This was among issues tackled by the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines peace panels before the talks collapsed in November 2017.
The government and communist peace panels held back channel talks to revive negotiations, but the government decided to halt the resumption of the formal peace talks last year as it decided to review all agreements between the communists and previous administrations.
The President has since been issuing tirades against communist leaders, calling their rebellion a “failed dream.”
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