Duterte to proclaim Mindanao as a land reform area

Published April 25, 2018, 8:30 PM

by Roel Tibay

By Genalyn Kabiling

Mindanao will be declared as a land reform area, President Duterte announced Wednesday amid efforts to bring peace and development in the south.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during the Maguindanao Balik-Baril Program launching at the Buluan Municipal Gymnasium in Maguindanao on April 25, 2018. (RENE LUMAWAG/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

The President said he intends to distribute lands and idle government lots to farmers and provide them with support such as seedlings and equipment to enhance agriculture production.

“I will proclaim the entire Mindanao, almost, as a land reform area,” Duterte said during the launch of balik-baril program in Maguindanao.

“I will give the lands away. Ano bang gamitin ko diyan sa bukid. Bigay ko na lang ‘yan tapos seedling as support [What will I do with the fields? I’ll just give the lands and seedlings as support],” he added.

Included in the land distribution will be idle government lands and military camps that can be turned into palm oil and rubber plantations, according to the President.

“Hanapin ninyo ‘yung lupang gobyerno o ‘yung mga kampong military, ‘pag nagkaroon tayo ng kapayapaan, inyo na ‘yan [Look for the government lands or military camps. Once we attain peace, that will be yours],” he said.

“Lahat ibigay ko, pati ‘yung lupa ng gobyerno. ‘Yung bukid mataniman mo ng rubber, mataniman mo ng palm oil [I will give it all including government lands. You can plant rubber in the fields, you can plant palm oil there],” he added.

Duterte also offered to distribute farm tractors but urged the beneficiaries not to pawn the equipment.

“Ang akin na lang ‘yung mga tractor. Pero huwag ninyo isangla. Mamaya ‘yung tractor binigay ko dito, makita ko doon sa Davao sa sanglaan. O walang ganunan [I’ll give tractors but don’t sell them. I might see the tractors at the pawnshop in Davao, please don’t do that],” he said.

Duterte, the first Philippine president from Mindanao, also pledged to do his best to provide a good future for Filipinos especially those in the south. He likewise promised to work on the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) this year.

“A Moro should also understand a problem of his generation. A good Moro must provide a good future for his children. I promise you. I will do everything,” he said.

While he vowed government support for Mindanao, the President reiterated his commitment to combat terror elements in the region, saying he would not hold any peace talks with terrorists.

“I’m willing to allow the Arabs to enter. Sabihin mo lang sa kanila, kayong mga terorista (I will tell these terrorists), ‘Do not f*** it here.’ Kasi magka-ano lang tayo eh. Madamay mga anak namin,” he said.

“Meron kayong sariling giyera (You have your own war), you fight it out there. Leave us in peace. Ako, ayaw ko talaga. I will talk to a Moro but I will never talk to a terrorist,” he said.