Aurora’s ecozone plan, a reward to Angaras for licking GMA’s boots, group says
The left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) and the militant peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) on Tuesday said the controversial 500-hectare Aurora Special Economic Zone Authority (Aseza) was a reward to the Angara group of politicians in the province for “licking the boots” of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
“Aseza is nothing but a political reward in exchange for the Angaras all-out support to the ruling mayhem in Malacañang,” Pamalakaya and KMP said in a joint statement.
“Senator Edgardo Angara, son Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara and sister Aurora Gov. Bella Angara-Castillo are now reaping the fruits of their all-out puppetry and connivance with Malacañang. This clique of politicians is now parading Aseza like a prize trophy before the affected people of the province,” said Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap.
“I think the project which will displace thousands of farmers, fisherfolk and Dumagat natives should be billed as Angara Special Economic Zone Authority because it is not for the benefit of the people, but for the narrow interest of Malacañang and the Angara family,” added Hicap.
Pamalakaya’s Hicap said his group is supporting the fight against Aseza, dismissing the project anti-rural people and anti-environment. “We strongly demand the Angaras and their partners-in-crime in Malacañang to stop this economic and political madness in Aurora. The 500-hectare productive agricultural land belongs to the farming and fishing people of Aurora, and not to the Angaras and their political clients in the Palace,” the fisherfolk leader added.
For his part, KMP deputy secretary general Willy Marbella urged Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and House Speaker Prospero Nograles to investigate the involvement of Sen. Angara and son Rep. Angara, urge them to stop their project and reprimand the two lawmakers for orchestrating the massacre of farmers’ rights to land.
“We ask the Senate and the House leadership to take punitive actions against the Angaras for betraying public interest. This is matter of life and death to 6,400 farmers and their families. Will they stomach this diabolical project in the name of political accommodation and blatant display of puppetry to Palace and its transnational clients?” Marbella said.
The KMP leader said Aseza project in Casiguran, Aurora is a clear proof of the bankruptcy of the 20-year old Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) which proponents are trying to extend for another five years.
“CARP’s bankruptcy and comprehensive failure is very evident in Aseza case. Imagine, the 500-hectare land tapped to host the ecozone project is covered by CARP, yet the same law provided the room for maneuver for the government and the Angaras to landgrab the lands from struggling farmers,” Marbella said.
KMP and Pamalakaya said the passage of Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) or House Bill 3059 will effectively stop the Angaras and the Macapagal-Arroyo government from landgrabbing the 500-hectare rice land and ensure the distribution of these agricultural lands to landless, land-lacking and willing-to-till farmers in the province. #