On Mothers Day
Peasant mothers dance Curacha against Chacha and demand free land distribution
On the occasion of Mother’s Day celebration, some 20 landless peasant mothers identified with Amihan, a national peasant federation of peasant women danced Curacha in front of the Philippine Congress to protest a plan for a charter change that will bestow 100% ownership of land to foreigners in reference to the Chacha resolution– House Resolution 737 chiefly authored by House Speaker Prospero Nograles.
Amihan chairperson Carmen Buena the symbolic dance activity was also meant for the enactment of Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) or House Bill No. 3059, a bill filed by the progressive representatives in Congress from Bayan Muna, Gabriela and Anakpawis partylists. The controversial bill which landlords in Congress described as a “class war” provides for free distribution of land to landless farmers, grants land rights to women farmers and sufficient support services for them to make their lands truly productive.
The Amihan peasant women leader said they interpreted Curacha, a traditional Filipino courtship dance, interpreted with a militant twist by demanding not wooing House Speaker Prospero Nograles and President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to immediately enact GARB or House Bill 3059.
Buena said the Curacha dance is also a protest against Joint Resolution #1, signed by the House of Representatives and Senate, which aims to extend the life of the two decades old comprehensive agrarian reform program (CARP), which according to Amihan and allied groups had failed to distribute lands to the landless farmers.
Buena, a landless rice farmer herself from Pampanga said: “ We deplore the fact that Congress and the Senate are focusing their efforts in extending the CARP, a program which made use of billions of people’s money but never benefited the farmers.”
In the spirit of the militant tradition of Mothers Day in the 1900s, where women went to the streets to put to question policies inimical to the interest of mothers, the peasant mothers declared to continue pressing for the enactment of a genuine agrarian reform program and continue fighting government policies that make farmers poor and landless.
Children of farmers offered flowers and showered the peasant mothers with confettis in recognition of the great sacrifices mothers do, not only for their families, but also for the community and the society as a whole. ###