Peasant women group holds Santacruzan to press OK of new land reform bill

Peasant women group holds Santacruzan to press OK of new land reform bill

Manila, Philippines–Farmers identified with Amihan national federation of peasant women held a Santacruzan this 6pm by the gate of the House of Representatives to dramatize their plight as landless farmers and their desire to have the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) or House Bill No. 3059 passed by Congress on or before the Congress on June 6.

Santacruzan also known as Flores de Mayo is a religious-historical beauty pageant is stage during the month of May, depicting the finding of the Holy Cross by Queen Helena, mother of Constantine the Great. According to Amihan spokesperson Zenaida Soriano, the peasant women version of this tradition, was staged to present the rural people’s quest for a genuine agrarian reform and bountiful life.

“We stage this Santacruzan as an effective way of showing to the Filipino people the need to institute a genuine and thoroughgoing land reform program with the passage of GARB or House Bill No. 3059,” the Amihan spokesperson said.

Soriano said GARB was principally authored by former Anakpawis party list Rep. Crispin Beltran and co-authored by his successor Anakpawis party list Rep. Rafael Mariano, Bayan Muna party list Reps. Satur Ocampo and Teodoro Casiño and Gabriela party list lawmakers Liza Maza and Luzviminda Ilagan. Newly proclaimed Anakpawis party list Rep. Joel Maglunsod, Bayan Muna party list Rep. Neri Javier Colmenares and Kabataan party list Rep. Raymond Palatino will soon join their militant lawmaker colleagues to endorse the controversial measure.

Amihan members dressed in evening gowns bearing messages like genuine land reform, pass HB 3059, stop corruption, end poverty and hunger, stop extrajudicial killings transformed the gate of the House of Representatives into a fashion runaway and kicked off a short procession along the Batasan Road before going back to the camp-out area.

“This politically motivated Santacruzan is meant to inform the people about the daily ordeals of the Filipino women peasantry and their search for genuine land reform, their advocacy for the enactment of GARB and their day-to-day quest for truth, justice and eradication of poverty all over the country,” the peasant women group added.

Presented in the Santacruzan were, Reyna Sentenciada, representing the rural folks held in perpetual bondage, with the absence of a genuine agrarian reform program. She was presented bound by rope, and guarded by 2 soldiers.

Preceding Reyna sentenciada were Reyna Abogada, the defender of the poor and the oppressed, and Reyna Justicia, both representing the justice that continue to be elusive for the landless rural folks.

Following Reyna sentenciada were Reyna Fe and Reyna sporrans, symbols of the faith, hope and determination of the rural folks that with unity and collective action they can attain their goal of a genuine agrarian reform, the House Bill 3059, Genuine Agrarian Bill, presented by 10 children, dressed in white.

And the final part of the procession, the Reyna Elena, who in biblical history, found the Holy cross, represented the final victory of the rural folks in attaining genuine agrarian reform. This triumph, was presented by the rural folks through abundant harvest, and festivities. So that Instead of flowers held by Reyna Elena, agricultural products of the farmers, an array of vegetables, fruits, grains, roots crops were carried by women farmers in bilaos and other native baskets.@

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