Land, As Always -- Still Worth Cheating For
Philippine Farmers Accuse Aquino Kin of Land-Grabbing
The insiders know that land makes them rich and that the law makes their landlordism legal. This 2013 excerpt is from the Business Mirror, June 6.
by Jonathan L. MayugaKMP Vice Chairman Joseph Canlas said Philippine farmers occupying a portion of Camp Gregg Military Reservation received a demand letter from the Central Azucarera de Tarlac Realty Corp. (CAT Realty), a company owned by the Cojuangco family (in-laws of the Aquinos), reminding them to pay land rental amounting to P100,000 or face eviction.
He said farmers who have been planting within the military reservation were forced to leave the land or pay land rent, while those who opposed were “harassed, threatened, or intimidated.”
He said that on Sept. 17, 2010, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Provincial Agrarian Reform Office issued a notice of coverage to CAT Realty, thus “legitimizing the illegal claim of the relatives of President Benigno S. Aquino over the land.”
A year after, on Sept. 20, 2011, President Aquino himself issued Proclamation 262 reserving parcels of lands inside Camp Gregg as a housing site for the Philippine National Police.
“Just like the 81-hectare Hacienda Luisita-SCTEx [Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway] anomaly, CAT Realty will surely sell the land back to the government,” the KMP leader said, another buy-and-sell transactions between the Aquino administration and his family.
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JJS: When powerful people grab land and the profit from it, then nobody else can profit from it. Yet it should not be any lone person who profits from the value of a location; rather it should be all members of society equally. And once society does recover the value of sites (something that its very presence creates), there won’t be any value leftover to entice the grasping few. In fact, there won’t even be the graspoing few since class and hierarchy and power depend upon being able to corral the profit from land. When everyone gets a share of land’s profit, everyone will be equally powerful.
Editor Jeffery J. Smith runs the Forum on Geonomics and helped prepare a course for the UN on geonomics. To take the “Land Rights” course, click here .
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