National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Chief Political Consultant Professor Jose Ma. Sison described land reform and national industrialization as the “center of gravity” of the peace negotiations between the NDFP and the Manila government.
The second round of GRP-NDFP peace negotiations is set to resume in Oslo, Norway from October 6 – 10, 2016 and will start the substantive agenda on social and economic reforms in accordance with the framework agreement set by The Hague Joint Declaration of 1992.
“The center of gravity of the peace negotiations is the twin necessity for national industrialization and land reform,” says Sison in a message to the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) which kicked off its “Campaign for Land and Peace.”
Sison said “a self-reliant program for economic development cannot walk and advance without two legs: national industrialization and land reform.“Land reform is needed to produce a definite and wealthy source of food, raw materials for industry, and a broad market for industrial and agricultural products. National industrialization is needed to produce machines and other equipment for agriculture, create numerous and new jobs for the increasing population and destination of surplus agricultural produce,” says Sison.
He criticized as “fake and complete failure” the previous land reform program because farmers are incapable of paying the high redistribution price imposed through the collusion between landlords and the government.
“It should be popularized that lands grabbed from landless farmers by big landlords, high bureaucrats and foreign corporations will be distributed for free,” he said.
The NDFP Reciprocal Working Committee on Social and Economic Reforms (NDF-RWC-SER) said “the free distribution of lands is anchored from the principle of social justice.”
“Farmers have long paid for the lands through high land rent and usurious schemes to big landlords who have enriched themselves for decades of illegal control and monopoly, and to the government’s unjust collection of taxes and amortization,” NDF-RWC-SER member Rafael Baylosis said.
“I think through the peace process, all the issues and things to be done by the GRP, NDFP, peasant organizations and broad masses will become clearer in framing and implementing a genuine land reform program,” Sison said. #
NDFP International Information Office