DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 1 Nov) – President Rodrigo R. Duterte asked communists to stop occupying lands that are “already owned” and urged them instead to wait because he will distribute lands eventually through legal means.
In his speech in Cagayan de Oro City Thursday during the distribution of Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAS) to farmers in Mindanao – a transcript of which was provided by the Presidential Communications Operations Office – the President also warned the communists and their allies that he will have them shot or arrested by authorities if they continue to illegally occupy properties.
“To my brothers and sisters who are with the NPA, if you want land distribution, slow down and wait because we will claim even the privately-owned lands, but we will do it in accordance with the law.” he said.
He said that “the communists are acting up now” such that “if they see a vacant lot, they occupy it.”
Duterte warned that if they occupy lands again, law enforcers will “pick you up and if you resist… you will get bruised. I told [authorities] that if a person who is armed resists, kill them.”
He pointed out that the communists were fooled by Jose Ma. Sison’s ideals.
Duterte assured them that they will get their lands in due time but he urged them to give him some time because he could not hasten everything.
“Entering a piece of land, you seize everything and pretend to be the owner. Don’t do that. Just wait because I can’t speed things up,” he said.
He told members of the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) to stop from illegally taking over private and government-owned properties and make the government appear “inutile.”
“Don’t steal lands that already have tenants. The Kadamay would steal even the housing units in Bulacan that I had made for the soldiers and the poor. They tried to get as much as they could,” he said.
Duterte said Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones has been directed to distribute available government-owned properties that are not reserved for schools.
The President distributed 2,331 CLOAs, covering at least 5,808 hectares of agricultural lands, to more than 3,000 agrarian reform beneficiaries in Northern Mindanao on Wednesday. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)