DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 14 June) — President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered to distribute all government-owned lands to the poor and vowed he would fulfill the promises that the New People’s Army (NPA) had failed to deliver, to make them irrelevant.
In his speech during the distribution of certificates of land ownership (CLOAs) to agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) of Soccsksargen at Lagao Gymnasium in General Santos City on Thursday, Duterte boasted his the administration had given away over 100,000 hectares to the farmers.
“My order was for all government-owned lands to be given to you. As long as the land is government-owned, it shall be given away. This would be better than just leaving the lands there for the trees to grow on,” he said.
A day earlier, he told newly-elected officials in Cagayan de Oro City that distributing all public lands to the landless would make the NPA “irrelevant.”
In General Santos City on Thursday, he told the NPA that progress could not be achieved if they continue to kill.
“I just don’t understand you, communists. You have been fighting for a long time, 53 years in the making, yet you still haven’t successfully occupied a single barangay,” he said.
Duterte led the distribution of 12,548 CLOAs with 13,585 ARBs covering 24,000 hectares all over Soccsksargen, comprising the provinces of South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, and cities of General Santos, Kidapawan, Koronadal, and Tacurong. The total land area distributed.
The President claimed Agrarian Reform secretary John Castriciones has distributed at least 100,000 hectares of public lands.
“So every Filipino would be given the land. What will I do with all that land there in the mountains anyway? So I will give it to the people,” he said.
Duterte, who has three more years before he steps down on June 30, 2022, hopes the next administration will “find more government-owned lands and have it surveyed so that it can be given to the people.”
“Make NPA irrelevant”
The President said communist movement was already nearing tis end.
“Our dialogue is about to end. Whether you agree to it or not, you NPAs, the communists, you are about to end. You don’t have guns, you don’t have bullets, you don’t even have food. All you have are sores and you are being bitten by leeches,” he said.
“That is my message. I don’t know if you… These are titles of lands in the Philippines. How many bundles are that? But it’s not just that. Everywhere all throughout the Philippines, we are giving away land titles to you. All the promises the NPAs made to you, I can fulfill them. But I would need time,” he said.
In his speech in Cagayan de Oro City on Wednesday, Duterte he told his Cabinet to give away all public lands to make the NPA irrelevant.
“I told the Cabinet, ‘You want to make the NPAs irrelevant? Give away all the lands.’ That was what the NPAs promised, ‘land for the landless,’” he said.
“I’ll be the one to distribute the lands. Why would I give it to them? Why would I give you the privilege of distributing the lands when I can do it on my own? I had it fast-tracked so I have — mga 70 —70,000 hectares. I kept on distributing. Make them irrelevant,” he added.
Duterte said he wanted to send the NPA members to China to let them realize why a communist ideology is no longer working. The President said even China’s economy is now ruled by capitalists.
“Hong Kong is the mirror of China … China and Hong Kong look the same. They are very rich. Are they communist? No more. It’s a controlled capitalist. That’s it. It’s a controlled economy, market-driven,” Duterte said.
The President claimed there are no more communist countries “but the Philippines is letting itself be deceived.”
“What are you expecting from them? Ako, I had grown used to providing you with a job and a house when you surrender to the government,” he said.
He reiterated that NPA members who surrender will get shelter, livelihood, skills training, and employment. He said he was already fed up with the 53-year war between the government and the communist movement.
“To the communists, come down here. I’ll give you a small condo. The same condo that I allot for the military and police. But yours will be smaller” that the soldiers’, he said.
He said the communist movement was nearing its end.
“You cannot even hang on to a municipality. You have never been able to. When the army and other government troops arrive, you run away scrambling. No rhyme, no reason really. It’s communist ideology,” he said. He vowed to send them to China go see how its economy is now ruled by capitalists. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)