Thursday, December 13, 2007

Pure Hogwash (More on the Sumilao Issue)

Jesus Arranza of the FPI should think before he speaks. Prime irrigated agricultural should never be used for any other purpose other THAN farming. Investments and development are welcome anywhere but it should never encroach on agricultural land. It is absurd to say that investors would shy away because of issues like that of Sumilao. Arranza should take note that a farmer's life depends on the land, to take it away is to deprive him of his life.

San Miguel claims that the Sumilao farmers stand to benefit from the hog farm as their company would be buying the corn the farmers grow. I find it stupid as what crops are they talking about when they will be taking away the land the farmers till. I also find it preposterous to claim that there is an unseen hand in all these. The farmers had to rely on donations along the way to sustain the march. As of the moment, the church is feeding the hapless farmers. Unlike the 28 residents brought along by Mayor Baula, the farmers walked all the way from Bukidnon.

Arranza also said that the legal route should be taken. The farmers have been doing that for the last 12 years. To even insinuate that due process was taken is a total lie. The claim by SMFI that the farmers were consulted was later debunked by the farmers' lawyer. Two of the farmers were actually "kagawads" and they were never consulted.

It all boils down to what is at stake, prime, irrigated agricultural land. I am sure that the province has other areas where SMFI can put up their hog farm. I suppose that our farmers not just in Bukidnon still live under a feudal system, a system which continues to dehumanize our brothers in the countryside. A system which clearly prevents the farmer from getting out the quagmire he is in. I just wonder how many more of them are in the same situation as the Higaonons of Bukidnon?

So it seems that what Arranza is trying to point out is that farmers should be thankful to big business because big business can get you out of farming and turn you into a laborer or worst a farmer with no land to plant on. As for insinuating that a corn cartel exists, isn't the country run by monopolies and dynasties? In the end, it's nothing short of Mike Arroryo's infamous "BACK OFF" but a "SCREW YOU ALL AS BIG BUSINESS CAN DICTATE WHATEVER THEY WANT AND WE CANNOT DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT".