Karapatan slams Duterte admin over Mariano rejection

Press Release | September 6, 2017

Karapatan slammed the Duterte administration over Rafael Mariano’s rejection as secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform.

"Today, the Duterte administration, through the Commission on Appointments, has reaffirmed its allegiances - that it is on the side of big landlords, oligarchs and warmongers in the country, with the rejection of Sec. Mariano's appointment as Agrarian Reform Secretary. Clearly, this move is to stop all efforts to further genuine agrarian reform, a cause and program advocated by Mariano and the peasant movement. This is also prodded by warmongers among the military, who act as mercenaries of the landed elite and oligarchs,” Karapatan deputy secretary general Jigs Clamor said.

"The rejection of the appointment of Rafael Mariano is another indication that the Duterte regime is becoming more servile to anti-democratic interests, disregarding the previously agreed commitments on free land distribution during the last peacetalks of the GRP-NDFP. He is ridding his cabinet of good, sincere, highly competent and progressive public servants, leaving behind the plunderers, militarists and neoliberal fanatics,” added Clamor.

Ka Paeng distributes land titles

(Photo from Bulatlat.com) 

Rafael Mariano is the second "leftist" Cabinet official appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte to be rejected by the Commission on Appointments (CA). On August 16, 2017, the same body rejected Judy Taguiwalo as DSWD secretary.

In Mariano's short stint at DAR, he was able to respond to peasants' urgent situations and strategic needs and interests. 

In December 2016, Mariano has issued a Cease and Desist Order prohibiting the Lapanday Foods Corp. (LFC) and its security guards from forcibly evicting the members of the Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association, Inc. (MARBAI) from the banana plantation. The 159 farmer-beneficiaries were officially installed in the 145-hectare land in Barangay San Isidro, Tagum City, Davao Del Norte on May 18, 2017, after repeated attempts of the Lorenzo clan, owners of LFC, to stop or delay DAR orders to award the said land to beneficiaries through deceit and use of force and human rights violations. 

In April 2017, Mariano has directed the DAR Soccsksargen regional office to proceed with the coverage of about 4,000-hectare area for distribution to potential agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in Arakan, North Cotabato. The said land has long been subject of peasants' struggle in the province, the farmers asserting their right to own the lands they have been tilling in the past fifty or more years. 

"There is no doubt that Duterte has a hand on the appointment and rejection of cabinet officials. He made a good decision appointing them last year, but merely succumbed to US and private interests in the end. As for Ka Paeng, he is another proof of the quality of public service and governance that the national democratic movenent can provide," Clamor further said. 

"This recent action of the Duterte regime will further isolate him from the vast Filipino population, as he consciously implements the all-out war policy since the beginning of his regime under his Oplan Kapayapaan, among other fascist attacks against the Filipino people," Clamor ended.


Jigs Clamor, Karapatan Deputy Secretary General, ‪0999-7721233‬

Karapatan Public Information Desk, ‪0918-9790580‬