Duterte says won't honor sale of land given to agrarian reform beneficiaries

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 19 2019 08:56 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte. Presidential Photo/File

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte rejected Thursday the sale of land given to agrarian reform beneficiaries, saying he won't honor such contracts.

Duterte slammed sugar barons who buy and sell parcels of land back to farmer-beneficiaries as he emphasized that he would not recognize such sales.

"Sabihin ko na sa inyo, sa panahon ko, (during my time) I will not honor that sale," he said in a speech during the decommissioning of arms and forces of former communist rebels in Capiz.

"Kung sabihin mo binili mo ulit eh mahirap 'yung tao eh, maybe for the first time in his life got hold of so much money eh iilan lang 'yan. And yet when it is gone, dissipated either intentionally or either sa mga gastos sa buhay, wala sila mabalikan," he said.

(If you'll tell me that you bought it back, you have to consider that the person is poor and maybe it's the first time in his life that he got hold of so much money. And yet when it is gone, dissipated either intentionally or either for expenses, they have nothing to go back to.)

The President reiterated that the law prohibits the sale of land distributed under the land reform program and urged farmers to use the land given them for farming.

"I will not honor that contract. Do not give me that sh*t," he said.

"Gusto niyo (landlords) tulungan 'yang kapwa niyo tao ninyo eh di pahiramin niyo pera o bilhin niyo 'yung tubo nila. But for you to get the land back I don't think I will honor," he said.

(If you want to help your fellowmen, lend them money or buy their sugarcane.)

Earlier this month, the President warned sugar barons to return agrarian reform land to farmers, saying they could be "forced to surrender" the property as soon as a complainant comes forward.

Duterte also urged Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones to complete the land reform process so that titles could be distributed to beneficiaries immediately.

"Sabihin ko ngayon sa secretary, kumpletuhin na niya ang land reform at ibigay na niya lahat ng lupa ng gobyerno sa tao. Kung wala naman silbi 'yang lupa ng gobyerno, ibigay mo na sa tao," he said.

(I'm telling the secretary to complete land reform and give government's land to the people. If the government land has no purpose, give it to the people.)