Farmers stage lightning rally in Palace complex

Rappler.com
Valentine message to the President: have the heart to speed up agrarian reform

MANILA, Philippines – Around 20 farmers managed to slip past security checks on Tuesday morning and staged a lightning rally in the Malacañang complex to voice out their Valentine message to President Aquino: Have the heart to speed up the implementation of the agrarian reform program.

Farmers mostly from Negros and parts of Mindanao, representing Task Force Mapalad, entered the Malacañang complex on board regular jeepneys plying the San Miguel-Quiapo route, and disembarked in front of the New Executive Building (NEB), where they held up heart-shaped banners seeking Mr. Aquino’s attention to their plight.

Some of them took off their shirts and lay down in front of Gate 3 to further dramatize their protest, before the policemen came.

The farmers, who staged the rally for about 15 minutes before being brought out of the complex by policemen, came from Negros, Bukidnon, Davao, and Batangas.

On track?

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a news briefing that according to Agrarian Reform Secretary Gil delos Reyes, the agrarian reform program is not only on track and may even be ahead of target this year.

“I can safely and confidently say to you that the implementation of the Carper is on track and even ahead on the 2012 acquisition target,” Lacierda said.

He said that delos Reyes has the figures to back up the claim.

Asked whether new security measures would have to be implemented to deter more rallies in the Palace complex, Lacierda said that this would have to be discussed with the Presidential Security Group Commander, Col. Ramon Mateo Dizon. – Rappler.com

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