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Claim: The New Agrarian Emancipation Act, which will erase the debts of agrarian reform beneficiaries, was mentioned in the last will of former president Ferdinand E. Marcos.
Why we fact-checked this: The claim was made in the title of a July 12 YouTube video, which has 54,588 views as of writing.
The video is titled: “Just now: Wow! Mga media natameme last will ng ama pirmado na ni Pres BBM Sen Imee na-iyak sa saya!” (Just now: Wow! Media is silent. President BBM enacted the last will of his father. Senator Imee cried out of joy!)
The video features footage of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signing Republic Act 11953 or the New Agrarian Emancipation Act, as well as a clip of Senator Imee Marcos’ message on the signing of the law.
The facts: There is no mention of a law to free farmers from debt in the late Marcos’ last will and testament, which was signed on June 23, 1988. His will mentioned the payment of his debts, funeral and administration expenses, and estate, inheritance, and transfer taxes imposed on his estate. It also said that all of his estate “of every nature and kind” would be bequeathed to his wife and four children. Named as personal representatives to fulfill the will were Marcos’ wife, Imelda, and son, the incumbent president.
Republic Act 11953: On July 7, Marcos signed Republic Act 11953 which relieved over 600,000 farmers of decades-old debts incurred from the unpaid amortization fees of land they acquired under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
Since the implementation of CARP three decades ago, the government has distributed more than 4.9 million hectares or 91% of the total land promised. (READ: After 35 years of CARP, are Filipino farmers free?)
The new law writes off P57.557 billion of debt incurred by agrarian reform beneficiaries from land awarded to them under Presidential Decree 27 or the Tenant Emancipation Decree, Republic Act 6657 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law, and Republic Act 9700 which extends the acquisition and distribution of agricultural lands under CARP.
Not his will: The video shows a handwritten version of Presidential Decree 27, signed by the elder Marcos on October 21, 1972. It decreed the emancipation of all tenant farmers of private agricultural lands by giving them ownership of a portion of the land they till.
The decree, however, was neither mentioned nor was it a part of the late president’s last will.
Rappler has previously published fact-checks related to Marcos’ last will and testament:
- Marcos’ last will did not state that his wealth would be used for nat’l programs
- FACT CHECK: Marcos’ last will had nothing to do with Estrada’s impeachment
- FACT CHECK: Wala sa huling habilin ni Marcos ang banggit ng ginto o sambayanang Pilipino
– Ailla Dela Cruz/Rappler.com
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