Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Land Reform. Was it worth the Effort?

My own brother worked for the DAR, and during all the years he had been harassed, threatened, and been in legal limbo, for being charged civilly and administratively by some very wealthy land owners, that years back I have to supply him with 9mm parabellum for his protection. The stress and the frustrations of dealing with both the Land Owners and the Beneficiaries, finally did him in recently from a massive heart attack. Against our advice of retiring early, he told us his legal problems with some landowners that has been dragging for several years prevented him from doing so.
1. And here are my observations during my two weeks of stay during my brother's wake and funeral in Davao.
I talked to several land owners, and one of them agreed to the principles and aims of land reform and told me that the funds he got from selling most of his land holdings are now successfully invested in insurance business. But he told me who's stopping the Beneficiaries of selling back the land to him after the period of I believe it's seven years that the title legally becomes theirs?
I also had a talk with a local mayor and he bragged at me that he usually assigned police bodyguards for my brother, but he was abducted by the rebels quite a few times and released after "interviewing" on some of his decisions. But my brother dismissed all these personal threats as just part of the job. He was a marksman just like me. But luckily not fired at anyone in anger, not like the killers that are roaming the streets and mountains and murdering their victims only cowards and low life will do.
I also talked to many beneficiaries of the Land Reform, met their leaders. the conversation was in the context of mostly tribute to the Man we're grieving, but you can feel and see for yourself, the plights and the hardships this group has to endure to finally own a small piece of land, they can call their own. Most of them are Muslims, and I have no problem or being comfortable with anyone of different faith, religion or belief, for I have been dealing the same every day in this multi cultures, tolerant society we have here.
For my brother, he to the last day of his life, believed in his works.

Today, in the pages of blog is the peril of those who work with the implementations and enforcing the spirits of Land Reform, and the NGOs workers who had been hurt or murdered as they acted as watchdogs against the abuses and corruption within the System, and for advancing the interest of those whose ideals and purpose of the Land Reform should have benefited.

This is my own personal take on the subject, which for all intents and purposes have reached "home" for me; which I will forever remember the sacrifice and dedication of the man I always hold dear in my heart, in life and in death.