Farmers Assall Interim Formula on Coco Funds
by Rafael Mariano, KMP National Chairperson
December 5, 2001
The militant Kilusany Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) today said the so-called interim formula that seeks to release a portion of the P130 billion coconut levy fund being waved by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) Is a virtual recognition of Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco's rights over the fund.
"The interim formula virtually recognize that Cojuangco have the so-called rights to the coconut levy funds. Any kind of interim formula in the context of a compromise settlement with Cojuangco cannot be called a victory to small coconut farmers," said KMP chair Rafael Mariano.
"This proposal (interim formula) is only one of the maneuvers of the Macapagal-Arroyo gavernment which aims to pacify the peasantry's growing struggle for the immediate return of the coco levy funds to its real owners," Mariano chided.
KMP's Mariano stressed that what is needed is a permanent solution to once and for all resolve the small coconut farmers' long wait over the funds.
"A permanent solution must be based on the recognition that the coco levy fund was collected and extracted from small coconut farmers in a form of tax," he added.
He added that, "this permanent solution must also aim in freeing and reclaiming the entire P130 billion coconut funds from Cojuangco, not only a portion of it. This means social justice to small coconut farmers who have been oppressed and exploited by the likes of Cojuangco and Lobregat for a long time."
The KMP also assailed Cojuangco's monopoly and control over vast tracts of coconut lands served as the bedrock of his plundering-spree in the countryside.