Open Arms

The history of our country has been filled with grief and bloodshed because we have been governed by those greedy bastards we call hacienderos— from the barangay levels all the way to Congress and Senate and the Judiciary and the AFP and PNP and up to the highest office in the land—all fakken hacienderos.

And therefore some of the ones who have it worst are our farmers.

I could sit here with you all day and if I told you stories of unbelievable outrage against our farmers that I have read and personally bore witness to, I would not run out of stories. I would run out of time.

And we would both be filled with rage and this bottomless sorrow at some of the most inhumane acts of humans against their fellow human beings.

The land that feeds us, the land that they till—these are lands soaked in blood. And it is Filipino blood from deep wounds dealt them by some of the greediest bastards that ever walked this poor benighted land of ours—the oligarchs. Yang mga ganid at mga walang kaluluwang Panginoong may lupa.

And for all time, they would march in protest and always, and if they were lucky, would be met with callous indifference.  If unlucky, a battalion of policemen hiding behind shields with truncheons in hand, ready to turn on the water cannons or bullets at them. Noynoy Aquino, ang Panginoong May Lupa ng Hacienda Luisita, had no problem issuing orders to open fire and kill Kidapawan farmers when all they wanted was FOOD.

It was all we knew about “How Government Ought To Treat Farmers”—a manual, it seems, written by the Philippine government with guidelines passed on from one bastard oligarch to the next –that each of them followed to the letter.


And then just like that, the gates of the Dept of Agrarian Reform were flung open by Ka Paeng Mariano. And just like that, it signaled the start of a new era where farmers would come first. Finally.

The President has thrown that horrific haciendero-president’s manual on the flames. And he is treating our farmers the way they ought to be treated.

Just last week, he breached security lines and came down from this office in the Palace to welcome with open arms these farmers and to dialogue with them who traveled all the way from Mindanao to demand that Lapanday Food Corporation give them land that is rightfully theirs. An assurance was given them that the government is on their side—together with an invitation to lunch with him and Sec Mariano in Manila Hotel.  So bugoy. 😀

Please name me one president in recent memory who has actually done this—walk to Mendiola and dialogue. And this isn’t something the president does because cameras are trained on him. (You’re thinking of the village idiot, Mar Roxas. Or that other village idiot, Leni Robredo.)

Rodrigo Roa Duterte cares nothing for those cameras. That’s the simple truth about this man. Truth be told, it is something he accepts with some degree of unease and pain. A price that needs to be paid for taking on the job of President. Tinitiis lang nya, in other words.

That’s not how our man rolls.

For decades, I have watched in pain and grief the horrific ways our farmers were treated. And I had lost hope. I am a person that brims with hope –but when it came to our farmers, I had lost my ability to dig deep inside me and find a well of hope. I was resigned to walking with them in grief and rage. Api, forever api.

These days, my well of hope is filled up. I do know the road is long and the struggle continues. The greedy bastards, these oligarchs, will not let go easy.

But I look at the man I voted for, the one big reason I agreed to work for government, the one who said, “I want the abuse of the Filipinos to stop.”. And I know I am on steady, solid ground.

Indeed, the abuse of the Filipinos has come to a real slowdown. The President, together with his awesome team of Cabinet secretaries who have, all their lives, fought for the poor—Paeng Mariano, Judy Taguiwalo—are on the forefront now.

And despite criticisms, the numbers have shown what is undisputable fact: we are getting better each and every day that our President sits in office.

There is much to be hopeful for.



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