President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday night said he may declare Negros Island as a land reform area.
“I might declare the entire island as a land reform area. I’m studying,” Duterte said in a media interview after the inauguration of the Bohol-Panglao International Airport.
The chief executive cited the alleged land conflict in Sagay City, Negros Occidental, resulting in the killing of nine members of a farmers’ group in the province.
“There’s a lot of troubles there and alam mo ito sa totoo lang I’m telling you now, the problem really is land. We cannot arrive at a peaceful resolution of this controversy if you do not address itong feudalism actually. That’s what’s happening there,” he pointed out.
“And the communists are exploiting it. Magke-create sila ng federation ng mga farmers, then they go about looking for vacant lands and taking over plantations.”
In response to the continued attacks on government forces by communist rebels, Duterte signed on November 22 Memorandum Order 32, directing the deployment of more policemen and soldiers to Negros island, Bicol region, and provinces of Samar.
He also put Boracay under the land reform program after it underwent an extensive six-month rehabilitation and awarded lands titles to members of the Ati tribe residing in the resort island.