Camp Aquino, Tarlac City – Jan 27, 2023 – The Malayang Magbubukid ng Asyenda Luisita (MALAYA), a cooperative of former rebels in Hacienda Luisita, Tarlac, received a unit of a brand new hauling vehicle (motorcycle with sidecar) as one of the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organizations (ARBOs) under the Sustainable and Resilient Agrarian Reform (SuRe ARCs) program of the Provincial Agrarian Reform Tarlac on January 26, 2022.
According to Mr. Rogelio B. Marzan, Officer in Charge, Tarlac Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II, the hauling vehicle was requested by the MALAYA as one of their primary needs as they are starting their cooperative business.
“This support service will be beneficial and useful for them, the hauling vehicle will be used to transport their produce to their ongoing engagement with their markets.”
The program is the result of a series of consultations with the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict. “Coming together to focus our efforts is far better and more effective, and this is also part of President Marcos’ declaration that we will intensify our support to farmers, not only for the development of their farmland but to help them have other means of livelihood.” He continued.
Marzan also stated that MALAYA is one of several farmer organizations that DAR is currently assisting and focusing on in Tarlac City. “They were former rebels, and we want to correct their perception of the government by assisting them and letting them know that the government will not abandon them.”
He also assured the DAR’s continuous commitment and support in meeting their identified needs, which will help to strengthen their organization.
For the part of the MALAYA, Florida ‘Ka Pong’ Sibayan, MALAYA Chairwoman, expressed her gratitude to DAR for the support.
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa DAR dahil sa ibinigay nila masisimulan namin ang lalong pag-angat ng aming organisasyon at malaking tulong ito sa amin, gagamitin namin ang kolong-kolong para maideliver ang aming mga produkto na ginagawa ng aming kooperatiba. Ipapakita namin na lahat ng ibinibigay ng gobyerno ay iingatan namin dahil malaking tulong ito sa aming kooperatiba.”
She also thanked the Northern Luzon Command, Armed Forces of the Philippines for assisting and referring them to relevant government agencies for livelihood assistance.
“Nagpapasalamat din po ang MALAYA sa kasundaluhan ng NOLCOM na puspusan ang pagsuporta sa MALAYA. Sila po ang tumulong para mailapit kami sa gobyerno para umangat ang organisasyon ng MALAYA.”
Sibayan also hopes that their organization will serve as an inspiration to the remaining Communist Terrorist Group members to return to the government and live normal lives.
“Nagbalik-loob kami at nakita namin ang suporta ng gobyerno at ng ibang ahensya upang ang mga former rebels ay hindi na muling malinlang ng mga makakaliwang kilusan,” she concluded.