Press Release
February 11, 2010


Senator Loren Legarda today challenged the Aquino-Roxas tandem to end poverty and hunger by instituting genuine agrarian reform now instead of their five-year plan for land distribution.

"The hungry must be fed now. The landless must be given arable land now. Not tomorrow, not in five year's time. If they're saying that they'll give out their lands in five years time, then they have no business running for national office now," she said.

Loren dared contender for the vice presidency Mar Roxas and his running mate Noynoy Aquino that if they really care for the poor and understand agrarian reform, the lands under their ownership should have been redistributed a long time ago in accordance with the Agrarian Reform law enacted twenty years ago.

"How can you prove that you are pro-poor if you cannot even show transparency in the Hacienda Luisita and Araneta-Roxas records? How can you take care of the poor when you don't know what they need? These herederos didn't have to work a day in their life. They do know how it is to rise up from poverty in Tondo or Malabon. They do not understand the value of hard work and perseverance," she said.

Loren further called on candidates vying for national leadership to provide institutionalized, long-term reforms instead of band aid solutions.

"They should not make promises for the purpose of campaigning. People are starving. The plight of farmers continues up to this day. Farmers are killed, hurt and harassed. The landless must be given land. This is what the law says," she said.

"Manny and I come from the working class. I have been working since I was 15 years old. Manny sold shrimps as a young boy. We know how it is to work. Those who promise change in five years are those who obviously do not understand poverty. If you wait five more years, more people will die of hunger," said Loren, chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food.

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