The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) denied today that they made a list of Members of Congress opposed to House Bill (H.B.) No. 4296 on the basis of personal motives.
DAR Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Luis Meinrado Pañgulayan admitted that the legislative liaison of the DAR was directed to come up with an analysis on who among the Members of Congress will possibly oppose H.B. No. 4296 in order to aid the agency to draw up a roadmap in marshaling legislative support for the passage of the bill.
“The resulting list merely stated names of all the Members of the House of Representatives and their possible votes, nothing else. Contrary to reports, the list did not categorize the Members into who are the most powerful, the richest, and the most radical.” said Pañgulayan.
Pañgulayan added, “We understand the legislative process and we recognize that the passage of any bill entail negotiations and discussions among the legislators and the stakeholders. The possibility of the passage of H.B. No. 4296 will not boil down simply to the wealth or status of the Members of Congress.”
He then emphasized that the list and analysis is tentative and will continuously adjust as the legislative process progress.
“Until Congress actually votes on this bill, there can be no official list of Members of Congress who are against the measure”, emphasized Pañgulayan.
“The resulting list from the analysis was made as a guiding tool. It was not meant to be a propaganda piece, and we deny releasing that list to the media. There was also no intention or directive to list down Representatives who are anti-CARP”, Pañgulayan further stated.
DAR Undersecretary for Field Operations Jose Z. Grageda then reiterated that around 695,000 hectares of agricultural land are still to be processed for acquisition and distribution. Although most of these are already being processed, the DAR needs a law in order to acquire and distribute possibly 50,000 hectares of the abovementioned 695,000.
The DAR thereafter repeated their full support for the extension or renewal of the authority of the DAR to issue Notices of Coverage and accept Voluntary Offers to Sell.