Secretary's Profile

ka paeng pictureEarly Life

Mariano was born on October 24, 1956 to a poor family in the municipality of Quezon, Nueva Ecija. He was a farmer who took up agriculture and agri-cooperatives at the Wesleyan University and Christian College of the Philippines (formerly Liwag Colleges) in Cabanatuan. He did not graduate from both institutions due to financial difficulties and his father's illness.

Political Career

Mariano joined the Bisig ng Kabataan (Youth Arm), a local youth activist organization, when he was 20 years old. He was elected as councilor of Quezon, Nueva Ecija five years later in 1981. He became the regional vice chairman of the Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon (Central Luzon Farmers' Alliance) in 1984 and as secretary-general of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (Farmers' Movement of the Philippines) in 1985. He later served as the movement's national vice chairman and national chairman. He was among the survivors of the 1987 Mendiola massacre.

In 1998, he assumed the chairmanship of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan. He was nominated to the Anakpawis party-list in the 2004 general elections and served as the party's representative in the Philippine House of Representatives until 2013. During his term, he pressed for the passage of the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill which aimed to distribute land to farmers for free. He was one of five progressive legislators who were detained for 2 months in 2006 in the Batasang Pambansa Complex on charges of plotting to overthrow the government of then President Gloria Arroyo.


On May 31, 2016, after being nominated by the National Democratic Front, it was announced that Mariano will be joining the Cabinet of President Rodrigo Duterte as Secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform. He assumed the Secretaryship on July 1, 2016 replacing Virgilio de los Reyes.