As a big fan of Davao City First District Congressman Karlo Nograles, I am frustrated that the son of former House Speaker
Prospero Nograles, also my idol, once, has taken the route of political suicide taken by his father.
This after reading a news report about the young Nograles urging the national government to allow foreigners to engage in agricultural production in the country.
Interpreted simply, this means that Karlo wants foreigners to own land in the country at the expense of the poor farmers.
Before he bowed out of office, Speaker Nograles came short of being crucified by farmers’ groups and the militant sector for his authorship of an idea now being pursued by the son, dubbed as a big sell-out of the country’s patrimony by critics.
The then Speaker had authored House Resolution No. 737 – which would allow foreign groups to own land in the Philippines. The bill could lead to heightened agrarian unrest in the countryside as it could lead to the intensification of foreign and corporate land-grabbing, according to critics of the Nograles resolution.
Karlo has a lot to learn about politics and how to get himself endeared to people who matter if he wants to stay in politics. Unless, of course, he is motivated by other ulterior financially-rewarding agenda started by his father that he has to pursue as a member of Congress.
In the local election in May last year, Speaker Nograles lost potent votes in the mayoral race from farmers and progressive militant groups here because of his resolution.
Karlo, apparently is doing the same right now, by pushing the same idea described as totally anti-farmer and anti-people.
Specifically, he wants the Philippines to enter into agreement with Arab countries on agricultural production in Mindanao, which should of course start with land purchase by the Arab companies.
According to Nograles the partnership could develop some 26,000 hectares of government property in Central Mindanao into a major agri-industrial production and processing complex, with the Arab companies exporting the produce to their countries.
This is precisely the idea of the former Speaker. Foreigners coming in to own lands that could displace farmers. Foreigners making use of our own patrimony for their own benefit at the expense of the farmers.
Former Speaker Nograles was tagged for his resolution on foreigners owning lands in the country as a “traitor” and miserably lost in the Davao City mayoral contest.
That is what is going to happen also to Karlo Nograles if he apes his father.
We suggest he drops his idea at soonest.
We are giving him this piece of advice because we heard he is running for mayor in Davao City in 2013.
In politics, lightning could strike the same spot twice, thrice or even more.
Karlo should avoid this situation by not following on the footstep of his father by toying with the idea of selling lands to foreigners. JOVITA SALVADOR, Bucana, Davao City