Farmers stage protest in Mendiola

Posted at 01/22/2009 12:05 PM | Updated as of 01/22/2009 4:32 PM

Close to 500 farmers marched from the Department of Agrarian Reform building in Quezon City to a historic avenue outside Malacañang Palace in Manila Thursday morning to clamor for the extension of the country's agrarian reform law.

A radio dzMM report said the farmers camped out overnight outside the DAR Building at the Elliptical Road in Quezon City before starting their march to Mendiola.

The protesters, which include members of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan and Anakpawis, urged Congress to pass a new law extending the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program in the country. Speaker  Prospero Nograles earlier said the House is committed to pass a new CARP law in the next six months.

Nograles made the promise after farmers and religious leaders scored Congress for passing Joint Resolution 19, which extended for another six months the CARP law but without the compulsory land acquisition component.

Activist leaders said the government should abolish the agrarian reform department if a new CARP law is not passsed.

The farmers also protested plans by administration lawmakers to amend the 1987 Constitution.