Duterte to labor groups: Occupy oligarch lands

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Davao City (May 1) — Amid Labor Day events, President Rodrigo Duterte told a gathering of various groups on Monday to occupy lands owned by 'oligarchs.'

In his speech at the People's Park in Davao City, Duterte gave the 'oligarchs' a deadline to return government lands to the people — otherwise he would allow the Filipino people to takeover the lands which in the first place, he said, belonged to the people.

"So, within the next three months, akong ingnun nang mga tag-iya og dili nagkupot sa yuta, sa gobyerno, nga wa mu mabayad sa inyong buwis, amounting to billions, unya muguniit mo sa yuta, sa gobyerno, nga gipagkitaan niyo, nga walay klaro, og na unsa nganong niabot sa inyo," he said.

[Translation: So within the next three months, I will tell owners of the land which hold government land that don't pay taxes, amounting to billions, and then you manage government land which you earn from and which no one knows why they're in your hands in the first place.]

"Og dili ninyo iuli ang yuta sa gobyerno, then I will ask the Filipino people to occupy the lands that are in your hands," Duterte added. "That's Makati, Pasay, pangita na mug gwapong pwest diha."

[Translation: If you don't return government land, then I will ask the Filipino people to occupy the lands that are in your hands. That's Makati, Pasay—you look for a good place there.]

Duterte said oligarchs who had been enriching themselves at the expense of the people must be stopped.

An estimated 5,000 laborers from government and non-government organizations trooped to the event.

The highlight was a labor assembly and consultation attended by the President.

Prior to his speech, Duterte had a closed-door meeting with some labor groups.

Sources said among those present were about two representatives of Kilusang Mayo Uno, and others from other labor and business groups—and the President appealed to them to give him more time to make good on his campaign promise to put an end to contractualization in the country.

President Duterte also declared that he would urge Congress to ratify International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention No. 151, which would clarify the application of the past two ILO conventions that the Philippines had ratified, namely: ILO Convention No. 87 on Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize, and Convention No. 98 on Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining.