WALK! Framing a successful agrarian reform campaign in the Philippines.

University essay from Lunds universitet/Centrum för öst- och sydöstasienstudier

Abstract: Agrarian reform is a long standing issue in the Philippines and has seen a number of peasant uprisings, revolts and rebellions ever since colonial times. In the wake of the Marcos era, the new constitution came with new promises of agrarian reform and set up the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) to implement (re-)distribution of lands. However, efficient implementation is held back by patron-client relationships between the landed elites and government officials. The Sumilao farmers’ campaign is a success story under CARP. The campaign became a landmark event in the minds of the agrarian reform movement and the general public. This study is interested in how social movement organizations mobilize for action, how the actors relate employed strategies to the outcome of the campaign, what the effects were on the agrarian reform movement and conducts a narrative analysis of the framing processes of the Sumilao farmers’ campaign. The campaign conclusively led to two important outcomes: strengthened horizontal relationships in civil society between agrarian reform SMOs and increasing cooperation between the agrarian reform movement and the Catholic Church, explained by frame bridging between the agrarian reform frame and the Church’s social justice frame and facilitated by a shared non-violence methodology. Both outcomes would be of importance for the later CARPER campaign.

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