By Chocolate Moose Fernandez and Lollipop de los Reyes
Manila, Philippines-Leftwing militants belonging to Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Sunday said the ganging up of erstwhile Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) presidential candidate Sen. Francis Escudero by his party mates led by Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco and son Rep. Mark Cojuangco was lucid testimony that Danding and sons operate the political party like a Mafia.
“The NPC is being run by the Danding Cojuangco mafia, and those who will oppose the sinister agenda and cruel intentions of the ruling syndicate shall be expelled from the party. The case of Senator Francis Escudero is highly evident here. After bolting out from the Cojuangco party, the senator is now being persecuted by the rabid lapdogs of the NPC,” said Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap.
Yesterday, Danding’s son Rep. Mark Cojuangco admitted that radical positions taken up by Sen. Escudero on several issues that support the call of Filipino workers for P 125 across the board wage increase and the immediate scrapping of billions of debts incurred by farmers under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) caused the split between the senator and the NPC founded by Danding in 1992 as his vehicle when the chair of San Miguel Corporation ran as President.
The young Cojuangco said the position of Escudero in favor of legislated wage increase might cause the collapse of the business ,while the proposal to condone billions of pesos in debt incurred by farmer beneficiaries under CARP should have wait for the inventory of the debts before the NPC takes an official stand.
“What is wrong in calling for the legislative approval of P 125 across the board daily wage hike for Filipino workers? What is wrong with the proposal to condone debts incurred by farmers under the bogus CARP? There’s nothing wrong about these advocacies,” added Hicap.
On the other hand, Pamalakaya said what was immoral and patently despicable was the annoucement of Liberal Party presidential standard bearer Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino on national TV that he was seeking a dialogue and reconciliation with Danding, while on the other hand remains elusive and non-committal to demands of Hacienda Luisita agricultural and farm workers for the free distribution of land, which he asserted, was acquired by the Cojuangcos through unjust, immoral, coercive and unlawful means.
Pamalakaya asserted that it is public knowledge that Danding wants a considerable portion of Hacienda Luisita for the expansion of San Miguel Corporation, and a Noynoy presidency will make the Pacman’s dream to come true.
On December 18, 2008, the Hacienda Luisita Management signed by Hernan M. Gregorio, Jr. — assistant Estate Manager of HLI imposed a deadline to farm workers that they only have up to October 30, 2009 to harvest and finish all land cultivation activities inside the hacienda.
In response to the Oct. 30 deadline, some 50 supporters of Hacienda Luisita farm workers staged a mass demonstration outside the Cojuangco business building in Makati City this morning, and issued their own cease and desist order against the Luisita management.
In their two-page cease and desist order, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and Unyon ng Mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) declared the Hacienda Luisita Oct.30 deadline null and void, immoral, unlawful and fatally flawed.
Hacienda Luisita has been under stock distribution scheme since the implementation of CARP in 1991 during the Aquino administration, which the groups said superficially, classified the farmer-beneficiaries as “stock-holders. KMP and UMA said the SDO commenced with the massive land use conversion (LUCs) that left only about 3,200 hectares of agricultural lands from the original 7,500 hectares in 1958.#