Tag Archives: agrarian reform

Noynoy siblings are stupid in blaming baby boom for Luisita workers sorry state

By Jay Cuesta, Chocolate Moose Fernandez and Gerry Albert Corpuz

Manila, Philippines- Four of the biggest rural-based organizations—the activist farmers group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), the leftwing fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), the peasant women federation Amihan and the Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) on Monday assailed the sisters of Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Senator Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III for blaming the lack of family planning among tenants and farm workers as the reason why poverty is widespread in the 6,453-hectare Hacienda Luisita sugar estate.

In a joint press statement, the groups said Noynoy sisters- Ballsy Aquino-Cruz and Pinky Aquino Abelleda are politically arrogant, mentally disoriented and morally inept for putting the blame on farm workers lack of family planning as the ultimate cause of their poverty and sorry state.

“Noynoy and her sisters are twisting the truth and distorting the life and struggle of Hacienda Luisita farm workers. May the God of truth and justice teach these political bitches the lessons of a lifetime,” the groups said in their joint statement.

“More than 8,000 farm workers were denied of their rights to land. More than 8,000 farm workers were kept as slaves of the Cojuangco-Aquino family and that Luisita workers were compelled to believe that the P 9.50 per day salary for each worker is just in exchange for nominal ownership under the blasphemous Stock Distribution Option (SDO) scheme. This is stupid. Pinky and Ballsy are stupid political animals acting like feel good politicians,” said Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap.

The Aquino sisters joined the LP delegation in Candelaria, Quezon on Sunday to meet supporters of their brother in the May 2010 presidential elections.

Cruz denied allegations that the management of Hacienda Luisita did not give farmer-shareholders their just share of over P80 million paid by the government for the 83-hectare right-of-way through the Luisita estate in constructing the Subic-Clark-Tarlac-Expressway.

She said the money was spent by the corporation to pay off debts.

Cruz said Hacienda Lusita is a corporation. It has lots of debts. The money was not divided among shareholders and instead, it went to the trasurer.

In defending the stock distribution option, which has been criticized for effectively exempting the Cojuangcos from agrarian reform, Cruz said the farmers were able to have their land without the government paying even a single centavo for it.

Cruz said they own only 11 percent of the 67 percent shares controlled by the Cojuangco clan.

Pamalakaya, KMP and UMA earlier dared Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile to re-open the Hacienda Luisita case involving SDO and the massacre which happened on Nov.16, 2004 that claimed the lives of 7 farm workers and injured 100 others.

The groups reminded Enrile that on June 8, 1989, the senator, then Senate Minority Leader of the Corazon Aquino controlled Senate delivered a privilege speech questioning the late President Aquino’s insertion of Stock Distribution Option (SDO) in her outline for the land reform law.

They said 21 years ago, Sen. Enrile accused former President Aquino of usurping powers by signing Executive Order No. 229 to preside over the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC), the body that placed and approved to place the 6,453-hectare Hacienda Luisita under the SDO scheme.

“Will the Senate leadership under the Enrile presidency find time to re-open the long-running story of Hacienda Luisita and the controversial SDO in the name of farmers’ right to land and social justice? Is there a guarantee from Enrile that he will re-open the still unresolved cases and issues surrounding the sugar estate of the Cojuangco-Aquino family upon the request of Luisita farm workers?” the groups said in their joint statement.

In his speech, Enrile, then Senate Minority Floor Leader assailed the Aquino presidency for withdrawing the government case against owners of Hacienda Luisita, adding that the Arroyo presidency circumvent land reform to stay control of Hacienda Luisita.

“It is about time to re-open the Hacienda Luisita case. It will be moral and politically upright to have this case closed ahead of the 2010 elections with the free distribution of lands to 8,000 farmer beneficiaries and the punishment of those involved in the Nov.16, 2004 Hacienda Luisita massacre,” said UMA spokesperson Lito Bais.

The groups lamented that Noynoy and her sisters believe Hacienda Luisita is God’s gift to Cojuangco-Aquino clan, and therefore only God can take it back from them.

The United Luisita Workers Union (ULWU) said the Cojuangco-Aquino clan is relying on the strength of SDO to prevent the free land distribution of the 6,453 hectare sugar estate to some 8,000 farmer beneficiaries. ULWU acting president Lito Bais said the SDO which transformed farmworkers into nominal stockholders, also compelled Luisita workers to accept the P9.50 net pay daily. With reports from Sugar Hicap and Viva Regala-Alonzo

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JPE told: “Remember June 8, 1989”

By Bb. Joyce Cabral and Viva Regala-Alonzo

Manila, Philippines-

Supporters of striking Hacienda Luisita farmworkers commemorated the 5th year anniversary of Luisita massacre

Two militant groups supporting the striking farmworkers of Hacienda Luisita on Saturday reminded Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile that on June 8, 1989, the senator, then Senate Minority Leader of the Corazon Aquino controlled Senate delivered a privilege speech questioning the late President Aquino’s insertion of Stock Distribution Option (SDO) in her outline for the land reform law.

In a joint press statement, the Hacienda Luisita based Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) and the left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) said 21 years ago, Sen. Enrile accused former President Aquino of usurping powers by signing Executive Order No. 229 to preside over the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC), the body that placed and approved to place the 6,453-hectare Hacienda Luisita under the SDO scheme.

“Will the Senate leadership under the Enrile presidency find time to re-open the long-running story of Hacienda Luisita and the controversial SDO in the name of farmers’ right to land and social justice? Is there a guarantee from Enrile that he will re-open the still unresolved cases and issues surrounding the sugar estate of the Cojuangco-Aquino family upon the request of Luisita farm workers?” the groups said in their joint statement.

In his speech, Enrile, then Senate Minority Floor Leader assailed the Aquino presidency for withdrawing the government case against owners of Hacienda Luisita, adding that the Arroyo presidency circumvent land reform to stay control of Hacienda Luisita.

“It is about time to re-open the Hacienda Luisita case. It will be moral and politically upright to have this case closed ahead of the 2010 elections with the free distribution of lands to 8,000 farmer beneficiaries and the punishment of those involved in the Nov.16, 2004 Hacienda Luisita massacre,” said UMA spokesperson Lito Bais.

Bais noticed that presidential and senatorial candidates are exploiting the controversial C-5 road double insertion issue to gain media mileage and public attention for the advancement of their respective electoral chances and futures in the May 2010 polls, while on the other hand had deliberately ignored the demand of Hacienda Luisita workers to re-open the Hacienda Luisita agrarian dispute, including the still unresolved Nov.16, 2004 massacre that claimed 7 lives of farmworkers and injuring more than 100 others.

Last week, 10, 000 farmers and Manila-based activists who took part in rally at Mendiola posed this question to presidential candidates, except Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Sen. Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III: “How do you solve a problem like Hacienda Luisita.”

Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap scored Senator Aquino for treating the Mendiola Massacre a closed case, asserting that the perpetrators of the Mendiola and Hacienda Luisita massacres remain unpunished and free.

“Political arrogance becomes Noynoy. This guy is closet dictator passing himself off as a liberal politician,” he added.

The Pamalakaya leader lamented that Noynoy believes Hacienda Luisita is God’s gift to Cojuangco-Aquino clan, and therefore only God can take it back from them.

The United Luisita Workers Union (ULWU) said the Cojuangco-Aquino clan is relying on the strength of Stock Distribution Option (SDO) scheme to prevent the free land distribution of the 6,453 hectare sugar estate to some 8,000 farmer beneficiaries. ULWU acting president Lito Bais said the SDO which transformed farmworkers into nominal stockholders, also compelled Luisita workers to accept the P9.50 net pay daily. #

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DAR paid ad on CARP meant for fund generation campaign

DAR paid ad on CARP meant for fund generation campaign

Groups opposed to the extension of the 20-year old Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) on Monday said the full-page advertisement which appeared in major broadsheets this week were paid for by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to convince foreign donors agencies to continue funding the agrarian reform program of the government.

“To make it simple and understandable, DAR merely wants funding agencies abroad to invest more billions of pesos for CARP implementation and support services in the tradition of the
P 76.2 billion foreign donors had shelled over the last 20 years. In other words, it is just another money making scheme,” anti-CARP groups Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), Pamalakaya fisherfolk alliance, Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) and Amihan peasant federation said in a joint press statement.

“Whether agrarian reform secretary Nasser Pangandaman admits it or not, the paid advertisements which ran in millions of pesos of taxpayers money were part of the sinister scheme to acquire more funds and more loans abroad for the current corrupt regime of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,” the groups said.

KMP secretary general Danilo Ramos noticed that in the paid advertisement, DAR put more emphasis on the need of CARP to sustain funding for support services, adding that the DAR, in a way admitted that it would no longer give premium to land distribution and would focus more on foreign funded and assisted projects ranging from support infrastructures and maintenance of so-called agrarian reform communities for fund drive abroad.

“This is a money making racket sanctioned by the bureaucracies in and out of Malacañang and in and out of DAR. This is money making at its best,” said Ramos.

The KMP leader also questioned the claim of DAR that it was able to distribute 7.2 million hectares of land to 4.5 million farmers over the last 20 years under CARP, while the truth is more than half of the 7 million hectares target for land distribution were already reverted back to the former landlords or transferred to new private owners in the form of cancellation of land titles, land use conversions and other forms of land grabbing and agrarian reform reversals.

“In fact vast tracts of land remained in the hands of few landed monopolies both local and foreign. DAR spin doctors are trying to make a glossy picture out of the sorry state of land reform in the country,” added Ramos.

For his part, Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap challenged DAR secretary Pangandaman to identify the beneficiaries and the exact locations of the beneficiaries where the so-called physical land transfer or land distribution.

The Pamalakaya leader said an audit performance is highly necessary to prove if there is really truth to the claim of DAR that it was able to distribute 7.2 million hectares of land to 4.5 million farmer beneficiaries.

“DAR has this two-decade long record of doctoring the agrarian reform statistics to show to the people of the country and the international community that agrarian reform really existed in the country over the last 20 years,” Hicap added.

According to accomplishment report of DAR, the government under CARP was able to provide tools for productivity to 5,961 farmers organizations and cooperatives and benefited 709,219 members. It also said 2,595 organizations availed of the P 4.736 billion credit support provided by the agrarian reform department.

The DAR report also cited other accomplishment reports such as the construction of 6,577 farm-to-market roads, 976 irrigation systems, 428 units of post-harvest facilities, 194 multi-purpose buildings, 6 flood control projects and 174 bridges.

KMP, Pamalakaya and other staunch allies are calling for the junking of CARP, and have rejected moves to extend the 20-year old agrarian reform program, including the scrapping of Joint Resolution No.1 that extended CARP for another six months without compulsory acquisition.

Instead the groups are calling for the passage of Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) or House Bill 3059 authored by the late Anakpawis party list Rep. Crispin Beltran and co-authored by Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano, Bayan Muna Reps. Satur Ocampo and Teodoro Casiño and Gabriela partly list lawmakers Liza Maza and Luzviminda Ilagan.

The meat of GARB is the free distribution of lands to landless, land-lacking and willing to till farmers with enough guaranteed security of tenure protection, production subsidies and support services. #

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