Tag Archives: Manuel Villar

Poll bets ganging up Villar, but silent on Hacienda Luisita row

By Gerry Albert Corpuz, Cherry de Belen and Billy Javier Reyes

MANILA, Philippines- A group of activist fishermen supportive of the cause of striking farm workers in Hacienda Luisita lamented that many presidential candidates are busy attacking one of the front runners– Nacionalista Party (NP) presidential candidate Manny Villar but scoreless and clueless on issues pertaining to the 6,453-hectare sugar estate owned by the family of Liberal Party (LP) presidential standard bearer Sen. Benigno Simeon ” Noynoy” Aquino III.

In a press statement, the left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) urged presidential candidates who usually attack the NP presidential bet to tackle and discuss their position this time on Hacienda Luisita including but not limited the demand for the immediate, unconditional and free distribution of the sugar plantation to 10,000 farmworker beneficiaries.

“Some presidential bets and their political sidekicks continue to attack Mr. Villar, but obviously silent on the issue of Hacienda Luisita. Are they afraid of Noynoy and the feudal aristocracy of the Cojuangco-Aquino clan? Do they believe farm workers have attained land and justice for their five decade more struggle inside the sugar estate of the Cojuangco-Aquino?” asked Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap.

The Pamalakaya leader noted national candidates like former President Joseph Estrada and his senatorial bet Juan Ponce Enrile of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) and independent candidate Senator Jamby Madrigal are active in demolishing the presidential bid of Villar, but extremely silent on the issue of Luisita involving Sen.Aquino and his family.

“Since the election campaign started on Feb.9, Noynoy and his sisters, members of the Cojuangco-Aquino clan and their partners in crime in the civil society have been engaged in day-to-day distortion of truth about Hacienda Luisita. But critics of Villar never lift a finger to tell Noynoy and his camp to stop fooling the people and the general public and proceed with land distribution. And this political development is not only puzzling and mind boggling. It is extremely dangerous,” said Hicap.

“Why members of the anti-Villar syndicate are not taking up the issue of Hacienda Luisita and the massacre of 7 farm workers? That is really a major puzzle in election campaign. While the issues ranged against Villar could be valid or just mere black propaganda, still these are issues that should be addressed by the Villar camp. However, the anti-Villar crusaders still owe the public, the electorate and the Hacienda Luisita folks a honest-to-goodness explanation how they remain silent on Noynoy and Hacienda Luisita,” the Pamalakaya official said.

Before the weekend, militant farmer groups led by striking farmworkers in Hacienda Luisita staged a 30-vehicle caravan from Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) national office in Quezon City to the Supreme Court in Manila to ask the Supreme Court (SC) to lift the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) it issued in 2006 before the May 10 presidential elections and allow the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) and DAR to proceed with the distribution of 6,453-hectare sugar plantation to 10,000 farmer worker beneficiaries.

The caravan was led by Hacienda Luisita based United Luisita Workers Union (ULWU), the Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang Bukid ng Asyenda Luisita (Ambala) and the Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) and they delivered a two-page letter of appeal billed “Let the Promise of Land and Justice Reign in Hacienda Luisita” which asked SC Chief Justice Reynato Puno and 14 other justices to recall the TRO, revoke the Stock Distribution Option (SDO) and order DAR to immediately proceed with the distribution of Cojuangco-Aquino sugar plantation.

In their letter of appeal signed by Lito Bais, acting president of ULWU, Wilfredo Marbella of KMP and Joseph Canlas of Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Gitnang Luzon (AMGL), the Hacienda Luisita farmworkers said the Supreme Court has yet to act on the motion filed by their lawyers asking the high tribunal to immediately lift the TRO, revoke the SDO and compel DAR to proceed with the free distribution of Luisita lands to farmworker beneficiaries.

The Luisita farmworkers asserted the TRO granted by the high court against the revocation of SDO was further used and abused by the Cojuangco-Aquino and the Luisita management to further exploit and oppress the farmworkers.

“Honorable Chief Justice, on the ground, cohorts and henchmen of the Cojuangco-Aquino clan are doing the dirty jobs for the feudal lords of Hacienda Luisita to fortify land control. The Cojuangco-Aquino corporation established the Luisita Estate Management (LEM) to supervise and administer the day-to-day affairs of the sugar estate. The LEM has also tolerated the terrorizing presence of government troops and Civilian Volunteer Organizations (CVOs) conducting round-the-clock surveillance and harassment of leaders and members of farmworkers’ groups,” the groups said.

Anakpawis party list said the LEM has been disposing hectares of lands to commercial banks like the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) and other foreign commercial enterprises also had acquired hectares of the disputed sugar lands despite the TRO issued by the high court in 2006.

“The questionable entities sprouting like mushrooms inside Luisita have been constructing fences as if Luisita has been divided among them in the name of private property and their private security guards chasing away farmworkers who want to cultivate idle lands either for meager income or subsistence livelihood,” Anakpawis noted.

The 10,000 Hacienda Luisita farmworker beneficiaries believed the high tribunal is politically, constitutionally and morally obliged to correct a glaring fatal decision that justified the issuance of TRO on Stock Distribution Option, the effects of such judicial action further contributed to the long-running and intensifying campaign of injustice and landlessness in Hacienda Luisita.

“Honorable Chief Justice Puno and the 14 other members of the high tribunal, once again, we appeal to your sense of justice. Lift the TRO and allow PARC and DAR to proceed with the free distribution of Hacienda Luisita to the 10,000 farmer beneficiaries,” they said. #


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Villar’s rejection of GMA makes kiss of death tag a phenomenon

Villar’s rejection of GMA makes kiss of death tag a phenomenon

The rejection of the party leaders of Nacionalista Party to have Senator Manuel Villar as possible candidate of the ruling Lakas-Kampi-CMD party has made the “kiss of death” tag on President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo a political phenomenon.

“The kiss of death tag on President Arroyo has become a political phenomenon enough to convince other members of Lakas-Kampi-CMD to jump ship and struggle for their own survival,” said Fernando Hicap, chair of the leftist fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya).

“The NP’s rejection of GMA and Lakas-Kampi-CMD offer to be their presidential candidate in 2010 is a wise political decision. Accepting such offer is like accepting a death certificate from Malacanang,” added Hicap.

But Hicap said the rejection of Palace would be offer for Villar to be the administration’s presidential candidate should come from the Senator himself to affirm the statements made by his party mate Senator Allan Peter Cayetano and party spokesman Gilbert Remulla.

“It should be Villar who should tell GMA that he does not want her and her political machinery and resources,” he said.

The Pamalakaya leader said GMA’s kiss of death was first tested during the 2007 senatorial elections, where only a handful out the 12 senatorial candidates of Team Unity struggled hard to gain senatorial seats referring to Senators Joker Arroyo and Juan Miguel Zubiri.

The Pamalakaya leader said Palace propagandists and political operators like party secretary general and Arroyo’s political adviser Gabriel Claudio are trying to downplay the rejection and make it appear that Lakas-Kampi meerger party remains a dominant major party.

“The problem is nobody wants to be associated with this party anymore. Majority of the politicians identified with the pro-Arroyo bloc are busy conducting discreet talks with all anti-GMA forces in the name of their political survival,” said Hicap.

Rumors persist that the ruling coalition might adopt Villar as its presidential standard bearer for 2010 after a straw vote held last month revealed that most of the party members prefer the NP presidential bet to be the administration’s candidate too for the 2010 presidential derby.#

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2010 presidential wannabes dared: Put GMA on trial or forget bid

2010 presidential wannabes dared: Put GMA on trial or forget bid

The left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakayta) on Wednesday put to task all candidates in the 2010 presidential elections to put President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on trial over grave human rights violations, election fraud and high crimes of corruption, saying the new presidency next year is politically, legally and morally obliged to pursue the trial of the 21st century.

In a press statement, Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said all presidential candidates in the 2010 presidential polls should expect this knockout question once they submit themselves to the electoral populace during next year’s campaign trail.

“This is the ultimate killer question which the electorate will throw to all presidential wannabes whether they are from the pro-administration bloc or from the opposition side. The people who will decide the fate of these presidential candidates will not take no for an answer. If they will not respond on the affirmative note, the presidential bets should better forget their bid and just say goodbye to their 2010 stint,” said Hicap.

The Pamalakaya leader said so far it was only Pampanga Gov. Ed Panlilio who took the challenged and replied to the public query about the presidential candidates official political standing on the proposed trial of President Arroyo on charges of extrajudicial killings, election fraud and big time crimes of corruption.

“We are still waiting for the official response of other 2010 presidential contenders. Although the 2010 elections is still a year away, it would be better for the aspirants to state their official standing on the people’s outcry calling for the eventual trial of President Arroyo after the commencement of the 2010 presidential polls,” added Hicap.

Pamalakaya said it would formally submit a letter of inquiry to all presidential candidates including but not limited to Vice-President Noli de Castro, Senator Manuel Villar, Senator Francis Escudero, Senator Loren Legarda and Senator Mar Roxas, asking these 2010 presidential aspirants to state their case on the proposed trial of Arroyo.

“The presidential candidates in 2010 cannot evade this political bombshell from the people. It would be the ultimate killer question, and their response would decide whether they deserve to get the top elective post in 2010,” the group said.

Pamalakaya likewise asked all the 2010 presidential candidates to express their respective views on the alleged plan of Mrs. Arroyo to represent her district in Pampanga in 2010 to get away with the scores of criminal and civil charges expected to be filed against her after the 2010 elections.

“How these presidential candidates are going to react on this? This is another 64- American dollar question they can’t evade,” the group said.

The militant group recalled that on July 19, 2007, President Arroyo made a public announcement of her possible future plans, and one of them is to seek a congressional seat in congress in 2010, which Pamalakaya said was an option to keep her immunity from suit.

Pamalakaya told presidential candidates that during the Luzon Urban Beltway Infrastructure Conference held in Malacañang, President Arroyo told participants that she was not prepared to retire from politics even after her term ends in 2010 and she might seek a seat in the House of Representatives in 2010.

Hicap said during the conference, President was quoted as saying,” Who knows, I may run for Congress in my hometown.” The Pamalakaya leader also said in that conference the Chief Executive also made clear on the controversial proposal on Charter Change, saying the revision of the 1987 Constitution will remain a platform commitment of her administration. #

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Pamalakaya dares senators to change Senate leadership, after Enrile endorsed Chacha

Pamalakaya dares senators to change Senate leadership, after Enrile endorsed Chacha

Asserting that Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile is now toeing the Palace line for Charter Change and has reneged his promise to keep the Senate as independent branch of the government, the leftwing fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) dared senators to change the leadership of the Upper House.

“The Senate President is now actively playing his role as stooge and endorser of Malacañang’s bid to further cannibalize the reactionary 1987 Constitution to super reactionary to allow President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s term extension,” Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said in a press statement.

“If that is the case, then a change in Senate leadership that will oppose this dirty Chacha game is a must and warranted,” added Hicap.

Enrile yesterday declared that the Senate was prepared to consider moves in the House of Representatives to amend the economic provisions of the 1987 Charter, and that he was keeping an open mind on other possible changes.

“For endorsing Arroyo’s Chacha, Enrile betrayed the stand of the Senate and the Filipino people, and therefore he deserves to lose the Senate presidency for talking and acting like a GMA hooligan politician,” the Pamalakaya leader added.

The militant group said contrary to Enrile’s statement that he has an open mind; the Senate President according to Pamalakaya was acting in behalf of the narrow interest of President Arroyo, adding that Senator Enrile is a poor copy cat of House Speaker Prospero Nograles.

“The game plan of Malacañang is to pursue Chacha by all means, at all cost and whatever it takes. The controversial House Resolution No. 737 is the first step to force both chambers to work as a constituent assembly in revising the constitution. Once the assembly is there, lawmakers will do whatever they want to do with the charter, including the vote on the perpetual stay of Mrs. Arroyo to power,” said Pamalakaya.

The militant group said HR No. 737 will practically kill the country’s fragile sovereignty and patrimony because it will allow 100 percent foreign ownership of lands and other significant sectors in the economy like mining, education, media, utilities, advertising, health and other public sectors.

Pamalakaya said HR Resolution 737 aside from paving the way for term extension of the President and other incumbent elected officials; will also lead to the eradication of Bill of Rights provisions of the 1987 Constitution and the return of US military bases in the country and the entry of nuclear weapons and toxic wastes in the country.

However, Pamalakaya was confident that opposition Senator Francis Escudero, chair of the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments would keep his promise to reject any resolution that would call for the revision of the 1987 Constitution through constituent assembly.

Likewise, the militant group challenged presidentiables Senator Manuel Villar, Loren Legarda, Mar Roxas and Panfilo Lacson to come up with a joint or separate resolutions calling for the rejection of Chacha. #

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