sa mga nasawi sa itinuturing na masaker ay ang kabataan na namamahagi ng
tubig sa mga manggagawa. Kinitil ang kanyang buhay, kasama ng kanyang
SA PILING NG MGA MANGGAGAWA
SA HACIENDA LUISITA
Isang Repleksyon Para sa Anak ng Pastor na Nag-alay ng Buhay
Nobyembre 16, 2004, mainit ang
sikat ng araw, kasagsagan ng pagkilos ng mga manggagawa ng Hacienda
Luisita para sa makatarungang pasahod. Sa harapan ng mapanakot na
presensya ng armadong hanay ng mga militar at pulis, lalong nagtumibay ang
paninindigan ng mga aping manggagawa. Muling nagbanta ang panunupil,
lalong nalantad ang mapandahas na layunin ng mga panginoong
makapangyarihan na naghahari sa lipunan.
Sa hanay ng mga manggagawa, may mga kaakbay at kapanalig na hindi gaanong
napapansin ng karamihan, kahit ng mga mamamahayag - ang hindi
maisasantabing ambag at tapat na pakikipagkaisa ng mga kabataan. Kasama ng
mga manggagawa, ang mga kabataan ay nakikipagpunyagi, kaakibat sa
paglalakbay, batid ang tiyak na layunin para na rin sa kanilang magandang
Nang hapon na iyon ng Nobyembre 16, hindi makakalimutan ang larawan ng
isang kabataan na walang atubiling naghahandog ng kanyang kakayanan. Ang
tubig na kanyang inihahatid at ipinamamahagi ay simbolo ng pagtataguyod sa
layunin na kanya ring pinaninindigan, tubig na animoy pandilig sa mga
halamang uhaw sa pag-aaruga, katulad din ng mga manggagawang pinagkakaitan
ng awa at pang- unawa. Ang kanyang ginawa ay nagpapaalaala sa batang
paslit na kasama ng limang libong tao, na sumunod kay Jesus sa ilang - ang
batang paslit, na buong katapatang nagbukas ng kanyang baon na tinapay at
isda at ibinahagi sa mga gutom na kasamahan.
Sa biglaang pagsiklab ng karahasan, ng nag-aalimpuyong lupit ng panunupil
sa karapatan ng maliliit at walang lakas, maraming buhay ang nasalanta,
laksang iba pa ang nasaktan at malubhang nasugatan habang ang iba'y hinuli
at ikinulong. Dahas ng armas ang pinagpasya at nagbunga ng hindi masusukat
na pagluluksa, hindi lamang sa mga biktima, kundi sa buong sambayanan.
Sa paghawi ng mga nakakasulasok na usok ng ibat-ibang armas, sa
unti-unting pagpawi ng ingay ng mga putok ng baril, tumambad ang maraming
katawang nakahandusay. Marami ang nasawi, marami ang sugatan. Ang mga
sigaw, ingay at alingawngaw ay nahalinhan ng panaghoy ng pagkagimbal, ng
daing ng pagdadalamhati. Ang tinig ng pagkakaisa ng mga aping manggagawa
para sa makatarungang pasahod ay tinugon ng hindi maipaliliwanag na
Kabilang sa mga nasawi sa itinuturing na masaker ay ang kabataan na
namamahagi ng tubig sa mga manggagawa. Kinitil ang kanyang buhay, kasama
ng kanyang pangarap.
Winakasan ang kanyang kinabukasan, kasama ng buhay ng maraming iba pa na
ang payak na hangad ay dangal at karapatan para sa maralita.
Si Juancho Sanchez, anak ng isang Pastor, isang aktibong kaanib ng
Christian Youth Fellowship ng United Church of Christ in the Philippines (CYF-UCCP),
anak ng simbahan, anak ng sambayanan, nag-alay ng buhay kasama ng mga aba
– para sa magandang kinabukasan ng maraming iba pa. Ang anak ng isang
Pastor na hinubog sa simbahan, binigyang gabay sa tahanan, pinanday sa
katotohanan, may matibay na pananampalataya at paninindigan, maagang
kinitlan ng buhay at karapatan kasama ng mga manggagawa sa Hacienda
Sa marahas na larawan ng Hacienda Luisita, nakaukit ang pangalan ng mga
biktima ng karahasan, ng mga manggagawa at inosenteng buhay na inialay sa
altar ng paghahangad sa katwiran at kapayapaan. Ang malagim na larawan ng
Hacienda Luisita ay may bahid ng dugo ng sambayanan na hindi kailanman
ipagwalangbahala at kalilimutan ng lahat ng nagmamahal sa katarungan at
Ang buong United Church of Christ in the Philippines ay nagdadalamhati sa
walang katwirang pamamaslang sa mga manggagawa at iba pa – nagluluksa para
kay Juancho Sanchez na nasawi sa piling ng mga manggagawa. Ang mga taong
simbahan ay dapat manindigan sa panig ng katotohanan at katarungan,
sapagkat ang ating Diyos ay naghangad para sa atin ng ganito: "Itinuro na
N’ya sa iyo, 0 tao, kung ano ang mabuti. Ito ang nais ni Yahweh: Maging
makatarungan ka sa lahat ng bagay, patuloy mong ibigin ang iyong kapwa, at
buong pagpapakumbabang sumunod sa iyong Diyos." (Mikas 6: 8)
Ang marahas na karanasan sa Hacienda Luisita ay kasaysayan din ng maraming
iba pang manggagawa at aping sektor ng bayan, katulad din ng kabataang si
Juancho Sanchez na sagisag ng maraming kabataan sa lipunan na naghahangad
at nag-aasam ng magandang kinabukasan para sa marami. Hindi tulad ng mga
taong may mapanupil na armas at kapangyarihan na kumatig sa lakas ng mga
uring naghahari sa ating bayan, pinili ng mga katulad ni Juancho na
maglingkod sa piling ng mga manggagawa.
Habang ang pandarahas at pang?aapi sa mga mahihina at aba ay umiiral,
hindi mamamatay ang alaala ng isang anak ng Pastor - si Juancho Sanchez at
ng marami pang kabataan na kaakbay at nakikibaka kasama ng mga manggagawa.
Umaalingawngaw hanggang ngayon ang tinig ni Yahweh: "Ito ang gusto kong
gawin ninyo: "Tigilan na ninyo ang pang-aalipin. Sa halip ay pairalin ang
katarungan, Ang mga api'y palayain ninyo at tulungan. Ang mga nagugutorn
ay inyong pakainin, patuluyin sa inyong tahanan ang walang tirahan. Yaong
mga tao na halos hubad na ay inyong paramntan, ang inyong pagtulong sa mga
kasama ay huwag tatalikdan". (Isaias 58: 6?7)
Nobyembre 22, 2004
24 November 2011
Reference: LIZA MAZA, MAKABAYAN Coalition Spokesperson, 09209134540
Makabayan hails SC Luisita decision as “a
golden harvest of the militant peasant struggle”
The Makabayan Coalition lauded the unanimous Supreme Court ruling for the
scrapping of the stock distribution option and ordering the total
distribution of Hacienda Luisita Inc.’s 4,915 hectares to farmer
Makabayan President Satur Ocampo said that the 56-page decision of the
high tribunal penned by Atty. Presbitero Velasco Jr. and released
Wednesday is a “a golden harvest of the militant peasant struggle, a
product of the farmers’ own blood and toil.”
At the same time, the militant coalition slammed Malacanang’s “eerie
silence” on the issue when Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda
refused to comment on the matter at a press conference but later said that
they are still awaiting for the decision to be final and executory.
“If President Aquino has no longer a stake at the Hacienda Luisita as he
claimed, then we can only expect the executive branch particularly the
Department of Agrarian Reform to implement the SC ruling without any
hindrance from Malacanang. We hope his silence on the matter means he
accepts the decision. Otherwise, the farmers would not allow the land that
is rightfully theirs to be taken away from them,” Ocampo said.
Makabayan supported the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) stand not
to allow the HLI and the DAR to collect payments and land amortization
from farmer beneficiaries. Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano of the KMP said
that the HLI still owes farmers P1.33-billion.
“We laud the Alyansa ng mga Magbubukid sa Hacienda Luisita (Ambala),
petitioner of the case, for their militant struggles. The blood of the
Hacienda Luisita massacre victims has watered the land that they fought
for. Their families and survivors now stand to harvest their crop and
continue the fight for genuine agrarian reform and combat the pestilence
of stock-distribution options spawned by the extended Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Program (CARPER),” Makabayan stated.
Bayan hails SC
decision, seeks justice for rights victims
November 25, 2011
The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang
Makabayan today congratulated the farmers of Hacienda Luisita for their
victory in the Supreme Court even as the group pressed for justice for all
those who died in the agrarian dispute.
“The victory is a testament to the
justness of the farmers’ struggle. So many made the ultimate sacrifice so
that this day would come,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes,
“Genuine land reform still has a long
way to go in the Philippines. It is something the farmers need to fight
for every time. The spirit of genuine land reform cannot simply be found
in existing laws like CARPER. If anything, the Luisita dispute shows how
government land reform programs became dismal failures for so many years,”
Bayan said it supported the farmers’
position of free land distribution and collective farming as the means of
making the and economically viable. “The land has already been paid for
through the blood and sweat of farmers over the past five decades. The
landowners profited immensely from the work of the farm workers while the
farm workers got nothing,” Reyes said.
The group said that other haciendas
employing the “stock distribution option” would also face legal challenges
because of the Luisita ruling. “Big landlords are wary because the
decades-old swindling through the stock option may now be questioned in
court by the farmer,” Reyes said.
Justice for rights victims
Bayan pressed the Office of the
Ombudsman to resolve the case of the Hacienda Luisita massacre which
claimed seven lives. The case has been pending for six years now at the
Ombudsman and to date, no case has been filed in court against any member
of the police and military who were involved in the shooting of unarmed
“It would only be fitting that the
farmers get true and complete justice, and this includes justice for all
those who died fighting for land,” Reyes said.
A marker is now erected at the Gate 1
of the Central Azucarera de Tarlac for all the martyrs of the Luisita
struggle. Those included in the list are Tarlac City Councilor Abel Ladera,
Bishop Alberto Ramento and union president Ricardo Ramos.
Bayan also called attention to the
case of Ramos, union president of the CAT Labor Union who was gunned down
in the aftermath of the strike. A suspect, Sgt. Roderick “Joshua” de la
Cruz of the Army’s 7th Infantry Division eventually arrested. The case is
up for resolution by the local judge handling the case.
VERA files reported that the
witnesses in the case are having problems because they are not provided
protection by the government.
November 23, 2011
*Hacienda Luisita distribution long
overdue, struggle continues, says farmers*
The militant peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) today
described the reported Supreme Court decision on the agrarian dispute
involving Hacienda Luisita, the more than 6,000-hectare sugar estate owned
by President Aquino’s family, as “a fruit of the farm workers’ militant
struggle” and that the distribution of the lands is “long overdue.”
The KMP issued the statement after reports said that eight magistrates
voted to grant the motion for reconsideration of the Presidential Agrarian
Reform Council and the farmers’ group Ambala during the high tribunal’s
regular en banc session on Tuesday.
KMP deputy secretary general Randall Echanis said “if true, the SC
decision is the fruit of the Hacienda Luisita farmworkers’ militant
struggle. The distribution of Hacienda Luisita is long overdue”
“This is a step forward but Hacienda Luisita farm workers’ struggle
continues. They shall continue to assert their legitimate rights over the
lands especially under the administration of a Cojuangco-Aquino who is the
biggest stumbling block to Hacienda Luisita farmers’ aspiration for
genuine land reform,” says Echanis.
The KMP also clarified views that the rumoured ruling of the high tribunal
could be “an offshoot of the rift between the executive and the judiciary”
or between President Aquino and Arroyo.
“Hacienda Luisita farm workers are not pawns in the so-called Aquino-Arroyo
rift. It would be an insult to farm workers to simply downplay the alleged
decision as a political retaliation by the court against Aquino. It is a
product of the farm workers’ protracted and arduous political struggle for
land and social justice,” Echanis said.
“Let us remind the public that both the Cojuangco-Aquinos and former
president Arroyo have blood debts against farm workers of Hacienda Luisita,”
he said noting that “both have united against the farm workers in the
November 2004 massacre in Hacienda Luisita. The alleged fall-out only
happened after the late President Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino called for the
resignation of Arroyo in mid-2005.”
But Echanis said that “knowing the Cojuangco-Aquinos, they will surely
resort to various political maneuvers including deception and intense
harassment” saying, “in fact, facing various and trumped up criminal
charges against leaders of Ambala.”
The KMP leader pushed for the “free distribution of Hacienda Luisita”
saying said that “placing the lands under the government’s Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER) will be
unacceptable to Hacienda Luisita farm workers.”
“We expect the President’s family to once again use the bogus CARPER to
enrich themselves and evade genuine land distribution,” Echanis said
noting that “under the guise of ‘just compensation’ provided by CARPER,
farm workers still have to pay for the land without any assurance of
More than half a century ago, Echanis said, “Hacienda Luisita was acquired
by the Cojuangcos using government money, defied the conditionality of the
loans from Central Bank and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS)
that the lands will be distributed after 10 years, and continued to
exploit farm workers up to now. In fact, the Cojuangcos still owe millions
to the farm workers.”
“Farm workers have long paid for the land. The free distribution of
Hacienda Luisita to genuine farm workers is legitimate, just, and
reasonable,” Echanis said. #
KMP National Secretariat
25-B Matiyaga Street, Barangay Central, Quezon City Philippines
25 November 2011
Statement of Anakpawis Partylist on SC decision on Hacienda Luisita
SC decision on HLI affirms the need for a
genuine land reform program
We congratulate the farm workers of Hacienda Luisita for their initial
victory against the Aquino-Cojuanco landlord clan. There could be no other
way for them to achieve the right to own the land that they have toiled
for decades but determined and organized struggle. Decisive victory would
only be achieved once the decision is implemented and when peasants and
farm workers of Hacienda Luisita are already enjoying the fruits of their
As we celebrate this victorious moment, we must remain vigilant against
any attempt to reverse the SC decision. The 6-month wait for the
implementation is a time for us to consolidate our ranks and safeguard our
initial victory. The Aquino-Cojuanco clan will surely take legal maneuvers
and dirty tactics using all their power to desperately reclaim the lands
that we have fought for.
We warn President Benigno Cojuanco Aquino to not use his executive post to
protect his family’s interests on Hacienda Luisita. The high court has
already decided and the executive department have no other choice to give
up and abide by the SC order.
Though it was long overdue, the Supreme Court decision to actually
distribute 4,915.75 hectares of land to its tillers is still laudable for
it affirms the justness of our peasants’ struggle for genuine land reform
against feudal exploitation of landlord clans like the Aquino-Cojuancos.
Hacienda Luisita has long been a testing ground for genuine land reform in
the country. The HLI case proves that previous and present government land
reform programs have failed to serve the purpose of giving land to
tillers. The CARP and its extension CARPER even gave landlords full
control over agricultural lands by allowing stock transfer schemes instead
of actual land distribution.
Had these programs been successful and true to the cause of genuine land
reform, it would not have taken decades before the justness of actual land
distribution is realized, no lives of farm workers should have been
claimed by government troops in a bloody massacre seven years ago and most
of all, our peasants and farm workers should not have long suffered from
hunger and poverty due to widespread landlessness.
Chief Justice Corona himself stated in his dissenting opinion that under
the Constitution, actual land distribution is mandatory and anything that
promises something other than land is unconstitutional.
We therefore demand that the bogus Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program
Extension with Reforms (CARPER) be immediately junked for being
unconstitutional and anti-peasant. As a replacement, the House of
Representatives should immediately enact the House Bill 374 or the Genuine
Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB).
The House Bill 374 is a genuine and pro-peasant land reform program that
would dismantle the monopoly of a few landlord families over the country’s
vast agricultural lands. This is the only land reform program that
promotes the welfare of Filipino peasants and farm workers by ensuring
free and actual distribution of lands to its tillers.
The Filipino peasants’ struggle for genuine land reform still has a long
way to go especially now that it remains dim under a landlord dominated
administration. That is why we call on all peasants and farm workers, who
comprise 75% of the country’s population, to pursue and intensify our
struggle for land and justice.
As proven by the farm workers of Hacienda Luisita, only through our
collective and militant struggle can we reclaim the lands that have been
stolen by the few but powerful landlord families like the Cojuanco-Aquinos.
Fight for genuine land reform!
Long live the peasants and farm workers of Hacienda Luisita!
Long live the peasant movement!
Reference: Joel Maglunsod, Anakpawis Executive Vice President, 985-5382,
November 24, 2011
*Aquino urged to abide by SC’s unanimous
decision on Hacienda Luisita*
*Farmers push for “free distribution” *
The militant peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) today
welcomed the unanimous decision of the Supreme Court granting the total
distribution to the farm workers of Hacienda Luisita, the vast estate
owned by the Cojuangco-Aquino family and urged the President to abide by
In a 14-0 vote, the high tribunal ordered the distribution of 4,915
hectares of the sprawling Hacienda Luisita estate to the farmworkers and
for Hacienda Luisita Inc. to pay the farmworkers P1.3 billion.
“In line with our findings that control over agricultural lands must
always be in the hands of farmers, we reconsider our ruling that the
qualified FWBs should be given an option to remain as stockholders of HLI,
inasmuch as these qualified FWBs will never gain control given the present
proportion of shareholdings in HLI,” the SC ruling said.
KMP deputy secretary general Randall Echanis described the SC decision as
“a victory of the militant struggle of Hacienda Luisita farmworkers.”
“Aquino must immediately abide by the high court’s decision to distribute
Hacienda Luisita, direct his family to let go of the Hacienda, and pay the
farmworkers P1.3 billion,” says Echanis. “The Cojuangco family’s
resistance and disrespect to the high court’s decision will expose that
the President protects his family’s interests.”
The KMP leader also pushed for “the immediate free distribution of
Hacienda Luisita to farmworkers” and that “placing the lands under the
government’s Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms
(CARPER) will be unacceptable to Hacienda Luisita farm workers.”
“It is the very same law that subjected the farm workers to feudal
slavery,” says Echanis adding: “Farm workers have long paid for the land.
The free distribution of Hacienda Luisita to genuine farm workers is
legitimate, just, and reasonable.”
“It is very clear under CARPER that landlords were given the right to
identify who will be the beneficiaries. The Cojuangco-Aquinos will surely
use this anti-peasant law to once again divide the ranks of farmworkers
and place their dummies,” he said.
“We expect the President and his family to once again use the bogus CARPER
to evade genuine land distribution,” Echanis said noting that “under the
guise of ‘just compensation’ provided by CARPER, farm workers still have
to pay for the land without any assurance of ownership.”
“The Hacienda Luisita farmworkers’ struggle is far from over. *Tuloy ang
laban*,” the peasant leader said.
Echanis maintained that, “Hacienda Luisita was acquired by the Cojuangcos
using government money, defied the conditionality of the loans from
Central Bank and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) that the
lands will be distributed after 10 years, and continued to exploit farm
workers up to
now. In fact, the Cojuangcos still owe billions of pesos to farm workers.”
Partylist ng masa... ANAKPAWIS
56 K-9 Street, West Kamias, Quezon City 1102
visit our website
problems in the SC decision on Hacienda Luisita
by Renato Reyes, BAYAN Secretary General
While the nation welcomed the decision of the Supreme Court ordering the
actual land distribution of Hacienda Luisita, the SC decision presents
several problems and challenges for farmers and advocates of land reform.
The decision highlights the limitations and problems with government’s
land reform program CARPER.
The SC decision ordered the compensation of the owners of Hacienda Luisita.
By “owners”, we mean them Cojuangco-Aquino family. They will be
compensated for the 4, 335 hectares that will be distributed to the
farmers. If each hectare is valued at 100,000, the Cojuangco’s will
receive P4.3 billion. The government will advance a certain amount, and
the farmers will have to pay the entire amount through an amortization
scheme. No less than President Benigno Aquino III stressed the importance
of “just compensation” for the landowners. He also invoked CARPER as the
basis for this “just compensation”. What is unjust in this scheme is that
the vast estate was unjustly acquired by the Cojuangco’s through a
government loan from the GSIS. In short, public funds were used to acquire
the estate with the condition that land would eventually be distributed to
the farmers. Furthermore, the farm workers have paid for the value of the
land through their sweat and blood, working on the estate for several
decades without receiving any of the supposed fruits of their labor. Over
the years, the Cojuangco’s got richer and the farm workers were mired
deeper in destitution. There is therefore nothing just in paying the
Cojuangco’s P4.335 billion which will come from public funds and the
pockets of the long-exploited farm workers. The farmers demand that the
land be distributed for free.
The SC decision did not rule that the Stock Distribution Option scheme was
unconstitutional. Only Chief Justice Renato Corona supported this opinion.
It would have been a landmark victory for thousands of other farmers
nationwide if the SDO itself, this loophole in the agrarian reform program
of the first Aquino regime, was altogether junked. The SDO has been abused
by big landlords who wanted to evade land reform and actual land
distribution. Instead of actual land distribution, farmers are swindled
through shares of stock.
The SC decision exempted the 500
hectare land purchased by RCBC. This is controversial because RCBC knew
that the land in question was the subject of an agrarian dispute, yet it
entered into a transaction with the Luisita management to acquire the
land. They claimed that they were “innocent purchasers” but facts will
reveal that RCBC , Luisita Industrial Park Corporation (a subsidiary of
HLI) and Centennary Holdings had interlocking directors or officials.
There is also the land conversion order which reclassified this supposedly
agricultural land. The HLI management of course earned a hefty sum from
The SC decision exempted more than
1,000 hectares of land from the coverage of land reform. Farmers and their
lawyers have challenged the basis of this exemption and have pushed that
land reform cover at least 6,443 hectares.
The P1.3 billion payment by
management to the farmers from the earnings of land sale (RCBC, SCTEX)
will still be subjected to a lot of accounting wizardry. This amount can
still go down if HLI shows that it spent the money for legitimate
corporate expenses and taxes.
This is not a victory for CARPER.
Quite the opposite, what happens in the next few months will show that
CARPER will make genuine land reform even more difficult, nay impossible.
It is now the collective struggle of the farmers which will ensure that
their legal victory (land distribution) will truly be beneficial for all
is your landlord speaking….”
by Renato Reyes, Jr.
President Benigno Aquino III finally commented on the Supreme
Court decision ordering the distribution of Hacienda Luisita to farmers.
While careful not to comment on the actual merits of the decision for he
has not read the 57-page ruling, Aquino did say two things that struck me.
First he said that “Sa agrarian reform, ang hinahabol ay dalawang bagay:
number one, i-empower mo ung magsasaka upang magkaroon siya ng sariling
lupang sasakahin. Okay yung parteng iyon, Ang pangalawang bagay ay: ‘wag
natin ubusin ang capital. Ibig sabihin, meron ding just compensation para
naman yung dating nagmamay-ari ng lupa ay hindi mo inaagawan ng lupa,
bayaran mo ng tama,”
Spoken like a true hacendero.
The proposition that the big landlords of Luisita should be justly
compensated is patently unjust. Just look at the history of how the
Cojuangco’s acquired the land through a government loan on condition that
the land will eventually be distributed to the farmers. Look at how the
Luisita landowners evaded land reform by foisting on the farmers the
deceptive “stock distribution option” instead of actual land distribution.
Just look at how the farm workers toiled on the land under the SDO while
the owners reaped the gains and the farmers took home P9.50/day.
“Sana ma-meet yung two objectives. Hindi dapat yung may pinapaboran na
isang sektor at isasakripisyo ang isa. Kailangan sabay-sabay ang lahat ng
sector”, he added.
Well ain’t that sheer demagoguery?
To say that the interests of landlords are being sacrificed is like saying
Gloria Arroyo is kawawa for being unjustly persecuted. For decades, there
was only the interest of the landlord that was advanced. You can see that
quite clearly in the economic state of the farm workers versus the
affluent living of the majority stockholders of HLI.
Now that farmers have a chance to get
a small measure of social justice, the president is concerned that
landlord interests are not getting the proper consideration that they
deserve, that these interests would be sacrificed.
The farmers have earned the right to
own the land, for free. The land has been paid for through decades of
uncompensated hard work. In the first place, the acquisition of the land
by the Cojuangco’s has been assailed as being anomalous.
The second thing he said that struck me was “I don’t think I am competent
to comment, I haven’t read the decision… and there are other pressing
matters before my table.”
The biggest agrarian dispute in years has been “resolved” by the SC and
the president says he has “other pressing matters” before him. This
statement should be taken as a sign by all that land reform is not a
pressing concern for this administration. Never was, never will be. I pity
the DAR and Sol-Gen who also appealed the decision of the SC along with
the farmers. Seems they’re not getting much support from their Chief
Executive. The least Aquino could have done was to publicly congratulate
his own people, but then that would mean turning his back on his class.
Today we heard Benigno Aquino III speak not as president representing the
people, but as a member of the landlord class. We are hardly surprised.
Just compensation? Try telling that to 80-year old Virginia Paligutan
whose son died a red fighter in 2005, six years before the SC ruling. Or
to the families of the massacre victims and martyrs of Luisita.
victory, brace for greater struggles for the free distribution of land
Message to the peasants and farm workers of
Communist Party of the Philippines
November 25, 2011
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) joins the broad masses of
peasants and farm workers of Hacienda Luisita in their celebration of the
Supreme Court's November 22 decision revoking the stock distribution
option (SDO) scheme of Cojuangco-owned Hacienda Luisita Inc. and paving
the way for the distribution of HLI's remaining 4,900-hectare plantation.
At the same time, the CPP calls on the peasants and farm workers to
further strengthen their unity and brace for bigger struggles.
The Supreme Court decision which was made public yesterday marks a turning
point in the legal struggle of the peasants and farm workers of Hacienda
Luisita against the SDO, a scheme used by the Cojuangcos since the late
1980s to evade land reform. Besides revoking the SDO, the SC also
compelled HLI to pay the peasants and farm workers the amount of P1.3
billion, corresponding to the area of land sold by HLI in the past years,
including those which have been turned into a residential enclave and a
portion of the Subic-Clark Expressway. While ordering the distribution of
land, the SC also recognized the HLI's "entitlement to just compensation."
The peasants and farm workers of Hacienda Luisita celebrate the SC
decision because it boosts their century-long struggle to put an end to
the land-monopoly ownership and achieve justice for the long decades of
exploitation, oppression and fascist brutality by the Cojuangco landlord
rule. They are, however, also fully aware that their struggle is far from
There is a keen observation that the decision of the Supreme Court is a
counter-punch by the Arroyo camp against the Aquino regime for having
filed criminal charges against former president Gloria Arroyo and
effecting her arrest last week. This view is based on the fact that
majority of the officals of the SC were appointed by Arroyo and are seen
to be sympathetic to her. Indeed, there are deep fissures within the
ruling classes, with Supreme Court decisions often reflecting the
contradictions and accomodations among them and the power plays and
political manueverings between those in and out of power.
However true, they do not diminish the significance of this latest legal
victory of the peasants and farm workers of Hacienda Luisita. The peasants
and farm workers have long demonstrated the justness of their legal and
moral position against the SDO and for the distribution of the Hacienda
Luisita lands. As a result, they have won widespread support from various
sectors, from workers and students, lawyers and religious people. They
have won this latest round in their legal battle not only through the
sheer correctness of their opposition to the SDO, but also by having
consistently demonstrated courage and determination to advance the cause
of agrarian reform and fight for social justice.
We anticipate the peasants and farm workers of Hacienda Luisita to press
for the immediate implementation of the SC decision. While their struggle
has taken a significant turn, they are bound to encounter more obstacles
along the way. After several decades of intransingence and opposition to
land distribution, the Aquino and Cojuangco clans are not expected to
easily give up their claim to the Hacienda Luisita land. HLI is expected
to put up one legal fight after another in the Supreme Court and beyond.
With their scion in Malacañang, the Cojuangcos can still bring their
machinations to the Department of Agrarian Reform, the agency tasked to
carry out the distribution of land. The recognition of the HLI's
entitlement to "just compensation" for the agricultural land to be
transferred to the DAR goes against the social justice aspect of agrarian
reform which demand the expropriation of land which have been acquired
through feudal oppression, corruption, deception and brutality by big
landowners such as those of the Cojuangcos. It reduces land reform to a
real estate transaction between the state and the big landlords.
This CARP provision for "just compensation" reaffirmed by the SC decision
has often been used in the past by big landlords in collusion with the DAR
to overburden the peasants with so-called land amortization payments,
making them easy prey to landlord-backed usurers and merchants. They are
eventually unable to hold on to their land titles. In not a few cases,
peasants have been forced to sell their land back to the landlords or to
corporations owned by these landlords.
Learning lessons from the past, the peasants and farm workers of Hacienda
Luisita can achieve bigger victories in their struggle for land reform.
They stand on a moral highground in their demand for the immediate and
free distribution of land. They should vigorously oppose any scheme to
compel them to amortize the land which had been unjustly taken away from
them. They must oppose any scheme to "compensate" the Cojuangcos for the
land which they have unjustly expropriated from the peasant masses.
They must also continue to stand united and pursue their campaign to
collectively administer and till the land. In the past several months,
they have harvested the fruits of their Bungkalan campaign, where the work
of tilling the land, planting and harvesting is shared among the peasants
and farm workers. Through their campaign, the Hacienda Luisita peasants
and farm workers have succeeded in collectively producing vegetables and
other food crops resulting in increased incomes and a better quality of
The struggle of the peasants and farm workers in Hacienda Luisita
underscore the continuing widespread struggle of the Filipino peasant
masses for genuine agrarian reform. Twenty-three years since the enactment
of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL), landlord power continues
to prevail and dominate the countryside and national politics. The poor
peasants and farm workers continue to be subjected to various forms of
feudal and semifeudal exploitation and oppression. Landlords and big
corporations continue to grab and expropriate land resulting in the
widespread displacement of peasants and minority peoples, poverty, hunger
and social unrest. The revolutionary armed struggle continue to rage in
the countryside precisely because it addresses the peasants democratic
outcry for land reform.
The struggle and recent victories of the peasants and farm workers in
Hacienda Luisita inspire the peasant masses across the country to more
vigorously pursue their struggle for land reform. While the blaze of
agrarian struggles spread across the countryside, the peasants and farm
workers of Hacienda Luisita are further emboldened to hold on firmly to
their principles and demands, and together with the rest of the Filipino
people, march along the path of social and national liberation.
24 Nobyembre 2011
Ipinagbubunyi ng mga manggagawa ang
maka-magsasakang desisyon ng Korte Suprema sa Hacienda Luisita
Kaisa ng masang magsasaka at anakpawis sa buong bansa, nagagalak ang
Kilusang Mayo Uno at masang manggagawa sa pasya ng Korte Suprema na
ipamahagi na ang halos limang hektarya ng Hacienda Luisita sa mga
Tama ang Korte Suprema sa pagsasabing hindi kailanman magkakaroon ng
kontrol sa lupa ang mga magbubukid sa ilalim ng Stock Distribution Option
na itinutulak ng manedsment ng Hacienda Luisita Incorporated.
Higit pa diyan, matagal nang dapat ipinamahagi ang lupa ng Hacienda
Luisita sa mga magbubukid dahil ito ang isinasaad sa kondisyon ng utang na
ginamit pambili ng hacienda at dahil matagal nang nabayaran ng mga
magbubukid ang lupa sa pamamagitan ng kanilang pagsasaka.
Magiging napakahalaga ng desisyong ito, lalo na’t ang botohan ay 14 sa 15
hukom, sa kasaysayan ng kaso sa Hacienda Luisita, gayundin ng iba pang
katulad na kaso sa bansa. Sikapin man ng mga Cojuangco-Aquino at maging ni
Pang. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III na paatrasin ang naturang desisyon – at
tiyak na gagawin nila iyan – hindi na mabubura ang ganitong pagtindig ng
Nakasisiguro kami, gayunman, na hindi ito ang katapusan ng laban para sa
tunay na reporma sa lupa sa Hacienda Luisita. Tiyak, kikilos ang pamilyang
Cojuangco-Aquino at maging si Pang. Aquino para paatrasin ang desisyon ng
Sa malayong tanaw, ambag lamang ang desisyong ito ng Korte Suprema sa
pakikibaka para sa lupa at katarungan sa Hacienda Luisita. Pero
nakasisiguro kaming magpapatuloy at magpapatuloy pa ang naturang
Kaya nananawagan kami sa mga magbubukid ng Hacienda Luisita: Pahigpitin
ang inyong pagkakaisa. Palakasin ang inyong paglaban para sa lupa at
katarungan. Nasa inyo, hindi sa anumang korte, ang tagumpay ng pakikibaka.
Higit sa Korte Suprema, kaisa ninyo ang mga manggagawa at buong sambayanan
sa inyong makatarungang paglaban.
Reference: Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general, 0928-7215313For Immediate
November 24, 2011
SC ruling on Luisita is victory for farmers -Anakbayan
DAVAO CITY – Militant youth group Anakbayan welcomes the Supreme Court
decision ordering the distribution of about 5,000 hectares of Hacienda
Luisita Incorporated (HLI) plantation to over 6,000 registered
farm-workers beneficiaries (FWBs). The massive sugarcane plantation is
owned by President Benigno Aquino III’s family in Tarlac.
“It must be remembered that seven years ago hundreds of farmers fought for
the land of the Hacienda Luisita wherein many of them were hurt during the
dispersion carried out by police and military and seven were killed by
government troops. This justice that the farmers deserve is long overdue,”
said Cherry Orendain, Anakbayan regional spokesperson.
The decision was unanimous where 14 out of 15 magistrates voted for the
decision of land distribution. It explained that the decision is in
accordance with Agrarian Reform which promised to give agricultural lands
to the farmers. The stock distribution plan implemented before by the
management, as stated in the High Court ruling, will never provide FWBs
the control of the land that they tilled for decades.
The SC also reiterated its ruling in July ordering HLI to pay the farmers
a total of P1.33 billion broken down as follows:
P500 million HLI received from Luisita Realty Inc. for the sale of 200
hectares of land in 1996;
P750 million for the sale of the Luisita Industrial Park; and,
P80, 511,500 for the sale of the 80.51-hectare lot for the
Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) road network.
“We demand President Aquino to immediately order the Department of
Agrarian Reform to the start the actual distribution of the land to the
farm workers” Orendain said.
“We congratulate and salute the farm workers of Hacienda Luisita. They
could not reach this stage of struggle without their militant, collective
and unwavering stand” Orendain said.
“The victory of Hacienda Luisita farm workers is also the victory of the
entire Filipino masses. This will serve as an inspiration for us youth to
continue the fight for the liberation of the people against the oppressive
landlords and capitalists,” she said.