Lakbayan ng anakpawis para sa lupa at katarungan:

Marking the 23rd anniversary of the Mendiola Massacre

 

Quezon City

 

January 8, 2010

 

 

 

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Farmers’ march from Southern and Northern Philippines to National Capital Region

LAKBAYAN NG ANAKPAWIS PARA SA LUPA AT KATARUNGAN 2010

Organizers: Anakpawis party list. Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas. PAMALAKAYA (Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas). UMA (Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura). AMIHAN (Pambansang Pederasyon ng Kababaihang Magbubukid). Alyansan ng mga Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon (AMGL). Katipunan ng Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK)

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JANUARY 8, 2010

PRESS RELEASE

 

For Reference: ROY MORILLA, KMP information officer (09074180098)

               and GERRY ALBERT CORPUZ, Pamalakaya information officer (09286581787)

 

Farmers to kick off long march to foil last ditch on Chacha

 

Touted as the first in Philippine history and the first political blockbuster of 2010, farmers from all over Mindanao, Panay and Negros islands, Central and Eastern Visayas, Bicol and the Southern Tagalog regions in the South, and peasants from North-- Ilocos, Cordillera, Cagayan Valley and Central Luzon regions will march from their respective point of origins to the National Capital Region from January 12-22 to frustrate the last ditch efforts of the Macapagal-Arroyo administration to push Charter Change.

 

Organizers of the 10-day Lakbayan ng Anakpawis Para sa Lupa at Katarungan led by the activist peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and Anakpawis party list said  thousands of farmer marchers from Mindanao, Panay, Negros, Central Visayas and Eastern Visayas, representing the South wing will merge with marchers from Bicol and Southern Tagalog provinces on their way to Manila, while marchers from Ilocos, Cordillera, Cagayan Valley and Central Luzon representing the North wing will converge in Hacienda Luisita park in Tarlac City on their way to the National Capital Region.

 

“Chacha under a corrupt, brutal and reactionary government is extremely dangerous.  We don’t need Chacha in whatever form or mode. What we want is land and justice to victims of state repression. What we want is an end to all forms of landgrabbing and land reconcentration. What we want is for the Cojuangco-Aquino landlord clan in Tarlac to give up their illegal and immoral claim on Hacienda Luisita and let the farmworkers own the land and enjoy the fruits of their labor,” the KMP and Anakpawis party list said in a joint statement.

 

“The Chacha which Mrs. Arroyo has in mind is meant to perpetuate herself to power either as an hold over president or Prime Minister and allow the grand sell out of Philippine patrimony through 100 percent foreign ownership of land,” said Danilo Ramos, KMP secretary general.

 

Early this week, President Arroyo called her staunch allies in Congress to pass House Bill No. 6975 that seeks to implement the concurrent resolutions of the House and the Senate calling for a convention to amend the 1987 Charter. But KMP secretary general Danilo Ramos said a sinister agenda and a cruel intention was behind the fresh moves of Malacanang and the President’s allies in pushing for Charter Change.

 

Ramos supported the statement issued by Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes that President Arroyo wants Con-con to effect charter change with the election of delegates by October this year, because by that time Mrs. Arroyo, who is running unopposed in the second district of Pampanga, would be the district’s congresswoman, which would enable her to run for prime minister once her allies and other pro-Chacha congressmen decides to change the form of government from presidential to parliament.

 

For her part, Anakpawis secretary general Cherry Clemente said the Lakbayan ng Anakpawis Para Sa Lupa at Katarungan will coincide with the 23rd year anniversary of Mendiola Massacre and will expose agrarian related issues and problems nationwide involving big landlords like the Cojuangco-Aquino family in Hacienda Luisita, Tarlac, Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco in Negros island and Hacienda Isabel and San Antonio in Isabela, the Calabarzon motivated -Ayala landgrabbing activities in Southern Tagalog to mention a few. 

 

“Land monopoly in the country has further aggravated and intensified the exploitation of our farmers. Imagine, because of landlessness, they are perennially subjected to pay 50 percent, or 1/3 or 1/4 of their gross harvest as land rent. But only 19 to 21 percent of the total produce goes to farmers.  This sorry state of agrarian reform in the country will be vividly depicted during the 10-day farmers’ march from all over the country,” Clemente added. 

 

The Anakpawis official said the 10-day Lakbayan will also engage in mobile dissemination and propaganda campaign about the sorry condition of farm workers all over the country. She said daily income of rice farmers for the entire cropping season ranges from P 23 to P 40 per day.

 

 Clemente said the family of Liberal Party presidential standard bearer Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III failed to address and improve the lives of Luisita workers over the last three to four decades. According to her, daily take home pay of every farm worker in Hacienda Luisita is P 9.50, which is not even enough to buy a half kilo of NFA rice.  

 

On the other hand, KMP’s Ramos said in defense of their rights to land in pursuit of social justice, farmers are perpetually subjected to various forms of human rights violations, militarization and repression.

Latest data from Karapatan human rights group revealed that 561 farmers were victims of extrajudicial killings, 119 of them were leaders and members of KMP, while scores of internally displaced peasants due to all-out war, militarization and massacre; and cases of abducted farmers and falsely charged rural activists continue to flood the monitoring bulletins of human rights groups and the concerned public. #

 

     
     
           
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Press release:
January 7, 2009

Reference: Lito Bais, Spokesperson, Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura [UMA]
Acting Chairperson, United Luisita Workers Union [ULWU]

Foreclosre of the 170 hectares Luisita land by Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, a covert ops of the Cojuangco family to regain hold of farmers lands.

According to Lito Bais, spokesperson of the militant Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura and acting chairperson of the United Luisita Workers Union said that "Hacienda Luisita farmers will file contempt charges against Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation and Luisita Estate Management [LEM] for violating the Temporary Restraining Order issued by the Supreme Court by foreclosing a hefty 170 hectares of Luisita land. This move of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation is an outright and blatant violation of a status quo between the Luisita management and the farmers saying that no action should be taken regarding the used or selling of the former sugar state as long as legal issues are not been resolved"

The acting ULWU chair added that "Luisita Estate Management had no legal and moral rights to dip into the issue because they are not one of the party involved. LEM should stay away from our issue, we think that this shadow management created by no other less by the Cojuangco family to brought confusion among Luisita farmers and to sabotage our legitimate fight which is the distribution of land to bonafide farm workers. September last year when RCBC started putting up fences on the 170 hectares located in Baranggay Balete. The RCBC representative said that this farm lot had been foreclosed as payment for the Cojuangco's debt. At first they hired the farmers to put fences not saying its real purpose, then we learned later that RCBC has already owned the land we planned to cultivate".

"We think that this move of RCBC is in cohoot with the LEM's attempt of persuading Luisita farmers to engage in an non antagonistic tactic creating a covincing environment that the Cojuangco's will not going reclaim the land to them. But this is the same LEM that issued a memo dating December 2008 which is threatening Luisita farm workers to vacate the lands that they cultivated after the infamous Hacienda Luisita massacre. It seems that they changed tactics knowing that the Luisita farmers will not be cowed over their memo.. In fact right after RCBC put up the fence, LEM release a statement through "Balitaan sa Luisita", the management publication bannering series of dialogues between them and the farm beneficiaries in different baranggays whereas the farmers are agreeing on land use program' Bais said

He also said that `If we traced back the satements of presidential wannabe NoyNoy Aquino, their family are having a hard time coping on Luisita's expenses that is why they're considering the selling of the former sugar land state. On our part, as "co-owner" we think on what NoyNoy, the LEM creation and RCBC move is part of a grand dubious scheme design to reclaim the lands that we painstakingly fought with our sweat and blood. We also received a report that Hacienda Luisita Incorporated will be dissolved in liue to the creation of the LEM. According to Atty. Jobert Pahilga, one of our people's lawyer from SENTRA, In order to legalized LEM, the Cojuangco's will also seek the approval of the Department of Agrarian Reform. And if HLI will be dissolved, Stock Distribution Option will be implemented no more. Thus automatic distribution of the whats is left to be distributed in accordance with Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program's provision".

"The farm workers turned farmers of Hacienda Luisita are determined to fight for land and justice. We will not be hindered by this illegal and immoral impedements. We call on the Supreme Court to act on this renewed attack on our legitimate rights. We see the hands of he Cojuangco family operating behind the unjust and crystal clear violation of Luisita Estate Management and RCBC to reclaim the land that is due to us in the first place. And also urge our justice clinging justices of Supreme Court to lift the Temporary Restraining Order so that social justice will finally be realized in favor of the Luisita farmers". Bais ended
 

     
           
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