Farmers and supporters mark the 6th anniversary

of the Hacienda Luisita massacre,  demand justice for the marytes

 

TarlacI

 

November 16, 2010

 

 

Video:: Pagbawi sa Luisita      March at Luisita

 

■   News reports

 

■   Bonus Tracks

 

■  The archived pages on the  Hacienda Luisita massacre of Nov. 16, 2004

 

■   Lecture of Jose Maria Sison on Land Reform and National Democracy

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Tubo
ni Axel Pinpin


Humihinga ang lupa,
humihingi ng katarungan;
bumubulwak ang dugo
sa pinagpigaan ng túbo sa tubó.

Umaagos sa patubig ang luha,
sa mga taad at taluad na naulila;
puntod na ang Hasyenda,
masaker ang nakaukit sa lapida.

Laging alalahanin.
Laging aalalahanin.

 

   
 
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/p

Photos courtesy of Arkibong Bayan, Bentot Pogi, Roma Tarranza, Ron De Vera,

Thess Dollaga, Tudla Prod and Zarah Dayao as indicated by the filenames of the photos

           

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Ang katumbas ng P9.50 (At iba pang katotohanang inungkat ng masaker sa Hacienda Luisita) Enero 2005

Posted: November 9, 2009 by Renato Reyes, Jr. in philippine elections
Tags: hacienda luisita, hacienda luisita massacre, noynoy aquino

Draft Primer hinggil sa Luisita massacre na sinulat ni Lisa Ito apat na taon na ang nakaraan
(di ko na mahanap yung Final PDF file nito eh)

Para sa mga manggagawang bukid ng Hacienda Luisita, take-home pay na P9.50* kada linggo ang kapalit ng daantaong pagbubungkal nila at ng kanilang mga ninuno sa lupaing inangkin ng mga Cojuangco. Para naman sa amo nilang ganid sa tubo, tila P9.50 lang rin ang halaga ng buhay na nilagas ng bala noong ika-16 ng Nobyembre 2004 — halagang ‘di sasapat upang makabili ng isang lata ng sardinas, o kaha ng sigarilyong Fortune.

Ano nga ba ang tunay na halaga ng paggawa, lupa at karapatang-pantao? Timbangin natin kung bakit makatarungan ang pag-aaklas ang masang anakpawis sa halip na magtiis sa buhay-barya.

KAKAPUSAN NG KARAMIHAN = KASAGANAAN NG IILAN

Nobyembre 6, 2004 nang simulan ang welga sa Central Azucarera de Tarlac (CAT), ang pinakamalaking pagawaan ng asukal sa buong Luzon. Bunsod ito ng umiiral na kalagayan sa asyenda kung saan matutunghayan ang karangyaan ng iilan samantalang kasalatan naman sa kabuhayan ng nakararami.

Ang mga sumusunod ay napapaloob sa 6,453 ektaryang asyenda na pag-aari ng angkan ng Cojuangco-Aquino, isa sa pinakamakapangyarihang pamilya sa ekonomiya at pulitika sa Pilipinas:
• 4,915.75 ektaryang lupaing agrikultural
• Ang CAT, kung saan pinoproseso ang tubo upang gawing asukal matapos ang kabyawan (anihan)
• Mga istruktura tulad ng Mall, 70-ektaryang Golf Course,at 500-ektaryang Industrial Park
• ‘Di bababa sa limang malalaking kompanya na humahawak sa iba’t ibang negosyo sa asyenda

Sa mga ito kumakamal ng sagad-sagarang tubo ang mga Cojuangco. Ngunit nananatiling maralita ang masang tagalikha ng yamang kanilang tinatamasa: mga manggagawa at manggagawang-bukid na walang lupa.

• Ang mga manggagawang-bukid na bumubuo sa kalakhan ng lakas-paggawa ng asyenda ay sumasahod ng P194 lamang kada araw, at pinahihintulutang magtrabaho nang isa hanggang dalawang araw lamang kada linggo. Dahil sa pagkakabaon sa utang, madalas ay P9.50 na lamang ang aktwal na naiuuwing sahod.

MAKATARUNGANG WELGA = PANDARAHAS NG ESTADO

‘Di-makataong pasahod, kawalan ng benepisyo, at pagsupil ng awtoridad ang tumatahi sa pinagsanib na laban ng dalawang unyon sa asyenda. Magkasunod na nag-welga ang ULWU o United Luisita Workers Union (unyon ng mga manggagawang-bukid) at ang CATLU o Central Azucarera de Tarlac Labor Union (unyon ng mga manggagawa ng azucarera) dahil sa union-busting at pagmamatigas ng management ng Hacienda Luisita Incorporated (HLI) sa negosasyon para sa isang makabuluhang Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

Ang mga makatarungang HILING ng mga unyon mula sa management:

CATLU
• P100 across-the-board wage increase
• Signing Bonus
• Gratuity Pay

ULWU
• Pagtaas sa sahod
• Libreng serbisyo mula sa St. Martin de Porres Hospital ng CAT
• Mga benepisyong tulad ng Christmas at Service bonus

Ang TUGON ng pamilya Cojuangco at ng mga kasabwat nila:

• Tuso at sapilitang pagtanggal ng management sa 327 manggagawang-bukid, kasama ang mga lider ng ULWU at pakikipagsabwatan sa iilang bayarang indibidwal sa CAT.

• “Assumption of Jurisdiction” order na nagpapatunay na kasangkot ang Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), sa pangunguna ni Sec. Patricia Sto. Tomas na buwagin ang welga at dahasin ang mga manggagawa.

• Panghihimasok ng Northern Luzon Command ng AFP sa usaping sibilyan

• Masaker ng mga manggagawang-bukid – Ang nabigong limang beses na tangkang pagbuwag ng mga pulis at militar sa piketlayn gamit ang water cannon, tear gas, truncheon, at baril. Humantong ito sa pagkakapaslang ng pitong welgista noong hapon ng Nobyembre 16, 2004. Nagpapatuloy ang pandarahas at pamamaslang sa pangunguna ng mga militar at mga bayarang goons. Disyembre 8, pinaslang ang Tagapangulo ng Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Tarlac, si Ka Marcing na susing testigo sa naganap na masaker.

ANO ANG MGA UMIIRAL NA KALAGAYAN NA NAGBUNSOD NG PAG-AAKLAS SA HACIENDA LUISITA? KAWALAN NG LUPAAng mga magbubukid na daantaong nagbungkal ng lupain ng Compania General de Tabacos de Filipinas (TABACALERA) — ang mga ninuno ng mga manggagawang-bukid ng Hacienda Luisita — ang tunay na may-ari ng lupa sa asyenda.

 

Ngunit ang lupain ng asyenda ay patuloy na inaangkin ng mga Cojuangco sa pamamagitan ng mga sumusunod:

1. ISTORIKAL AT ILIGAL NA PANGANGAMKAM SA LUPA

Noong 1957, binili ni Jose Cojuangco, Sr. ang CAT at ang Hacienda Luisita mula sa TABACALERA gamit ang pera ng mamamayan bilang puhunan: utang mula sa Government Service Insurance System at Manufacturers’ Trust Company sa New York. Ang huli ay ginarantiya ng international reserve ng bansa na inaprubahan ng Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas sa kondisyong ipapamahagi ito sa maliliit na magsasaka. Lumipas ang ilang dekada ngunit hindi tinupad ang napagkasunduang pamamahagi ng lupa sa mga magbubukid.Nang maging Pangulo si Corazon Cojuangco Aquino noong 1986, nakaiwas ang kanyang pamilya na ipatupad ang repormang agraryo alinsunod sa desisyon ng Manila-Regional Trial Court noong 1985. Isa sa mga inkorporador ng Tarlac Development Corporation (TADECO), ipinagtibay ni Aquino ang pag-angkin ng kanyang angkan sa asyenda sa pamamagitan ng Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL) noong 1988. 2. STOCK DISTRIBUTION OPTION (SDO)

 

• Ano ang SDO?

Niligalisa ng CARL ang iba’t ibang anyo ng huwad na repormang agraryo katulad ng “stock transfer scheme”, kung saan sapi (shares) ang ibinibigay ng panginoong-maylupa sa halip na aktwal na pamamahagi ng lupa. Ipinatupad ang “stock transfer scheme” sa Hacienda Luisita sa ngalang SDO.

• Paano ito ipinatupad?

Itinatag ang HLI bilang spin-off corporation ng TADECO na magpapamahagi ng capital stock sa mga benepisyaryong manggagawang-bukid (“co-owners”) ayon sa stock distribution plan. Sa SDO, inalisan ang mga manggagawang-bukid ng kanilang istorikal na karapatang ariin ang lupaing binubungkal. Napilitan ang mga magbubukid na sumang-ayon sa SDO dahil sa pinagsamang panlilinlang, pananakot at pandarahas ng mga Cojuangco.

• Ano ang epekto nito?

Walang naganap na makabuluhang pagbabago sa salat na kabuhayan ng mamamayan sa 14 taong pag-iral ng SDO. Lalo silang naghirap dahil binawasan ang mandays (takdang araw ng paggawa) mula 4-5 araw hanggang 1-2 araw kada linggo mula 1990. Ito ay dulot ng patakarang land conversion at mekanisasyon. Kasabay na lumiit ang sapi nila dahil nakabatay ‘shares of stock’ sa dami ng mandays. 3. LAND CONVERSION Unti-unti ring nagpapalit-gamit ng lupain ang asyenda upang gawing golf course, industrial park, at iba pa. Simula 1995, nireklasipika para sa kumbersyon ang 3,290 ektarya ng kabuuang 4,915 ektaryang lupaing agrikultural. Naibenta na ang 500 ektarya sa mga korporasyong Hapon. May lupaing nakalaan para sa Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway Project na nakatakdang gawin mula 2003-2005.

 

Itinutulak ng mga Cojuangco ang land conversion dahil malaki ang kikitain nila mula rito. Mahigpit naman itong tinututulan ng mamamayan dahil katumbas nito ang malawakan at permanenteng pagpapatalsik ng mga magbubukid at manggagawang-bukid sa kanilang sariling lupa.

Ang kasaysayan ng Hacienda Luisita ay patunay sa PAG-IRAL NG MONOPOLYONG KONTROL SA LUPA.

PAGGAWA

Kinikilala sa Konstitusyon ang karapatang magwelga ng mga manggagawa. Ngunit ito’y nilalapastangan
ng mga malaking namumuhunan sa tulong ng kanilang mga abugado at ng DOLE sa paggamit ng “Assumption of Jurisdiction” (AJ) na nakasaad sa Artikulo 263 (g) ng Labor Code at mga kontra-welgang batas-paggawa. Ginamit ang AJ mula pa noong panahon ng diktaduryang Marcos hanggang ngayon upang supilin ang mga makatarungang welga ng mga manggagawa, gaya ng nangyari sa welga ng manggagawa sa Nestle, Jac Liner at SM.

Hatol na kamatayan ang katumbas ng pagbaba ni DOLE Secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas ng AJ order sa mga welgista noong Nobyembre 10, 2004. Sa pamamagitan nito at ng walang-basehang deklarasyon na ”iligal” ang welga, mistulang ipinagtanggol ni Sto. Tomas ang mga pumaslang sa mga manggagawang-bukid.

Sinasalamin ng kaso ng Hacienda Luisita ang PAG-IRAL NG MAPANUPIL NA PATAKARAN AT BATAS-PAGGAWA SA BANSA.

KARAPATANG-PANTAO

Matagal nang militarisado ang malawak na lupain ng asyenda. Ang Yellow Army na nagmula pa noong panahon ni Aquino at ang 69th Infantry Battalion ay ginamit upang maghasik ng takot sa lahat ng tumututol sa umiiral na kaayusan dito.

Kasuklam-suklam na krimen ang mga naganap na pamamaslang ng tropang militar. Pito ang namatay, mahigit 40 ang nasugatan, 114 ang iligal na inaresto, at marami pa ang nawawala hanggang ngayon. Ang di-makatwirang paggamit ng tropang militar sa pagbuwag ng welga ay nagpapakita ng sabwatan sa pagitan ng pamilya Cojuangco at ng mga opisyal ng estado. Ang Pangulo ng bansa – si Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo bilang Commander in Chief ng AFP –ang may kapangyarihang magpahintulot sa militar upang manghimasok sa asyenda.

Hindi natapos sa masaker noong Nobyembre 16 ang karahasan. Noong Disyembre 8, pinatay ng mga sundalo si Marcelino Beltran, Jr., Pangulo ng Alyansa ng Magbubukid ng Tarlac, provincial vice-chairperson ng Anakpawis, at susing testigo sa masaker. Marami pa ang naitalang kaso ng pandarahas at pananakot sa mga welgista hanggang ngayon.

Sinasalamin ng masaker sa Hacienda Luisita ang PAG-IRAL NG PASISMO AT MILITARISASYON SA KANAYUNAN.

PAG-IRAL NG NAKAKABUSABOS NA KAAYUSAN = PAGLABAN NG MAMAMAYAN

SINO ANG DAPAT MANAGOT?

• Ang AFP at PNP
• Ang pamilya Cojuangco-Aquino
• DOLE Secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas
• Pang. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

ANO ANG TUNGUHIN NG ATING LABAN?

• Katarungan para sa mga biktima ng masaker sa Hacienda Luisita! Papanagutin ang mga pumaslang kina Jhaivie Basilio, Adriano Caballero, Jhune David, Jesus Laza, Jaime Pastidio, Juancho Sanchez, Jessie Valdez at Ka Marcelino Beltran!

• Singilin ang pahirap na rehimeng Arroyo, ang angkang Cojuangco-Aquino, si DOLE Secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas at ang mga kasangkot nila sa PNP at AFP!

• Ipagtagumpay ang welga sa Hacienda Luisita! Suportahan ang pakikibaka ng mga manggagawa at manggagawang-bukid para sa lupa, sahod, trabaho, at karapatan. Ibalik sa trabaho ang 327 na tinanggal na manggagawang-bukid at opisyales ng ULWU! Ipaglaban at kamtin ang makatarungang CBA!

• Ibasura ang mga mapanupil na batas-paggawa at mga patakaran ng huwad na reporma sa lupa! Ipasawalang-bisa ang “Assumption of Jurisdiction” sa Labor Code at Stock Distribution Option. Itigil ang militarisasyon sa welga at kriminalisasyon sa mga pakikibakang unyon! Itigil ang pagpapalit-gamit sa lupa!

• Ipatupad ang tunay na repormang agraryo at pambansang industriyalisasyon!

 

yellow ribbon

 

 Lighting candles at the massacre site  ▼
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
  Burning the PNoy Effigy  
     
     

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RELIGIOUS DISCERNMENT GROUP

Room 106, CICM Guest House Building

No.60, 14th Street, New Manila, Quezon City

Telefax: (02)584-3190, Mobile: 0919-5965789, 0921-5575989

E-Mail Address: religiousdiscernment@gmail.com

16 November 2010

Statement of the Religious Discernment Group Convenors

(6th year Anniversary of the Hacienda Luisita Massacre)

 

What rights have you to crush my people by grinding the faces of the poor into the dust!”(Is 3:14 – 15)

 

The 16th November 2010 marks 6 years since 7 farm workers were massacred by the military and PNP as they held a peaceful picket at Gate 1 of Hacienda Luisita.  Their poverty had become too much, often receiving only 9 pesos per day for their work at Hacienda Luisita.  Slave wages and the Stock Distribution Option had done nothing to relieve their suffering. If anything, the years have taught them that there would be no freedom, no justice and no escape from poverty unless they became the owners of the Hacienda, as was the condition of the original government loan to the Cojuangco’s. The farm workers decided to hold a picket in order to bring their plight to the attention of the public and the government, and hopefully, move the conscience of the Cojuangco family.  The response was the massacre of 16 November 2004.

 

For this we cry out with Isaiah - “What rights have you to crush my people?”  The faces of the farmers of Hacienda Luisita continue to be ground in the dust.  The Department of Agrarian Reform awarded the land to the farmers. However, a Temporary Restraining Order has been in effect for 4 years.  The Supreme Court to date has been ineffective in defending their rights.  The Cojuangco family continues to convert the land of the farmers to industrial uses and now even plan to sell the land to a Hong Kong corporation. Until now no one has been punished for the massacre, or the victims’ families compensated.

 

We, as Christians, join our voices with the farmers in their cry for justice. They have suffered enough. We demand justice for the victims of the Hacienda Luisita massacre. Let the land be awarded immediately to the farmers.  We will continue to raise our voices like Isaiah until justice is done for our brothers and sisters of Hacienda Luisita.

 

Signed:

Religious Discernment Group Convenors

Fr. Wilfredo Dulay,MJ                          Sr. Angelita Navarro,ICM

Fr. Quirico Pedregosa, Jr., OP             Sr. Patricia Fox, NDS

Fr. Tito Maratas, MSC                           Sr. Ailyn Binco, RGS

Fr. Gregorio Obejas, OSM                   Sr. Rebecca Pacete, MMS

Fr. Joselito Sarabia, CM

 

Email ad: religiousdiscernment@gmail.com

 

“PROPHETS are GOD’s HARBINGERS of HOPE in the HEART of this WORLD”

 

Convenors

 

Sr. Ailyn Binco, RGS

Religious of the Good Shepherd

Fr. Wilfredo Dulay, MJ

Missionaries of Jesus

Sr. Patricia Fox, NDS

Sisters of our Lady of Sion

 

Fr. Tito Maratas, MSC

Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

 

Sr. Angelita Navarro, ICM

Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Fr. Gregorio Ma. d.L.Obejas, OSM

Order of the Servants of Mary

Fr. Quirico Pedregosa, Jr., OP

Order of Preachers

 

Sr. Rebecca Pacete, MMS

Medical Mission Sisters

Fr. Joselito Sarabia, CM

Congregation of the Mission

 

Secretariat

Solidarity Philippines 

 

     
     
           
Speakers remember the massacre and demand justice for the victims
     
     

 

Noynoy, sinungaling sa Luisita massacre – KMU

Sa ikaanim na anibersaryo ng Hacienda Luisita Massacre, na una sa ilalim ng rehimen ni Pres. Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III, kinondena ng sentrong unyong Kilusang Mayo Uno ang ayon dito’y “nagpapatuloy na kasinungalingan” ng pangulo kaugnay ng masaker na pumatay sa pito at sumugat sa marami pa.

Ayon sa KMU, matapos ang masaker noong Nob. 16, 2004, nagkaroon ng pagtatalo sa House of Representatives sina Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano at ang noo’y kongresistang si Noynoy kung saan pinalabas ng huli na napasok ng mga armado ang hanay ng mga nagwewelgang manggagawang bukid.

Ang kasinungalingang ito, na may mga New People’s Army sa welga, ang ginawang paliwanag ng rehimen ni Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo sa nangyari. Ito rin umano ang inulit ng mga kapatid niyang sina Viel Aquino-Dee at Pinky Aquino-Abellada nitong nakaraang eleksyon.

“Sa paggunita natin sa masaker sa Luisita, gusto naming pasinungalingan ang kasinungalingan ni Noynoy na may mga armadong grupo sa welga noon ng mga nagwelgang magbubukid. Malinaw na ipinapakita ng video footage sa masaker na hindi armado ang mga magbubukid at hindi sila nagdulot ng probokasyon,” sabi ni Elmer “Bong” Labog, chairperson ng KMU.

“Gustong palabasin ni Noynoy na makatwiran ang pagmasaker sa mga magbubukid dahil raw napasok sila ng mga armado. Hindi armado ang mga magbubukid at hindi magiging makatwiran ang pagpatay sa mga taong mapayapang naggigiit ng dagdag-sahod at reporma sa lupa,” dagdag pa niya.

Ayon sa lider-manggagawa, ipinapakita ng pagsisinungaling ni Noynoy para ipagtanggol ang masaker na talagang malupit siya sa mga magsasaka, pabor siya sa kanyang pamilya sa mga isyu sa Luisita, at kampi siya sa mga panginoong maylupa.

“Namatayan na nga ang mga magbubukid, sasabihin mo pang makatwiran ang pagpatay sa mga kasama at kaanak nila. Kahit manawagan ng katarungan, hindi nila ginawa, mas gusto pang ipagtanggol ang masaker. Binibigyan pa nila ng palusot, kahit hindi totoo, ang ibang panginoong maylupa para imasaker ang mga nagpoprotestang magbubukid,” ani Labog.

Reference: Bong Labog, KMU chairperson, 0908-1636597
 

     
           
     
     
     

 

Noynoy, sinungaling sa Luisita massacre – KMU

Sa ikaanim na anibersaryo ng Hacienda Luisita Massacre, na una sa ilalim ng rehimen ni Pres. Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III, kinondena ng sentrong unyong Kilusang Mayo Uno ang ayon dito’y “nagpapatuloy na kasinungalingan” ng pangulo kaugnay ng masaker na pumatay sa pito at sumugat sa marami pa.

Ayon sa KMU, matapos ang masaker noong Nob. 16, 2004, nagkaroon ng pagtatalo sa House of Representatives sina Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano at ang noo’y kongresistang si Noynoy kung saan pinalabas ng huli na napasok ng mga armado ang hanay ng mga nagwewelgang manggagawang bukid.

Ang kasinungalingang ito, na may mga New People’s Army sa welga, ang ginawang paliwanag ng rehimen ni Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo sa nangyari. Ito rin umano ang inulit ng mga kapatid niyang sina Viel Aquino-Dee at Pinky Aquino-Abellada nitong nakaraang eleksyon.

“Sa paggunita natin sa masaker sa Luisita, gusto naming pasinungalingan ang kasinungalingan ni Noynoy na may mga armadong grupo sa welga noon ng mga nagwelgang magbubukid. Malinaw na ipinapakita ng video footage sa masaker na hindi armado ang mga magbubukid at hindi sila nagdulot ng probokasyon,” sabi ni Elmer “Bong” Labog, chairperson ng KMU.

“Gustong palabasin ni Noynoy na makatwiran ang pagmasaker sa mga magbubukid dahil raw napasok sila ng mga armado. Hindi armado ang mga magbubukid at hindi magiging makatwiran ang pagpatay sa mga taong mapayapang naggigiit ng dagdag-sahod at reporma sa lupa,” dagdag pa niya.

Ayon sa lider-manggagawa, ipinapakita ng pagsisinungaling ni Noynoy para ipagtanggol ang masaker na talagang malupit siya sa mga magsasaka, pabor siya sa kanyang pamilya sa mga isyu sa Luisita, at kampi siya sa mga panginoong maylupa.

“Namatayan na nga ang mga magbubukid, sasabihin mo pang makatwiran ang pagpatay sa mga kasama at kaanak nila. Kahit manawagan ng katarungan, hindi nila ginawa, mas gusto pang ipagtanggol ang masaker. Binibigyan pa nila ng palusot, kahit hindi totoo, ang ibang panginoong maylupa para imasaker ang mga nagpoprotestang magbubukid,” ani Labog.

Reference: Bong Labog, KMU chairperson, 0908-1636597
 

▲ Salubungan at the Hacienda  ▼
           
     
     
     
=          
           
==          
  Mass at the massacre site  
     
           

 

Privileged Speech delivered by Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano
November 10, 2010

Negosyong Intsik, Tropang Kano sa Lupa ni P-Noy
ni Anakpawis Party-list Representative Rafael Mariano

Privilege Speech sa okasyon ng Ika-6 na taong paggunita sa Hacienda Luisita Massacre, Nobyembre 10, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a matter of personal and collective privilege.

Ginugunita natin ngayon ang Ika-6 na taon ng malagim na trahedyang gumimbal hindi lamang sa buong bansa kundi maging sa buong mundo – ito po ang Hacienda Luisita Massacre na naganap noong Nobyembre 16, 2004. Ginugunita natin ang pangyayaring ito na iniukit ng dugo ng mga martir ng uring magbubukid sa kasaysayan, upang igiit at ipagtanggol ang mga tagumpay at ipagpatuloy ang kanilang lehitimo at makatwirang pakikibaka para sa tunay na reporma sa lupa.

Subalit, sa harap ng ating paggunita ng ika-anim na taon ng malagim na trahedyang ito ay tila napaka-aroganteng nangungutya, sadyang nang-iinsulto ang mga salarin sa mga pamilya, mga kaibigan at kapanalig ng mga biktima. Lalo pang tumitindi ngayon ang panunupil, pagsasamantala at panloloko ng pamilyang Cojuangco-Aquino sa mga magsasaka't manggagawang bukid ng Hacienda Luisita.

G. Speaker, mga kapwa Kinatawan, noong Setyembre 20, 2010 ay mapagpasyang tinalikuran at itinakwil ng mga manggagawang bukid ng Hacienda Luisita ang “mediation panel” na binuo ng Korte Suprema dahil malinaw sa kanila na ito'y behikulo ng mga Cojuangco-Aquino upang panatilihin ang kontra-magsasakang stock distribution option (SDO) sa Hacienda. Ngunit sa kabila ng pagtatakwil na ito ng mga manggagawang bukid, ipinipilit pa rin ng mga Cojuangco ang pagkakaroon ng isang “referendum” upang basbasan ng “legalidad” ang huwad at mapanlinlang na “compromise agreement” na niluto ng mga Cojuangco at mga anino nito noong nakaraang buwan ng Agosto ng taong kasalukuyan.

Malinaw na ang mga maniobrang ito ng mga Cojuangco ay nakatuon para sa ibayong pagpapahigpit ng kanilang kontrol sa mahigit 6,000 ektaryang lupain ng Hacienda Luisita.

Ang higit na nakakabahala sa mga manggagawang bukid, G. Speaker, mga kapwa Kinatawan, ay ang napaulat na P1-billion sugar plantation venture na plano ng Hangzhou Wahaha Group Co. Ltd. na isa sa nangungunang beverage maker ng China.

Mismong si Trade Undersecretary at Board of Investments managing head Cristino Panlilio ang nagsabi na nakipagpulong siya kay Fernando Cojuangco, pinsan ni Pangulong Benigno “Noynoy” Cojuangco-Aquino III, hinggil sa kinakailangang 6,000 ektaryang contiguous sugar lands para mag-produce ng 300,000 tonelada ng asukal na annual requirement para sa beverage and dairy products ng nasabing negosyong Intsik.

Maging ang abogado ng HLI, si dating Rep. Vigor Mendoza, ang nagkumpirma na ang Wahaha Group ay nagpahayag ng interes sa pag-source ng supply ng asukal mula sa Hacienda Luisita.

G. Speaker, ang ginagawang pagpasok ng Hacienda Luisita, Inc. sa mga “business agreement” na ito ay isang tahasang pagbalewala sa karapatan ng mga magsasaka't manggagawang bukid ng Hacienda Luisita bilang mga lehitimong benipisyaryo. Isa itong panibagong iskema ng mga Cojuangco-Aquino para patuloy na ipagkait ang lupa sa mga magsasaka at isa na namang malaking dagok sa repormang agraryo at hustisyang panlipunan.

Kapanabay ng mga maniobrang ito, G. Speaker, mga kapwa Kinatawan, ay ang ibayong pagtindi ng militarisasyon sa Hacienda. Ayon sa mga manggagawang bukid, itinatala ng mga pulis na may detachment sa Brgy. Mapalacsiao sa loob ng Hacienda ang mga plate number ng mga jeep na ginagamit at inaarkila ng mga manggagawang bukid sa kanilang mga pagkilos at mga kilos-protesta. Maliban sa dati nang naka-istasyong mga detachment ng militar at pulis sa loob ng Hacienda ay dinagdagan pa ito ng dalawang trak ng militar sa Brgy. Asturias.

Habang mistulang garrison ang loob ng Hacienda Luisita bunga ng malaganap at malawak na deployment ng mga tropa ng AFP at pulis ay nahaharap din ang nakikibakang mga manggagawang bukid ng Hacienda Luisita sa mas matindi pang militarisasyon. Ang tinutukoy ko po, G. Speaker, mga kapwa Kinatawan, ay ang napipintong pagpasok ng mga pwersang militar ng Estados Unidos (US) at paglulunsad ng Balikatan exercises sa loob mismo ng Hacienda.

Mula sa dating Clark Air Base sa Pampanga, sumunod sa Bamban at pagkatapos ay sa Capas, sa lalawigan ng Tarlac, ngayon target na ang mga Bayan ng Concepcion at Lungsod ng Tarlac kung saan naroon ang mahigit 6,000 ektaryang Hacienda ni P-Noy.

Nitong nakaraang Agosto, namataan ang mga sundalong Kano sa Barangay Bantug at nakipagpulong pa sa Barangay Council ng nasabing Barangay. Mula noon, naging maugong ang mga bulung-bulungan sa loob ng Hacienda ang plano ng tropang militar ng Kano na magtayo ng evacuation at health centers.

Ngunit ang mga bulung-bulungan ay naging hiyaw, G. Speaker, mga kapwa Kinatawan, sa pahayag mismo ni AFP Northern Luzon Command chief Lt. Gen. Gaudencio Pangilinan na ang Balikatan 2011 ay ilulunsad sa “area of responsibility” ng NOLCOM, kung saan kabilang ang Hacienda Luisita.

Maging ang United States Army Pacific Command sa kanilang website ay nagkumpirma na tinalakay na ng US Army Pacific Command at ng AFP NOLCOM ang itinerary ng Balikatan 2011.

Ang mga kumpirmasyong ito kapwa ng AFP-NOLCOM at ng US Army Pacific Command , G. Speaker, mga kapwa Kinatawan, ay sa harap ng pagpo-postura ng Malakanyang sa diumano'y “review” ng Visiting Forces Agreement.

Ang planong pagpasok ng mga tropang militar ng Kano sa Hacienda Luisita ay malinaw na naka-angkla sa counter-insurgency policy ng US. Itinuturing ng gobyernong US-Aquino at ng militar ang Hacienda Luisita bilang sentro ng insurhensya sa Gitnang Luzon dahil sa malakas na pakikibakang agraryo ng mga magbubukid. Habang pinaiigting ng AFP at mga sundalong Kano ang operasyong militar, sa tabing ng Joint Military Exercises, ay kasabay naman nito ang kampaya ng panlilinlang sa mga magsasaka't manggagawang bukid ng Hacienda Luisita sa tabing naman ng mga “civil-military operations” at “humanitarian missions” na mahalagang sangkap ng counter-insurgency manual ng Pentagon.

Tiyak, lalo pang darami ang magiging biktima ng paglabag sa karapatang pantao at pang-aabusong militar sa Hacienda.

G. Speaker, mga kapwa Kinatawan, sa harap ng mga kaganapan at mga maniobrang ito ng mga Cojuangco-Aquino lalo't higit na kinakailangang mag-desisyon na ang Korte Suprema sa usapin ng pamamahagi ng lupa ng Hacienda Luisita, ibasura ang SDO, at i-lift na ang umiiral na temporary restraining order (TRO) laban sa mga magsasaka't manggagawang bukid ng Hacienda Luisita.

Ang mga garapal at tahasang mga maniobrang pang-ekonomya't pampulitika ng pamilyang Cojuangco-Aquino na lalong pahigpitin ang kanilang kontrol sa Hacienda Luisita ay walang ibang pinagmumulan kundi ang pinakamataas na kapangyarihang pampulitikang tinatamasa nila ngayon. Dahil ang luklukan ng Malakanyang ay inookupahan mismo ng isang Cojuangco-Aquino, si Pangulong Benigno “Noynoy” Cojuangco-Aquino III.

Bilang panghuli, G. Speaker, mga kapwa Kinatawan, iginagawad ng Kinatawang ito, ng partidong Anakpawis, at ng Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) ang pinakamataas na pagpupugay at pagsaludo sa pamilya’t mga kaibigan at kapanalig nina Jesus Laza, Jhaivie Basilio, Juancho Sanchez, Jessie Valdez, Jun David, Jaime Pastidio at Adriano Caballero. Sila ang mga manggagawang bukid, mga martir ng Hacienda Luisita Massacre, na naganap anim na taon na ang nakakaraan nang paulanan ng bala ng pinagsanib na pwersa ng militar at pulis ang mga magsasaka’t manggagawang bukid na nakawelga sa Gate 1 ng Central Azucarera de Tarlac.

Gayundin, nais naming ipaabot ang pinakamataas na pagsaludo sa mga lider at taga-suportang pinaslang matapos ang masaker, na naging biktima ng extra-judicial killings ng pinaghihinalaang mga armadong elemento ng estado. Sila ay sina Ricardo Ramos, president ng Central Azucarera de Tarlac Labor Union (CATLU; Tirso Cruz, United Luisita Workers’ Union (ULWU) director, Marcelino “Ka Marsing” Beltran, Alyansa ng Magbubukid ng Tarlac chairperson at Anakpawis –Tarlac provincial chairperson; Aguman dareng Maglalautang Capampangan chairperson at Anakpawis – Pampanga chairperson Ben Concepcion; Bayan Muna-Tarlac provincial Chair Florante Collantes, Tarlac City Councilor Abelardo Ladera, Fr. William Tadena, ng Iglesia Filipina Independiente, at si former Iglesia Filipina Independiente Supreme Bishop Alberto Ramento.

Hindi mawawalang-saysay ang ipinaglaban ng mga martir ng Hacienda Luisita. Ipagpapatuloy hindi lamang ng mga magsasaka at manggagawang-bukid sa Hacienda Luisita kundi maging sa buong bansa ang laban nila hanggang sa tagumpay.

Ituloy an laban ng mga martir ng masaker sa Hacienda Luisita! Ituloy ang laban para sa tunay na reporma sa lupa! Ibasura ang Stock Distribution Option! Ipamahagi ang Hacienda Luisita sa mga magsasaka't manggagawang bukid, ngayon na!

Maraming salamat, G. Speaker, mga kapwa Kinatawan.

 

▲  Rally at the Hacienda Plaza  ▼
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     

 

NEWS RELEASE
16 November 2010
Reference: Anna Leah Escresa-Colina, Executive Director, EILER, 09088642151

Six years after Luisita massacre
Gov’t-sponsored violence still lurks in labor disputes – labor NGO

“The continuing denial of justice to murdered Hacienda Luisita farm workers in 2004 sends a chilling message to all Filipino workers: Bloody government intervention remains at the doorstep of every labor dispute, especially with a Cojuangco-Aquino in the presidency.”

This was the statement of labor NGO Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER) on the commemoration of the sixth anniversary of the infamous Hacienda Luisita massacre. On Nov. 16, 2004, seven striking Luisita farm workers were killed in the brutal dispersal of police and military forces in the Cojuangco clan’s sugar estate in Tarlac.

“We are particularly concerned about how the Aquino administration will handle current labor disputes, taking cue from his family’s direct hand in the clampdown against the strike of Luisita farmers and farm workers six years ago,” said EILER executive director Anna Leah Escresa-Colina.

“Moreover, it was President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, then Tarlac representative, who strongly defended the massacre and called the strike illegal. Now, it would be hard for workers to expect that this government will respect their right to strike,” she added.

Escresa-Colina noted that several unions are now up in protest against their employers’ anti-labor schemes, including ground employees and flight attendants of flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL), and workers of Lopez-owned ABS-CBN Corp.

Last week, PAL’s ground employees announced that they are poised to launch a strike due to the company’s plan to lay off more than 2,600 workers through outsourcing. Meanwhile, retrenched ABS-CBN workers continue to man their picket lines in front of the company gates to call for their reinstatement and start of certification elections.

“It appears that there is no policy change in the way the government handles labor disputes, six years after the bloody massacre in Luisita. The same deadly Assumption of Jurisdiction orders are being planted in workplaces wherein workers want to exercise their democratic rights,” Escresa-Colina said.

The dispersal in Luisita in 2004 was “blessed” with an Assumption of Jurisdiction (AJ) order, the same order which the labor department issued within the year against the PAL cabin crew union and ground employees union.

“It should also be reiterated that the Luisita farm workers were just exercising their democratic right to strike and were acting within the confines of their constitutional rights when the government used military force against them. It is alarming how the government still fails to regard and treat unions as part of democratic institutions of a society up to now,” Escresa-Colina said.

She added that DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz also issued an AJ order against striking workers in Filipinas Palm Oil Industries, the country’s largest palm oil plantation and milling plant in Agusan del Sur. #
--
Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER)
www.eiler.ph
15 Anonas St., Unit D-24 Cellar Mansions
Barangay Quirino 3-A, Project 3, Quezon City,
Philippines 1102
Tel. No. (+632) 4339287 (telefax);
(+632) 4660062
SEC. Reg. No. A200100111

 

     
     
           
     
     
     

 

TEACHERS' REPRESENTATIVE CALLS FOR JUSTICE FOR LUISITA VICTIMS, URGE PULL-OUT OF BALIKATAN EXERCISES
by Act Teachers Partylist on Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 9:20pm

After six years, justice continues to elude the victims of the Hacienda Luisita massacre. After decades of struggle, genuine land reform remains out of reach for tillers of the vast Cojuangco-Aquino estate.

On November 16, 2004, police and military forces fired upon hundreds of striking workers and their supporters in Hacienda Luisita, killing seven and injuring scores. In the months following the massacre, prominent leaders and supporters of the strike, including the sugar central union president Ricardo Ramos, Tarlac City councilor Abel Ladera, and Aglipayan priest Fr. William Tadena, were assassinated, victims of extrajudicial killings by suspected military agents.

"Six years after the killings at Luisita, not a single perpetrator has been brought to justice," lamented ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio Tinio. "It is a sad and brutal reality that in our society, farmers can be massacred with impunity." He noted that the demands for justice and for genuine land reform at the Hacienda continues to be "the lithmus test of President Noynoy Aquino's committment to human rights and social justice. As the most powerful and prominent member of the Cojuangco clan, he has a huge personal responsibility in ensuring that justice is served. Luisita will continue to hound his administration for as long as the issues remain unresolved."

Tinio cited the Cojuangcos' efforts to implement a grossly unequal stock-sharing scheme that would effectively deny farmers their right to own the land as well as reported negotiations to lease the lands to foreign investors, including the Chinese Wahaha group."Unfortunately, Aquino's hands-off attitude has allowed his clan to push policies within the Hacienda that have grossly aggravated the repression and landlessness of the farmers."

Tinio likewise condemned plans to conduct thr joint RP-US training exercise known as Balikatan inside the vast sugar estate. "By allowing US troops to operate within the President's estate, Malacanang is raising the level of militarization and repression on the local population. This is an ill-advised move that can only be interpreted as self- serving on the part of PNoy. The Balikatan should be pulled out of Luisita."

“On the anniversary of the Hacienda Luisita massacre, progreswive teachers and education workers are in solidarity with the farmers of Hacienda Luisita in their search for justice and genuine agrarian reform," concluded Tinio. ###

 

     
           
  March from Plaza to Haienda massacre site  
     
     

 

PRESS RELEASE, 12 November 2010

NFA PRIVATIZATION TO WORSEN PHILIPPINES ’ RICE INSECURITY: BANTAY BIGAS

In a media forum held at the Serye Café Filipino in Quezon City on November 12, 2010, Bantay Bigas challenged the Aquino administration to walk the talk in his declared policy of attaining rice self sufficiency in three years.

“Like his predecessors, President Benigno Aquino III has announced a policy of attaining rice self-sufficiency in three years. But even at this early stage, his administration is already instituting policies that will make the country even more food insecure”, said Lita Mariano, Spokesperson for Bantay Bigas.

Aquino earlier proposed a zero budget allocation for the National Food Authority (NFA), saying that it has lost billions of pesos due to its ‘buy high store long sell low policy’. The NFA accumulated more than Php171 billion in debt as of July 2010 from Php28 billion in 2003.

From an P8 billion allocation in 2010, the NFA's budget has been reduced to P2.5 billion in the approved 2011 budget. This meager budget will only buy about 0.91 to 1.03 of the projected total palay production of 17.9 million metric tons in 2011 at Php17 and Php15 per kilo, said Mariano.

Citing a study by the NFA-Employees’ Association (NFA-EA), Mariano said “the NFA must procure at least 25 percent of the total palay production to effectively influence the rice market and prevent rice price spikes. But the government agency has been unable to fulfill even its mandate of 10 percent procurement”.

During palay harvest, the NFA's support price is the barometer in palay pricing in the countryside, where the NFA buys palay at P15 to P17/kg against middlemen buying price averaging only at P11 / kg. Taking the NFA out of the arrangement would further reduce palay price, to the detriment of farmers.

Bantay Bigas also criticized the Aquino administration for allocating billions of pesos for the five-year conditional cash transfer (CCT) program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the automatic debt appropriation in its 2011 budget. These could have been spent more prudently on developing the agriculture sector by providing badly needed capital and input subsidies to rice farmers to increase their incomes and directly contribute to the domestic economy through increased consumption. “What the poor needs are productive jobs not dole outs”, said Mariano.

According to IBON Foundation, Incorporated, the Php21.7 billion allocated for the CCT if spent on NFA palay procurement would have benefited some 289,333 rice farmers at the support price of Php15 per kilo and an average harvest of 100 cavans per hectare per rice farmer, earning them gross sales of Php75,000 in one harvest season. Or perhaps if spent on capital subsidies for farmers, it could have benefited some 868,000 to 1.1 million rice farmers, raising their incomes from nothing to as much as Php257 a day.

Mariano also warned that liberalization of rice importation would bring down the tariffs on rice imports and private traders would take advantage. “Lower tariffs would mean cheaper rice imports pushing down further palay buying price and drive our farmers deeper in poverty”, said Mariano.

Presidential Proclamation No. 524 series of 2004 declared the month of November as rice awareness month to emphasize the importance of rice self sufficiency, food security for the nation, and recognition of the millions of Filipino rice farmers. This year 2010 is also the year of rice. Ironically, the Aquino administration continues to institute policies detrimental to the rice industry and its primary stakeholders, the rice farmers.

To achieve rice self-sufficiency Bantay Bigas recommends that the Aquino administration to adopt the recommendations arrived at during the Rice Industry Consultative Exchange (RICE) between farmers, small traders, irrigators’ associations, cooperatives, consumers together with the NFA-EA last September 17, 2010. Bantay Bigas calls on the Aquino administration to:

1. Reduce the price of rice until it becomes affordable.
2. Control the price of rice to ensure that there is affordable rice in the market.
3. Strengthen the NFA's capability to buy rice from farmers. At the minimum, the NFA should be able to buy 25 percent of the country's overall rice production so that it can influence the price of palay and the market price of rice.
4. Stop the importation of rice and strengthen local rice production. Allocate subsidies and other support funds towards the agriculture industry, especially the small farmers. Ensure that subsidies and support funds are spent to purchase farm inputs and implements including seeds, machinery, irrigation, rice dryers, and other post-harvest facilities.
5. Break up the rice cartel.
6. Implement genuine land reform, increase the lands planted to palay and stop land conversion of agricultural lands.

These actions will put the Aquino administration on the path to achieving self-sufficiency in rice and food security, said Mariano.#eof#

 

     
     
     
           
     
     
     

 

Luisita farm workers urged DND chief to recall Balikatan exercises inside Aquino sugar estate
Submitted by Admin on Mon, 11/08/2010 - 08:08.
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MANILA, Philippines-Striking Hacienda Luisita farm workers on Tuesday pressed Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Voltaire Gazmin to scrap a reported deal between Malacanang and the US military command in charge of the RP-US Balikatan exercises to hold joint military exercises inside the 6,453 hectare sugar estate in Tarlac province.

In a press conference held at the national office of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) Hacienda Luisita based groups—Unyon ng Mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA), United Luisita Workers Union (ULWU) and Alyansa ng Mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (Ambala) also asked President Benigno Simeon Aquino III if there is truth to report that the disputed 6,453 hectare sugar estate would be the next venue of the scheduled Balikatan exercises between the US troops and Filipino soldiers this month under VFA.

The inquiry on the alleged plan to hold Balikatan exercises were also echoed by KMP and staunch ally-- the left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya). Both groups said President Aquino, the HLI management and the defense department are all obliged to explain and clarify the supposed hosting of the RP-US joint military exercises.

“President Aquino, his defense chief and the HLI management are obliged to tell the truth and nothing but the truth about the joint military exercises,” UMA acting President Lito Bais said in a statement.

Bais learned last week that as of March 2010, a councilor of Barangay Bantog inside Hacienda Luisita were informed that US troops will set up an evacuation center and will conduct medical mission inside the 6,453 hectare sugar estate by this month. Last August, US military officials also went to Hacienda Luisita to talk to barangay officials and informed village about plans to put up evacuation centers and conduct medical and humanitarian mission inside Hacienda Luisita.

The ULWU leader also received reports that vehicles marked with RP-US Balikatan Exercises were seen last month conducting “surveys”, which farm workers and Luisita residents said were related to the plans of US troops to put up military infrastructure and evacuation centers inside the sprawling sugar estate.

“The American officials in charge of the Balikatan exercises will exploit the usual humanitarian and medical mission activities as entry point for joint military exercises, counter-insurgency operations and US instigated war on terror. In fact, the conduct of medical and civic actions is clearly stipulated in the US guideline on counter-insurgency drafted in January 2009,” said Bais.

For his part, KMP secretary general Danilo Ramos said the US government and Aquino administration see Hacienda Luisita as a hotbed of communist insurgency in the country because of the ongoing agrarian dispute between the family of President Aquino and the more than 10,000 farm worker beneficiaries.

“When there is smoke, there is fire. We believe Washington D.C and the Manila government under the helm of the Aquino administration are hell bent to pursue RP-US joint military exercises inside Luisita in the name of counter-insurgency and stop the rising tide of protest and heightened militancy against the sinister agenda of the Cojuangco-Aquino clan to continuously deny land rights of farm workers and dispose the 6,453 hectare sugar lands to the highest bidders among HLI’s corporate clients and investors,” said Ramos.

The KMP will lead a delegation of farm workers in Hacienda Luisita who will compose the lobby team. The team will seek an audience with senators and discuss with them the alleged plan of Malacanang to allow US troops to conduct Balikatan exercises inside the sugar plantation and the reported sightings of US troops inside Luisita and the immediate vicinity surrounding the 6,453-hectare sugar estate.

The KMP and other militant groups are planning to stage a 50-vehicle caravan from the National Capital Region to Hacienda Luisita on Nov.16, the 6th year anniversary of the infamous Hacienda Luisita massacre.

Organizers led by KMP, the umbrella alliance Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) and UMA said aside from demanding immediate free distribution of Luisita lands to farm worker beneficiaries and justice to victims of the massacre, the protesters on board of 50 vehicles will also call for the junking of proposed Balikatan exercises inside Luisita. #
 

     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     

 

Peasants brace for the effects of Aquino’s public-private partnership program
Submitted by Admin on Fri, 11/05/2010 - 08:06.
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The national farmers’ group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP, Peasant Movement of the Philippines) said that its members are bracing for the effects of president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino’s pushing of his public-private partnership program. The group said that it would definitely displace many farmers and implement massive land-use conversion.

“First of all, public-private partnership or PPP is not a new concept, it is build-operate-transfer or BOT only with a changed name. Former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the past presidents have implemented it during their terms,” said Danilo Ramos, KMP Secretary-General in a press statement.

“As any projects that changed the use of the lands, PPP would result the dislocation of many Filipino farmers, such as what Southern Tagalog farmers have experienced with the Calabarzon project, Central Luzon farmers with the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (Sctex), the very root cause of the killing of Pascual Guevarra, the first peasant EJK victim of the Aquino government,” Ramos said.

The groups said that the Aquino government has released a list of 10 projects up for grabs for foreign investors, including the extension of LRT to (1) Bacoor, Cavite and (2) Masinag junction in Antipolo, new airports in (3) Daraga, Albay, (4) Puerto Princesa, Palawan and (5) Bohol, (6) city terminal for the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Pampanga, (7) privatization of Laguindingan airport in Misamis Oriental, (8) expressway connecting the North and South Luzon tollways, (9) Cavite-Laguna expressway and (10) supply of treated bulk-wate in Metro Manila.

“We have heard of this projects since Arroyo’s term, especially the airport in Daraga, Albay as peasants, fisherfolk and urban poor are already organizing against the project,” Ramos said.

“Also, these infrastructure projects are all part of Arroyo’s ‘super-regions’ program, thus, Aquino is simply continuing it. They are totally the same in favoring foreign interests than of the Filipinos,” he added.

The group is also preparing for the construction of the inter-modal station of the MRT 7, planned at Bgy. Tungkong Mangga, San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan. They said that the lands are under dispute between the landlord Aranetas and the farmers but was considered to be a site. In addition, more than a thousand farmer families are threatened to be displaced from the 3,100-hectare agricultural lands of Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation (FMMR) as the Sctex are being constructed towards the Aurora province.

“The PPP program is in total disregard of the farmers’ rights to land and Aquino is treating us like insects and cockroaches that needed to be annihilated,” Ramos said.

“Programs such as the Metro-Luzon Urban Beltway (Mlub), Sctex, connecting Aurora Pacific Economic Zone (Apeco), Cagayan Special Economic Zone, the R1 road project in Cavite, are all to favor foreign interests and to result the dislocation of farmers, fisherfolk and urban poor,” he said.

The groups added that the burden of these projects, aside from being capitalized from taxpayers’ money, would surely be passed on to the commuting public and consumers as proven by the proposed rate increases of the North Luzon Expressway (Nlex) and South Luzon Expressway (Slex), LRT and MRT. These projects were done through build-operate-transfer schemes and foreign investors are now planning to rake up more profits from the public.

“This is the ‘change’ Aquino has promised, increase in the cost of living, worse poverty and misery for the Filipino people and super-profits for the foreign monopoly. The basic sectors are doomed under the Aquino government, thus, we have no choice but to oppose every projects or programs that threaten our livelihood and homes,” Ramos called. #
 

▲  Caravan from Manila  to Luisita   ▼
     
     
           
  Operation Pinta, Operation Dikit  
     
           
     

 

25-vehicle caravan off to Hacienda Luisita to demand re-opening of massacre case
Submitted by Admin on Tue, 11/16/2010 - 09:10.
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MANILA, Philippines- Leaders of Hacienda Luisita farm workers together with supporters from the National Capital Region (NCR) on Tuesday kicked off a 25-vehicle caravan from Quezon City to Tarlac to commemorate the 6th year anniversary of the infamous massacre inside the hotly contested 6,453 hectare sugar estate.

The labor and agrarian dispute that culminated in the general strike at the main gate of Luisita resulted to the bloody dispersal of strikers and led to the death of 7 farm workers and the wounding of over 100 other striking agricultural workers.

Organizers led by the leftist peasant alliance Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), the Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) and the umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said the caravan will banner the demand for the re-opening of the Hacienda Luisita massacre case investigation by the Philippine Senate and the House of Representatives.

In a joint press statement KMP secretary general Danilo Ramos and Lito Bais, UMA chair and acting president of United Luisita Workers Union (ULWU) said they will pursue the re-opening of congressional inquiry in both Houses of congress which have yet to issue their respective findings on the massacre.

However, the Office of the Ombudsman dropped the case against civilian respondents implicated in the massacre—namely former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, former labor secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas and members of the Cojuangco-Aquino clan that includes President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, which KMP and UMA believed were done to render moot and academic whatever resolutions both chambers of Congress would pursue on the Luisita massacre case.

Ramos recalled that during the December 1, 2004 senate inquiry on the Hacienda Luisita massacre, a report was filed that shortly before to the Nov.16, 2004 massacre, around 700 policemen, 17 truckloads of military men in full battle gear, two tanks equipped with heavy weapons, a payloader, 4 fire trucks with water cannons and snipers positioned in at least five strategic places were seen and deployed near Gate 1 of Hacienda Luisita, indicating that something bloody would happen on that day.

The massacre led to the bloody killing of 7 farm workers and the wounding of 121 others. Of the 121, 32 suffered gunshot wounds, 11 were children or in their teens and 4 were senior citizens. Also during the Senate hearing, it was revealed that around 1,000 rounds of ammunition were used by the military and police in dispersing the farm workers.

“In the name of truth and justice, we appeal to Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte to cross party lines and re-open the Hacienda Luisita massacre case. We also challenge President Aquino, and his family and officers of HLI to submit themselves to investigation regarding their individual and collective role in the massacre of Luisita farm workers. The demand for accountability should also extend to former President Arroyo and her military, police and civilian officials who were implicated as principal players along with the Cojuangco-Aquino fiefdom in the Nov.16 massacre,” Ramos of KMP and Bais of UMA added.

Aside from demanding justice and accountability, caravan participants also urged President Aquino and the HLI management to immediately withdraw before the Supreme Court their objection to the decision of the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) to have the 6,453 hectare distributed to over 10,000 farm worker beneficiaries. The KMP and UMA are supporting the call for urgent and free distribution of the sugar estate which has been under control of the Cojuangco-Aquino family since 1957.

The groups said HLI management should refrain from pursuing evil schemes like the P 150-million compromise agreement, the Luisita referendum on Stock Distribution Option (SDO) and the Supreme Court sanctioned mediation committee, adding these maneuvers were effectively exposed and opposed by the farm workers. KMP and UMA also urged the Luisita management from entertaining exploratory and Mafia-like talks regarding the outright sale or lease of Luisita to foreign investors namely the Wahaha group of China and Lotte of South Korea which previously expressed interest in sourcing sugar cane supply from the disputed sugar plantation.

KMP, UMA and other groups likewise reiterated their demand to Malacanang and the Department of National Defense (DND) to scrap a reported deal between the Palace and the US military command in charge of the RP-US Balikatan exercises to hold joint military exercises inside Hacienda Luisita.

The militant groups revealed that on March 2010, a councilor of Barangay Bantug was informed that US troops will set up an evacuation center and will conduct medical mission inside the 6,453 hectare sugar estate by this month. Last August, US military officials also went to Hacienda Luisita to talk to barangay officials and informed village about plans to put up evacuation centers and conduct medical and humanitarian mission inside Hacienda Luisita.

Luisita farm workers and residents said vehicles marked with RP-US Balikatan Exercises were seen last month conducting “surveys”, which farm workers and Luisita residents said were related to the plans of US troops to put up military infrastructure and evacuation centers inside the sprawling sugar estate.

“The American officials in charge of the Balikatan exercises will exploit the usual humanitarian and medical mission activities as entry point for joint military exercises, counter-insurgency operations and US instigated war on terror. In fact, the conduct of medical and civic actions is clearly stipulated in the US guideline on counter-insurgency drafted in January 2009,” KMP and UMA stressed. #
 

     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     

 

Peasants renew call to release Morong 43, peasant political prisoners
Submitted by Admin on Fri, 11/05/2010 - 08:05.
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The national peasant organization Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP, Peasant Movement of the Philippines) and Peasant Network for Land, Justice and Human Rights (Tanggol Magsasaka) renewed their call for the immediate and unconditional release of the arrested healthworkers dubbed as Morong 43 and peasant political prisoners. Their renewed call is coinciding the ninth month of detention of the 43 health workers who were arrested on February 6, 2010 in Morong town, Rizal while conducting their medical training. They were accused of being members of the New People’s Army (NPA) by the military.

“We totally condemn the continued detention of the 43 health workers. This is a gross violation of their rights as they are held though their arrests are clearly flawed and illegal. We join the global call for their immediate freedom,” said Antonio Flores, KMP spokesperson and Tanggol Magsasaka Co-convenor who joined the caravan towards Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig.

KMP and Tanggol Magsasaka also said that president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino’s inaction to their case is continuously destroying his self-projected image as “pro-democracy” and “pro-people.” The groups said that the people are now awakened that Aquino is no different from former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as he continued the implementation of her counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya, the very program that led the arrests of Morong 43 and other political prisoners.

“Now, no one can argue that Aquino is against human rights and democracy. Health workers who chose to serve the people were persecuted and he continues to tolerate their detention. He was able to give amnesty to rebel soldiers but not the freedom of helpless health workers,” said Flores.

Aside from the Morong 43, the groups are also calling for the immediate release of peasant political prisoners such as Dario Tomada, Felicidad Caparal, Darwin Liwag and Lumban 3, Eddie Cruz, Antipolo 4 (Rizal), Talisay 3 (Batangas), Cadiz 4 (Negros) and Myrna Cruz. Tomada, Liwag and the other two of Lumban 3 were arrested during the first 100 days of Aquino as president.

“These political prisoners are organizing within the legal and democratic peasant organizations but they were targeted for political persecution. Their only crime is to lead the peasant struggle for genuine land reform and the government sees it as illegal and basis for their arrest,” Flores said.

KMP said that the Aquino government is very far from being democratic as political persecution and human rights violations in the countryside are unabated.

“Aquino has an ‘eye’ against the Filipino peasants. He continues to deprive Hacienda Luisita farmworkers and subjects the Filipino peasants to massive militarization causing destructive human rights abuses. He is a total opposite of the ‘change’ he promised during elections and he is not an ‘anti-thesis’ of Arroyo but essentially of the same landlord feather. All he had done so far are contrary to the interest of the peasants and the people, thus, we should all unite to defend our rights and livelihood against his policies and programs,” Flores called. #
 

     
     
           
     
     
   


LAND REFORM AND NATIONAL DEMOCRACY

(Speech delivered by Jose Maria Sison in Pilipino before the first Central Luzon Regional Conference of Kabataang Makabayan, at Republic Central Colleges, Angeles City, on October 31, 1965; and in English at the College of Agriculture, University of the Philippines, Los Ba¤os, Laguna on March 23, 1966.)

The Colonial Question and the Agrarian Question

AT THE PRESENT STAGE of our national history, the single immediate purpose to which our people are committed is the acievement of national democracy. On this single purpose, all are agreed, irrespective of social class, unless one belongs to a class aggrandized by the perpetuation of semi-colonial and semi- feudal conditions in our society. Unless one is a landlord or a comprador, one aspires to have his nation free from colonial and imperialist exploitation. Every patriotic Filipino wishes to liquidate imperialism and feudalism simultaneously in order to achieve national democracy.

The relation between national democracy and land reform is very clear. We can achieve genuine land reform only if we, as a nation, are free from colonial and imperialist domination. In fighting for national democracy against U.S. imperialism and feudalism today, we need to unite the peasantry - the most numerous class in our society - on the side of all other patriotic classes and we need to unite with the peasantry, as the main force or backbone of our national unity and anti-imperialist struggle.

The peasantry will join the anti-imperialist movement only if it is convinced that the movement can bring about a state capable of carrying out land reform. In his long struggle for social justice, the Filipino peasant has learned that there must first be a decisive change in the character of the state, brought about largely and fundamentally by the worker-peasant alliance. He has learned the lesson a long time ago that before democratic reforms can be completely effected the national state must be secured from imperialist control and must be firmed up by the overwhelming support of the peasantry and the working class, whose alliance is far more reliable and more qualitatively powerful than that peasant-ilustrado combination which became frustrated by U.S. imperialism at the start of this century.

If we study closely the early development of the national- democractic movement, we can see its profound basis in the agrarian situation in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial era. The demand for political freedom became a valid demand to the masses only when they realized that a national state, their own popular sovereignty, could protect them against the exploitative colonial power which could only benefit the colonizers and their local agents. The Philippine revolution of 1896 took full form only after the peasantry became mobilized into a powerful national liberation movement against colonialism and serfdom. The peasantry provided the mass support for the Philippine revolutionary government and fought the most intense patriotic war against colonial authority, especially in those areas where the contradiction between the peasant and the landlord was most intense. Colonial domination meant feudalism. It had to be overthrown by the armed might of the peasantry.

If we study assiduously the writings and experience of the old national democratic heroes, we cannot help but find the insistent line that the lack of political freedom of a nation is based upon economic exploitation and control by an alien power. In the case of the Filipino people, during the Spanish era, the theocratic unity of church and state and the lack of national and individual freedom were based upon the feudal economic order and upon the mutual landlordism of lay and ecclesiastical authorities.

In Dr. Jose Rizal's El Filibusterismo, you will note how the story of Cabesang Tales cries out for a nation-state capable of protecting its own citizens against foreign exploiters. The story of Cabesang Tales is no different from the lives of our peasant brothers today. He is a victim of excessive land rent, usury, servitude, extortion, insecurity from both lawless elements and legal authorities, ignorance of laws made by landlords for their own benefit, and even of his own industry which only attracts more exploitation from the exploiters. His daughter, Huli, is sacrificed to the unjust circumstances that afflict her father's goodwill as she falls prey to the pious hypocrisies of usurious do gooders and the local curate who would even violate her virginal virtues as she seeks his fatherly assistance. On the other hand, while her family suffers all these difficulties, her brother is conscripted into the colonial army - in the same way that our youth today are conscripted into the
U.S. controlled military machinery - to fight peasants that are in revolt in other islands and in neighboring countries. As the unkindest cut of all to her family, Tano her brother - now called Carolino after his share of fighting for Spanish colonialism against the rebellions natives in the Carolines - would find himself in his own country to hunt down a so-called bandit called Matanglawin, his own father who has turned into a peasant rebel leading multitudes of those who had been dispossessed of their land.

In an ironic situation where the peasant conscripts must fight their own peasant brothers upon the orders of a foreign power, when the mercenaries must face mountains and mountains of guerrillas, Carolino shoots down his own grandfather, the docile and overpatient old peasant who has always advised Cabesang Tales, his aggrieved son, never to respond to the provocations of the powerful. Old as he is, representing several generations of peasant oppression and patience, he has finally become a peasant fighter after the brutal death of his dear granddaughter only to be shot down in an objective act of colonial reaction by his own unwitting grandson. It is too late when Tano or Carolino realizes it is his own grandfather he has shot, unwittingly betraying his own family and his own class. Such is the ironic situation into which many of our peasant brothers are drawn when they enlist in the military, follow the orders of U.S. trained officers, use U.S. arms, be guided by U.S.
intelligence, ideology and advice, and allow themselves to be used against their own peasant brothers in other towns or provinces in our own country, or in foreign countries where they are used by U.S. imperialism to fight peasants who are fighting for their national freedom, as in many countries of Southeast Asia today.

The story of the peasant rebel, Matanglawin, has its basis in the life of Dr. Jose Rizal. As a young man and as a leader of his people, he showed courage in exposing the exploitative practices of the friar landlords and drew up a petition seeking redress which was signed by the tenants, leaseholders and leading citizens of Calamba. What followed the petition came to be known as the Calamba Affair. Governor General Weyler surrounded the town of Calamba, burned the homes of the people, confiscated their animals and exiled the Filipino townleaders. The colonial logic of the Calamba Affair was pursued to the end, to the death and martyrdom of Rizal and to the outbreak of the Philippine revolution. The dialectics of history led to the polarization between the Filipino peasantry and the Spanish colonial authorities. What made Rizal unforgivable to the Spanish colonial authorities was his having exposed feudal exploitation to its very foundation.

Andres Bonifacio, the city worker feeling spontaneously the fraternal links between his nascent class and the long- standing class of the peasantry, expressed in fiery revolutionary language the peasant protest against feudalism in his poem Katapusang Hibik ng Pilipinas:

Ang lupa at bahay na tinatahanan, Bukid at tubigang kalawak-lawakan, Sa paring kastila'y binubuwisan... Ikaw nga, Inang pabaya't sukaban Kami'y di na iyo saan man humanggan. Ihanda mo, Ina, ang paglilibingan Sa mawawakwak na maraming bangkay.

Bonifacio's call for revolt against feudal exploitation had been prepared by a long series of peasant struggles covering hundreds of years before him. Only after having waged a long series of sporadic and uncoordinated rebellions did the Filipino peasant realize that it took a well-organized and a conscious nation of peasants working as a single massive force to successfully attack feudal power and achieve the formation of a nation-state. Note clearly in the revolutionary poem of Bonifacio that the denunciation of feudal exploitation goes with his call for armed struggle against the colonial power.

Apolinario Mabini, in his Ordenanzas de la Revolucion, a collection of directives for the successful conduct of the revolution, expressed in clear terms the abolition of feudalism as a national objective:

Rule 21. All usurpations of properties made by the Spanish government and the religious corporations will not be recognized by the revolution, this being a movement representing the aspirations of the Filipino people, true owners of the above properties.

The Philippine revolution of 1896 could have been the instrument of the peasant masses for redeeming the lands taken away from them by their feudal exploiters through more than 300 years of colonial rule.

U.S. Imperialism: Enemy of the Filipino Peasantry

When U.S. military intervention and aggression came in 1898 to mislead and subsequently crush the Philippine revolution in the Filipino-American war of 1899-1902, the main revolutionary objectives of establishing a free nation-state and of achieving land reform was crushed. In order to succeed in its reactionary venture, U.S. imperialism snuffed out the lives of more than 250 thousand combatant and non- combatant peasants. They did to our people, largely to our peasant masses, what they are now directly doing again to the people of Vietnam with the same purpose of frustrating a revolutionary nation and its collective desire for democratic reforms, particularly land reform.

In order to stabilize its imperialist rule in the Philippines, the U.S. government sought the collaboration of the old ruling class in the previous colonial regime. It returned to the friars and their lay collaborators their landed estates which had been confiscated from them, and offered to the landlord class as a whole the privilege of sharing the spoils of a new colonial administration and of participating in a new pattern of commercial relations, that is, one between a capitalist metropolis and a colony. The new dispensation of U.S. imperialism required the Philippines to be a producer of raw materials for U.S. capitalist industries and a purchaser of surplus U.S. manufactures.

As a result of the continuous struggle of the peasant masses against U.S. imperialism even after 1902, when all the Filipino landlord and ilustrado elements had already accepted U.S. sovereignty and were already collaborating with the new colonial masters, the U.S. colonial administration went through the motion of buying friar estates for the purpose of dividing and redistributing them to tenants. However, no change in the agrarian situation could really be effected. The tenants were in no position to pay the high land prices, the high interest rates and the onerous taxes. The complicated land title system confounded them and allowed more smart government officials and private individuals to grab lands. The lack of governmental measures of assistance brought about the wholesale loss of holdings of tenants who did acquire them. Huge tracts of land became alienated into the hands of U.S. corporations and individual carpetbaggers incontravention of laws introduced by the U.S. regime
itself. Filipino landlords and renegades of the Philippine revolution were given more lands as a reward for their collaboration and were allowed to gobble up small landholding both legally and illegally.

U.S. imperialism had planned that large haciendas would still remain in the hands of the landlords in order that sugar, copra, hem, tobacco and other raw agricultural products would be immediately exchanged in bulk with U.S. surplus manufactures through the agency of what we now call the compradors. Today, if you wish to have a clear idea of compradors, observe the comprador-landlords, under the leadership of Alfredo Montelibano in the Camber of Agriculture and Natural Resources, who are benefitted by the neocolonial trade between the Philippines and the United States and who are now maneuvering the perpetuation of parity rights and preferential trade.

According to the MacMillan-Rivera report, nineteen per cent of the farms in the Philippines were operated by tenants or share-croppers at the beginning of the U.S. colonial regime. By 1918, after the supposed division and redistribution of the friar estates and after a large increase in total farms through the opening of public lands, tenancy had risen to 22 per cent. In the 1930's, as the peasantry became more dispossessed and poorer, tenancy further rose to 36 per cent. The pretended grant of independence by the United States, far from reversing the trend of peasant pauperization, increased it and exposed the emptiness of such a bogus grant. By the late 1950's the tenancy rate rose to 40 per cent.

According to figures issued by the reactionary government, tenancy in the Philippines embraced eight million out of 27 million Filipinos in 1963. In Central Luzon, 65.87 per cent of all farms were tenant operated, and in the province of Pampanga it was 88 per cent - the highest rate for all provinces in the country. This did not yet include an equal number of the wholly landless agricultural workers who subsisted under onerous contract labor conditions on sugar haciendas, coconut plantations and elsewhere. The displaced tenants and the irregular, seasonal agricultural workers - the sacadas - are also a part of the hapless poor peasantry.

Political Unity of the Peasantry and the Working Class

Within a decade after the ruthless suppression of the last guerrilla remnants of the First Philippine Republic, the worsened conditions of the peasantry in our barrios gave rise to spontaneous revolts and also produced peasant mass protest organizations. These unified in 1922 in the Confedaracion de Apareceros y Obreros Agricolas de Filipinas, which was broadened and renamed two years later as Kalipunang Pambansa ng mga Magbubukid sa Pilipinas (KPMP). The KPMP not only demanded agrarian reforms but also called for national independence in the same way the Katipunan of Bonifacio did. In 1930, the leaders of this peasant organization consequently united with the Katipunan ng mga Anak Pawis ng Pilipinas for the purpose of creating a worker-peasant political alliance under the leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

The establishment of the Communist Party of the Philippines marked a qualitative change in the status and thinking of the working class and a strategic portion of the peasantry. It made these two classes more capable of conducting their own class struggle and the national struggle. They challenged the liberal democratic pretensions of U.S. imperialism and its local agents.

So long as U.S. imperialism held the reins of power in the Philippines, however, the Filipino peasantry could not raise themselves from their exploited condition. The more they manifested strength and progressive consciousness, the more they became subjected to military and police suppression unleashed by the U.S. imperialist regime. And yet, in that period, the peasant mass organizations were led into reformist activities exclusively and seemingly directed at the landlords and the trade union movement directed its main blow at the bourgeoisie "in general". It is true that the working class party was aware of the popular outcry for national independence, but it failed to develop the corresponding national democratic strategy. It failed to deliver powerful blows at U.S. imperialism to expose it thoroughly and mass the forces of the nation against it. Instead, it was the puppet politicians and even the Sakdalistas who seemed to have perceived more clearly the main contradiction and
the main demand and they tried to pursue the same objective of sabotaging the national democratic movement into two disparate ways. The puppet politicians took the way of begging for independence from U.S. imperialism. The Sakdalistas took the way of anarchism.

U.S. imperialism, together with its landlord-comprador cohorts, was certain of its main enemy. A few months after the formal alliance of the KPMP and the KAP, the Communist Party of the Philippines was immediately outlawed; thus, it was deprived of its democratic rights.

The outlawing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, nevertheless, could not conceal the reality of peasant oppression during the direct colonial rule of the United States. In 1931, a local peasant revolt occurred in Tayug, Pangasinan. A bigger armed uprising of armed peasants occurred in 1936 in the towns of Cabuyao and Sta. Rosa, Laguna led by the Sakdal. These peasant revolts were continuing manifestations of the unbearable exploitation of the peasantry and were at the same time the critical effects of the U.S. capitalist depression in the 1930's.

The bitterest agrarian unrest in the 1930's occurred in Pampanga where the Socialist Party and its peasant union, Aguman ding Maldang Talapagobra, militantly fought the landlords and stood their ground against the civilian guards and the Philippine Constabulary. The Socialist Party led the peasants and agricultural workers in the open until anti-communist repression was eased as a result of the Popular Front tactics and the Communist Party of the Philippines allowed to surface to add its force to the worldwide anti-fascist struggle. The "social justice" program of President Quezon was articulated only as a concession to the vigorous demand of the peasantry for agrarian reform.

When World War II broke out, the dislodgement of U.S. imperialism from the Philippines and the emergence of anti- Japanese resistance became the condition for the success of the peasant movement in Central Luzon and Southern Luzon to effect land reform among themselves on the land abandoned by the landlords. Throughout the country, landlord power was generally weakened as its normal lines of control were broken by the conditions of war.

The Japanese imperialists were resisted by armed peasant masses. Where resistance was most successful, the peasant masses were able to use the land abandoned by the landlords to their social advantage. The resistance against Japanese imperialism served as a means for the peasants to assert their power over the land. The armed struggle gave them the power to eliminate the control and influence of the landlords over their land. Many landlords decided to collaborate with the Japanese imperialists. This occasion should have been an opportunity for the entire peasantry to learn that landlordism seeks protection in the bigger power of imperialism, whether American or Japanese. It was indeed, unfortunate that while they were warding off the excesses and brutality of the newly-come imperialists, they became distracted from the similar nature of U.S. imperialism whose radio broadcasts were blatantly announcing its desire to re-take the Philippines and whose motley agents were already
scattered throughout the archipelago to keep USAFFE guerrillas waiting for MacArthur. The anti- fascist struggle could have been converted into a struggle against imperialism, both Japanese and American. The cadres of the peasant movement could have exposed the inter- imperialist aspect of the U.S.-Japanese war and alerted the peasantry to the return of U.S. imperialism. They could have spread out throughout the country and developed a reliable anti-imperialist guerrilla movement independent of the U.S. directed and U.S. controlled USAFFE. At any rate, through constant struggles against Japanese fascism and its landlord collaborators, the peasantry built up and supported a powerful national liberation army which delivered the most effective blows against the Japanese imperial army in the strategic areas of Central Luzon and Southern Luzon. These areas are strategic because they envelop Manila.

The Return of U.S. Imperialism and Landlordism

When the U.S. imperialists returned in 1945, they immediately attempted to re-install the landlords in all parts of the archipelago, particularly in Central Luzon and Southern Luzon, where they went to the extent of arresting, imprisoning, coercing and liquidating the peasant leaders and their comrades. They trusted the landlords, including those who collaborated with the fascist invaders, as their true allies and they were extremely distrustful of peasant guerrillas who were independent of the U.S. controlled USAFFE. Not only the Hukbalahap became the object of U.S. discrimination and abuse after the war but also the independent guerrilla units, of which the exemplary unit of Tomas Confesor in the Visayas was typical. Post-war benefits and backpay went in bulk to prop up the recognized hero- puppets of U.S. imperialism.

Depending on the intelligence provided by the USAFFE, the Counter-Intelligence Corps and the landlords, the U.S. imperialists gave instructions to the Military Police and the Civilian Guards to attack the peasant masses and apprehend their leaders who had valiantly resisted the Japanese imperialists.

An entire squadron of anti-Japanese peasant fighters which accompanied the so-called U.S. liberators from Central Luzon to Manila was disarmed in Manila, driven off on their bare feet and massacred in Bulacan by the Military Police under secret imperialist orders. Peasant leaders were thrown into the same prisons where pro-Japanese puppets were kept. No less than the national chairman of the Pambansang Kaisahan ng Magbubukid was murdered while he was under the protective custody of the Military police and while he was campaigning for "democratic peace" in the countryside. Eight members of Congress who ran under the Democratic Alliance and who were elected by the overwhelming votes of the organized and class-conscious peasantry were forcibly removed from Congress. all these provocations, which preceded the outbreak of full-scale guerrilla warfare were conducted by U.S. imperialism to clear the way for the complete return of imperialist-landlord control of the Philippines. All
these provocations led ultimately to the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus and the unwarranted murder and imprisonment of peasants and their leaders and the anti-democratic crackdown on the Communist Party of the Philippines and such mass organizations as the Pambansang kaisahan ng mga Magbubukid.

After the expulsion of the peasant-supported Democratic Alliance members of the Congress in an all-out abuse of democracy, the Bell Trade Act and the Parity Amendment were ratified, formalizing the re-establishment of the imperialist-landlord pattern of trade, free-trade so-called, and the parity rights for U.S. citizens and corporations in the exploitation of our natural resources and the operation of public utilities.

U.S. imperialism, by unilateral choice, retained its military bases at twenty-three strategic points all over the archipelago, maintained the privilege of expanding them and of moving its troops from there, and employed them to exercise coercive influence on the peasantry and the entire Filipino people. Subsequently, the U.S.-R.P. Military Assistance Pact formally sanctioned the subordination of our military to U.S. military officers in the JUSMAG and to the entire system of U.S. military bases, supplies, planning and advice. In our civil service, U.S. advisers continued to control and direct the most strategic offices. In short, U.S. imperialism retained strategic control over the coercive paraphernalia of the Philippine puppet state and over the economic foundation and civil appurtenances of daily political life.

As the landlords and the imperialists cooperated to their mutual advantage in attacking the peasant masses, the latter were compelled to fight back in order to defend their national and democratic rights. There result of the peasant struggle between the years 1946 to 1952 you already know, it is recent history and there are no better sources of information on this struggle than the veteran peasant guerrilla fighters themselves.

At the height of its world power, U.S. imperialism massed its forces against the organized peasantry in order to paralyze the backbone of the Filipino nation and make its anti-national and anti-democratic impositions. In order to suppress the organized and class-conscious peasantry, the puppet agencies of U.S. imperialism recruited its troops from the peasantry only to use them against their own brothers in other barrios and towns. Thus, the story of Cabesang Tales and his son Tano or Carolino, was again repeated in the ceaseless struggle of the peasantry.

The leadership of the revolutionary mass movement had emerged from the war politically unprepared to expose and fight the return of U.S. imperialism, which was the only power which could under the circumstances effectively help the landlords to retrieve their lands from the patriotic peasants of Central Luzon and Southern Luzon. Instead of exposing and fighting the reactionary alliance between the landlords and the newly-returned U.S. imperialists who masterminded and gave full arms support to the Military Police and the civilian guards, the peasant movement accused the landlords only as pro-Japanese collaborators and failed to direct immediately the main blow against U.S. imperialism. The leadership of the revolutionary mass movement did not expose promptly the fact that the landlords who had been pro-Japanese collaborators became pro-U.S. collaborators. The delay in the exposure of U.S. imperialism, since before the war, as the leading enemy of the Filipino people and the
peasantry gave both the U.S. imperialists and the landlords the time to consolidate their positions.

The reactionary triumph of U.S. imperialism and feudalism has prolonged the suffering and exploitation of the peasant masses. Our peasant masses continue to suffer from the unfair distribution of land and the exploitative relations between tenant and landlord, unfair sharing of the crop, usury, landlord-controlled rural banks and cooperatives, profiteering middlemen, lack of price support, lack or high cost of fertilizers, irrigation and agricultural machines, inadequacy of extension work and scientific information and the deplorable conditions of the peasant in health, housing, nourishment and education. All of these difficulties and misfortunes are those of the entire nation, our agrarian nation whose numerically dominant class is the peasantry embracing more than 70 per cent of our population. The specter of feudalism haunts us to this day and substantially determines the colonial character of our economy.

With the collaboration of U.S. imperialists and Filipino landlords in full swing, we observe that the supremacy of a ruling elite in this country combines the character of imperialism and feudalism. We observe the local supremacy of the comprador-landlord class which is the most benefitted by the strategic U.S. control of our national economy and foreign trade. The owners of the sugar, coconut, abaca and other export-crop plantations have been the most benefitted from that colonial pattern of trade between our raw material exports and manufacture imports from the United States and other capitalist countries.

It was the military power of U.S. imperialism which prevailed over the peasantry in the absence of a prompt anti-imperialist and anti-feudal strategy developed by a peasant-mobilizing party. However, the myth that Ramon Magsaysay "saved democracy" has been created by U.S. imperialist propaganda. While Magsaysay was a successful propaganda weapon of U.S. imperialism and while he was able to confuse even some peasant leaders, it is clear beyond doubt now that he was responsible for the all-out abuse of democracy directed mainly against the peasantry, for thwarting the solution of the land problem by the peasant masses themselves, for the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus and for the brutalities of the sona, village bombardments, mass detainments and murders.

The imperialist version of land reform for which Magsaysay was glorified during his time has gone completely bankrupt. The land resettlement program intended supposedly for the benefit of the landless has only prolonged the life of feudalism in the Philippines. Landlords have taken over far vaster tracts of land in those areas of resettlement and in too many cases, they have even put into question the titles of small settlers. The program of expropriating big landholding for redistribution to the landless has only been used by the landlords to dispose of their barren and useless lands at an overprice to the government. The Magsaysay land reform, conducted by the Land Tenure Administration and the NARRA, have failed to improve the condition of the peasantry as the rate of tenancy has risen far beyond 40 per cent. The credit system of the ACCFA and the system of FACOMA's have failed to help the tenants and the small farmers and have only been manipulated by the landlords and corrupt
bureaucrats for their selfish interests. Agricultural extension workers from the Bureau of Agricultural Extension have always been inadequate.

As the imperialist-landlord combination ruled over the country in the 1950's by force of its state power, the reform measures and palliative proved ineffective in alleviating the condition of the peasantry or in whipping up false illusion. Imperialist and clerical organizations like the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM) and the Federation of Free Farmers also proved ineffective even as propaganda instruments among the peasantry, especially among those who had experienced genuine peasant power.

If the old palliative become totally useless, an exploiting ruling class looks for new and seemingly better ones. The exposure of the true nature of palliative is too risky for the ruling class. it must adopt new palliative designed to meet a possible resurgence of its suppressed adversary. Even as the class conscious and progressive peasant movement has been quite suppressed since the middle of the fifties, the ruling classes never discounts the possibility of an antagonistic resurgence of a peasantry left with no quarters. So, it must make certain concessions even only on paper. Thus, the Agricultural Land Reform Code has been proposed and passed. At the same time a new scheme of "civic action" in the countryside, directed by the JUSMAG and the "counter-insurgency" adviser, has been laid out. This "civic action" in the rural areas is to be coupled with the rural development campaign of the most numerous church.

New Conditions and the Danger of Yankee Monopolization

New conditions have developed making it necessary for U.S. imperialism to exercise direct control of Philippine agriculture. U.S. imperialism is now trying to plant its roots in Philippine agriculture and complete its control of our agrarian economy in the face of the impending termination and renegotiation of the Laurel-Langley Agreement and Parity Amendment. The policy planners of U.S. imperialism are applying the same tricks they applied on Cuba in the face of and after the dissolution of the Platt Amendment - the Cuban version of our Parity Amendment. In other words, the U.S. imperialists want to preempt the negotiation table by deepening their control of our agrarian economy now. They want to continue parity rights even after the formal termination of the Laurel-Langley Agreement.

The present world condition, especially in Southeast Asia, is forcing U.S. imperialism to prepare the Philippines as a growing ground for agricultural products that it uses directly or are used by Japan, its co-imperialist in the Far-East. The Philippines is now being prepared as a reagent in a U.S. controlled U.S.-Japan axis antagonistic to the anti-imperialist peoples of Asia. If you investigate now the U.S. agro-corporations or the Japanese agro- corporations wanting to develop Philippine agriculture, you will notice how all are commanded by the U.S. cartels and finance institutions, especially the Rockefeller monopoly group.

It is certain that the Agricultural Land Reform Code is directed, in its original form as well as in its present form against old-style landlordism. Has this code in its original version been passed, the statutory retention limit of 25 hectares for landowners who refuse to mechanize and the provisions imposing heavy taxes on undeveloped lands would have severely weakened old-style landlordism. Landlords would have come under greater legal compulsion to mechanize or sell out to those who have capital to mechanize or just cheat the law by delaying it and sabotaging it through a corrupt bureaucracy.

The sham liquidation of old-style landlordism is progressive on first impression. But if the vast lands will only be retained or expanded in the hands of those individuals and agro-corporations which have the necessary capital to mechanize, then we will only be developing a new type of feudalism, only in certain parts of the country, and the peasant masses, particularly the landless tenants, would not be benefitted at all. The condition of the peasant masses would only be aggravated by land monopolization conducted by private agro-corporations and individual capitalists. Some tenants would be converted into agricultural workers, others would be displaced and thrown out of the farm by the process of mechanization and modern business organization. The small landowners, in due time, would be forced into bankruptcy because of higher production costs per hectare and would not be able to compete with the large plantations which maintain more economic operations. Even the rich peasants
who produce more than enough for their households to be able to sell in the market would be eventually eased out by lower prices of crops produced by the modern plantations. A modern plantation economy in the Philippines will convert a relatively few Filipino peasants into wage- earners but will displace many more tenants whom it will not be able to employ promptly and in sufficient number in industrial centers made even more efficient by automation. An efficient plantation economy in the philippines will become more of an appendage to foreign monopoly capitalism. The Philippines will be farther from an even and well- proportioned industrial development.

Since only U.S. firms are now in a financial position in the Philippines to invest in Philippine agriculture, as our own Filipino industrialists are themselves credit-starved (now much more in the case of old-style landlords!) because of decontrol and other restrictive conditions, the process of land monopolization would become more detrimental to the entire Filipino people. The super-profits to be derived from these enterprises would be continuously repatriated and unemployment would increase faster. U.S. firms and subsidiaries are even under instruction now by the U.S. government to prevent the outflow of dollars from the United States by getting credit from local sources in the Philippines. It is a widely perceived fact that U.S. projects and so-called joint ventures are utilizing the resources of such institutions as GSIS, SSS, DBP and others, thus depriving the Filipino investors themselves of much- needed credit. Modern landlordism under the control of Esso, Dole, United
Fruit, Philippine Packing Corporation, Goodyear, Firestone and other U.S. monopoly firms which have had the experience of ravaging Latin America is no better than the old types of landlordism.

At the present moment, we can already see how vast tracts of land have been alienated from our national patrimony by giant U.S. firms under so-called "grower" or "planting" agreements with government corporations like the National Development Company and the Mindanao Development Authority. Despite the constitutional limitation that no private corporations shall hold more than 1,024 hectares, the Philippine Packing Corporation and the Dole Corporation have separately taken hold of 8,195 hectares and 5,569 hectares respectively through a "grower" agreement with the National Development Company and they are supposed to hold on to these lands, with option to expand at any time, for long stretches of periods well beyond this generation and beyond 1974 when parity rights will have terminated.

The United Fruit deal involving the alienation of 10,000 hectares of highly developed public lands and the project to segregate 50,000 hectares of the Mt. Apo National Park Reservation for delivery to U.S. firms through the NDC during the Macapagal administration are convincing manifestations of a new plan U.S. imperialism has for the Philippines.

The Dole take-over of 5,569 hectares of homestead lands in Cotabato is a clear negation of the owner-cultivatorship objective of the Agricultural Land Reform Code. This particular takeover for pineapple plantation and other commercial crops has adversely affected rice production in Cotabato by reducing severely the area devoted to rice.

That U.S. imperialism is literally planting itself in Philippine soil is very evident in several other moves, which were definitely made after decontrol and the approval of the five-year socio-economic program of Macapagal. Means for higher productivity in agriculture have been set up confidently by U.S. firms. Esso has put up a $30 million fertilizer plant which maintains a strategic role. International Harvester, including Japanese farm machinery firms, are also optimistic that they will provide the implements and machines for large-scale farms. In the long run, these modern means for higher productivity can rise in price in such a way that the big plantations, because they buy them in bulk and use them more economically and profitably, will squeeze out the owner-cultivators from the field of production and marketing. Control and ownership of fertilizer production alone provides U.S. imperialism a powerful leverage with which to squeeze out the leaseholders, the
owner-cultivators and even the rich peasants.

The U.S. government has conveniently made use of the World Bank to encourage agricultural education in order to provide the necessary technical support for U.S. plantations. The tested U.S. marionette, Carlos P. Romulo, was reassigned to the University of the Philippines in order to pay special attention to the receipt of $6.0 million loan from the World Bank for Los Ba¤os and the procurement of P21 million from the Philippine Congress as counterpart fund. Romulo's field of operation has been expanded by the Marcos administration in apparent concession to U.S. imperialism, by making him secretary of education. Twenty-three million dollars of the belated $73 million in war damage payments is about to be rolled out to sustain a land reform education program to be controlled directly by the U.S. government in accordance with the Johnson-Macapagal communique of 1964. This amount is expected by the reactionaries to subvert the revolutionary peasant movement. At the moment, there is a
splurge of U.S. activity in the countryside through a multifarious array of agencies such as AID, PACD, Freedom Fighters, Peace Corps, World Neighbors, Esso, PRRM, CDRC, CAP, AGR, COAR, ACCI, FHD, IRRI, Operations Brotherhood, CARE, DND and Special Forces, which are directly controlled by the U.S. embassy through JUSMAG and the "counter- insurgency" adviser.

Also, improvement of U.S. military bases in the South cannot but mean securing Mindanao for U.S. agro-corporations. Within the Dole plantation area, underground missile launchers are supposed to have been set up. These are bases apparently prepared to strengthen U.S. aggression in Southeast Asia. Nevertheless, they can very well serve to protect U.S. agro-corporation producing crops that the United States may in the near future never be able to get from neighboring countries because of the rise of anti- imperialist movements in the region. It is highly significant that large rubber plantations are being prepared in Mindanao today. Aside from serving the needs of U.S. imperialism, technical crops are also intended to serve the needs of Japan.

The narrow foreign policy of the Philippines, which has been chiefly geared to the so-called special relations with the United States, is expected to trap land reform in the vise of U.S. agro-corporations and of U.S. global economic policy in general. The obvious lack of funds in the National Treasury has been used as an occasion to call for "land reform" loans from U.S.-controlled financing institutions like the World Bank, AID, IMF, and others. The Land Bank and the Agricultural Credit Association are bound to be controlled by the U.S. finance system.

U.S. imperialism, by virtue of its long-standing over-all strategic control over the Philippine economy, has already strengthened its hold over control points in Philippine agriculture.

The Agricultural Land Reform Code

The Agricultural Land Reform Code claims to seek the abolition of tenancy and the establishment of owner- cultivatorship as the basis of Philippine agriculture. It is supposed to help the small farmers, especially those with economic family-size farms, to be free from pernicious institutional restraints and practices to build a viable social and economic structure in agriculture conducive to greater productivity and higher farm income. Aside from expropriation and land redistribution, land resettlement and public land distribution are also proposed by the code. A whole chapter of the code is devoted to provisions guaranteeing the application of all labor laws equally to both industrial and agricultural wage-earners.

For the purpose of giving lands to the landless and to those who have less than enough for their respective families, a leasehold system is to be set up as the first step towards self-reliance. The National Land Reform Council, composed of the representatives of all land reform agencies and of the political party in the minority, is supposed to proclaim an area as a land reform area before its inhabitants can enjoy leasehold system wherein the tenant becomes a leaseholder paying only 25 per cent of the average of three previous annual harvests as rent to the landowner.

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▲  Lunch time ▼
     
     
     
▲  Sugar cane for the sugar mill  ▼
 
 
 
 
 
Sugar mill of the Azucarera de Tarlac
Taste of sugar from a cane

 VIDEO of MARCH AT LUISITA

 BONUS TRACKS

These two kids from Manila joined the kids from Hacienda Luisita and had a fun time playing in this farm equipment whose driver gladly stepped aside to give way to the kids.

 

 NEWS REPORTS

 

Six years after grim Luisita massacre, killings unresolved - Nation - GMANews.TV - Official Website

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UPDATED 2: 30 p.m. - Six years after the Hacienda Luisita massacre on November 16, 2004, no one has been made accountable for the killing of seven protesters at a rally on the vast tract of land owned by the Cojuangco side of the family of President Aquino. An activist group said, "Not one police,

 

 

 

Saksi: Various groups commemorate 2004 Hacienda Luisita Massacre - Video - GMANews.TV - Official W

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Kapuso, GMANews.TV is the official news website of GMA-7, the Philippines' no. 1 television network. It contains the latest breaking news and rss feeds from GMA News and Public Affairs, and video from GMA News programs 24 Oras and Saksi. The site also contains the latest news in nation, regions, ent

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Luisita leaders kick off caravan from Quezon City to Tarlac | The Philippine Star >> News >> Headlin

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Leaders of Hacienda Luisita farm workers and the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) yesterday kicked off a 25-vehicle caravan from Quezon City to Tarlac to commemorate the 6th year of the massacre that took place inside the 6,453-hectare sugar estate.

 

 

That only some Filipino tenants can enjoy the rent of 25 per cent upon the proclamation made by the National Land Reform Council is quite puzzling to those who are convinced that such rent may as well be paid in common by all tenants to landowners all over the country by general proclamation. This general proclamation should not even carry the pretentious claim that it abolishes tenancy and replaces it with the leasehold system. For after all, both terms "tenancy" and "leasehold system", although the former sounds more pejorative, means essentially the burden of paying rent

 

The Code says that the National Land Reform Council can proclaim a land reform area only after it has considered the nature and possibilities of the proposed land reform area in accordance with priorities set by the code.

It is in the consideration of these priorities and other factors that land reform in favor of the peasant masses can be delayed indefinitely, derailed and sabotaged. It is in the consideration of these priorities that the bureaucrats in the land reform agencies will find more affinity with the landlord and imperialist interests which have plans opposed to those of the poor peasant on the same tract of land.

The very idea that the NLRC may proclaim a land reform area only where the leaseholders have a good chance of developing into owner-cultivators is obviously self-defeating and deceptive. Among the several factors that must be considered in the choice of a land reform area are its "suitability for economic family-size farmers", which is unfortunately defined by the code as a "situation where a parcel of land whose characteristics such as climate, soil, topography, availability of water and location, will support a farm family if operated in economic family-size farm units and does not include those where large-scale operations will result in greater production and more efficient use of the land". This matter of "suitability" is take into consideration even as the leaseholders can always petition the Land Authority to acquire the leaseholdings for redistribution to them.


On the question of suitability, before any proclamation is made by the NLRC in favor of prospective leaseholders and owner-cultivators, the landlord can easily preempt altogether the leasehold system and expropriation proceedings by asserting that large-scale operations by himself on his land will result in greater production and more efficient use. The question can be reduced to a question of legal definition pure and simple by the landlord, or he can actually start what may be termed as "large scale operations" on his land in order to prevent either the question of rent reduction or expropriation from being raised. What is absurd in this matter is that, among the things preempted by the landlord is the prospect of large-scale operations by cooperatives of owner- cultivators on the same tract of land.

To evade the leasehold system and possible expropriation proceedings, the landlord has simply to mechanize, to engage in "large scale" operations such as sugar planting, or to plant permanent trees like citrus, coconuts, cacao, coffee, durian, rubber and others. In Central Luzon and other parts of the country, the landlords are converting their rice lands into sugar lands. In the years to come, this will continue to deal a telling blow on our rice production. In Southern Luzon, those working in coconut, citrus, abaca and coffee lands as tenants are complaining and asking why they are not benefitted by land reform. Those who work on fishponds and saltbeds have the same complaint of not being within the purview of land reform.

To pursue the discussion as to how the landlord can evade expropriation, let us assume that the NLRC does unilaterally and successfully proclaim a certain area as land reform area. The Land Authority -- the implementing arm of the council -- will still have to subject its acquisitions to the following order of priorities: idle or abandoned lands; those whose area exceeds 1,024 hectares; those whose area range between 500 and 1,024 hectares; those whose area range between 144 and 500 hectares; those whose area range between 75 and 144 hectares. The Philippine government is obviously making a big joke by saying that it wishes to exhaust its financial resources on idle or abandoned lands which are in most cases too expensive to develop. The poor peasant cannot afford to develop such kind of land it is simply futile for the government to purchase this.


The statutory limit of 75 hectares that a landowner can retain is big enough to perpetuate landlordism in the Philippines. Besides, a landlord can easily retain many times more than this size so long as he has enough members of his family to distribute it. Another course of action for the landlord is to own land in many different places and keeping to the statutory limit of 75 hectares in each place. in the Agricultural Land Reform Code, there are no plugs to these loopholes.

The landlord has so many defenses to preempt the expropriation of his property. But, little is it realized that a landlord might actually offer to sell his land to the Land Authority. Because, according to the order of priorities, in the acquisition of lands by the Land Authority, idle or abandoned lands are to be purchased first. So long as the landlord can demand "just compensation" or even an overprice, he can always strike at a private bargain with the government appraiser. After getting the payment for his expropriated property, he can always acquire private lands elsewhere or public lands to perpetuate his class status. It can be said conclusively at this juncture that the Agricultural Land Reform Code allows the perpetuation of landlordism in the country. The landlords are not hindered but even encouraged to seize public lands already tilled by the national minorities and small settlers in frontier areas.

The ability of the Land Authority to relieve deep agrarian unrest and provide the landlords with "just compensation" would depend on the adequacy of funds in the Land Bank. It is already clear that the government is reluctant to make an actual release of funds to the Land Bank. The financial crisis of U.S. imperialism and all its running dogs is something to be seriously reckoned with. Even if funds of whatever enormity are to be released, these could be gobbled up by only a few landlords and bureaucrats. Past experience clearly shows that the latter are willing to part with. The result is that the landlords have more funds to acquire more lands and the poor peasant can never afford the redistribution price exacted by the government.

Except in the change of name, the Agricultural Credit Administration, is no different from its corrupt and inadequate predecessor, the ACCFA. The Commission on Agricultural Productivity is also nothing but a new name for the old Bureau of Agricultural Extension; it is nothing but an ill-manned and indolent bureaucratic agency of the Esfac. The landlords have always used these agencies more to their advantage than the poor peasants.

There will be more severe contradictions between the peasant masses and the landlord class. The contradictions will arise form the given conditions of these classes as well as from the interpretation of the Agricultural Land Reform Code. These contradictions are supposed to be resolved by the Court of Agrarian Relations if ever they become formal legal disputes. The Office of Agrarian Counsel is supposed to provide free legal assistance to individual peasants and peasant organizations. But judges and government lawyers are themselves landlords, landgrabbers and land speculators. Behind the facade of populist expressions, they support the landlord system.

It is relevant to cite the fact that when the Agricultural Land Reform Bill was being drafted in Malaca¤ang and discussed in Congress, there was no representative of the peasantry there -- particularly the poor peasantry -- who was conscious of the class interests of the peasantry and who would have fought for those class interests. What happened, therefore, in the absence of direct political representatives of the peasant masses, was that the political representatives of the landlords and the imperialists had all the chance to finalize the bill according to their class interest and provided themselves all the escape clauses.

The Agricultural Land Reform Code will not solve the land problem. As a matter of fact, it will only aggregate the dispossession of the peasantry and intensify unjust relations between the landlord class and the peasantry. The beautiful phrases in the code in favor of the landless are immediately nullified by provisions which in the realm of reality will be taken advantage of by the landlord class.

What Is To Be Done

For the activists of national democracy there is no substitute to going to the countryside and making concrete social investigation in order to determine the oppression and exploitation imposed on the peasantry by the landlord class.

There is no point in making a rural investigation if the facts learned from the masses are not analyzed and processed into terms for basic comprehension of problems as well as solutions. The activists of national democracy should show to the peasants, especially those who have no land at all and those who so not have enough land, the essence of their suffering and arouse them to solve their own problem.

In the present era only the peasant masses can liberate themselves provided they follow the correct leadership of the working class and its party. It is senseless to put trust in laws made by the landlords themselves no matter how gaudily they may wear the garments of bourgeois reformism.

The concrete step that can be immediately taken by the activists of national democracy is to organize peasant associations dedicated to fighting for the democratic rights of the peasantry. The present laws may be used to some extent but if they are not enough, as practice has borne out, then the peasant masses themselves will decide to take more effective measures, including armed revolution.

The activitists of national democracy who go to the countryside should exert all efforts to arouse and mobilize the peasant masses into breaking the chains that have bound them for centuries. Agrarian revolution provides the powerful base for the national democratic revolution.

   
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