Christmas 2013 in Hacienda Luisita:
No Peace on Earth, No Goodwill toward Men

 

 

December 25, 2013

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PAMASKO NG GOBYERNONG AQUINO SA HACIENDA LUISITA:
PAG-BULDOSER NG PANANIM, PAMBUBUGBOG AT ILEGAL NA ARESTO

DEC 21: 3:30 ng hapon kanina, bumalik ang 2 police mobile, 2 van ng SWAT at mga 30 security guards ng TADECO kasabay ng bulldozer sa kubo ni Raymund Alcaide sa Brgy Balete kung saan nakatipon ang mga magbubukid na naggigiit ng kanilang karapatan sa lupa.

Sa kumprontasyon, sinabi ng mga security guard sa mga magbubukid na ipagpapatuloy na nila ang pagbubuldoser. Naghanap ang mga magsasaka ng anumang dokumento para sa sinasabing utos na pagbulldozer, habang hinarap sa mga gwardya at pulis bagong labas na notice of land reform coverage ng DAR na nagpapatunay na ang lupang kinakamkam ng mga Cojuangco ay dapat ipamahagi sa mga magsasaka. Namagitan para sa mga magbubukid si Tarlac City Councilor Emy Ladera pero hindi siya inirespeto ng mga gwardya at pulis sa pamumuno ni Tarlac Provincial Director Senior Supt Alex Sintin; Tarlac City PNP OIC Chief P/Supt. Bayani Razalan; hepe ng Great Star Security Mauro dela Cruz at TADECO representative Villamor Lagunero.

Binalewala ng mga pulis at gwardya ang katwiran ng mga magbubukid at patuloy na pinaandar ng isang Al Martinez ang bulldozer na sumagasa sa palayan ng pamilya ni Melchor Ramos. Habang nagbubulldozer ay humarang ang mga pulis sa mga magsasaka na gustong pumigil sa paninira ng pananim. Samantala, nagsimula rin ang mga gwardya sa pagwasak sa bagong-tayong kubo ng mga magsasaka.
 


Dahil gustong pigilan ng mga magsasaka ang pagbu-bulldozer, nagmando si PD Sintin na damputin ang mga magsasaka. Nagsimulang umatake at mangbugbog ang mga pulis at gwardya. Dinampot sina Vicente Sambo, mag-inang Rod at Eufemia Acosta, Ronald Sakay, mag-asawang Jose & Elsa Baldiviano, Mamerto Mandigma at Manuel Mandigma.

Disyembre 12 pa nagsimula ang pagbuldoser ng TADECO sa mga palayan ng mga magsasaka sa Brgy. Balete. Napag-alaman ng AMBALA at Uma Pilipinas na sa parehong araw na iyon ay muling naglabas ang DAR ng Notice of Coverage sa mga lupain sa Barangay Balete at Cutcut -- ibig sabihin, ang mga lupang ito na inaangkin ng mga Cojuangco ay "covered" o saklaw ng reporma sa lupa at dapat ipamahagi sa mga magsasaka. Ang nasabing Notice ay inilathala sa Philippine Star nito lamang Disyembre 17.

Muli, ipinakita ng lokal na pulisya sa Tarlac na ang utos ng pamilya Cojuangco-Aquino ang direkta nitong sinusunod, kahit pa makiusap ang mga opisyal ng lokal na pamahalaan, o kahit ayon sa DAR ang mga lupain ay hindi na dapat manatili sa kontrol ng TADECO. Bukod sa mga pulis at armadong gwardya, nagtayo din ng kampo militar ang 3rd Mechanized Batallion sa mismong lupa na katabi ng mga palayan ng mga lider ng AMBALA.

LUPA AT HUSTISYA PARA SA MGA MAGBUBUKID NG HACIENDA LUISITA!


 

POLICE MAUL, ARREST FARMERS PLEADING TO SPARE CROPS FROM COJUANGCO BULLDOZERS

AMBALA and UMA condemn violent and illegal arrest of Hacienda Luisita farmworkers

References: Florida “Pong Sibayan, AMBALA Acting Chairperson, 09293201477
Christopher Garcia, AMBALA spokesperson, 09293200615
Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) live tweets
Follow @UMApilipinas on Twitter http://twitter.com/UMApilipinas
uma.pilipinas@gmail.com / Tel. # 7992009

FACT SHEET

I. CASE PROFILE

Violation: Destruction of Crops
Date of Incident: December 12 to 21, 2013
Place of Incident: Brgy. Balete, Tarlac City

Violation: Violent & Illegal Arrest & Detention Date of Incident: December 21, 2013
Place of Incident: Brgy. Balete, Tarlac City

I. VICTIMS:

Victims are identified to be residents of Barangays Balete and Asturias in Hacienda Luisita and are members of Alyansa ng Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (AMBALA)

1. Rod Acosta
2. Eufemia Acosta
3. Ronald Sakay
4. Jose Baldiviano
5. Elsa Baldiviano
6. Manuel Mandigma
7. Mamerto Mandigma
8. Vicente Sambo

III. POSSIBLE PERPETRATORS:

-JOSE “PEPING” COJUANGCO
-Tarlac Police Provincial Office Director, SENIOR SUPERINTENDENT ALEX SINTIN
-Tarlac City Police Chief, SUPERINTENDENT BAYANI RAZALAN
-TADECO (Tarlac Development Corporation) representative VILLAMOR LAGUNERO.
-AL MARTINEZ, bulldozer operator
-BODGIE AGANON, private armed personnel of Peping Cojuangco
-Security guards of TADECO based in Barangay Balete headed by MAURO DELA CRUZ, chief of Great Star Security Agency
-Police personnel under Tarlac Provincial Police Office

IV. POSSIBLE MOTIVE:

Cojuangco family / TADECO land grabbing, refusal to abide by 2012 Supreme Court decision to distribute Hacienda Luisita to farmers
 

V. INCIDENT

DECEMBER 21, 2013; at about 3:30 p.m.

Two police mobile cars, 2 vans of SWAT and 30 security guards of Tarlac Development Corporation (TADECO) including a bulldozer went to the hut of Raymund Alcaide in Brgy. Balete where farm workers led by the AMBALA have converged to defend their right to the land.

During the confrontation, security guards of TADECO told the farm workers that they will continue bulldozing the land that the farmers have been cultivating since 2005 and which TADECO is now claiming to be theirs. The farm workers asked the guards if the latter have with them a copy of any order from the court or the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) that would legally justify the said clearing of contested land. They also showed the police officers and the security guards a notice of land reform coverage of DAR published by the Philippine Star last December 17, which proves that the land Cojuangcos are claiming to be theirs are covered by land reform and should be distributed to farm workers. Even Tarlac City Councilor Emmy Ladera who negotiated on behalf of the farmers was not recognized by TADECO representative Villamor Lagunero, the guards headed by the chief of Great Star Security Agency, Mauro dela Cruz, and the police directly supervised on that day by no less than the Tarlac PNP Provincial Director Alex Sintin, and Tarlac City PNP OIC Chief Bayani Razalan.

Witnesses claim that Jose “Peping” Cojuangco, Jr., one of the owners of TADECO, was inside a closed van which was part of the convoy of police vehicles, and that police officials and security men directly consulted with the presidential uncle.

The police officers and guards brushed off the arguments of the farm workers and proceeded with bulldozing the rice fields of the family of Melchor Ramos. Farmers pleaded with police to stop the destruction of their crops. Elderly women farmers even laid on the ground before the bulldozers but a certain Al Martinez proceeded to operate the bulldozer. The TADECO guards, with the go signal of the PNP, also destroyed the newly rebuilt hut of farmer Raymond Alcaide.

When the farm workers tried to stop the TADECO guards, PD Sintin ordered their arrest. Arrested were Vicente Sambo who was also mauled; Rod and his mother Eufemia Acosta, Ronald Sakay, husband and wife Jose & Elsa Baldiviano, and Manuel and Mamerto Mandigma. They were brought to Camp Macabulos, the provincial police headquarters located in Tarlac City.

TADECO started bulldozing the rice fields of Brgy. Balete farmers on December 12, the same day that the DAR issued a Notice of Coverage declaring that the particular 358-hectare disputed land is in fact part of the Hacienda Luisita agricultural estate that must be subjected to land reform. The DAR notice was published by the Philippine Star last December 17.

Besides the police and armed security guards, the AFP through the 3rd Mechanized Battalion also set up a military camp in the same place where rice lands cultivated by prominent leaders of AMBALA are located. ###

 

5 ways Cojuangco-Aquinos evade land distribution in Luisita
 
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Photos by UMA PILIPINAS
           
     
     
     

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Cojuangco-Aquinos “heartless” to Hacienda Luisita farm workers this season, farmer groups condemn
12/23/2013

The regional farmers’ group Alyansa ng mga Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luson (Amgl, Farmers’ Alliance in Central Luzon), Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Tarlak (Amt), Anakpawis Party-list Central Luzon and Alyansa ng Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (Ambala) condemned the latest land grabbing by the Cojuangco-Aquino family through their controlled firm, Tarlac Development Corp. (Tadeco). Tadeco has levelled lands in brgy. Balete since December 12 including farm lands cultivated by farm workers. At least 6 hectares of rice crops were destroyed which are about to be harvested this period, aside from the farms cultivated with vegetable and rootcrops. In addition, Tadeco has fenced about 500-hectares of land from brgy. Balete and Cut-cut since October, coinciding the “raffle” distribution of certificate of land ownership awards (cloa) by officials of the Dept. of Agrarian Reform (DAR). The groups said the government forces, particularly elements of the 3rd Mechanized Infantry Battalion of the Phil. Army has set up detachments which farm workers claim served as security forces to Tadeco.

“The Cojuangco-Aquinos and BS Aquino, who live extravagantly, do not appreciate it is already christmas season. Instead of being sympathetic to the impoverished farm workers whose only livelihood are the farms they cultivate, the Cojuangco-Aquinos put their greed afront, bulldozed lands and destroyed crops,” Joseph Canlas said, Amgl chairperson and Anakpawis Party-list regional coordinator.

The groups condemn the holistic, systematic and coordinated land grabbing by the Cojuangco-Aquino family, using government machineries and engaging in outright illegal seizing of lands in Hacienda Luisita. Ambala said that the lands bulldozed by Tadeco were covered by land distribution as issued by DAR on December 17, while Tadeco officials could not produce any court order or documents legitimizing their operations. Tadeco conspired with police forces, particularly the Tarlac city Philippine National Police under Col. Bayani Razalan, provincial PNP under Director Alex Sintin to ward off protests of the farm workers. The Tadeco security was led by a certain Mauro dela Cruz and its representative Villamor Lagunero.

As Tadeco’s operation was opposed by the farm workers, police forces illegally arrested leaders and members of Ambala. Tarlac city PNP arrested: Rod and his mother Eufemia Acosta, Ronald Sakay, husband and wife Jose & Elsa Baldiviano, Manuel and Mamerto Mandigma and Vicente Sambo who also assaulted.

“We have witnessed again the brutality of the Cojuangco-Aquino family, using violence to pursue their interests. With all the government resources funded by our mere paid taxes are being utilized by a landlord family for their self-serving interests. These blatant show of force could not be even backed up by any legal documents, thus, making it basically illegal,” Canlas said.

The groups demanded the immediate release of the illegally arrested farm workers.

“This is a unquestionable proof that land reform by the BS Aquino government is all deception. The Cojuangco-Aquinos has circumvented the Supreme Court decision of land distribution, by ordering DAR with absurd scheme of raffling out cloas, excluding prime lands and obliging farm worker beneficiaries of amortization,”

The groups said that the genuine land reform is being realized by Ambala’s “bungkalan” (cultivation) campaign since 2005. The campaign reached at most at 2,000-hectares where the lands were cultivated and their harvests enjoyed by the farm workers. The campaign fundamentally emancipated the lands from the Cojuangco-Aquno family when they were cultivated by rice, vegetables and fruits. Sugar cultivation to thousands of hectares secures supply to the Cojuangco-Aquino controlled Central Azucarera de Tarlac mill, thus, varying crops at a certain level declines raw material.

“The christmas spirit has no effect to the Cojuangco-Aquino family. Instead of giving, they have taken. Aquino who has failed the people has again transgressed the farm workers of Hacienda Luisita,” Canlas said.

The groups asserted that farmers in different parts of the province and region are to support the struggle of Hacienda Luisita farm workers. Cultivation campaign in the region is being promoted by Amgl and its affiliated farmer organizations.

“As the old saying goes, without land, a farmer is nothing. Thus, we call on support from different sectors for the Hacienda Luisita farm workers. The feudal control of the Cojuangco-Aquinos has been long overdue and must be terminated,” Canlas ended. #
 

     
     

Hacienda Luisita Campaign
#HaciendaLuisita UPDATE:
Ang mga magsasaka pa ang kinasuhan ng SERIOUS PHYSICAL INJURY. Sino ang nanira ng mga pananim, nanira ng kubo, nanutok ng shotgun, nanapak, nangkaladkad, nanakot at nandahas?
Sa larawan si Jose Darlino Baldiviano ay hinabol, kinaladkad, pinagsusuntok at pinagtulungan ng PNP Tarlac.

           
     



Read full news report here
 

Hacienda Luisita Campaign Facebook
2 hours ago (Dec. 22)
#HaciendaLuisita ALERT:o

Nakaambang ibuldozer sa araw na ito ang sinasakang lupa ni Florida "Pong" Sibayan, kasalukyang Chairman ng AMBALA. Hinarangan na ng lupa ang mga daanan ng magsasakang nakapagtatanim pa sa ibang bahagi ng lupa, pero ngayong araw na ito total ban na sa pagpasok sa kinakamkam nilang lupa. Tinakot pa si Gonzales, vice-chariman ng ULWU at nagsasaka sa ilang bahagi ng 268 hectares na kinakamkam na lupa ng TADECO. Banta ng mga guard, "tatawag lang ho ako papabitbit namin kayo sa pulis, alis na lang ho kayo!"

Hindi na umalis sa Baranggay Balite ang mga nakapatig na SWAT team, pati ang mahigit 50 imported na pulis na walang nametag, at sa banggit ng masa ay mula sa Pangasinan at Pampanga pa.
Serve and Protect ba kamo? Nasaan ang Hustisya?
Merry Christmas ba ito ng Rehimeng Aquino?
(Ang pinoprotektahan ng mga pulis e ang Buldozer na nangwawasak ng mga kubo at pananim ng maralitang magsasaka!)

     
     

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XMAS @ #HACIENDALUISITA:
VIOLENT, ILLEGAL ARREST OF FARMERS
FACT SHEET

I. CASE PROFILE

Violation: Destruction of Crops
Date of Incident: December 12 to 21, 2013
Place of Incident: Brgy. Balete, Tarlac City

Violation: Violent & Illegal Arrest & Detention Date of Incident: December 21, 2013
Place of Incident: Brgy. Balete, Tarlac City

I. VICTIMS:

Victims are identified to be residents of Barangays Balete and Asturias in Hacienda Luisita and are members of Alyansa ng Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (AMBALA)

1. Rod Acosta
2. Eufemia Acosta
3. Ronald Sakay
4. Jose Baldiviano
5. Elsa Baldiviano
6. Manuel Mandigma
7. Mamerto Mandigma
8. Vicente Sambo

III. POSSIBLE PERPETRATORS:

-JOSE “PEPING” COJUANGCO
-Tarlac Police Provincial Office Director, SENIOR SUPERINTENDENT ALEX SINTIN
-Tarlac City Police Chief, SUPERINTENDENT BAYANI RAZALAN
-TADECO (Tarlac Development Corporation) representative VILLAMOR LAGUNERO.
-AL MARTINEZ, bulldozer operator
-BODGIE AGANON, private armed personnel of Peping Cojuangco
-Security guards of TADECO based in Barangay Balete headed by MAURO DELA CRUZ, chief of Great Star Security Agency
-Police personnel under Tarlac Provincial Police Office

IV. POSSIBLE MOTIVE:

Cojuangco family / TADECO land grabbing, refusal to abide by 2012 Supreme Court decision to distribute Hacienda Luisita to farmers

V. INCIDENT

DECEMBER 21, 2013; at about 3:30 p.m.

Two police mobile cars, 2 vans of SWAT and 30 security guards of Tarlac Development Corporation (TADECO) including a bulldozer went to the hut of Raymund Alcaide in Brgy. Balete where farm workers led by the AMBALA have converged to defend their right to the land.

During the confrontation, security guards of TADECO told the farm workers that they will continue bulldozing the land that the farmers have been cultivating since 2005 and which TADECO is now claiming to be theirs. The farm workers asked the guards if the latter have with them a copy of any order from the court or the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) that would legally justify the said clearing of contested land. They also showed the police officers and the security guards a notice of land reform coverage of DAR published by the Philippine Star last December 17, which proves that the land Cojuangcos are claiming to be theirs are covered by land reform and should be distributed to farm workers. Even Tarlac City Councilor Emmy Ladera who negotiated on behalf of the farmers was not recognized by TADECO representative Villamor Lagunero, the guards headed by the chief of Great Star Security Agency, Mauro dela Cruz, and the police directly supervised on that day by no less than the Tarlac PNP Provincial Director Alex Sintin, and Tarlac City PNP OIC Chief Bayani Razalan.

Witnesses claim that Jose “Peping” Cojuangco, Jr., one of the owners of TADECO, was inside a closed van which was part of the convoy of police vehicles, and that police officials and security men directly consulted with the presidential uncle.

The police officers and guards brushed off the arguments of the farm workers and proceeded with bulldozing the rice fields of the family of Melchor Ramos. Farmers pleaded with police to stop the destruction of their crops. Elderly women farmers even laid on the ground before the bulldozers but a certain Al Martinez proceeded to operate the bulldozer. The TADECO guards, with the go signal of the PNP, also destroyed the newly rebuilt hut of farmer Raymond Alcaide.

When the farm workers tried to stop the TADECO guards, PD Sintin ordered their arrest. Arrested were Vicente Sambo who was also mauled; Rod and his mother Eufemia Acosta, Ronald Sakay, husband and wife Jose & Elsa Baldiviano, and Manuel and Mamerto Mandigma. They were brought to Camp Macabulos, the provincial police headquarters located in Tarlac City.

TADECO started bulldozing the rice fields of Brgy. Balete farmers on December 12, the same day that the DAR issued a Notice of Coverage declaring that the particular 358-hectare disputed land is in fact part of the Hacienda Luisita agricultural estate that must be subjected to land reform. The DAR notice was published by the Philippine Star last December 17.

Besides the police and armed security guards, the AFP through the 3rd Mechanized Battalion also set up a military camp in the same place where rice lands cultivated by prominent leaders of AMBALA are located. ###

Photos of bulldozers in Hacienda Luisita since Dec 12 https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.630941576947154&type=1

 

     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     

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Press Release
Dec.23, 2013

References:
Cristina “Tinay” Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-3162831
Angge Santos, Media Liaison, 0918-9790580

Arrest of Hacienda Luisita workers a display of BS Aquino’s power trip—Karapatan

Karapatan calls for the immediate pullout of all State military forces, led by the 3rd Mechanized Battalion, paramilitary troops, police, and company guards in Hacienda Luisita “for they are used by BS Aquino to defy Supreme Court decision and the Department of Agrarian Reform’s Notice of Coverage to redistribute the lands to the farmer-workers of Hacienda Luisita.”

On December 21, eight farm workers were arrested because they tried to stop the Tarlac Development Corporation (TADECO) from bulldozing the rice fields of farm workers in Brgy. Balete in Hacienda Luisita. Those arrested were: Vicente Sambo, who was also mauled; Rod Acosta and his mother Eufemia Acosta; Ronald Sakay; husband and wife Jose and Elsa Baldiviano; and, Manuel and Mamerto Mandigma. The two women were later released, while six others are still detained at the Philippine National Police in Camp Macabulos, Tarlac.

“We demand the immediate release of the six farmworkers victimized by BS Aquino’s ultimate power trip to protect the interests of the Cojuangco-Aquino family. The BS Aquino government should stop using the military and other state forces to resolve the long-standing agrarian dispute in HLI, or elsewhere in the country where such conflict is widespread,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.

The police and armed TADECO guards, the military through the 3rd Mechanized Battalion set up a camp in the areas where the farmers have started cultivating and planting rice as an assertion of their ownership to the lands inside the HLI.

On December 12, TADECO started bulldozing the rice fields in Brgy. Balete. These areas, as contained in the DAR’s Notice of Coverage are up for distribution.

The distribution of the HLI lands to the workers-farmers has long been stalled as the “Cojuangcos and Aquinos continue to resist court orders, and instead, resorts to the use of force; flaunting their arrogance because a member of the clan is now the Commander in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.”

Palabay noted, “This is not the first time that such arrests and other gross human rights violations happened. We have not forgotten the series of killings of farmers and leaders of AMBALA and ULWU, and the massacre that were committed against the rightful owners, the worker-farmers, of Hacienda Luisita.”

“This same scenario is happening in many parts of the country. This is how blood-stained the hands of the BS Aquino government are. And, the people are keeping tabs,” Palabay ended. ###

 

     
     
           
     
     
     

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Reference:
Florida "Pong" Sibayan (09293201477)
Chairperson: AMBALA

Farm Workers Assert Right to Land in Hacienda Luisita

More than a hundred farmers asserting their right to plant rice were again stopped by more than 50 security guards, police and military forces in Barangay Balete, Hacienda Luisita. The farm workers though continued with their protest action against the land grabbing activities of Tarlac Development Corporation (TADECO).

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) had already filed a notice of coverage over these lands since January 2, 2006. It has done nothing though to stop TADECO’s actions and in fact has even supported this Cojuangco owned company by claiming that these lands are not covered by land reform. In effect, it is DAR which is instigating the land dispute in the Hacienda.

Today’s protest action by the Alyansa ng Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (AMBALA) was joined by Tarlac City Councilor Emmy Ladera and Barangay Captain Rodel Galang and other barangay officials in Balete. They tried to negotiate on behalf of the farm workers but were told that any rice planted in said area would be bulldozed.

TADECO has already bulldozed more than 50 hectares of farm lands in Balete earlier. It has also filed a court case against more than a hundred farm workers in Balete and Cutcut. Other than that the military and police forces have been used to intervene on behalf of TADECO. The headquarters of the 31st Mechanized Infantry Company is situated inside the land grabbed lands.

Besides DAR, President Aquino should be held accountable for the ongoing situation in the Hacienda. Pnoy has the gall to entertain a criminal like Janet Napoles and look into personally into the recent robbery in SM North but does not give a damn to the ongoing land dispute in Hacienda Luisita which is owned by his family.
 

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[PRESS RELEASE] AMBALA |
December 23, 2013 at 7:48am
PRESS Release

Date: December 23, 2013

Reference: Rosario “Rudy” Corpuz
Media Relations Officer - AMBALA
09277686383

Alyansa ng Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (AMBALA) reviles the destruction of tomatoes, string beans, bananas and other vegetable crops of Raymond Alcarde, including the .4 hectare of palay of Sebia Ramos, and total demolition of a farmer’s hut owned also by Raymond Alcarde and the illegal arrest of five (5) men namely, Mamerto Mandigma, Jose Darlino Baldiviano, Rod Acosta, and Ronald Sakay, all of Barangay Balite, and Vicente Sambu of Barangay Asturias, Tarlac City, Hacienda Luisita, yesterday December 21, 2013, by security personnels of Great Star Security Agency, hired by Tarlac Development Corporation (TADECO), together with Tarlac Police Director Alex Quentin, Tarlac City’s Chief of Police Bayani Razalan and more or less (50) of their policemen and (20) twenty men of SWAT in the latest landgrabbing measure of the Cojuangco-Aquino family, hiding from and robbing large parcels of land originally part of the 6,443 hectares of land promised to the farmers of Hacienda Luisita.

TADECO had partnered with the farmworkers in 1989 to implement the bogus land reform in Hacienda Luisita through the now proven inefficient stock distribution option scheme. Under the dubious scheme, the farmers contributing their lands to the company, and the company contributing their machinery, milling plant, and other capital other than land, joined assets together to form the now Hacienda Luisita Incorporated or HLI. Under the November 1989 SDO, the farmers’ lands were substantially reduced only at 4,915 hectares. Little did the farmers know that a few months after in 1990, these lands were further subdivided into parcels of land to hide, cheat and rob the farmers of the actual size of distributable lands they are entitled to utilize.

“Ito na pala, yung sinasabi sa Supreme Court decision na dapat hanapin, na kung may mga lupa pang agrikultural lagpas sa tinukoy na 4,915 hectares na nasa boundaries pa ng Hacienda Luisita, ay kasama itong ipamamahagi sa amin,” quips Rosario “Rudy” Corpuz, resident of Baranggay Cutcut II, AMBALA’s spokeperson.

“Sila din naman ang tumulong sa amin maghanap. Yung panlilinlang nila sa tambiolo land reform na binobola pa kami at inilalayo sa mismong mga baranggay namin, yun na pala yun dahil may mga kinupit na lupa sa baranggay namin kaya di na kakasya para sa amin. Tapos kinasuhan pa kami ng Unlawful Detainer, malalaman tuloy namin ano ang mga tct numbers ng mga lupang kinakamkam nila, at makikita namin ang ligal na kasaysayan nitong di matatago na nakatatak sa papel ng titulo. Kasi syempre yung mga title magsasabi yan ng mga kwentong pinagdaanan ng lupa, kung saan nasangla, nabenta, nalipat, at iba pa. Dun na namin malalamang, ito na yung pinahahanap ng Supreme Court,” adds Tatay Rudy.

As a result of the long-running November 2004 picket protest lasting for a year, that also gave birth to the now infamous Hacienda Luisita Massacre, the Presidential Agrarian Reform Commission (PARC) issued an order nullifying the SDO, and ordering for the immediate total land distribution in Hacienda Luisita. In light of the decision notwithstanding the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) it later acquired, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) – Provincial Agrarian Reform Office (PARO –Tarlac) issued on January 2, 2006 three (3) Notices of Coverage specifically TCT No. 30415 (Lot 621-C), TCT No. 215100 (Lot 3), and TCT No. 30414 (Lot 2136), hence subject for land distribution—the very same land at dispute today.

“Gusto naming tanungin ang DAR National at PARO, bakit may Notices of Coverage pero hindi kasama sa binolang lupa sa amin? At bakit may Notices of Coverage na nitong January 2, 2006 pero naglalabas pa sila ng bagong Notice of Coverage na nilabas nila sa publikasyon ng Philstar na may petsang December 17, 2013? Inuusog lang ba nila ang 30 days na taning at pinahahaba pa’t binibigyang pagkakataong muli ang TADECO na mag-apela para magretain ng bahagi ng lupa na kanila, magtukoy ng sarili nilang heir beneficiaries, o magpasa ng aplikasyon para sa conversion order habang dahil may January 2, 2006 coverage na at di sila nakapag-apela e dapat tapos na ang kanilang pagkakataong mag-apela? Tanong din namin, kung walang approved conversion order, ligal ba ang pagpapalit gamit ng lupa? Nagpapaskil na sila ng ‘SOON TO RISE’ pero nasaan ang kanilang conversion order? May hawak kaming December 13, 2013 DAR Certification na nagsasabing walang ganung record ang TADECO,” chorused in unison by farmer members of AMBALA, the largest consolidated farmer groups in Hacienda Luisita.

“Kami ang aktuwal na nagbubungkal ng lupa sa mahabang panahon (9 years na simula nang matapos ang welga), at napakahaba na ng ipinaglaban naming dito sa lupang ito. Napakinabangan na ito ng mga Cojuangco-Aquino, huwag na silang sobrang ganid, pero hindi e. Kami ang nasa tama, kami ang may ligal at istorikal na karapatan, pero heto sila na parang kanila ang Tarlac, kanila ang Pilipinas, kanila ang mundo!” says Raymond Alcarde, resident of Baranggay Balite, and whose hut had been demolished.

AMBALA’s pictures shows PNP policemen covering and protecting the bulldozer as it razed to the ground the lowly humble hut of Raymond Alcarde. His only crime was to defend his banana and vegetable crops along with his inalienable rights as a human person.

”Inaalisan na nila kami ng dignidad! Hindi kami papayag dun, pero anong magagawa namin sa kanilang mga bulldozer, shotgun, at de-sabog na armas? Ni hindi nga nila pinansin at pinakinggan nang mamagitan ang konsehal ng bayan, o ang kapitan ng aming baranggay,” pertaining to Councilor Emmy Ladera of Tarlac City and Barangay Captain Rodel Galang of Barangay Balite, who were both present to defend the rights of the farmers.

“Humiga pa yung mga matatanda sa amin sa harap ng bulldozer, wala silang takot! Sasagasaan talaga nila!” he further adds.

The PNP together with the SWAT have arrested five men of Baranggay Balite, all present only to defend their crops, huts, and their dignities. “Ipa-medikal dapat ang mga kasama namin, kinaladkad sila, binuhat na parang mga baboy, pinagbubuntal at pinagpapalo ng metal shield, ang iba sa amin tinutukan pa ng shotgun, makikita naman sa mga larawan na nakuha namin! Itatanong pa ba namin kung makatao pa ba ito?!” an exasperated elderly Nanay Mercy Fernandez, the village local komadrona.

The bulldozers have razed and destroyed almost 35 hectares of fertile lands including palay and vegetable crops, and had cost damages now totaling to almost 2,700,000 pesos in lost profits for three months of work on speculated crop yields this December 2013, and almost 1,400,000 pesos in lost capital for the last three months of work dedicated for speculated crop yields this December 2013, and another 150,000 pesos in damages to properties (farmer huts, including lost livestock robbed by the TADECO security guards). But destruction remains to continue and lost in capital and profits increases as the bulldozer damages widens.

“Nagtataka talaga kami kung saan sila humuhugot ng tapang para maging ganito kasama,” Nanay Mercy quips.

“Personal at private army nila ang Philippine National Police pati ang Philippine Army! Pati yung SWAT employed to serve and protect TADECO properties!” says Tatay Rudy.

The 3rd Mechanized Division of the Philippine Army holds barracks and camp inside the TADECO disputed land. While December 21, 2013 intimidation, harassment, grave coercion, demolition, and destruction where activities duly licensed by the 31st Infantry Batallion, and Tarlac PNP with the personal presence of their Provincial Police Director Alex Quentin, and City’s Chief of Police Bayani Razalan to supervise the inhumane ravaging and violation of human rights of TADECO.

Impunity continuous to reign in Hacienda Luisita. If for simple crimes of robbery in a famous mall in Quezon City attracted the personal attention of President Benigno “Noynoy” Cojuangco-Aquino, why not these long-running large-scale robbery of pocketing thousands of hectares of land to dodge and evade land reform beneficial to thousands of farmer beneficiaries? Are not this a must, and therefore should merit his top most priority? It does spells a lot on what weighs most in his interests.

AMBALA will hold a forum today at 8:00 am in Baranggay Balite, Hacienda Luisita. Later today, we will also hold picket-protests at Camp Macabulos where five (5) farmworkers were again illegally arrested and at F. Tanedo, making sure the Hacienda Luisita issue gets to jump on each rush-sale-basket-full of Christmas spirit in the city into other people’s concern.

Let us remain to be vigilant as the fight for Land and Justice in Hacienda Luisita still have a longer story of deceit to unfurl. #

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     
           

.Uma Pilipinas
December 24, 2013


Hacienda Luisita farmers released, vow to file countercharges; P-Noy, Mar challenged to investigate PNP, Cojuangcos for violent arrest, destruction of crops

Five Hacienda Luisita farmers nabbed by Tarlac police and armed guards and goons of Cojuangco firm TADECO were released from Camp Macabulos in Tarlac City yesterday, after the City Prosecutor’s Office junked the false and ridiculous charges filed by the Cojuangcos to justify the violent arrest and detention.

“Dapat parusahan ang mga responsable sa karahasang ito laban sa aming mga magsasaka,” said Florida “Pong” Sibayan, acting chairperson of farmworkers alliance AMBALA. Since December 12, armed personnel of TADECO started bulldozing farmers’ crops and property with the active assistance of Tarlac police.

The Cojuangco firm Tarlac Development Corporation (TADECO) tried to file charges of trespassing, coercion, direct assault and physical injuries against 5 out of the 8 farmers nabbed in the violent confrontation between armed guards assisted by police and defenseless farmers in Barangay Balete, Saturday. Two women and Manuel Mandigma were immediately released while 5 others namely Vicente Sambu, Jose Baldeviano, Mamerto Mandigma, Rod Acosta and Ronald Sakay remained in detention for 2 nights and 3 days in Camp Macabulos. Of these absurd charges, only the case of physical injury lodged by a lone TADECO security guard passed inquest proceedings and was subsequently junked by the city prosecutor for lack of probable cause.

In a resolution, Tarlac City Prosecutor Hermo Manglicmot ruled that “it appearing (sic) that the respondents also suffered injuries” as attested by medical certificates. Vicente Sambu bore signs of mauling with a swollen face and a black eye, while Jose Baldeviano still suffers from fever due to infection. Others bore prominent bruises, cuts and scratches in different parts of the body. The farmers, who were escorted by Anakpawis Partylist Rep. Fernando Hicap and former congressman and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) chair Rafael Mariano, stepped out of Camp Macabulos around 4:30 pm yesterday and were immediately welcomed and cheered by a crowd of supporters holding a picket outside.

Despite mainstream media indifference on the violence in Hacienda Luisita, peasant advocates, progressive groups, concerned netizens and supporters like Tarlac City Councilor Emy Ladera-Facunla tirelessly assisted to create awareness on the current Luisita situation. The Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) also helped secure the farmers’ immediate release.

AMBALA meanwhile believes that criminal and civil charges should be filed against Peping and TADECO while criminal and administrative charges should be filed against all the police officers. “Their abuse of power must stop. We will file charges against the Cojuangcos, their minions in the local police force and even the prosecution attorneys who file these trumped-up charges against farmers and their supporters to justify their illegal arrests,” said Atty. Jobert Pahilga, AMBALA’s legal counsel.
 

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Presidential uncle Jose “Peping” Cojuangco, Jr. is believed to have directly ordered no less than the newly-appointed Tarlac Provincial Police Director Senior Supt. Alex B. Sintin to personally command the violent arrest of the farmers last December 21. Supt. Sintin was seen going back and forth to consult with somebody inside a closed van parked near the site of the confrontation. Tarlac City Chief of Police Supt. Bayani Razalan was also present during the incident.
 

The Unyon ng Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) meanwhile challenged President Aquino and DILG Secretary Mar Roxas to go after abusive police officials catering to the whims of the Cojuangco family. “Kung totoong nasa matuwid na daan ang pamahalaang Aquino, dapat nitong parusahan ang mga abusado kahit ano pa ang apelyido – Binay man yan, Roxas, Romualdez o Cojuangco,” said Ranmil Echanis, acting secretary general of UMA.

UMA further noted that the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) should be equally liable for the violence because of its shameless collusion with the Cojuangco family’s bid to retain hundreds of hectares of agricultural land in several barangays of Hacienda Luisita, and not just in Barangays Balete and Cutcut. The DAR has yet to act on a motion for revocation of a 1996 order to convert 500 hectares of land that remain agricultural to this day. This includes hundreds of hectares of agricultural land fenced by RCBC reserved for its commercial ventures with the Cojuangcos.

“The DAR did not lift a finger when TADECO bulldozed farmers’ crops and openly defied its Notice of Coverage on the very same day this was issued,” said Echanis. “The DAR’s pronouncements betray its barefaced bias for the Cojuangcos. The DAR is only trying to cover up its complete sabotage of the 2012 Supreme Court (SC) ruling by issuing a new notice. After the violence, the DAR is still threatening farmers with disqualification as land reform beneficiaries for cultivating land that they essentially own. The DAR cannot get away with its collusion with the Cojuangcos or with its constant lie that contested TADECO lands are not part of the 2012 SC decision.”

“The SC ruling clearly stated that the DAR should cover ALL agricultural lands within Hacienda Luisita. It was only after AMBALA filed a motion to cite the DAR in contempt of court that the DAR decided to issue this notice of coverage,” said Atty. Pahilga.

Sibayan added: “The public must know that not an inch of Hacienda Luisita land has been physically distributed by the DAR to farm worker beneficiaries up to this very moment. The DAR issued photocopies of Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) documents to thousands of farm worker beneficiaries in October, pertaining to .66 hectare farm lots in locations unknown to us so called ‘beneficiaries’ until now. How can farmers live with only a piece of paper in their hands?”

AMBALA received reports that DAR personnel went around the contested property in Brgy. Balete today, Christmas eve, with the assistance of PNP SWAT elements. According to reports, DAR personnel put up tarpaulin announcements prohibiting TADECO from continuing clearing operations. However, the signs also warned farmers not to enter the lots to tend to their crops, a threat that the PNP SWAT is actively enforcing through sustained patrols around the area even during the holidays. TADECO guards led by Mauro dela Cruz reportedly barred DAR personnel from inspecting the bulldozed areas. Cojuangco guards and goons are still actively securing choice agricultural land in Luisita and continued bulldozing operations in another area today, sugarcane plantations near the Homesite adjacent to Brgy. Cutcut, despite the DAR’s issuance of a Notice of Land Reform Coverage.
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Facebook UMA note:
Hacienda Luisita Campaign
?#?HaciendaLuisita?

Kahapon ng hapon, apat sana ang kaso na gusto nilang isampa sa mga magsasaka ng Hacienda Luisita. Trespassing, Grave Coercion, Malicious Mischief, at Serious Physical Injuries. Hindi makalulusot ang tatlo, mananagot pa ang mga pulis dahil di nila maipaliwanag ang kanilang presensya Sabado ng hapon sa Hacienda Luisita. Makakalusot sa inquest ang Physical Injuries. Isang guard diumano ang nabalian ng buto, dahil sa pagtatangol ng mga magsasaka sa kanilang lupa. Pero last two-minute shot naihabol natin ang Medico Legal ng 5 magsasakang naikulong. 3 araw na ay maga pa at kulay lila pa ang mata sa kanan ni Vicente Sambu, may bali sa wrist sina Rod Acosta at Mamerto Mandigma. Nabugbog sa sikmura at may mga pasa at bukol si Jose Baldiviano. Malaki ang sugat sa palad ni Ronald Sakay nang mapahawak sa barbed wire, may mga pasa din sa katawan. Mabilis na inihabol ng City Prosecutor na huwag nang maiangat ang kaso, dismiss ang reklamong walang batayan, dahil ang totoo ay di magsisinungaling. Sila pa nga ang dapat na makasuhan ng mga magsasaka for trespassing, damages to properties and livestocks and crops, at serious physical injuries.

Malaya ang mga magsasaka. Walang kaso na naisampa. Dismiss ang reklamo. At tayo naman ang magsasampa ng kaso sa kanila.
 

Mapagpalayang Pasko sa Sambayanang Pilipino mula sa mga manggagawang-bukid ng Hacienda Luisita!

Tarlac City prosecutor junks ridiculous charges filed by Cojuangco firm TADECO against #HaciendaLuisita farmers violently arrested on Saturday by Cojuangco security guards, goons and the Tarlac Provincial Police. The farmers stepped out of Camp Macabulos, Tarlac City around 4:30pm yesterday to a jubilant crowd of fellow farmers led by AMBALA, ULWU and youth group SAKDAL, family, and supporters led by Anakpawis Partylist Representatives Rafael Mariano and Fernando Hicap, Tarlac City Councilor Emy Ladera-Facunla, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, Uma Pilipinas, Sinagbayan Nasyunal, Tanggol Magsasaka and Hacienda Luisita Campaign.

TULOY ANG LABAN! LUPA AT HUSTISYA PARA SA MGA MAGBUBUKID NG HACIENDA LUISITA!

           
     
 
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PEPING ORDERS VIOLENT ARREST OF HACIENDA LUISITA FARMERS

Tension in the controversial Hacienda Luisita continues to escalate as eight farmers who tried to prevent armed PNP personnel and Tarlac Development Corporation (TADECO) guards from bulldozing their farmlands, were arrested yesterday at around four in the afternoon allegedly upon the orders of TADECO owner and presidential uncle Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr.

During the confrontation, security guards of TADECO told the farm workers that they will continue bulldozing the land that the farmers have been cultivating for decades and which TADECO is now claiming to be theirs. The farm workers asked the guards if the latter have with them a copy of any order from the court or the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) that would legally justify the said clearing of contested land. They also showed the police officers and the security guards a notice of land reform coverage of DAR published by the Philippine Star last December 17, which proves that the land Cojuangcos are claiming to be theirs are covered by land reform and should be distributed to farm workers.

Even Tarlac City Councilor Emmy Ladera who negotiated on behalf of the farmers was not recognized by TADECO representative Villamor Lagunero, the guards headed by the chief of Great Star Security Agency, Mauro dela Cruz, and the police directly supervised on that day by no less than the Tarlac PNP Provincial Director Alex Sintin, and Tarlac City PNP OIC Chief Bayani Razalan.

“Nakiusap ako sa mga hepe ng pulis, peo nagbingi-binghan sila. The DILG and DOJ must investigate this injustice perpetrated by PNP personnel in Tarlac,” said Councilor Ladera-Facunla. Facunla is the sister of Tarlac City Councilor Abel Ladera, who was assassinated in 2005 in relation to the agrarian unrest in Hacienda Luisita.

Witnesses allege that Jose “Peping” Cojuangco, Jr. was inside a closed van which was part of the convoy of police vehicles, and that police officials and security men directly consulted with the presidential uncle.

“Mga halimaw sila, Paskong-Pasko, ganito ang ginagawa nila sa Hacienda Luisita,” said Florida “Pong” Sibayan of AMBALA.

The police officers and guards brushed off the arguments of the farm workers and proceeded with bulldozing the rice fields of the family of Melchor Ramos. Farmers pleaded with police to stop the destruction of their crops. Elderly women farmers even laid on the ground before the bulldozers but a certain Al Martinez proceeded to operate the bulldozer. The TADECO guards, with the go signal of the PNP, also destroyed the newly rebuilt hut of farmer Raymond Alcaide.

“Tinayo na ang kubo ko, giniba pa ninyo. Yung mga manok ko, mga gulay, ninakaw ninyo nilaklak ninyo,” said Alcaide.

When the farm workers tried to stop the TADECO guards, PD Sintin ordered their arrest. Arrested were Vicente Sambo who was also mauled; Rod and his mother Eufemia Acosta, Ronald Sakay, husband and wife Jose & Elsa Baldiviano, and Manuel and Mamerto Mandigma. They were brought to Camp Macabulos, the provincial police headquarters located in Tarlac City.

TADECO started bulldozing the rice fields of Brgy. Balete farmers on December 12, the same day that the DAR issued a Notice of Coverage declaring that the particular disputed area must be subjected to land reform. However, the DAR has already issued a notice of coverage as early as 2006, which is the basis of the landmark 2012 Supreme Court decision ordering the distribution of Hacienda Luisita to thousands of farmworkers.

Besides the police and armed security guards, the AFP through the 3rd Mechanized Battalion also set up a military camp in the same place where rice lands cultivated by prominent leaders of AMBALA are located.

“The police and even Malacanang are liable for this injustice. The Aquino administration’s shameless brandishing of power in Hacienda Luisita is 10 times worse than the Binay power trip,” said Cristina Palabay of human rights group KARAPATAN.

“The public is made to believe that land reform has been accomplished in Hacienda Luisita. This recent incident proves otherwise,” said Anakpawis Rep. Fernando Hicap, himself a victim of illegal arrest with 10 other peasant advocates during a fact-finding mission in Hacienda Luisita last September.
 

     
     
           
     

Walang karapatan ang TADECO sa mga lupa ng Hacienda Luisita! Parang garison at warzone na rito dahil sa pribdaong security at detachment ng militar at CAFGU sa paligid ng mga lupang kinakamkam ng pamilya ni Noynoy Aquino

     

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Press Statement
23 Dec. 2013

We condemn the arrest of 6 Luisita farmers

We condemn the arrest of six farm workers of Hacienda Luisita yesterday. The farm workers have every right to defend their crops from the Tarlac Development Corporation’s bulldozing operations in a piece of land already awarded to them in paper by the Department of Agrarian Reform. We demand the immediate and unconditional release of those arrested.

The farm workers’ arrest and the bulldozing of their crops show how landlords, especially the Cojuangco-Aquino family, maintain their control over lands despite the government’s pretenses at implementing a land reform program. It is revolting that the Cojuangco-Aquino family can mobilize the Philippine National Police and ignore local government officials in carrying out their clearing operations.

We believe that TADECO’s bulldozing operations were approved by no less than Pres. Noynoy Aquino. Despite his promise of distributing Luisita’s lands to farm workers, Aquino has consistently favored his family’s interests in Luisita. He has sided with his family’s maneuvers to maintain control over Luisita despite a Supreme Court ruling ordering the distribution of lands to farm workers.

This act of violence against the farm workers of Luisita caps a year of mounting anger at the Aquino government. The violence inflicted on the farm workers of Luisita is an addition to a list that includes Aquino’s defense of the pork barrel system, his criminal neglect in responding to Yolanda, and his collusion with big capitalists implementing a surge in the prices of basic goods and rates of basic social services. The Aquino government will surely face bigger protests next year.

Reference: Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general, 0928-7215313

     
           
     

Amidst the DAR’s land title distribution activities in Luisita, the Tarlac Development Corporation (TADECO), owned by President Aquino’s family, has been issuing eviction notices to farmworkers and has set up security outposts to aggressively stake claim over hundreds of hectares of prime agricultural lots in Hacienda Luisita. TADECO is also behind the illegal arrest and detention of 11 delegates of a fact-finding mission led by Anakpawis Rep. Fernando Hicap last month.


Tarlac Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator Atty. Marvin V. Bernal refused to confirm or deny reports of TADECO’s renewed landgrabbing in 3 barangays of Hacienda Luisita. Pressed by AMBALA to comment on TADECO’s eviction notices and outposts, DAR officials said that they have yet to verify if the tracts of land in question are indeed owned by the said company, and whether or not these are planted to agricultural crops.

Agrarian Reform Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Anthony Parungao, also denied knowledge of the TADECO issue at the meeting yesterday. This despite his earlier pronouncements to media since September that the DAR’s field personnel have already found out that lands referred to in the eviction notices are indeed owned by TADECO and are classified as residential according to tax declarations.

“DAR USec Parungao has shamelessly defended the Cojuangco-Aquino clan and TADECO in his previous media statements – arrogantly justifying TADECO’s claims to tracts of land that are obviously agricultural in nature. Ngayong kaharap na kami, biglang hindi na nila alam ang tungkol sa TADECO, at kukumpirmahin pa raw nila,” said Garcia.

“Ang palusot ng DAR, hindi raw kasama ang mga lupaing ito sa dapat ipamahagi batay sa desisyon ng Korte Suprema,” said Garcia. Even if the SC ruled that the DAR should subject to agrarian reform all agricultural lands held by TADECO, the DAR lawyers dismissed the farmworkers’ plea by saying the action on TADECO “is not dispositive.” Parungao however affirmed that if the land claimed by TADECO is indeed agricultural, the DAR “under ordinary course of business,” will have to place it under land reform coverage. “Ano pa ang hinihintay ng DAR kung ganun?” Garcia asked.

Only 117 lots were listed for distribution in Balete, to displace majority or 583 out of Balete’s total of 700 FWBs. According to DAR, all 500 hectares of a contested “converted area” is located in Balete, while denying knowledge of more than 200 hectares in the same barangay claimed by TADECO. In Mapalacsiao, only 144 lots are to be distributed, also to displace the majority or 671 out of 815 beneficiaries in the barangay. Meanwhile, around 100 hectares of land are being “secured” by TADECO armed guards in Barangay Cutcut.

“It is now very clear that the Cojuangco-Aquino clan is the real beneficiary of the DAR’s sabotage of land reform in Hacienda Luisita,” Garcia ended.

DAR, APOLOGISTS FOR COJUANGCO-AQUINO LAND GRAB IN LUISITA!

DAR ‘working at the pleasure of the President’ to exclude choice TADECO lots from distribution

The Alyansa ng mga Mangggawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (AMBALA) assailed the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) for acting as rabid apologists and over-eager “field facilitators” for the Cojuangco-Aquinos' renewed landgrabbing efforts in Hacienda Luisita.

In a dialogue held yesterday at the DAR’s main office in Quezon City, AMBALA criticized DAR officials for withholding the latest Luisita land survey from the group. “Matagal na naming hinihingi ang survey para makita mismo sa mapa kung alin ang mga lupa na dapat ipamahagi sa amin at kung nasaan ang mga lupang kinakamkam ng TADECO,” said Christopher Garcia, AMBALA spokesperson.

“Working at the pleasure of the President’ means that the DAR has acted in behalf of the President’s family to exclude these choice TADECO lots from distribution to the farm worker beneficiaries (FWBs) in barangays Cutcut, Balete and Mapalacsiao,” said Garcia.
 

     
     

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Hacienda Luisita Campaign
December 17
UPDATE:

Mula noong December 12, 2013 na pagbubuldozer sa mga tanim na palay at gulay nagpatuloy ito hanggang sa araw na ito. Kanina, sinubukan pa din ng mga magsasaka na pumasok para magtanim, sa kabila ng banta na dadaanan lang din ito ng mga buldozer gaya ng mga katabing ektaryang nabuldozer na.

Hinarang at pinigilan si Willy Sibayan, at ang mga magsasakang kasama nya para sa kolektibong pagtatanim ng palay. Kung hindi maitatanim ang binhi sa lalong madaling panahon, masisira na ang punla. Inalala pa nila ito imbes na manghina ang loob sa patuloy na paninira ng mga buldozer na padala ng mga Cojuangco-Aquino sa pamamagitan ng kumpanya nitong TADECO.

Nakapiket ang isang daang magsasaka ngayon sa Baranggay Balite, at inaasahang dumami sila mamayang hapon, sa harap ng kubo ni Raymond Alcarde, 60 y/o magsasaka at residente ng Baranggay Balite. Matatandaang noong Dec 13, ang kubo nya ay pinuwestuhan ng mga security guard ng Great Star sa utos ng OIC nitong si Mauro Dela Cruz. Sinira ang dingding nito, nawala ang kanyang 5 manok, tatlong bulig ng mga gulay na inani at dapat na maitinda. Ang kubo ni Apong Boy Alcarde ang magsisilbi sanang BUNGKALAN CENTER, matapos mawash-out ni Santi ang dating kubol, na ngayo'y nabuldozer na din ng mga utusan ng TADECO.

"Hindi na kami aalis dito!" ang koro na sagot ng mga magsasaka ng Baranggay Balite.

Inaanyayahan ang midya, at ang mga taga-suporta na makiisa sa mga magsasaka ng Asyenda Luisita. Pakipost-repost ang mga update. Dumalaw sa piket. Maglunsad ng mga pagkilos na susuhay sa nagpapatuloy na laban ng mga magsasaka.

Patuloy ang panawagan namin na mag-ambagan tayo ng mga binhi ng punong namumunga, suhi ng saging, binhi ng monggo, at iba pang magagamit para sa Proyektong Bungkalan. BUNGKALAN ang protesta at pagtindig ng magsasaka sa nagpapatuloy na pananakot, panlilinlang at pangangamkam ng mga Cojuangco-Aquino.

Ref. Florida "Pong" Sibayan (09293201477)
Alyansa ng Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita — with Uma Pilipinas and 3 others.

 

     
           
     
     
     

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Farmer groups condemn Tadeco land grabbing in Hacienda Luisita
12/15/20130

The regional farmers group Alyansa ng mga Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luson (Amgl, Farmers’ Alliance in Central Luzon), the provincial group Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Tarlak (Amt) and Alyansa ng Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (Ambala, Farm workers’ Alliance in Hacienda Luisita) condemned the latest land grabbing measures of the Cojuangco-Aquino family, through their controlled firm Tarlac Development Corp. (Tadeco) and president Benigno Simeon (BS) “Noynoy” Aquino’s utilization of government resources for his family’s benefits. Tadeco personnels bulldozed about 10 hectares of farm lands at barangay Balete, cultivated by Ambala members, amidst the deployment of military forces belonging to the 3rd Mechanized Infantry Battalion (3rd Mech) of the Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom).

“We have expected this kind of abuse years before the Supreme Court ordered the distribution of Hacienda Luisita lands. The Cojuangco-Aquino family has no plan of giving up the lands as they schemed to profit by selling them to businesses while government forces serve as their private security guards to keep off protests from farm workers,” Joseph Canlas said, Amgl chairperson.

The groups asserted that since Hacienda Luisita Inc., was established in 1989 as a form of the stock-distribution option (sdo) provisioned by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), the farm workers who worked on the 6,435-hectare sugarlandia plunged to deep poverty and debt, while the Cojuangco-Aquino family enjoyed extravagant and pampered lives. This system of social injustice pushed the farm workers to launch the massive strike on November 6, 2004, when the Cojuangco-Aquinos conspired with the despised Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo government to obtain an “assumption of jurisdiction” (aj) order from former labor secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas. The aj then served as a license for the infamous “Hacienda Luisita massacre” on November 16 which killed 7 farm workers and wounded 121, 32 of which by gunshot wounds.

Ambala reported that on December 12, Tadeco personnels and security guards bulldozed farms at barangay Balete, including the 6-hectare rice lands to be harvested on December 20. Land reform advocates, Hacienda Luisita Peasant Supporters Network (Hlpsn) took photographs of the Tadeco operation destroying crop cultivated by Ambala farm workers. A signboard was set-up stating “development soon to rise,” backdropped by tall buildings similar to commercial business districts in Metro Manila.

“Since Noynoy Aquino took the presidency, genuine land reform in Hacienda Luisita was doomed. With all the state-machineries such as the Dept. of Agrarian Reform (DAR), police and military, and other gov’t agencies, the Cojuangco-Aquino family was determined to keep control over the vast lands of Hacienda Luisita,” Canlas said.

Amgl said that DAR unjustly implemented CARP Extension with “Reforms” (CARPer) that was never mentioned in the Supreme Court decision. Amgl claimed that by implementing CARPer, the interests of the Cojuangco-Aquino family were protected: as the lands covered shrinked to 4,099-hectares, benefiting the Cojuangco-Aquinos allowing them to sell the lands excluded; DAR generated a list of 6,212 farm worker beneficiaries (fwbs) including names that are illegitimate according to Ambala; DAR officials held a “raffle” giving out certificate of land ownership awards (cloa) which was illegal and unreasonable; fwbs were coerced to sign an application to puchase and farmers’ undertaking (apfu) agreement, which the beneficiary would be criminalized on failure to pay amortization; and sugar block farming is promoted by DAR for the lands to be chained to the Cojuangco-Aquinos sugar business.

The groups said that Hacienda Luisita continues to be militarized, which they asserted as part of BS Aquino’s program, Oplan Bayanihan, to intimidate farm workers and foil their protests. The deployment of the military paved way for Tadeco’s fencing of about 500 hectares of land at barangay Balete and Cutcut that evicted farm workers from their cultivated lands as part of their “bungkalan” (cultivation) campaign.

“It is very clear that BS Aquino is a traitor to the Hacienda Luisita farm workers. His schemes through DAR and gov’t forces are all for the protection of his family’s interests. He and his family are drooling over the potential profits of selling vast lands in Hacienda Luisita,” Canlas said.

Amgl said that the plan of the Cojuangco-Aquino family to convert lands in Hacienda Luisita was driven by the recent projects in the region such as the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (Sctex) and Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (Tplex). Tplex recently opened to motorists from Tarlac city to Gerona town. Amgl said that agricultural lands in Tarlac range to P1.3 million to P5 to P6 million per hectare, thus, lands in Hacienda Luisita surrounded by McArthur highway, Sctex and Tplex are definitely to jack up prices. These projects are part of the Metro-Luzon Urban Beltway (Mlub) project in the region which is part of the W-Growth Corridor development plan, began during the Macapagal-Arroyo administration, continued by the BS Aquino government.

“Thus, a mere 500-hectare graded land in Hacienda Luisita would range to about P650 million to P3 billion, money which the Cojuangco-Aquino family is insane about. This is the very reason why the Cojuangco-Aquino family would bring down the heavens just to profit from the lands,” Canlas said.

In response, Amgl called on farm workers of Hacienda Luisita to push on their bungkalan campaign. The bungkalan campaign covered a maximum of 2,000-hectares since 2005, cultivated with rice, vegetables and fruit crops. The campaign concretely gave the poor farm workers a source on income which is far more superior than being laborers of Hacienda Luisita, Inc. under the sdo scheme.

“We call on farm workers, led by Ambala to advance the Hacienda Luisita-wide bungkalan campaign. It is a moral and just cause for the lands to be benefited by those who labored on it and not serve the interest of the parasitic landlord class such as the Cojuangco-Aquinos. Local changes in Hacienda Luisita, accomplished by the peasant class through cultivation is a contribution to the regional and national struggle to effect fundamental reforms. Real development is the upliftment of the socio-economic well-being of the people and not the sheer construction of high-rise buildings and malls,” Canlas called. #

 


▲ Release of illegally arrested farmers ▼
 
     
     
           
           
     
     
     

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Petitioning Benigno Aquino III
Support Free Land Distribution in Hacienda Luisita! Stop Cojuangco-Aquino Landgrabbing! Withdraw Police and Military Deployment in Hacienda Luisita!

Petition by
UMA Pilipinas
We support the struggle of the farm workers and residents of Hacienda Luisita for free land distribution. We also call for the withdrawal of police and military deployment within the area to put a stop to renewed landgrabbing efforts by the Cojuangco-Aquino clan.

According to the April 24, 2012 decision of the Supreme Court, the farm workers are the legitimate owners of Hacienda Luisita. But the landlord clan of the Cojuangco-Aquinos, among them President Benigno “Noynoy”Aquino III and his siblings, has been subverting the SC ruling through anomalous schemes implemented by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

The DAR conducted land allocation through a lottery. This lottery scheme was found not to be random at all, but was utilized to make the DAR’s pre-determined allocation appear to be “fair,” especially among farmworkers who will be compelled to accept land allocation in villages incredibly far from their places of residence.

The DAR warned farmworkers who refused to join the lottery and to sign a document called the APFU (Application to Purchase and Farmers Undertaking) that they would be automatically disqualified from land distribution. The intimidating presence of hundreds of police and military personnel was utilized in a number of barangays, forcing the farmworker-beneficiaries to join this farce. Many were forced to sign the APFU because they were afraid that they would not be given any land. They ask: “why should we sign a piece of paper that says that we are ready to pay for a piece of land that we already own?”

Amidst the fake and unjust land allocation scheme, there are also reports of renewed landgrabbing in Hacienda Luisita. A hundred (100) hectares are being claimed by TADECO in Barangay Cutcut; another hundred hectares in Brgy. Balete is claimed by the Tarlac Development Corporation (TADECO) and the Luisita Realty Corporation (LRC); tracts of agricultural land are also excluded from distribution in Brgy. Mapalacsiao and is claimed by landlord Jose “Peping” Cojuangco himself. The DAR unscrupulously excluded at least 300 hectares of land from distribution, and never showed the beneficiaries and even the Supreme Court the full and detailed result of their survey. TADECO and LRC are Cojuangco-owned companies.

Farmworker beneficiaries also had voted for Ocampo Mendoza Leung and Lim (OMLL) as the accounting firm that would audit their P1.33 billion share in the sale of 580.51 hectares of land sold by Hacienda Luisita, Inc. (HLI) and Centennary Holdings to parties including the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC). But the DAR refused to honor this because the Cojuangco-Aquinos do not approve of the OMLL as auditing firm. Farmworkers assert that the Cojuangcos have no right to choose the firm to audit the assets in question.

There is ongoing militarization in the Hacienda. Military detachments are found in Aqua, Barangay Cutcut and Barangay Pando. Another military detachment is being constructed beside the lot tended by leaders of the local farmworkers alliance, AMBALA in Barangay Balete. Security outposts manned by armed guards are put up by TADECO in Barangays Cutcut and Balete. The presence of soldiers and security guards inside the Hacienda is a sign that the Cojuangco-Aquinos’ have not surrendered their interests as big landlords.

The recent arbitrary and violent arrest of 11 Hacienda Luisita fact-finding mission delegates, not sparing an elected legislator, Congressman Fernando Hicap of Anakpawis (Toiling Masses) Party-list, shows that Hacienda Luisita is indeed under a reign of terror.

President Aquino wants to boast that the extension of the flawed Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARPER) is successful and has earned the wide support of the farmworkers especially within their family’s hacienda. But the DAR’s land allocation scheme proves to be a big hoax practically held at gunpoint. The success of Aquino’s so-called land reform program is dispelled by the continuing struggle of farmworkers for genuine land reform and social justice.

We support the following demands of Hacienda Luisita farmworkers and residents:

1. Implement free distribution of lands to farmworker beneficiaries
2. Declare null and void the distribution of Land Allocation Certificates by the DAR. Actively involve the farmworkers and respect their role and opinion in the process of land distribution in Hacienda Luisita.
3. Stop Militarization. Withdraw all police, military and para-military personnel and detachments within the Hacienda.
4. Distribute all agricultural lands to farmworkers. The DAR must include tracts of land which failed to undergo land conversion.
5. Stop landgrabbing. Any party, especially the Cojuangco-Aquino clan, must desist from physically claiming portions of agricultural land within Hacienda Luisita.
6. Approve OMLL as the accounting firm that would audit the P1.33 billion farmworkers’ share in the sale of HLI assets.
7. Provide AMBALA with a copy of the DAR’s land survey. Grant AMBALA the right to undertake its own survey.
8. Recognize the unity of the farmworkers and support their cooperative production activities and projects such as the “bungkalan” (tillage).

Initial signatories:

Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (Agricultural Workers Union, UMA)
Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya)
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (Peasant Movement of the Philippines, KMP)
Amihan (National Federation of Peasant Women)
NNARRA Youth – National Network of Agrarian Reform Advocates Youth Sector
Tanggol Magsasaka (Peasant Network in Defense of Land and Human Rights)
Sinagbayan – Sining na Naglilingkod sa Bayan (Art for the People)
Anakpawis Partylist
SENTRA – Sentro Para Sa Tunay Na Repormang Agraryo

International/Regional Groups

Coalition of Agricultural Workers International (CAWI)
Pesticide Action Network – Asia Pacific (PAN-AP)
Asian Peasant Coalition (APC)

Canada
Migrante - British Columbia (BC)
Canada Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights

Aotearoa
Philippines Solidarity Network of Aotearoa (PSNA)
Auckland Philippines Solidarity (APS)
Wellington Kiwi Pinoy

India
Oswald Quintal Kudumbam
Vanaja Ramprasad Green Foundation

China
Dou Hong Pesticide Eco-Alternatives Centre

Indonesia
Ario Adityo INDIES

Mongolia
Urantsooj Gombosuren Center for Human Rights & Development

U.S.A.
Judy Hatcher Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA)
Devika Ghai PANNA

Malaysia
Nicholas Mujah Asun Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (SADIA)
Anncelia Brendaline Pesticide Action Network – Asia Pacific (PAN-AP)
Shakunthala Shunmugam (PAN-AP)
Rosmah Ismail (PAN-AP)
Nadarajah Manickam (PAN-AP)

Pakistan
Azra Talay Sayeed Roots for Equity

Sri Lanka
Herman Kumara National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (NAFSO)
Siva Sivapragasam Workers Solidarity Union (WSU)

Senegal
Maimouna DIENE PAN AFRICA

To:
Benigno Aquino III, President, Republic of the Philippines
Department of Agrarian Reform
Support Free Land Distribution in Hacienda Luisita! Stop Cojuangco-Aquino Landgrabbing! Withdraw Police and Military Deployment in Hacienda Luisita!
Sincerely,
[Your name]

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
 
     
     
           
           
           
           

 

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