TERRORIZING THE PEOPLE TO GRAB LAND:
Luisita under Reign of Terror and Impunity,
Wanton disregard for rule of law by BS Aquino's family
 

February 9,  2014

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Photos by UMA, AMGL and others as indicated by the filenames
 Unyon ng Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA)
or National Federation of Agricultural Workers Union – Philippines

UMA serves as the national progressive center of unions, federations,
and organizations of agricultural workers in the Philippines
Website:
http://umaphilippines.wordpress.com/
           
     
     

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Source Verification:
Gi Estrada
Media Officer
09166114181

Luisita under Reign of Terror and Impunity
Wanton disregard for rule of law by BS Aquino's family

Violations by Cojuangco hired thugs, February 8, BS Aquino's birthday:

1. Demolition of farmhuts and destruction of crops owned by farmers Ricky Flores, Rudy Pineda and Florida Sibayan, AMBALA Chairperson.

Sibayan and 20+ other farmers from Bgy, Balete are respondents to an unlawful detainer or ejectment case filed by TADECO last year. The case was recently dismissed (January 24, 2014.) The violent demolition was undertaken by Cojuangco thugs without any court order.

The area in question is part of a notice of land reform coverage issued by the Dept, of Agrarian Reform last December 17. TADECO commenced bulldozing activities around the same time. Five farmers were mauled and arrested during violent bulldozing sortie led by highest Tarlac PNP officials Prov'l Dir. Alex Sintin & Tarlac City Chief Bayani Razalan.

2. Harassment, Coercion, Threat. Farmers were held at gunpoint by Cojuangco thugs as they demolished the farmhuts.

3. Violence against Children, illegal Arrest and Detention. Farmer Ricky Flores' son, Rey, aged 16, tried to capture the destruction of their hut and crops on his cellphone camera. The guards pointed their shotguns at him and hauled him to the local police precinct. Rey Flores was subsequently released to the custody of DSWD representatives and Tarlac City Councilor Emy Ladera-Facunla, herself now facing fabricated charges of trespassing and coercion filed by TADECO, for helping farmers assert thier rights. Facunla is the sister of Councilor Abel Ladera, a victim of extra-judicial killing in 2005.

4. Arson. Huts of farmers Romy Castro and Edgar Aganon were set on fire by Cojuangco thugs, night of February 8.

DESTRUCTION OF CROPS CONTINUE TODAY. ASIDE FROM COJUANGCO THUGS, THE AREA IS HEAVILY GUARDED BY A COMPANY OF SOLDIERS BELONGING TO THE 3RD MECHANIZED BATTALION OF THE AFP, WITH HEADQUARTERS SMACK IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS DISPUTED AREA. COJUANGCO BULLDOZERS ARE PARKED NEXT TO THE ARMY HQ.

Again:

The area in question is NOT COJUANGCO-AQUINO PRIVATE PROPERTY. It should have been covered earlier by the 2012 SC decision to distribute Hacienda Luisita to farmworkers. It is now covered by a notice of land reform coverage issued by the DAR, December 17, 2013.

Unlawful detainer or ejectment charge against Florida Sibayan, et al, has been DISMISSED by MTC Judge de Jesus, January 24, 2014.

Farmworkers alliance AMBALA filed a cease and desist petition vs TADECO before the DAR, December 26, 2013. DAR has yet to act on this urgent petition!

AMBALA members and individual victims of threat, harassment, destruction of crops and property, illegal arrest and detention, robbery etc filed criminal cases vs TADECO guards, PNP before the Department of Justice (DOJ), January 16, 2014. NO updates yet from the DOJ!

A motion to cite DAR and TADECO in contempt of the 2012 SC decision was filed by AMBALA before the Supreme Court, January 16. Nothing yet from the SC!

Meanwhile, Malacanang, the DAR, DOJ, SC, CHR, DILG and all other concerned government agencies are ALL MUM about this issue. PNoy kabarilan Virgie Torres and other landgrab vultures continue to facilitate "aryendo" deals with duped beneficiaries. There is not enough media coverage compared to the "hypercoverage" of other controversial but trivial issues. Are we all waiting for another Hacienda Luisita massacre before we open our eyes?

Attached for your perusal are two pictures:


1.
 


2. Farmer Eddie Castro's hut in Bgy Balete razed to the ground by TADECO-Cojuangco thugs. (Photo by AMBALA)

Earlier today, Feb. 8,  TADECO continued to destroy foodcrops and farmer huts in Barangay Balite Hacienda Luisita, despite local court orders dismissing the UNLAWFUL DETAINER case against the farmworkers.

How brazen and confident can they get? Against court orders and against public policy and against the very soul of agrarian reform. Only a Family backed by the highest post in the land can muster this.
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(Agricultural Workers Union)
Philippines
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Rey Flores, 16, (in black) escorted by Tarlac City Councilor Emy Ladera-Facunla (in white) as he steps out of the agricultural areas unlawfully fenced by Cojuangco firm TADECO. The disputed area is guarded for President Aquino's family by thugs of the Great Star Security Agency, the AFP 3rd Mech Battalion and the Tarlac PNP (in photo).

Rey tried to take cellphone footage of the violent demolition of his family's farmhut in Bgy Balete. For this, he was nabbed by Cojuangco guards for turn-over to police authorities, but was subsequently released to the custody of Tarlac City Councilor Emy Ladera-Facunla and DSWD representatives.

----- UMA

 

     

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DATE: FEBRUARY 7, 2014
REFERENCE: Florida “Pong” Sibayan, acting- Chairperson, AMBALA
CONTACT NO: 09293201477

COJUANGCO-TADECO CONTINUES BULLDOZING SORTIE DESPITE DISMISSAL OF EJECTMENT CASE VS HACIENDA LUISITA FARMERS

President Aquino’s relatives are shamelessly breaking laws in Hacienda Luisita, but Malacanang and concerned government agencies are either mum, slow to respond – or in open collusion with the powerful landlord clan.

This is the statement of Florida “Pong” Sibayan, of Hacienda Luisita farmworkers alliance AMBALA, as the Cojuangco-owned firm Tarlac Development Corporation (TADECO) continues bulldozing agricultural lands and destruction of farmers’ crops within the controversial sugar estate today. The areas in question are covered by a land reform notice (NOC) issued by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) last December.

Earlier, TADECO through its representative Villamor Lagunero, Jr. filed unlawful detainer or ejectment charges against more than a hundred farmers from two barangays. Sibayan, who was also named respondent along with dozens of farmers from Barangay Balete recently received the MTC Resolution penned by Judge Eleanor V. de Jesus dated January 24, 2014 dismissing the case for lack of jurisdiction. AMBALA is represented by SENTRA Executive Director Atty. Jobert Pahilga.

Eighty-one farmers from Barangay Cutcut likewise expect the ejectment charge against them to be dropped. However, TADECO armed guards continue to threaten farmers that they will continue bulldozing agrilands today.

“The Cojuangcos have no respect even for laws made by their own kind. This useless NOC issued by the DAR is under the bogus and anti-peasant Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) enacted by the first Cojuangco-Aquino president, Cory,” said Sibayan. AMBALA believes that these charges – along with the growing number of fabricated criminal cases lodged by TADECO and the Tarlac Police with the help of “Cojuangco pets” in the local courts – were filed to cow and intimidate the farmers and their supporters.

TADECO is staking claim over at least 400 hectares of agricultural land in the villages of Balete and Cutcut. “With the complicity of the DAR and the local police forces and courts in Tarlac,” said Sibayan, “TADECO and the Cojuangcos have been able to destroy our crops, imprison our members, and practically set in motion a grand plan to totally evict us from our villages.”

“The tension in Hacienda Luisita is escalating,” said Ranmil Echanis, secretary general of the Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura. “If real land distribution is not carried out and if militarization in the area continues, we just might see a situation not unlike the period which led to the tragic Hacienda Luisita Massacre of 2004.”’

TADECO started aggressively positioning itself in the disputed lands sometime last August – coinciding with the DAR’s earliest announcements of the imminent completion of land distribution in Hacienda Luisita – when it ordered the setting up of guard posts in Barangays Balete and Cutcut and issued eviction notices to a number of farmers who have long been tilling the said lands.

After their bulldozing sortie in December, TADECO was able to fence the disputed areas in Balete with concrete, barbed wires and iron sheets. At least 22 farmer-families are now practically holed up inside the area, tending their ricefields and crops. Everyday since December, farmers report growing cases of illegal entry of farmhuts, harassment, theft of produce, farm animals, implements and other violations perpetrated by TADECO guards.

A new headquarters of the 3rd Mechanized Batallion of the AFP is also located inside the TADECO fenced area. Farmers report that soldiers conduct regular patrols around the 260-hectare area. Cojuangco bulldozers are also parked near the army headquarters.

“All these point to the fact that what we have right now in Hacienda, to complement the sham land distribution of the DAR, is a reign of terror and impunity,” Sibayan said. AMBALA has pending petitions, motions and complaints before DAR offices, the Department of Justice and the Supreme Court, but all have yet to decisively act on Luisita farmers’ pleas. ##

 

     
     
           
     
     
     

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DATE: FEBRUARY 7, 2014
REFERENCE: Gi Estrada
CONTACT NO.: 09166114181

“ARYENDO,” PART OF BOGUS LAND REFORM IN HACIENDA LUISITA

It is not enough for the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to say that it would investigate BS Aquino’s shooting partner,“Casino Queen” Virginia Torres for her involvement in “aryendo” or informal leasing agreements in Hacienda Luisita.

Such illicit arrangements actually enjoy the DAR’s support. The “aryendo” is practically one of the key components of sham land reform in Hacienda Luisita. This anomaly points to the utter failure of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) and the uselessness of efforts to push for this bogus program’s extension.

The main objective of the Cojuangco-Aquino- backed “aryendo” is to sabotage the “bungkalan” or tillage campaign initiated by the Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (AMBALA) during the peak of the sugar workers’ strike in 2005. Through the coercive and cunning “aryendo” project, these heartless landlords want to prove that farmers are not capable of making the awarded lots productive and do not deserve to own land.

It is also not true that the HLI knows nothing about any leasing agreements between farmers and non-beneficiaries.

After the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) released its decision to distribute land to farmworkers in 2005, the Cojuangco-Aquino family made active the Luisita Estate Management or LEM, a group of financier-agents who serve as Cojuangco dummies to ensure continued sugarcane production for the Cojuangco’s Central Azucarera de Tarlac (CAT), even after land distribution.

LEM like the Hacienda Luisita, Inc (HLI) is one of the many corporate avatars of the Cojuangco-Aquino clan established to dodge land reform or in this case, re-concentrate lands back to this shameless landlord family.

The DAR is helping out with this process by colluding with Torres and other financiers. The DAR is currently conducting “mobile services” where farmers are enticed to sign the promissory note Application to Purchase and Farmers Undertaking (APFU) inside DAR vehicles to instantly receive a photocopy of their Certificate of Land Ownership Award or CLOAs.

The APFU and CLOA are then collected by financier-agents like Torres as a form of collateral before the farmer can avail of the measly Php 7,000-a-year rental of the 0.66 hectare farmlot promised by the government to be distributed to farmworker-beneficiaries. Not an inch of land has been distributed by the DAR to its supposed beneficiaries until now.

In Barangay Mapalacsiao, farmers who have signed the APFUs and received CLOAs in the barangay hall are instantly referred by DAR personnel to yellow financier agents waiting outside. Farmers exchange the CLOAs for the illicit cash rental as the practice is explicitly endorsed by DAR personnel themselves.

Virgie Torres reportedly plans to plant sugarcane in a 5-hectare ricefield tilled by AMBALA members in Mapalacsiao. The DAR never respected the farmers’ bungkalan, as it resorted to the ridiculously absurd allocation of farmlots through the “tambiolo” or lottery drum raffle, instead of awarding farmlots to its rightful tillers.

In its 2012-2013 crop year annual report, HLI’s sister company, the Central Azucarera de Tarlac (CAT) admitted that there are existing sugarcane planters or financiers operating in tracts of lands as vast as 500-700 hectares. Torres is reportedly leasing around 200 hectares in Barangay Mapalacsiao alone.

All these point the total failure, on the one hand, of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program with Extension and Reforms (CARPER), and thus the urgent need, on the other, for the enactment in Congress of the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB). ###

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DATE: JANUARY 29, 2014
REFERENCE: Gi Estrada
CONTACT NO.: 09166114181

P-Noy ‘Kabarilan’ still serving at the pleasure of the President after early retirement
“CASINO QUEEN” NOW “ARYENDO QUEEN” IN HACIENDA LUISITA

Yes Virginia, the former government executive, “Casino Queen” and “kabarilan” is still serving at the pleasure of the President.

Former Land Transportation Office (LTO) Chief Virginia Torres, who was forced into early retirement in October last year after figuring in a controversial Casino video, is now Hacienda Luisita’s newest “Aryendo Queen.”

The lease or “aryendo” is but one of the many maneuvers of the Cojuangco-Aquino family to retain control of the vast sugar estate. Since the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) ruled to distribute Hacienda Luisita to farmworkers in 2005, the Cojuangco-Aquino family established the Luisita Estate Management (LEM). The LEM is a group of financier-agents serving as Cojuangco dummies to counter the “bungkalan”foodcrop production initiative led by AMBALA, and ensure continuous sugarcane production for the Central Azucarera de Tarlac (CAT) sugar mill.

Luisita farmworkers alliance AMBALA reports that Torres now resides in Barangay Mapalacsiao in Hacienda Luisita and has been brokering lopsided and patently illicit lease agreements with cash-strapped farmworker beneficiaries (FWBs) in the said barangay since December 2013.

Torres, known to have seized the plum government position by merely being a “kabarilan” or shooting buddy of President BS Aquino III, is a native of La Paz, Tarlac, and a former scholar of the late Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr. when Ninoy was still administrator of Hacienda Luisita.

Torres has reportedly rented around 200 hectares of agricultural land in Barangay Mapalacsiao alone, collecting from FWBs copies of documents issued by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) such as lot allocation certificates (LAC), the Application to Purchase and Farmers’ Undertaking (APFU) and the Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) as a form of collateral for farmers to avail of the measly Php 7,000 per year rental of the .66 hectare farmlot promised to be distributed by the DAR.

Local DAR personnel and yellow financier-agents like Torres are in open collusion to reconcentrate Luisita land back to the Cojuangcos. The DAR is now desperate to achieve a 100% CLOA distribution rate in Luisita – not to fast track land distribution, but to expeditiously facilitate the disqualification of beneficiaries. The DAR is currently conducting “mobile services” where farmers are enticed to sign the APFU inside DAR vehicles to instantly receive their CLOAs. In Mapalacsiao, farmers who have signed the APFUs and received CLOAs in the barangay hall are instantly referred by DAR personnel to yellow financier agents waiting outside. Farmers exchange the CLOAs for the illicit cash rental as the practice is explicitly endorsed by DAR personnel themselves.

Contrary to its grand “accomplishment” pronouncements, not an inch of agricultural land in Luisita has been distributed by the DAR up to the present. “Sa halip, parang mga buwitre itong mga pinanser at ahente ng mga Cojuangco gaya ni Aryendo Queen Virgie Torres na nagsasamantala sa mga magbubukid na gutom at dilat na sa paghihintay sa pangakong lupa ng DAR at ni P-Noy,” said Florida Sibayan, acting chairperson of AMBALA.

AMBALA members are currently standing vigil around a 5-hectare ricefield in Mapalacsiao which Torres reportedly plans to convert back into a sugarcane plantation. The ricefield, tended by several farmworkers from the Ocampo family since 2005, has been raffled out by the DAR to other FWBs via the contested “tambiolo” or lottery drum lot allocation process. Torres purportedly claims to have rented the parcel from the DAR-appointed beneficiaries.

“This development with the Aryendo Queen is proof of the obscenely bogus and anomalous mode of land distribution procured by the DAR and this current Cojuangco-Aquino landlord President,” said Ranmil Echanis, Deputy Secretary General of the Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA). UMA released a 40-page fact-finding report in November 2013 which particularly pointed out that the DAR “sows confusion, dislocation and dispute among beneficiaries in lot allocation and individual titling.”

Tension in the vast sugar estate in Tarlac controlled by the Presidential family is currently escalating. Agrarian unrest intensifies as the Cojuangco-Aquinos aggresively claim and maneuver to regain control of thousands of hectares of agricultural land, in dogged refusal to abide by the historic 2012 Supreme Court ruling to distribute Hacienda Luisita to farmworkers.

Since last December, Cojuangco firm TADECO has been continuously bulldozing farmers’ crops in another barangay, Balete. TADECO has set an ultimatum for Balete farmers, and warned that those who remain tending their crops inside the contested property recently fenced by TADECO must leave by end of January or face violent reprisal from the Cojuangcos. Earlier, TADECO filed unlawful detainer or ejectment charges against more than a hundred farmers in Barangays Balete and Cutcut, while trumped-up criminal charges such as malicious mischief, direct assault and physical injuries have been filed with impunity against AMBALA members and leaders with the complicity of the Tarlac Provincial Police force and local courts.

“Aquino appears to be watching idly while their yellow financier-agents further demonstrate how ridiculously inept the DAR’s land distribution scheme is. Habang walang aksyon ang DAR laban sa pagbuldoser ng TADECO, nakatunganga ang DAR at kinukunsinti pa ng mga tao nito ang rentahan. The DAR is acting like these landgrab vultures, waiting for the moment to finally point the accusing finger towards hapless farmers and blame them for the imminent failure of their bogus land reform program,” said Echanis.

“If President BS Aquino is indeed serious in ensuring land and justice for Hacienda Luisita farmworkers, he must be the first to censure ‘Aryendo Queen’ Virgie Torres, and his family’s minions in the LEM,” said Sibayan. “Kinunsinti na nga ni P-Noy ‘yan sa pagka-casino noon – ngayon, lupa at kinabukasan ng mga manggagawang-bukid ang nakasugal dito.”

“Buking na buking na ang mga pakana at pakikipagsabwatan ni PNoy dahil ayaw talagang bitawan ng mga Cojuangco-Aquino ang Hacienda Luisita,” ended Sibayan. ###
 

     
     
     
     



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Uma Uma Hacienda Luisita Amgl Frio Miga

*Aryendo = rentahan.
Cojuangco-Aquino avatar/dummy ngayon si Virgie Torres para isabotahe ang Proyektong Bungkalan sa Asyenda Luisita.

Namumudmod ng pera at nag-aalok ng pagrenta sa mamamayang deka-dekada nang lubog sa hirap.

Kaninong kasalanan kung kakagat sa pansamantalang ginhawa ng renta? Panunuhol at pananabotahe ito taliwas sa sinseridad na mamahagi ng lupa. Bukod dyan, bawal ang magparenta at magbenta ng lupa, pero modus-operandi ng mga avatar at dummy na ito ng mga Cojuangco-Aquino ang kunin ang CLOA bilang diumanong collateral.

Maliwanag na bitag lamang para masisi ang mga magsasaka at mabawi ang kontrol sa lupa (ma-ilit at magkaroon ng panibagong rekonsentrasyon ng lupa), ngunit kasalanan nga ba ng magsasaka na mahulog sa bitag? Gayong sila itong mas may isip dapat pero maliwanag na nagsasamantala sa kahinaan ng mga magsasaka.


Casino Queen noon.
Aryendo sa Hacienda Luisita ngayon.

 

           
     
     

No limit to the greed:
Grabbing the means of livelihood of farmers and converting the hacienda land to commercial enterprise to make more money for the Cojuango-Aquinos

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DATE: FEBRUARY 5, 2014
REFERENCE: Florida “Pong” Sibayan, acting- Chairperson, AMBALA
CONTACT NO: 09293201477

HACIENDA LUISITA FARMERS: STOP COJUANGCO-AQUINO LANDGRABBING, JUNK CARPER!

Farmers from Hacienda Luisita led by the Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (AMBALA) trooped to Manila anew to demand the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to act immediately on increasingly aggressive steps employed by the Cojuangco-Aquino family to retain control of the controversial sugar estate.

The firm Tarlac Development Corporation (TADECO), owned by President Aquino’s family, is staking claim over at least 400 hectares of agricultural land in the villages of Balete and Cutcut. “With the complicity of the DAR and the local police forces and courts in Tarlac,” said AMBALA acting chairperson Florida Sibayan, “TADECO and the Cojuangcos have been able to destroy our crops, imprison our members, and practically set in motion a grand plan to totally evict us from our villages.”

Last December, barely a week before Christmas, armed TADECO guards and elements of the Tarlac PNP were reported to have literally bulldozed their way into the ricefields of Balete, precipitating tension in the village which led to the arrest and mauling of five farm workers.

During the weekend, TADECO henchmen managed to flatten a hectare of a ricefield in Barangay Cutcut before AMBALA members were able to stop the armed guards. The row ended through a written agreement before local village officials. TADECO guards continue to threaten and harass farmers, bulldoze and fence hundreds of hectares of agricultural land in open refusal to acknowledge notices of land reform coverage (NOC) issued by the DAR.

Last Monday, AMBALA received a 4-page Order from the DAR Regional Office dismissing the farmworkers’ plea to stop Cojuangco-Aquino land grabbing for being “moot and academic.” Nearly a hundred AMBALA members from Barangay Balete alone signed an open letter sent to the DAR last December 16 to report TADECO’s violent bulldozing sortie. The DAR treated the letter as a petition and had it dismissed simply because the DAR already issued NOCs for the disputed lands. The DAR, furthermore, has yet to act on the actual cease and desist petition filed by AMBALA last December 26, which explicitly sought to stop TADECO’s violent eviction of farmers.

“Kitang-kita naman na hindi ginagalang ng mga Cojuangco-Aquino ang mga NOC ng DAR. Hawak nila ang pulis, sundalo, korte at batas,” said Sibayan. “Humiling ang magsasaka sa DAR na pigilan ang mga buldoser, ang ibinalik nila sa amin ay papel at mahabang order na hindi naman maintindihan ng ordinaryong manggagawang-bukid.”

“The DAR wants the public to believe the brazen lie of having accomplished land distribution in Luisita. They want to public to see this TADECO issue as something separate from Hacienda Luisita or the 2012 Supreme Court decision to distribute land to farmworkers. The DAR is clearly in collusion with the Cojuangco-Aquino family in their violent bid to dodge land distribution for the nth time,” said Ranmil Echanis, deputy secretary general of the Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA).

“The DAR and its top officials have been enabled by the first Cojuangco-Aquino president’s pro-landlord agrarian reform program. Cory Aquino’s bogus CARP is the longest-running, most expensive and bloodiest agrarian reform program in the country. Its extension through CARPER during the past five years was an absolute waste of billions of pesos in public funds,” said Echanis.

“For Hacienda Luisita, government paid the Cojuangcos millions in compensation but until now, not an inch of land has been distributed. What we see now is aggressive reconcentration through violent land grabbing, and the illicit and coercive ‘aryendo’ or lease system facilitated by the likes of Casino Queen Virgie Torres and other corrupt business partners of the Cojuangcos,” said Sibayan.

AMBALA and UMA joined farmers led by the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and Anakpawis Partylist in protests at the House of Representatives against the proposed extension of the CARPER. “One look at Hacienda Luisita and people will see the dismal failure of the Cojuangco-Aquino CARP and CARPER. It’s time to enact the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB),” said Sibayan. ###
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Philippines
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February 8
#Bday GIFT NI #PNOY SA SARILI: PAGPAPALAYAS SA MGA MAGSASAKA SA #HACIENDALUISITA! #BSAQUINO
COJUANGCO-TADECO CONTINUES BULLDOZING SORTIE DESPITE DISMISSAL OF EJECTMENT CASE VS #HACIENDALUISITA FARMERS

President Aquino’s relatives are shamelessly breaking laws in Hacienda Luisita, but Malacanang and concerned government agencies are either mum, slow to respond – or in open collusion with the powerful landlord clan.

This is the statement of Florida “Pong” Sibayan, of Hacienda Luisita farmworkers alliance AMBALA, as the Cojuangco-owned firm Tarlac Development Corporation (TADECO) continues bulldozing agricultural lands and destruction of farmers’ crops within the controversial sugar estate today. The areas in question are covered by a land reform notice (NOC) issued by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) last December.

Earlier, TADECO through its representative Villamor Lagunero, Jr. filed unlawful detainer or ejectment charges against more than a hundred farmers from two barangays. Sibayan, who was also named respondent along with dozens of farmers from Barangay Balete recently received the MTC Resolution penned by Judge Eleanor V. de Jesus dated January 24, 2014 dismissing the case for lack of jurisdiction. AMBALA is represented by SENTRA Executive Director Atty. Jobert Pahilga.

Eighty-one farmers from Barangay Cutcut likewise expect the ejectment charge against them to be dropped. However, TADECO armed guards continue to threaten farmers that they will continue bulldozing agrilands today.

“The Cojuangcos have no respect even for laws made by their own kind. This useless NOC issued by the DAR is under the bogus and anti-peasant Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) enacted by the first Cojuangco-Aquino president, Cory,” said Sibayan. AMBALA believes that these charges – along with the growing number of fabricated criminal cases lodged by TADECO and the Tarlac Police with the help of “Cojuangco pets” in the local courts – were filed to cow and intimidate the farmers and their supporters.

TADECO is staking claim over at least 400 hectares of agricultural land in the villages of Balete and Cutcut. “With the complicity of the DAR and the local police forces and courts in Tarlac,” said Sibayan, “TADECO and the Cojuangcos have been able to destroy our crops, imprison our members, and practically set in motion a grand plan to totally evict us from our villages.”

“The tension in Hacienda Luisita is escalating,” said Ranmil Echanis, secretary general of the Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura. “If real land distribution is not carried out and if militarization in the area continues, we just might see a situation not unlike the period which led to the tragic Hacienda Luisita Massacre of 2004.”’

TADECO started aggressively positioning itself in the disputed lands sometime last August – coinciding with the DAR’s earliest announcements of the imminent completion of land distribution in Hacienda Luisita – when it ordered the setting up of guard posts in Barangays Balete and Cutcut and issued eviction notices to a number of farmers who have long been tilling the said lands.

After their bulldozing sortie in December, TADECO was able to fence the disputed areas in Balete with concrete, barbed wires and iron sheets. At least 22 farmer-families are now practically holed up inside the area, tending their ricefields and crops. Everyday since December, farmers report growing cases of illegal entry of farmhuts, harassment, theft of produce, farm animals, implements and other violations perpetrated by TADECO guards.

A new headquarters of the 3rd Mechanized Batallion of the AFP is also located inside the TADECO fenced area. Farmers report that soldiers conduct regular patrols around the 260-hectare area. Cojuangco bulldozers are also parked near the army headquarters.

“All these point to the fact that what we have right now in Hacienda, to complement the sham land distribution of the DAR, is a reign of terror and impunity,” Sibayan said. AMBALA has pending petitions, motions and complaints before DAR offices, the Department of Justice and the Supreme Court, but all have yet to decisively act on Luisita farmers’ pleas. ##

Photo: Armed TADECO guards / goons (by UMA)
 

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Farmers’ huts razed, crops destroyed in Hacienda Luisita
by Pinoy Weekly Staff

A combined force of the police, military, and security guards of a company owned by President Aquino’s kin yesterday set fire to huts and bulldozed crops of three farmers occupying land supposedly covered by land reform.

According to reports by Ambala (Alyansa ng Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita), the huts of farmers Ricky Flores, Rudy Pineda and Florida Sibayan in Brgy. Balete were razed to the ground at the same time Pres. Benigno Aquino III was celebrating his birthday. The group also reported that Rey Flores, a 16-year old son of a farmer, was threatened at gunpoint when he tried to capture the destruction of their hut and crops on his cellphone camera. He was hauled to the local police precinct, and subsequently turned over to social welfare representatives.

The bulldozing of crops continued today under heavy guard by members of the 3rd Mechanized Batallion of the Philippine Army, which has set up camp in the middle of the disputed area, according to the farmers.

“Malacañang, the Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Justice (DOJ), Supreme Court, Commission on Human Rights, and all other concerned government agencies are all mum about this issue…Are we all waiting for another Hacienda Luisita massacre before we open our eyes?,” Ambala said in a statement.


The Cojuangco-owned Tarlac Development Corporation (Tadeco) has been trying to fence in 260 hectares of land in Brgy. Balete and Brgy. Cutcut, which have also been cultivated by farmers since 2005. Tadeco guards have employed violent tactics against farmers since last year.


This, despite an order issued by the DAR last December 17 that the said land is covered by land distribution.

The farmers lament that they have filed criminal complaints for threat, harassment, destruction of crops and property, illegal arrest and detention, and robbery against Tadeco guards with the DOJ.

Last January 18, they also filed a case with the SC, citing the company for contempt of the high court’s 2012 decision awarding Hacienda Luisita to farmworkers. The farmers also filed a cease and desist order against Tadeco with the DAR last December 16.

The DOJ, SC, and DAR have yet to act on their petitions, Ambala said.

From: http://pinoyweekly.org/new/2014/02/farmers-huts-razed-crops-destroyed-in-hacienda-luisita/#sthash.LkvytT6A.dpuf

 

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Comment from Uma Pilipinas ·
 

The whole 260-hectare area is already FENCED by concrete & barbed wires. Farmers are holed up inside this general area, tending to their farmlots. Once they go out, they will no longer be allowed access to their ricefields by Cojuangco armed thugs. The 3rd Mechanized Bn has set up COMPANY HEADQUARTERS inside the disputed area.

           
     
 
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DATE: JANUARY 31, 2014
REFERENCE: Christopher Garcia, spokesperson, AMBALA
CONTACT NO: 09293200615

LUISITA FARMERS HOLD THEIR GROUND AGAINST COJUANGCO-AQUINO-TADECO EVICTION ULTIMATUM

Members of the Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (AMBALA) from various Hacienda Luisita villages and the Unyon ng Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) held an ecumenical service cum protest action today in Brgy. Balete in solidarity with at least 22 farm worker families who continue to hold their ground in the face of an ultimatum of eviction from their farmlots by the very powerful Cojuangco-Aquino-owned Tarlac Development Corporation (TADECO).

For a month and a half now, the beleaguered but defiant farm workers have had to literally hole themselves in their rice and vegetable fields, forced to stand vigil several hundreds of meters outside their homes for fear of another crop attack by the TADECO guards.

It may be recalled that a few days before last Christmas, TADECO armed guards, with the help of the Tarlac PNP and a bulldozer, leveled several hectares of ready-to-be-harvested palay in Balete, precipitating tension in the village which led to the arrest and mauling of five farm workers. TADECO has since erected a row of concrete walls around at least 200 hectares of agricultural land in the said barangay, effectively securing the area from the farmers, except for the said couple of dozen families who decided to stay on to tend to what’s left of their crops and fight it out inside.

“My husband chose not to leave our field inside the walled area, despite the sacrifice of practically becoming a prisoner there and a hapless target for armed Cojuangco-Aquino guards and goons, because what we have there is our livelihood,” said Florida Sibayan, acting chairperson of AMBALA.

Aside from the Balete lands, TADECO is also claiming around a hundred hectares more in Brgy. Cutcut.
There are yet no concrete TADECO walls in the latter barangay but the presence of armed guards there, according to AMBALA-Cutcut leader Renato Mendoza, is alarmingly multiplying.

“Our solidarity contingent here today in Balete could have been much bigger if not for the need to constantly keep a large enough and intact segment of our ranks back in Cutcut to defend our lands from the seemingly inevitable attacks of the land-grabbing bands of the Cojuangco-Aquinos,” Mendoza said.

“Just a week ago, on the exact day of the 27th year of the Mendiola Massacre, one of our senior AMBALA members, Maning Gomez, was seriously injured after being hit with a soil digger by men who introduced themselves as personnel of the DAR (Department of Agrarian Reform),” Mendoza added.

TADECO started aggressively positioning itself in the disputed lands when it ordered the setting up of guard posts in Balete and Cutcut and issued eviction notices to a number of farmers sometime last August, coinciding, quite ironically, with the DAR’s earliest announcements of the imminent completion of land distribution in Hacienda Luisita. TADECO’s December bulldozer sortie, meanwhile, according to AMBALA, commenced on the very same day that DAR issued a notice declaring that the disputed lands are being covered for land distribution.

“It appears that TADECO is openly and maliciously defying the righteous DAR, but there is more reason to believe that the DAR is simply in cahoots with the Presidential clan in perpetually dodging and sabotaging land distribution in Hacienda Luisita,” Sibayan said.

The renewed and escalating agrarian unrest in Hacienda Luisita, AMBALA asserts, strongly belie the recent pronouncements of the DAR that the 2012 Supreme Court decision to distribute this vast and historic Tarlac estate has already been carried out to completion. UMA, through its secretary general, Ranmil Echanis, expressed once more its fears that “if land reform in Luisita continues to take the bogus path of the DAR and if the Cojuangco-Aquino-type of terror is unchecked, we just might see a situation not unlike those that led to the tragic Hacienda Luisita Massacre of 2004.”

Doing its take, meanwhile, on the Chinese new year dragon dance, peasant youth activists from the Luisita group SAKDAL carried a red dragon float to the protest action to symbolize what they said was the farm workers urgent desire “to ward off the bad land-grabbing spirits of the Cojuangco-Aquinos.” ###

 

Christmas 2013 in Hacienda Luisita:
No Peace on Earth, No Goodwill toward Men
December 25, 2013
Click link below for fotos and documents
http://arkibongbayan.org/2013/2013-12Dec24-hlibulldoz/hlibuldoz.htm
     
           
     
     
     

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DATE: JANUARY 29, 2014
REFERENCE: Florida “Pong” Sibayan, acting- Chairperson, AMBALA
CONTACT NO: 09293201477

P-NOY KIN BARE MORE THREATS, FALSE CHARGES VS FARMERS
FARMERS TO DOJ: START LUISITA PROBE NOW!

Tension between the Cojuangco-Aquino family and farmers continues to escalate as the Presidential family intensifies its aggressive bid to claim and regain control of thousands of hectares of agricultural land in the controversial sugar estate Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac province.

Yesterday, five farmers who were violently arrested by the Tarlac Philippine National Police (PNP) last December for trying to stop Cojuangco bulldozers from destroying their crops were unjustly charged by the PNP with “direct assault to persons of authority.”

“Patung-patong na pananakot at pandarahas na po ang nararanasan ng mga magbubukid ng Luisita dahil sa patuloy na pangangamkam ng lupa ng ganid na pamilya Cojuangco-Aquino,” lamented Florida Sibayan, acting chairperson of the farmworkers alliance AMBALA. Sibayan, a survivor of the 2004 Hacienda Luisita massacre, was also hurt and arrested in several recent incidents with police and Cojuangco guards while defending Luisita farmers’ rights.

“We call on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to make good their promise of creating a special panel to look into rights violations against farmers in Hacienda Luisita. With the fragile situation in Luisita, this DOJ panel must start its work now,” said Sibayan. During a dialogue with Undersecretary Francisco Baraan at the DOJ last January 16, dozens of farmers had their individual affidavits subscribed charging the Cojuangcos, their goons, and the Tarlac PNP with grave threat, coercion, damage to property, physical injury, illegal arrest and detention and other violations.

Farmers Jose Baldiviano, Vicente Sambu, Ronald Sakay, Rod Acosta and Mamerto Mandigma were mauled and arrested last December 21 in Barangay Balete, Hacienda Luisita, where no less than Tarlac PNP’s highest officials, Provincial Director Alex Sintin and Tarlac City Chief of Police Bayani Razalan personally held ground command to facilitate the destruction of farmers' crops and demolition of farmhuts ordered by the Cojuangco-Aquino family.

A false charge of physical injury lodged by a lone security guard under the employ of Cojuangco firm Tarlac Development Corporation or TADECO and Great Star Security was reverted to preliminary investigation by Tarlac City Prosecutor Hermo Manglicmot after finding that the accused farmers were the ones badly hurt in the incident. This caused the release of the farmers after 3 days in detention at the PNP Camp Macabulos in Tarlac City.

The farmers were expecting the City Prosecutor’s Office to totally junk the trumped-up physical injury charge after they submitted their counter-affidavits yesterday. But the farmers were instead informed that charges of direct assault were also filed against them.

Since last December, TADECO has ordered the continuous bulldozing of farmers’ crops in barangay Balete. Great Star Security Head Mauro dela Cruz warned that farmers who remain tending their crops inside the contested property recently fenced by TADECO must leave by end of January or face violent reprisal from the Cojuangcos. The said property is subject of a notice of land reform coverage and must be distributed to farmers.

Earlier, TADECO filed unlawful detainer or ejectment charges against more than a hundred farmers in Barangays Balete and Cutcut, while trumped-up criminal charges such as malicious mischief, direct assault and physical injuries have been filed with impunity against farmers and AMBALA members and leaders with the complicity of the Tarlac Provincial Police force and “Cojuangco persons” in the local courts.

The Cojuangco-Aquino family currrently employs aggressive measures against farmers in dogged refusal to abide by the 2012 Supreme Court (SC) decision to distribute Hacienda Luisita to farmworkers. AMBALA through its counsel SENTRA recently filed a motion to cite the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and TADECO in contempt for undermining the SC decision on Luisita. ###
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Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura
(Agricultural Workers Union)
Philippines
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DATE: FEBRUARY 7, 2014
REFERENCE: Florida “Pong” Sibayan, acting- Chairperson, AMBALA
CONTACT NO: 09293201477

NOTHING JUST IN 471.5M “JUST COMPENSATION” FOR PNOY KIN IN HACIENDA LUISITA – AMBALA/UMA

Joint Statement of the Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (AMBALA) and the Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA)

The farmworkers have long been the rightful, original Hacienda Luisita landowners whom the Cojuangco-Aquinos, through decades of swindle and terror, have severely disenfranchised. The Cojuangco-Aquinos therefore in relinquishing Hacienda Luisita deserve not a single peso.

The Cojuangco-Aquino clan, however, as any landlord whose land is subject to land reform, is awarded by government, through the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) an amount which the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) calls “just compensation.” Such remuneration, according to the 2012 Supreme Court ruling on Hacienda Luisita should be pegged at the estate’s 1989 value, or about Php 40,000 per hectare.

Yet with the landlord prerogative to actively take part in the valuation process very much recognized by the CARPER, “just compensation” for the Cojuangco-Aquinos has already reached a total of Php 471,501,417.98,which is a little over a hundred thousand pesos per hectare or easily more than double the value initially prescribed by the SC. The said amount, which is still likely to vary as the Cojuangco-Aquinos are wont to further negotiate and maximize to its favor the grossly pro-landlord nature of the CARPER, could possibly shoot up to a billion pesos.

The Cojuangco-Aquino clan acquired the estate through loans from the government in 1957. After so many decades, the Cojuangco-Aquino family never fulfilled the government loan condition to distribute land to the farmers. They have enriched themselves instead through the blood, sweat and tears of generations of Hacienda Luisita sugar farmworkers.

The Presidential clan has piled hefty earnings from sales of portions of the property to private entities under deals that the government itself had supported and interceded for. They have been lucratively remunerated by the government with the SCTEX right of way payment and, most recently, of “just compensation” in a sham process of land distribution under the bogus CARPER.

Indeed, the Cojuangco-Aquino family, in direct collusion with government, have, through the years, incurred serious debt not only to the Luisita farmworkers but to the whole Filipino people.

One look at Hacienda Luisita, and the public will see that Cory Aquino’s pro-landlord CARP is the longest-running, most expensive and bloodiest land reform program. The Cojuangco-Aquino family’s aggressive steps to retain control of this controversial sugar estate – such as land use conversion and ceding of property to its sister companies and business partners such as the Luisita Realty Corporation and RCBC; the violent bulldozing of crops and intimidation of farmers; the illicit “aryendo” or lease system and other underhanded maneuvers and attacks – are complemented by the DAR’s deceptive measures.

All these point to the total failure, on the one hand, of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program with Extension and Reforms (CARPER), and thus the urgent need, on the other, for the enactment in Congress of the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB). ###
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Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura
(Agricultural Workers Union)
Philippines
Follow UMA Pilipinas on Twitter
 

     
     
           

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE SHARE:

FARMERS APPEAL TO THE PUBLIC:


HELP END IMPUNITY IN HACIENDA LUISITA
 


The Alyansa ng mga Manggagawa sa Asyenda Luisita (AMBALA) and Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) condemn the destruction of farmers’ huts and crops in Barangay Balete by thugs employed by relatives of President Aquino during the weekend. Violent acts against Hacienda Luisita farmers have been escalating since last year and reached this unfortunate peak on Pres. BS Aquino’s birthday last Saturday, February 8.

Farmers in Barangay Balete were held at gunpoint by armed personnel of the Great Star Security agency employed by Cojuangco firm Tarlac Development Corporation (TADECO) as the guards proceeded to dismantle the huts of Ricky Flores, Rudy Pineda and Wilfredo Sibayan, husband of AMBALA acting chairperson Florida “Pong” Sibayan. 

A young peasant, Rey Flores, 16, son of Ricky, tried to capture the incident with his cellphone camera, but the guards pointed shotguns at him and hauled him for turn-over to police authorities. Rey was subsequently released upon the intervention of Tarlac City Councilor Emmy Ladera-Facunla and DSWD representatives. 

The thugs, however, continued dismantling farmhuts and destroying crops. On the night of February 8, at least three farm huts were razed to the ground by Cojuangco guards. The huts belong to farmers Romy Sotto, Edgar Aganon, and Eddie Castro. AMBALA reports that farm huts and crops of Eustaquio Sabado, Max Facunla, and Abelardo Mallari were also destroyed. 

President Aquino’s relatives are on a rampage in Hacienda Luisita. Agrarian unrest, injustice and the reign of terror and impunity still hang over this controversial sugar estate. On September 17, 2013, a duly-elected lawmaker, Anakpawis Rep. Fernando Hicap was violently arrested by Tarlac Police whilst on a fact-finding mission in Hacienda Luisita. HUNDREDS of farmers and their supporters are now facing fabricated charges filed by TADECO and the Tarlac PNP before local courts. The list of these harassment charges grow longer every day. 

STORY: http://bulatlat.com/main/2014/01/31/5-more-luisita-farmers-face-raps-for-defending-their-land/

During the Christmas season, TADECO commenced bulldozing hundreds of hectares of farmers’ crops in Barangay Balete. Five farmers were mauled, detained and are now facing charges fabricated by the Tarlac PNP to justify the violent incident personally directed by its highest local officers, Tarlac PNP Provincial Director Alex Sintin and Tarlac City PNP Chief Bayani Razalan. 

The contested agricultural areas in Barangay Balete are now unlawfully fenced by TADECO despite the Department of Agrarian Reform’s (DAR) issuance of a notice of land reform coverage on December 17, 2013. 

Cojuangco bulldozers are parked next to the company headquarters of the 3rd Mechanized Battalion of the AFP, also located within this disputed area.

The unlawful detainer or ejectment case lodged by TADECO versus farmers Florida Sibayan, et al., was recently dismissed by MTC Judge de Jesus, January 24, 2014. TADECO, with the active assistance of the Tarlac PNP, has been undertaking eviction of farmers since December 2013 without any court order.

Last January 16, AMBALA members and individual victims of threat, harassment, destruction of crops and property, illegal arrest and detention, robbery and other violations filed criminal cases versus TADECO, their armed guards, and the Tarlac PNP, before the Department of Justice (DOJ). DAR Undersecretary Francisco Baraan who faced the farmer-complainants in a dialogue that same day, promised to immediately act on AMBALA’s request for the DOJ to create a special panel for Hacienda Luisita rights violations. AMBALA has yet to hear of any action or update from the DOJ. AMBALA also filed a motion to cite the DAR and TADECO in contempt of the 2012 Supreme Court (SC) decision on Hacienda Luisita, for undermining and subverting this historic ruling to distribute Luisita to farmworkers.

 


The Cojuangcos seem to commit these violent attacks against farmers during holidays and weekends, when government agencies, courts and even media institutions are closed or idle. As early as December 26 or a day after Christmas, AMBALA filed before the DAR Regional Office, an urgent cease and desist (CDO) petition against TADECO bulldozing and eviction of farmers. 

The DAR Main Office was immediately furnished a copy of this urgent petition. During a dialogue with DAR officials last January 21, the agency promised farmers to come up with concrete action on several issues raised by AMBALA -- by today, February 10. Judging from their actions, DAR’s highest officials are apparently busy recycling their accomplishment reports while frantically belying claims of the overpriced compensation awarded to the Cojuangco-Aquino family for Hacienda Luisita. 

We appeal to all concerned individuals and institutions: SUPPORT THE FARMERS’ PLEA FOR GENUINE LAND REFORM AND SOCIAL JUSTICE. STOP MILITARIZATION AND HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN HACIENDA LUISITA. 

PETITION:http://www.change.org/petitions/support-free-land-distribution-in-hacienda-luisita-stop-cojuangco-aquino-landgrabbing-withdraw-police-and-military-deployment-in-hacienda-luisita?utm_campaign=petition_created&utm_medium=email&utm_source=guides

Malacanang, the DAR, DOJ, SC, Commission on Human Rights (CHR), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and all other concerned government agencies are ALL MUM about violence in Hacienda Luisita. 

Meanwhile, BS Aquino’s kabarilan Virgie Torres and other land grab vultures continue to facilitate Cojuangco-backed "aryendo" deals with duped beneficiaries. 

STORY: http://bulatlat.com/main/2014/02/07/has-hacienda-luisita-been-distributed-look-again/

There is not enough media coverage to make the public aware of the farmers’ urgent concerns, compared to the "hypercoverage" of other controversial but trivial issues. 

Are we all waiting for another Hacienda Luisita massacre before we open our eyes? 

Photo: Vegetable seedlings for AMBALA bungkalan, by Pher Pasion, Pinoy Weekly

           
     
     

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Uma Pilipinas
Yesterday · Edited
#HaciendaLuisita

Luisita under Reign of Terror and Impunity
Wanton disregard for rule of law by BS Aquino's family

Violations by Cojuangco hired thugs, February 8, BS Aquino's birthday:

1. Demolition of farmhuts and destruction of crops owned by farmers Ricky Flores, Rudy Pineda and Florida Sibayan, AMBALA Chairperson.

Sibayan and 20+ other farmers from Bgy, Balete are respondents to an unlawful detainer or ejectment case filed by TADECO last year. The case was recently dismissed (January 24, 2014.) The violent demolition was undertaken by Cojuangco thugs without any court order.

The area in question is part of a notice of land reform coverage issued by the Dept, of Agrarian Reform last December 17. TADECO commenced bulldozing activities around the same time. Five farmers were mauled and arrested during violent bulldozing sortie led by highest Tarlac PNP officials Prov'l Dir. Alex Sintin & Tarlac City Chief Bayani Razalan.

2. Harassment, Coercion, Threat. Farmers were held at gunpoint by Cojuangco thugs as they demolished the farmhuts.

3. Violence against Children, illegal Arrest and Detention. Farmer Ricky Flores' son, Rey, aged 16, tried to capture the destruction of their hut and crops on his cellphone camera. The guards pointed their shotguns at him and hauled him to the local police precinct. Rey Flores was subsequently released to the custody of DSWD representatives and Tarlac City Councilor Emy Ladera-Facunla, herself now facing fabricated charges of trespassing and coercion filed by TADECO, for helping farmers assert thier rights. Facunla is the sister of Councilor Abel Ladera, a victim of extra-judicial killing in 2005.

4. Arson. Huts of farmers Romy Castro and Edgar Aganon were set on fire by Cojuangco thugs, night of February 8.

DESTRUCTION OF CROPS CONTINUE TODAY. ASIDE FROM COJUANGCO THUGS, THE AREA IS HEAVILY GUARDED BY A COMPANY OF SOLDIERS BELONGING TO THE 3RD MECHANIZED BATTALION OF THE AFP, WITH HEADQUARTERS SMACK IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS DISPUTED AREA. COJUANGCO BULLDOZERS ARE PARKED NEXT TO THE ARMY HQ.

Again:

The area in question is NOT COJUANGCO-AQUINO PRIVATE PROPERTY. It should have been covered earlier by the 2012 SC decision to distribute Hacienda Luisita to farmworkers. It is now covered by a notice of land reform coverage issued by the DAR, December 17, 2013.

Unlawful detainer or ejectment charge against Florida Sibayan, et al, has been DISMISSED by MTC Judge de Jesus, January 24, 2014.

Farmworkers alliance AMBALA filed a cease and desist petition vs TADECO before the DAR, December 26, 2013. DAR has yet to act on this urgent petition!

AMBALA members and individual victims of threat, harassment, destruction of crops and property, illegal arrest and detention, robbery etc filed criminal cases vs TADECO guards, PNP before the Department of Justice (DOJ), January 16, 2014. NO updates yet from the DOJ!

A motion to cite DAR and TADECO in contempt of the 2012 SC decision was filed by AMBALA before the Supreme Court, January 16. Nothing yet from the SC!

Meanwhile, Malacanang, the DAR, DOJ, SC, CHR, DILG and all other concerned government agencies are ALL MUM about this issue. PNoy kabarilan Virgie Torres and other landgrab vultures continue to facilitate "aryendo" deals with duped beneficiaries. There is not enough media coverage compared to the "hypercoverage" of other controversial but trivial issues. Are we all waiting for another Hacienda Luisita massacre before we open our eyes?
 

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Uma Pilipinas
PNOY CLAN DESERVES NOT A SINGLE PESO FOR HACIENDA LUISITA,
STILL OWES FARMERS SHARES FROM 1.33 B LAND SALE

With the landlord prerogative in pegging the value of distributable lands very much enshrined in the pro-landlord CARPER, "just compensation" for the Cojuangco-Aquinos in the ongoing bogus land distribution in Hacienda Luisita has now reached a total of Php 471,501,417. The amount, which is about Php 100,000 per hectare, is double the value initially prescribed by the 2012 Supreme Court decision on Hacienda Luisita.

The farmworkers have long been the rightful, original Hacienda Luisita landowners whom the Cojuangco-Aquinos, through decades of swindle and terror, have severely disenfranchised. As such, the Cojuangco-Aquinos, in the supposedly final process of relinquishing Hacienda Luisita, deserve not a single peso.

Through generous government loans the Cojuangco-Aquinos, in 1957, acquired Hacienda Luisita on the very specific condition that, after ten years, the more than six thousand hectares of land shall have already been parcelled out to the farmers. Such condition was obviously never fulfilled. Not in 1967. Not in 1987, when the first Cojuangco-Aquino president put in place the much ballyhooed CARP; nor in the whole length of her term when she ought to have made good her electoral promise not only to the Luisita farmers but to the entire nation.

What President Cory Aquino instead pushed in Hacienda Luisita in 1989 was the so-called stock distribution option which installed the Luisita farmworkers as equitable incorporators of the giant sugar consortium even as they continued to slave away as miserable landless tillers.

Not only have the Cojuangco-Aquinos enriched themselves from the blood, sweat and tears of generations of Hacienda Luisita sugar farmworkers, they have also piled hefty earnings from sales of portions of this vast Tarlac estate. They have for example been payed at least Php 80 million by the government for that part of the Subic-Clark Tarlac Expressway which now cut across Hacienda Luisita.

 

Also, the Cojuangco-Aquino clan has not given any sign that it will follow the SC order to compensate the farm workers with the Php 1.33 billion proceeds from the sale of agricultural lands by Hacienda Luisita, Inc. (HLI), and Centennary Holdings (CHI).
 

Indeed, the Cojuangco-Aquino family, in direct collusion with government, have, through the years, incurred serious debt not only to the Luisita farmworkers but to the whole Filipino people.

Furthermore, the current claim of the Tarlac Development Corporation over at least 400 hectares of agricultural land in the villages of Balete and Cutcut underscores the deceptive and violent extent by which the Cojuangco-Aquinos have thoroughly maneuvered in reducing the amount of land that may be covered for distribution. There is also the illicit "aryendo" or lease system being implemented by close Cojuangco-Aquino allies which is meant not only to perpetuate various forms of farm workers exploitation in sugar production, but also to disqualify farm worker beneficiaries and reconsentrate the supposedly distributed lands back to the Presidential family.

The historic narrative of Hacienda Luisita is also the epic failure of the CARP which, together with its latest reincarnation and soon-to-expire version, CARPER, is already recognized as the world's longest-running, costliest and bloodiest land reform program.

 

           
           
           
           

 

/p

  
 

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