Posts Tagged ‘hacienda luisita’

Photo by PDI

First thing I read today was the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s shocking banner story “Cory Aquino’s ‘glowing legacy’: Aquino kin back immediate distribution of land”.

The headline somehow makes it appear that land distribution was the intention all along of former president Cory Aquino when she embarked on the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program some 25 years ago. That all this time, the Luisita landlords had the best intentions for the farm workers. And that, by implication, if the first Aquino regime wanted this, then surely the second Aquino regime shared the same vision.

The statements of the counsel for the Hacienda Luisita made me sick to my stomach, as I’m sure it did other farmer advocates.

“The Cojuangco family expresses its full confidence that the Supreme Court decision regarding the fate of Hacienda Luisita is a just resolution for all parties concerned,” said Antonio Ligon, hacienda counsel and spokesperson.

“Now that the high court maintains that land distribution is the only resolution, the Cojuangco family guarantees its full cooperation in the expeditious completion of this process and put all other issues to rest,” he said.

While the family had sought a reconsideration of the high tribunal’s Nov. 22, 2011, ruling, Ligon said the court’s final decision on the decades-old dispute was “a verdict the Cojuangco family embraces.”

“(This) should be a glowing legacy for the late former President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino,” he said.

“It cannot be argued that Mrs. Aquino made decisive moves to place Hacienda Luisita in the 1980s under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program although the preference of farmer-beneficiaries for stock distribution option (SDO) prevailed in at least three referendums over land distribution.”

Now that the farmers are on the verge of claiming the land that is rightfully theirs, the Luisita management wants to rewrite history, give itself a pat on the back, and perhaps make the current president look good in the process. (Why PDI editors dignify and give so much space to HLI’s gratuitous and self-serving statements, I really don’t know.)

“Glowing legacy” ba kamo? How about a legacy of deception and failure? Because that’s what the last 25 years of Mrs. Aquino’s CARP has amounted to for the farmers of Luisita. The way the Luisita management speaks, it’s as if they had the best intentions for the farmers at the onset; that the management, like Cory, really wanted land reform.

Cripes, if this were true, then the farmers were wrong to rise up against the Cojuangco-Aquinos. The strike in 2004 was totally unncecessary. The massacre of strikers and the assassination of farmers’ supporters, all those were for naught because, as Ligon says, Mrs. Aquino had wanted to place the sugar estate under her government’s land reform program from the start.

Wow, that’s even worse than Joel Rocamora claiming that this is a victory for Benigno Aquino’s land reform program. (Isa pa itong mga nakikisakay na tagumpay daw ng CARPER itong Luisita ruling).

Anyone familiar with Cory Aquino’s CARP knows that a provision in the law allowed landlords to retain control of their estates by subjecting these to a “Stock Distribution Option”. Under this scheme, farmers will be given shares of stocks instead of actual land. The scheme ensured that effective control of the land remained with the big landlords. Such was the case in Luisita where the shares of the farmers amounted to only 33% while the Cojuangco-Aquino management was able to bloat its shares to 66%. From that time on, farmers worked in miserable and oppressive conditions.

The failure of the SDO to improve the lives of farmers became the subject of a strike by farmworkers, a decision by the DAR, the PARC and eventually, the Supreme Court. The final ruling of the SC effectively junked the SDO and paved the way for actual land distribution. The SC ruling is a partial rebuke of the SDO of Cory Aquino’s CARP.

Now that farmers are getting their due, the Luisita management wishes us to believe in its benevolence.  HLI tries to assure us of its full cooperation with the decision. It is after all, a decision that the Cojuangco family “embraces”.

Really?

The statement that HLI will cooperate is also calibrated to take the heat off President Benigno Aquino III who up to now has not released a statement on the matter. Ligon wants to end public speculation on whether Aquino will press his family to comply with the decision.

For the record, the HLI management has never stopped scheming and maneuvering to retain their vast estate. They are notorious for not showing good faith. One time, it drafted a sham “compromise agreement” and gave token amounts of money to the farmers for them to sign the pact, in order to preempt the decision the High Court. We have not forgotten that. Up to the end, the HLI management even makes mention of three sham referendums that allegedly affirmed the farmers’ support for the SDO.

If there appears to be a change of tone in the statements of HLI, it’s because they know that there a very little legal options left for them at the moment. They know that they have been soundly defeated in the main legal arena. They know that there is overwhelming public support for the farmers of Luisita.

I end this piece by paraphrasing a message from a journalist friend who has watched the legal developments closely. He says that the victory of the Luisita struggle “is a glowing legacy of the national democratic peasant movement” in forwarding the cause of genuine land reform.

This victory belongs to the farmers and the people, and not to any landlord/president, past or present. To those like Ligon and the HLI management who are claiming otherwise, di na kayo nahiya. Ang kupal lang.

Today farmers of Hacienda Luisita were overcome with tears of joy as they waited for the announcement of the Supreme Court’s final ruling on the Luisita dispute. The SC voted 14-0 in favor of land distribution, upholding an earlier ruling. The court also voted 8-6 in its decision to peg the value of the Luisita land at 1989 levels, instead of the 2006 valuation that management was pushing for. Obviously management wanted a bigger “just compensation” before they lose control of the land. Their motion however was denied.

Many have sacrificed their lives in the course of the struggle. A memorial marker stands at the Gate 1 of the Luisita Central Azucarera de Tarlac, where the names of the Luisita martyrs are inscribed.

The battle for land that has raged on for decades now reaches another turning point. The Luisita management said they will comply with the SC ruling, though they have yet to get a copy of the decision. Luisita lawyer Atty.  Antonio Ligon said that the valuation of the land, even if done based on the 1989 period of reckoning, will have to undergo a process. He hinted that even in 1989, the land had undergone “improvements”. So it is possible that HLI will still attempt to get more than what they should.  They may use these arguments to further delay land distribution until they get more for the land. “The actual value of the land will still be determined by the Special Agrarian Court because that is what is in the law. It is not automatic,” Ligon said. He cited “other factors that will be considered” and that this is “subject to study and investigation”.

When asked if HLI can still challenge the valuation done by the Special Agrarian Court, the Luisita lawyer answered in the affirmative.

This whole concept of “just compensation”, which has been echoed by President Aquino himself whose family owns Luisita, will likely remain a thorny issue.

In an attempt to downplay the importance of and distribution, Ligon said that once land is distributed to the farmers, “they’re on their own”.

The fight of the farmers is not yet over. Collective vigilance is now necessary in ensuring that the HLI management and the Aquino government comply with the SC ruling.Maneuvers of the management and the government to delay land distribution should be exposed and opposed.

We do intend to prove Ligon wrong. The farmers are not “on their own” since many continue to support them and their just struggle for land. The farmers will be fine even if they are divorced from HLI. And along with land distribution, government should provide support services to the farmers.

The road ahead for Luisita remains full of challenges, but on this day, the Luisita farmers have earned every right to celebrate their victory.

Image

President Benigno Aquino III finally commented on the Supreme Court decision ordering the distribution of Hacienda Luisita to farmers. While careful not to comment on the actual merits of the decision for he has not read the 57-page ruling, Aquino did say two things that struck me.

First he said that “Sa agrarian reform, ang hinahabol ay dalawang  bagay: number one, i-empower mo ung magsasaka upang magkaroon siya ng sariling lupang sasakahin. Okay yung parteng iyon, Ang pangalawang bagay ay: ‘wag natin ubusin ang capital. Ibig sabihin, meron ding just compensation para naman yung dating nagmamay-ari ng lupa ay hindi mo inaagawan ng lupa, bayaran mo ng tama.”

Spoken like a true hacendero.

The proposition that the big landlords of Luisita should be justly compensated is patently unjust. Just look at the history of how the Cojuangco’s acquired the land through a government loan on condition that the land will eventually be distributed to the farmers. Look at how the Luisita landowners evaded land reform by foisting on the farmers the deceptive “stock distribution option” instead of actual land distribution. Just look at how the farm workers toiled on the land under the SDO while the owners reaped the gains and the farmers took home P9.50/day.

“Sana ma-meet yung two objectives. Hindi dapat yung may pinapaboran na isang sektor at isasakripisyo ang isa.  Kailangan sabay-sabay ang lahat ng sector”, he added.

Well ain’t that sheer demagoguery?

To say that the interests of landlords are being sacrificed is like saying Gloria Arroyo is kawawa for being unjustly persecuted. For decades, there was only the interest of the landlord that was advanced. You can see that quite clearly in the economic state of the farm workers versus the affluent living of the majority stockholders of HLI. Now that farmers have a chance to get a small measure of social justice, the president is concerned that landlord interests are not getting the proper consideration that they deserve, that these interests would be sacrificed.

The farmers have earned the right to own the land, for free. The land has been paid for through decades of uncompensated hard work. In the first place, the acquisition of the land by the Cojuangco’s has been assailed as being anomalous.

The second thing he said that struck me was “I don’t think I am competent to comment, I haven’t read the decision… and there are other pressing matters before my table.”

The biggest agrarian dispute in years has been “resolved” by the SC and the president says he has “other pressing matters” before him. This statement should be taken as a sign by all that land reform is not a pressing concern for this administration. Never was, never will be. I pity the DAR and Sol-Gen who  also appealed the decision of the SC along with the farmers. Seems they’re not getting much support from their Chief Executive. The least Aquino could have done was to publicly congratulate his own people, but then that would mean turning his back on his class.

Today we heard Benigno Aquino III speak not as president representing the people, but as a member of the landlord class. We are hardly surprised.

Just compensation? Try telling that to 80-year old Virginia Paligutan who’s son died a red fighter in 2005, six years before the SC ruling. Or to the families of the massacre victims and martyrs of Luisita.

Photo from Bulatllat

While the nation welcomed the decision of the Supreme Court ordering the actual land distribution of Hacienda Luisita, the SC decision presents several problems and challenges for farmers and advocates of land reform. The decision highlights the limitations and problems with government’s land reform program CARPER.

  1. The SC decision ordered the compensation of the owners of Hacienda Luisita. By “owners”, we mean the Cojuangco-Aquino family. They will be compensated for the 4, 335 hectares that will be distributed to the farmers. If each hectare is valued at 1,000,000, the Cojuangco’s will receive P4.3 billion. The government will advance a certain amount, and the farmers will have to pay the entire amount through an amortization scheme. No less than President Benigno Aquino III stressed the importance of “just compensation” for the landowners. He also invoked CARPER as the basis for this “just compensation”. What is unjust in this scheme is that the vast estate was unjustly acquired by the Cojuangco’s through a government loan from the GSIS and Central Bank. Public funds were used to acquire the estate with the condition that land would eventually be distributed to the farmers. Furthermore, the farm workers have paid for the value of the land through their sweat and blood, working on the estate for several decades without receiving any of the supposed fruits of their labor. Over the years, the Cojuangco’s got richer and the farm workers were mired deeper in destitution. There is therefore nothing just in paying the Cojuangco’s P4.335 billion which will come from public funds and the pockets of the long-exploited farm workers. The farmers demand that the land be distributed for free.
  2. The SC decision did not rule that the Stock Distribution Option scheme was unconstitutional. Only Chief Justice Renato Corona supported the junking of the SDO. It would have been a landmark victory for thousands of other farmers nationwide if the SDO itself, this loophole in the agrarian reform program of the first Aquino regime, was altogether junked. The SDO has been abused by big landlords who wanted to evade land reform and actual land distribution. Instead of actual land distribution, farmers are swindled through shares of stock.
  3. The SC decision exempted the 500 hectare land purchased by RCBC. This is controversial because RCBC knew that the land in question was the subject of an agrarian dispute, yet it entered into a transaction with the Luisita management to acquire the land. They claimed that they were “innocent purchasers” but facts will reveal that RCBC , Luisita Industrial Park Corporation (a subsidiary of HLI) and Centennary Holdings had interlocking directors or officials. There is also the land conversion order which reclassified this supposedly agricultural land. The HLI management of course earned a hefty sum from this sale.
  4. The SC decision exempted more than 1,000 hectares of land from the coverage of land reform.  Farmers and their lawyers have challenged the basis of this exemption and have pushed that land reform cover at least 6,443 hectares.
  5. The P1.3 billion payment by management to the farmers from the earnings of land sale (RCBC, SCTEX) will still be subjected to a lot of accounting wizardry. This amount can still go down if HLI shows that it spent the money for legitimate corporate expenses and taxes.

This is not a victory for CARPER. Quite the opposite, what happens in the next few months will show that CARPER will make genuine land reform even more difficult, nay impossible.

It is now the collective struggle of the farmers which will ensure that their legal victory (land distribution) will truly be beneficial for all farmer beneficiaries.

(Based on THE CONTINUING SAGA OF THE FARMWORKERS OF HACIENDA LUISITA by Atty. Jobert Ilarde‐Pahilga, executive director, Sentro Para sa Tunay na Repormang Agraryo (Sentra) and campaign officer of National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL)

1957 – Jose Cojuangco Sr., buys majority shares of the Central Azucarera de Tarlac (CAT), including the 6,453‐hectare Hacienda Luisita from the Spanish company Compania General de Tabacos de Filipinas (Tabacalera) through a loan from the Central Bank. The CAT and hacienda are transferred to Cojuangco’s

Tarlac Development Corporation (TADECO), an agricultural corporation.

May 7, 1980 – Marcos government files a case against TADECO before the RTC of Manila for

specific performance to compel defendants TADECO, and the heirs of the late Jose Cojuangco, Sr. to turn over “Hacienda Luisita” to the Ministry of Agrarian Reform for the purpose of subdivision and sale at cost to “small farmers” or “tenants”.

December 2, 1985 – Manila RTC renders a decision that orders the Cojuangcos to transfer control of Hacienda Luisita to the Ministry of Agrarian Reform, which will distribute the land to small farmers after compensating the landowners P3.988 million

March 17, 1988 – the Cojuangcos elevate the case to the Court of Appeals which was docketed as CA G.R. 08634. The Solicitor General, CB governor and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) file a motion to dismiss the civil case against the Cojuangcos pending before the Court of Appeals on the ground that Hacienda Luisita would be covered by agrarian reform.

May 18, 1988 – Court dismisses the case against the Cojuangcos

May 9, 1989 – The landowners, along with then DAR Secretary Philip Juico, Tarlac governor and the mayors of Tarlac City, Concepcion, and La Paz, the three municipalities covering the hacienda, hold referendum among Luisita farm workers to present the SDO. Thereafter, Juico, Tadeco and HLI sign Memorandum of Agreement on the SDO.

May 11, 1989 – HLI is designated as the SECOND PARTY to which the TADECO has transferred and conveyed the agricultural portions of Hacienda Luisita and other farm‐related properties in exchange for shares of stock of the farm workers

September 1, 1995 – the Sangguniang Bayan ng Tarlac reclassifies 3,290 hectares of Hacienda Luisita from agricultural to commercial, industrial and residential purposes

August 14, 1996 – DAR approves the conversion of 500 hectares of the 3,290 hectares of reclassified Luisita land and has already been converted into the Luisita Industrial Park

September 28, 2003 – Elections for farm workers’ and supervisors’ representatives to the HLI Board of Directors only 15.26% of the shares voted thereof. Around 95% of the farm workers boycotted the elections as a protest to the SDO and because the four board seats were useless against seven management seats.

October 14, 2003 – the Supervisory Group of Hacienda Luisita, Inc. files petition before the DAR to revoke SDO, saying the HLI was not giving them dividends, their  1% share in gross sales and 33% share in the proceeds from the conversion of 500 hectares of land. They likewise cite other violations by the HLI of the MOA and that their lives have not improved contrary to the promise and the rationale for the adoption of the SDO.

October 7, 2003 – More than a thousand farm workers gather to protest the SDO, land‐use conversion, joblessness at the hacienda

December 4, 2003 – Around 80% of the 5,339 farm workers at the hacienda through their organization, AMBALA, file a petition to DAR to nullify and rescind the SDO and to stop land‐use conversion at the hacienda

October 1, 2004 – Illegal dismissal of 327 farm workers belonging to ULWU

November 6, 2004 – Members of the Central Azucarera de Tarlac Labor Union (CATLU) and members of the United Luisita Workers’ Union (ULWU) simultaneously stag a strike and block the mill’s Gate1 and Gate 2. The strike arose from the deadlock in the negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between CATLU and HLI (HLI).

November 16, 2004 – Violent dispersal of striking workers leave seven (7) dead, scores were injured. This has been known as the infamous Hacienda Luisita Massacre

November 22, 2004 – the DAR issues Special Order No. 789 which called for the strengthening of the Task Force Stock Distribution Option through the PARC Secretariat

November 25, 2004 – The DAR task force stock distribution, later renamed Task Force Luisita, convenes for the first time to discuss the petitions by Luisita supervisors and farm workers. Prior thereto, HLI filed with the DAR its answer to the petition/protest filed by the supervisory group.

March 15, 2005 – DAR deploys 10 teams to 10 barangays within the hacienda to conduct focus group discussions with 453 farmers concerning their understanding of SDO, the supposed benefits thereof, the home lots and other provisions of the agreement, their recommendations on the SDO, and to determine whether there is truth to the allegations of the farm workers that they have been pushed deeper into the quagmire of poverty by the SDO and MOA.

July 2005 – Task Force Luisita submits its report on findings and recommendations to DAR Secretary Nasser C. Pangandaman especially as regards the investigation conducted on March 15, 2005

August 2005 – Pangandaman creates a special legal team to review the legal issues in the task force’s report

September 23, 2005 – DAR special legal team submits its terminal report on the two petitions, recommending the revocation of the 16‐year‐old SDO agreement in Hacienda Luisita

December 23, 2005 – PARC issues Resolution No. 2005‐32‐01 which recalled/revoked the SDO plan of TADECO/HLI and placed the lands subject SDO plan under the compulsory coverage scheme of the CARP

January 3, 2006 – HLI files its motion for reconsideration of the said resolution

February 2006 – Despite the pendency of the Motion for Reconsideration it has filed, HLI files a petition for certiorari and prohibition against the PARC et al., before the Supreme Court

May 3, 2006 – PARC denies the motion for reconsideration of HLI

June 2006 – Supreme Court issues a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) which enjoins PARC and DAR to implement/execute the resolution revoking the SDO

July 2010 – Supreme Court sets case for oral arguments

August 3, 2010 – SC moves oral arguments to Aug. 18

August 6, 2010 – HLI and unauthorized representatives of AMBALA and ULWU sign compromise agreement

August 11, 2010 – HLI submits compromise agreement to Supreme Court for its approval

Inihanda ng Bagong Alyansang Makabayan

13 Agosto 2010

Ilang araw bago ang oral arguments sa Korte Suprema kung saan pag-uusapan at pagdesisyunan ang usapin ng Stock Distribution Option  (SDO) sa Hacienda Luisita, naghain ng “compromise agreement” ang Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI) management para lutasin diumano ang matagal nang sigalot sa hacienda.

Sa ilalim kasi ng SDO, stocks sa halip na lupa ang ipinamahagi sa mga magbubukid. Makakatanggap lamang sila ng dibidendo o kita depende sa dami ng hawak nilang stocks. Ang dami ng stocks ay nakabatay sa dami ng “man-days” o trabahong nagagawa ng isang magbubukid sa isang taon. Sa pagliit ng bilang ng “man-days” ay halos walang nakukuhang benepisyo ang mga magbubukid; isang dahilan ng pagputok ng welga noong 2004.

Taong 2003 nang magsampa ang mga magbubukid ng HLI ng petisyon sa Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) para ibasura ang SDO. Matapos ang 2004 welga, sa bisa ng pakikibaka ng mga magbubukid at manggagawa, pinawalang bisa ng DAR at ng Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) ang SDO ng Luisita noong Disyembre 2005. Ibig sabihin ay kailangang tuwirang ipamahagi na ang lupa sa mga magbubukid sa ilaim ng Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). Kinuwestyon naman ito ng HLI sa Korte Suprema noong Pebrero 2006 at nakakuha sila ng Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) laban sa PARC noong Hunyo 2006. Matapos ang apat na taon, didinggin na sa wakas ng Korte Suprema ang kasong ito.

Pero bago pa man mangyari ito, lumitaw na ang tinaguriang “compromise agreement”.  Pinapipili ang mga magsasaka at manggagawang bukid sa pagitan ng pananatili bilang stock-holder sa ilalim ng SDO o pamamahagi ng lupa.

Matapos ang “referendum,” karamihan sa mahigit 10,000 magsasaka at manggagawang bukid ang pumili sa pananatili ng SDO. Noong ika-11 ng Agosto ay ipinasa ng HLI management ang nasabing kasunduan sa Korte Suprema upang hilingin na ito na lamang ang pagdesisyunan sa halip na ang ligalidad at kawastuhan ng SDO ng HLI.

Ano ang nilalaman ng Compromise Agreement?

Pinapapili sa compromise agreement ang mga magsasaka at manggagawang bukid sa pagitan ng lupa o pagpapatuloy ng SDO. Kung lupa ang pipiliin ng mga magsasaka, ipamamahagi ng HLI management ang bahagi ng lupa mula sa 4,201 ektarya ng lupain na nakalaan sa agrikultura. Tinatayang 33% lang nito o 1,300 ha ang nakalaan sa “pamamahagi”. Ang laki ng lupang matatanggap ay batay sa laki ng hawak na shares ng magbubukid. Tinatayang 139 magsasaka pa lamang ang sumuporta dito. Sa kabilang banda, ang pagpili naman ng SDO ay ang pananatili ng dati nang kaayusan sa loob ng Hacienda Luisita: ang “no work, no stock policy,” ang P9.50 neto sa arawang sahod, land-use conversion at iba pang di makatarungang patakaran.

Kalakip ng pagpapapirma sa compromise agreement ay ang pangakong suportang pinansyal na aabot sa P150 milyon. Ayon sa mga magsasaka, nangako ang management na maaari silang makatanggap nang hanggang sa P150,000 kung pipirma sila sa kasunduan. Subalit ayon sa mga ulat, sa unang bahagi ng pamamahagi ng financial assistance package na nagkakahalaga ng P20 milyon, may nakatanggap lamang ng pagitan ng P1 hanggang P500. Ang isang nagtrabaho ng 20 taon sa hacienda ay nakakuha lamang ng P2,000. Sa mga ulat sa media, pinakamalaki nang natangap ang P9,000. Ang laki ng matatanggap na “tulong” ay nakabatay din sa laki ng shares of stock na hawak ng mga magbubukid sa ilalim ng SDO. Ang natitirang P130 milyon ay sinasabing ipapamahagi kapag naaprubahan ng Korte Suprema ang compromise agreement.

Sinu-sino ang mga pumirma sa Compromise Agreement? Nagkaroon ba ng tamang representasyon ang mga magsasaka at manggagawang bukid sa pagpapatibay nito?

Hindi mga tunay na lider at kinatawan ng mga organisasyon ng magbubukid ang pumirma sa kasunduan: Noel Mallari para sa Alyansa ng mga Mangagagawang Bukid ng Hacienda Luisita (AMBALA); Edilfonso Pingol para sa United Luisita Workers Union (ULWU).

Walang otoridad mula sa mga magsasaka at manggagawang bukid ang mga nabanggit upang sila ay irepresenta at makipagkasundo sa Hacienda Luisita management.

Si Mallari, halimbawa, ay hindi kailanman naging tagapangulo ng AMBALA. Siya ay naging pangalawang pangulo noong panahon ni Rene Galang bilang tagapangulo. Tinanggal siya bilang miyembro ng AMBALA dahil sa mga lihim na pakikipag-usap at pakikipagkasundo nya sa Hacienda Luisita management. Muling lumitaw si Mallari matapos ang HLI massacre, bilang presidente ng FARM Luisita. Sa akwtal na petisyon sa Korte Suprema, si Mallari ay kinatawan ng FARM hindi ng AMBALA. Pero lumalabas ngayon na maging ang FARM ay hindi rin sang-ayon sa Compromise Agreement.

Si Felix Nacpil ang kasalukuyang tagapangulo ng AMBALA.

Dating pangalawang pangulo ng ULWU si Pingol, subalit hindi siya binigyan ng basbas ng mga miyembro ng unyon na pumirma sa kasunduan para sa ULWU. Ang tumatayong pangulo sa kasalukuyan ay si Lito Bais. Si Pingol ay matagal nang nakipagsabwatan sa management.

Bakit huwad na kasuduan ang Compromise Agreement?

Mapanlinlang ang compromise agreement na inihain ng HLI management. Naka-disensyo ito para ma-pwersa ang mga magbubukid na piliin ang SDO. Gamit ang mapanlinlang na “financial assitance”, pangako ng empleyo kasama na ang intimidasyon, nakuhang papirmahin ng management ang mayorya ng magbubukid para sa SDO. Iilan lang ang pumili ng pamamahagi ng lupa. Ginamit ng management ang manipulasyon ng kahirapan ng mga magbubukid.

Ang lawak ng lupaing ipapamahagi ay 33% ng lupaing agrikultural, o 1,300 ektarya ng 4,102 ektraya na tinatanman ng tubo. Kakarampot na bahagi lamang ito ng 6,453 ektrarya ng lupa na saklaw ng reporma sa lupa. Kapag pinili ng magsasaka ang lupa, walang katiyakan kung gaano ito kalaki o kung saan ang lokasyon nito.

Ang laki ng lupa na matatanggap ng isang magsasaka ay katumbas ng kanilang hawak na shares of stock. Ang isang magsasakang may limang shares of stock, halimbawa, kung pipiliin ang lupa, ay baka tumanggap lamang ng lupa sa paso.

Nalantad din ang kahungkagan ng tinatawag ng “financial assistance” nang makatanggap ng kakarampot na “tulong” ang karamihan sa mga pumirma sa huwad na kasunduan.

Ang pananatili ng SDO ay nangangahulugan ng pananatili ng mga di makatarungang pagtrato sa mga magsasaka ng Hacienda Luisita.

Ipinapatupad sa ilalim ng SDO ang “No work, no stock!,” na nangangahulugan na ang shares of stock na matatanggap ng isang manggagawang bukid ang naaayon sa bilang ng araw ng kanyang pagtatabaho o ang tinatawag na “man days”. Ang magtatakda ng man days ay ang HLI Management. Sa kasalukuyan, kadalasang tatlong araw lamang kada linggo ang binibigay na trabaho sa karamihan sa mga nasa hacienda. Ang mga manggagawang bukid na umalis o tinanggal sa trabaho ay hindi na makakatanggap pa ng shares of stock. May mga seasonal na manggagawang bukid naman na binigyan ng tig-isang stock para lamang matawag silang stockholder bagama’t walang kwenta ang hawak nilang stock.

Ayon sa mga tala, mahigit piso lamang ang halaga ng bawat isang stock.

Labag din sa batas ang land-use conversion na ginagawa ngayon sa malaking bahagi ng lupain ng Hacienda Luisita. Maging sa ilalim huwad na CARP, ang mga lupa na nasa ilalim ng repormang agraryo ay maaari lamang gamitin para sa agrikultura. Tinatayang daang ektraya ng lupain ng hacienda ang pinaplanong i-convert para sa residential, commercial at industrial na gamit.

Mapanlinlang at mapagsamantala din ang ilan sa mga probisyon ng compromise agreement, kabilang ang waiver sa mga kasong isinampa laban sa HLI management sa paglabag nito sa 1989 SDO. Nakasulat din sa kasunduan na hindi na maaring maghabol o makapagsasampa ng kaso ang mga magsasaka maging sa maaaring paglabag ng HLI management sa kasunduan sa hinaharap.

Hindi na rin maaaring habulin ang mga lupaing napasailalim sa land use conversion, katulad ng 500 ektarya ng lupa ng RCBC na  ibinenta sa halagang P750 milyon subalit hindi nabahagian ang mga magsasaka.

Sa ilalim din ng kasunduan ay may “right of first refusal” o ang karapatang magdesisyon ng HLI management para sa mga magsasaka kaugnay ng mga transaksyon papasukan nito. Kung magdesisyon ang magbubukid na ibenta sa lupa, ang HLI ang unang may karapatan sa pagbili nito. Maaaring humantong ito sa rekonsentrasyon ng lupa sa kamay ng HLI management.

Maliban sa hindi pagiging patas at mapanlinlang ng compromise agreement, gumamit ang HLI ng malawakang militarisasyon para sagkaan ang pagkilos ng mga magbubukid at takutin sila para pumirma.

Ano ang magiging epekto ng compromise agreement sa gaganaping oral arguments sa Agosto 18?

Dinisenyo ang compromise agreement upang sapilitang panigan ng mga magsasaka ang SDO. Sinasamantala nito ang naghihikahos na kalagayan ng mga magsasaka para pangunahan ang magiging desisyon ng Korte Suprema ukol sa ligalidad ng SDO at pigilan ang nararapat na pamamahagi ng lupa sa mga magsasaka.

Noong Disyembre 2006, naglabas ng desisyon ang Presidential Agrarian Reform Council na nagbabasura a SDO ng HLI matapos nitong makita na hindi sumunod sa batas ang Hacienda Luisita management sa pagpapatupad ng CARP at bagkus ay lumabag pa sa maraming probisyon nito, na naging sanhi na labis na paglala ng hirap nang kalagayan ng mga magsasaka.

Sa kabila ng higit dalawang dekadang pagpapatupad ng SDO, hindi pa rin nagagarantiyahan ang tatlong porsyentong bahagi ng magsasaka sa kita sa produksyon (gross sales from the production) kada taon ng hacienda, at ang profit share na katumabas sa 10% ng net profit after tax na mga benepisyo ng mga magsasaka bilang stockholders. Hindi rin binibigay ang mga dibidendo mula sa kita ng Hacienda Luisita Inc., na dapat ibigay sa mga magsasakang may hawak ng stocks.

Suportahan ang magsasaka ng Hacienda Luisita! Ibasura ang Compromise Agreement!

Kung kikilalanin ng Korte Suprema ang kasunduan, mababalewala ang desisyon ng Department of Agrarian Reform at ng Presidential Agrarian Reform Council na sumasang-ayon na ipamahagi ang 6,453 ektaryang lupain ng Hacienda Luisita  sa mga magsasaka. Gagawin din nitong legal ang SDO bilang iskema ng repormang agraryo, sa kabila pagiging maanomalya at hindi makatarungan nito.

Magpapatuloy rin ang mga pagsasamantala na naranasan ng mga magsasaka at manggagawang bukid tulad ng mababang sahod na umaabot lamang sa P9.50 kada araw na siyang naging dahilan ng malawakang protesta noong 2004, na nauwi sa pagkamatay ng pitong tao sa tinaguriang Hacienda Luisita massacre.

Tuluyan na nitong hahadlangan ang adhikain para sa tunay na reporma sa lupa, hindi lamang ng mga magsasaka at manggagawang bukid sa Hacienda Luisita kundi maging sa 11 iba pang lupain na nasasailalim sa SDO sa buong bansa.

Malaking hamon at pagsubok sa bagong gobyernong Aquino ang isyu na ito dahil ang HLI ang simbolo ng kabiguan ng reporma sa lupa sa bansa. Una nang nakalusot nag HLI sa repormang agraryo noong panahon ni Pangulong Corazon Aquino. Nanganganib na makalusot muli ito sa ilalim ng rehimen ni Benigno Simeon Aquino III. Ang kanyang kawalan ng positibong aksyon sa isyu, lalo’t mga kamag-anak nya ang sangkot, ay pumapabor sa mga galaw ng HLI management.

Ang ugat ng sigalot sa Luisita ay ang monopolyo sa lupa ng pamilya Conjuangco-Aquino. Anumang bihis ang gawin ng management, tulad ng SDO, ito pa rin monopolyo sa lupa at pyudal na pagsasamantala.

Suportahan natin ang pakikibaka ng mga magsasaka at manggagawang bukid ng Hacienda Luisita. Ipanawagan natin ang mga sumusunod mula sa Korte Suprema at sa rehimeng Aquino:

Ibasura ang Compromise Agreement!

Ibasura ang Stock Distribution Option!

Ipamahagi sa magsasaka ang lupa ng Hacienda Luisita!

Itigil ang militarisasyon sa Hacienda Luisita!

Hustisya para sa magsasaka ng Hacienda Luisita!

Ipaglaban ang tunay na reporma sa lupa!

The deal is devious through and through.

Under the so-called settlement between Hacienda Luisita’s management and the farm workers, those who will chose land distribution over stocks will be given land that is equivalent to their stock holdings. The actual equivalent of stocks to land area and how viable it would be is not clear in the agreement. The scope of land distribution is also questionable since lawyers have argued that it is the entire estate which should be subjected to land reform, not just 33% of the land that is devoted to agriculture.

What is most disturbing and downright onerous is that under the agreement, Hacienda Luisita Inc retains virtual control even over distributed land. In the agreement, HLI has the right of first refusal should farmers decide to “lease, sell, transfer or enter into joint-venture or any other mode of business relations or transaction that would involve the land given to them”. HLI is also given 360 days to match any offer from third-parties as regards the use of land.

Clearly, HLI would still be very much in control of land use even under this sham settlement agreement. HLI has a big say on the types of transactions entered into by the farmers. HLI can very well dictate the terms of land use. What we fear is that in the long run, given these conditions, farmers might be forced to sell their land back to HLI and thus HLI would be able to reconcentrate and monopolize land once more.

The settlement also sought to legitimize the ongoing land conversion of the HLI management which has impacted on the agricultural use of the estate. A provision in the settlement states that “farmers herein support and/or interpose no objection to the further development of HLI lands for non-agricultural use.”

Also that “the parties hereby respect and will no longer question the validity of the conversion of lands to non-agricultural use.”

Once farmers sign the settlement, they can no longer question the land-use conversion of Luisita. Huge tracts of land can be converted to commercial and industrial use and the farmer can no longer object, even if such conversion would be inimical to agricultural production and employment. Farmers are given the vague and token assurance that they will be given “preference in employment” after land has been converted.

The settlement is also a waiver on all past and future claims of farmers and farm workers versus management.

The parties in the agreement “waive and agree to withdraw any and all claims, including those arising from employer-employee relationship, complaints, petitions filed, or to be filed, with the DAR, PARC, administrative, quasi-judicial and/or judicial bodies, or any other matter arising from or incidental to the MOA, or any dispute between HLI and the farm workers, and hereby release and hold harmless each other from any and all other liabilities or claims, of any form and kind, which one may have against the other and its officers, or which may arise now or in the future between HLI and the farm workers, or as a result of or incidental to the implementation of the MO A.”

Simply put, with this agreement, farmers can no longer question any violation that may have happened in the past, or that may arise in the future.  The 1989 MOA on the stock-distribution option (SDO) will be considered unassailable.  Even past issues concerning employer-employee relationship can no longer be pursued. HLI wants to operate on a clean slate, as if none of the grave violations of the past ever happened, and that even if they do happen in the future, there is nothing you can do about it. The compromise agreement absolves HLI from any past and even future liability in relation to the 1989 SDO.

At the end of the day, the settlement only seeks to legitimize the discredited SDO, preempt the Supreme Court ruling, have HLI retain full control of land, implement a deceptive ‘land distribution’ scheme, and erase all the previous and future liabilities of management.

Ultimately, it would be the Luisita farmers and their struggle which would be the decisive factors in rejecting this patently onerous settlement in favor of real land distribution. One need not be a lawyer to understand why this deal is so one-sided. One only needs to know the half-century history of oppression in Luisita to know how these things will eventually play out. We’re confident that the farmers will see through this grand deception. ###

READ COMPROMISE AGREEMENT HERE.

The following is a piece written by Inquirer columnist Conrado de Quiros, which appeared on November 22, 2004 in the Inquirer, six days after the Luisita Massacre. (de Quiros is now a staunch supporter of Aquino’s presidential bid)

There’s The Rub: Broke
By Conrado de Quiros
Inquirer News Service

Note: Published on page A14 of the November 22, 2004 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

“HERE is a land in which a few are spectacularly rich while the masses remain abjectly poor. Gleaming suburbia clashes with the squalor of the slums. Here is a land consecrated to democracy but run by an entrenched plutocracy. Here, too, are a people whose ambitions run high, but whose fulfillment is low and mainly restricted to the self-perpetuating elite. Here is a land of privilege and rank-a republic dedicated to equality but mired in an archaic system of caste.”

The one who said this was not Ka Paeng or Ka Pepe, it was Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino. He said this in an article in 1968 in the US journal Foreign Affairs. This was typical of what politicians and radicals alike were saying before martial law, particularly to warn that the country was a “social volcano” all set to explode. Aquino himself suggested the way by which the explosion might be averted: “The wealth that the oligarchy rapaciously covets and hoards must get down to the masses in the form of roads, bridges and schools; these are what the tao understands as good or bad government.”

I remarked in the book “Dead Aim”: “Caught in the rapture of his eloquence, Aquino forgot that his in-laws owned a hacienda that stretched as far as the eye could see. And one that would remain untouched by land reform two decades later.”

The past comes back to haunt. As indeed do Cory’s own words, when she promised during the “snap elections” that the first thing she would do was subject Hacienda Luisita to land reform. What a difference a month makes, which was all the time it took from the “snap elections” to Cory replacing Marcos, which turned out to be a sea change not just in the political landscape of the nation but in the moral outlook of the new governors. That was all the time it took for Cory to forget her vow.

Hacienda Luisita will always be a festering sore. It will always be the symbol of the failure of Edsa to move the country from tyranny to democracy, if by democracy is also meant-as Ninoy argued-the pushing back of oligarchic rule. You can’t have a more oligarchic rule than feudal rule, which takes place in Hacienda Luisita notwithstanding its seemingly capitalist conversion into an industrial enclave. All the conversion shows is that, as in the days of the feudal manor, serfs are owned by their landlords body and soul. They can be told to do anything, including to agree to “stock option.” Their well-being is a matter of manorial beneficence. They have no more power to determine the future of Hacienda Luisita, or their share of its profits, than beggars have the power to determine the amount of alms they can get from prospective donors.

Noynoy Aquino says leftists goaded the workers in Hacienda Luisita, who have been complaining about their lot, to strike. Well, so what? At the very least, try goading workers who have no deep-seated grievance to strike and see how far you’ll get-these days, particularly, when work is harder to come by than honesty in GMA’s government. May be leftists goaded the workers in Hacienda Luisita to strike-I can believe it-but they could not have succeeded if the workers were not ripe for the goading.

At the very most, workers have a right to strike. One would imagine congressmen would know that. A strike is neither illegal nor immoral, it is sanctioned by the Constitution and enshrined in the tradition of the workers’ movement. Only Lucio Tan and now Ninoy’s namesake think it is not.

While at this, if leftists had not goaded workers, farmers, students and other sectors to mount national strikes, or “welgang bayan,” during martial law, the Aquinos would not be there. It was the efforts of the leftists to goad Filipinos to fight sleep in the early years of martial law that assured they would be awake to react to the murder of Ninoy much later.

Cory cannot understand why the workers refuse to accept her offer of sympathy and prayers for the dead? Well, if I recall right, Cesar Virata had to scurry away from Sto. Domingo Church after conveying to her the sympathy and prayers of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos for the death of her husband. He feared being torn limb from limb. The sympathy and prayers of the one who caused you grief are never welcome. The life of Ninoy is not more important than the lives of the 14 workers who died in the blaze of gunfire from goons in the uniforms of cops and soldiers last Tuesday. Other than in oligarchic reckoning, which deems the lives of serfs as nothing compared to that of the lord of the manor.

“If it ain’t broke,” says Department of Agrarian Reform chief Rene Villa, “why fix it?” That is his reaction to calls for a review of the “stock option” plan.

What, the corpses of 14 workers strewn over a dusty road in Hacienda Luisita are not a sign something is broke? Again, maybe it’s true leftists goaded the workers to strike. But as I wrote a long time ago, when Isidro Cariño, then the education secretary, said the same thing about the 3,000 public school teachers who went on strike against him, and vowed to hunt the goaders down, the words of leftists are nothing compared to the flailing of hunger. And hunger has no address.

But the 14 corpses lying on the ground point to something broke that’s even bigger than that Hacienda Luisita hasn’t been land-reformed. That is, that the foundations of democracy in this country are crumbling. No, more than that, that is, that the moral foundations of this country are crashing. Power has made people forget what it means to lose a loved one to tyranny.

Ninoy Aquino might have been talking of today when he said: “Here is a land consecrated to democracy but run by an entrenched plutocracy. Here is a land of privilege and rank-a republic dedicated to equality but mired in an archaic system of caste.”

If that ain’t broke, what is?

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

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

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

KAKAPUSAN NG KARAMIHAN = KASAGANAAN NG IILAN

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

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

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

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

MAKATARUNGANG WELGA = PANDARAHAS NG ESTADO

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

Ang mga makatarungang HILING ng mga unyon mula sa management:

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

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

Ang TUGON ng pamilya Cojuangco at ng mga kasabwat nila:

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

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

• Panghihimasok ng Northern Luzon Command ng AFP sa usaping sibilyan

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

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

 

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

1. ISTORIKAL AT ILIGAL NA PANGANGAMKAM SA LUPA

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

 

• Ano ang SDO?
Niligalisa ng CARL ang iba’t ibang anyo ng huwad na repormang agraryo katulad ng “stock transfer scheme”, kung saan sapi (shares) ang ibinibigay ng panginoong-maylupa sa halip na aktwal na pamamahagi ng lupa. Ipinatupad ang “stock transfer scheme” sa Hacienda Luisita sa ngalang SDO.
• Paano ito ipinatupad?
Itinatag ang HLI bilang spin-off corporation ng TADECO na magpapamahagi ng capital stock sa mga benepisyaryong manggagawang-bukid (“co-owners”) ayon sa stock distribution plan. Sa SDO, inalisan ang mga manggagawang-bukid ng kanilang istorikal na karapatang ariin ang lupaing binubungkal. Napilitan ang mga magbubukid na sumang-ayon sa SDO dahil sa pinagsamang panlilinlang, pananakot at pandarahas ng mga Cojuangco.
• Ano ang epekto nito?
Walang naganap na makabuluhang pagbabago sa salat na kabuhayan ng mamamayan sa 14 taong pag-iral ng SDO. Lalo silang naghirap dahil binawasan ang mandays (takdang araw ng paggawa) mula 4-5 araw hanggang 1-2 araw kada linggo mula 1990. Ito ay dulot ng patakarang land conversion at mekanisasyon. Kasabay na lumiit ang sapi nila dahil nakabatay ‘shares of stock’ sa dami ng mandays. 3. LAND CONVERSION Unti-unti ring nagpapalit-gamit ng lupain ang asyenda upang gawing golf course, industrial park, at iba pa. Simula 1995, nireklasipika para sa kumbersyon ang 3,290 ektarya ng kabuuang 4,915 ektaryang lupaing agrikultural. Naibenta na ang 500 ektarya sa mga korporasyong Hapon. May lupaing nakalaan para sa Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway Project na nakatakdang gawin mula 2003-2005.

 

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

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

PAGGAWA

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

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

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

KARAPATANG-PANTAO

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

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

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

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

PAG-IRAL NG NAKAKABUSABOS NA KAAYUSAN = PAGLABAN NG MAMAMAYAN

SINO ANG DAPAT MANAGOT?

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

ANO ANG TUNGUHIN NG ATING LABAN?

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

• Singilin ang pahirap na rehimeng Arroyo, ang angkang Cojuangco-Aquino, si DOLE Secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas at ang mga kasangkot nila sa PNP at AFP!
• Ipagtagumpay ang welga sa Hacienda Luisita! Suportahan ang pakikibaka ng mga manggagawa at manggagawang-bukid para sa lupa, sahod, trabaho, at karapatan. Ibalik sa trabaho ang 327 na tinanggal na manggagawang-bukid at opisyales ng ULWU! Ipaglaban at kamtin ang makatarungang CBA!
• Ibasura ang mga mapanupil na batas-paggawa at mga patakaran ng huwad na reporma sa lupa! Ipasawalang-bisa ang “Assumption of Jurisdiction” sa Labor Code at Stock Distribution Option. Itigil ang militarisasyon sa welga at kriminalisasyon sa mga pakikibakang unyon! Itigil ang pagpapalit-gamit sa lupa!
• Ipatupad ang tunay na repormang agraryo at pambansang industriyalisasyon!
yellow ribbon