Posts Tagged ‘noynoy aquino’

President Aquino’s speech on the occasion of Pope Francis’ visit to Malacanang was criticized by many for being inappropriate and petty. While the Pope talked about rejecting corruption, confronting inequality and social exclusion and giving voice to the poor, the President whined about how some members of the Catholic Church continue to criticize him. He even took time to mention one bishop who criticized his hair.

The two speeches were worlds apart and again highlighted how self-absorbed the President is. The occasion could have been an opportunity for the President to show humility in the face of the message of the Pope; that much still needs to be done in the Philippines to address poverty and inequality. It could have been an occasion to discuss the need to address the root causes of armed conflict and push the resumption of the peace talks with the NDFP. Aquino could have taken the high road and announced the release of political prisoners as part of the peace initiative and as a goodwill gesture to the Pope.

But the whining President would have none of that. Instead, he called attention (again), to himself. One imagines that he is the equivalent of Kris Aquino whenever she conducts interviews. (Though his was many times more embarrassing than Kris Aquino telling Andrew Garfield how My Little Bossing trumped Spiderman at the box office.)

The speech of course does not come as a surprise anymore because it follows the Palace template for presidential speeches. This template has been duly approved by the President, so those wanting to fire last Friday’s speech writers are barking up the wrong tree.

As I posted earlier, there are 4 key elements in any Aquino speech. The first element is recalling memories of Martial Law, Aquino’s parents and how much his family suffered, and use this as a force field against any criticism of his presidency. You simply cannot criticize one who has gone through so much difficulty during the dictatorship. You just can’t.

These teachings have been central to my family’s advocacy, which is understandable considering what we, along with millions of Filipinos, went through under the dictatorship. Then-President Marcos declared Martial Law in 1972, when I was 12-years-old, beginning an era in which the most fundamental rights of many Filipinos were flagrantly and routinely violated. It was in this environment that I came of age.

The second element is of course referencing the “previous administration” ad nauseam, even though he’s already five years into his term. What better way to stand out than to constantly compare yourself to the disgraced Arroyo government every opportunity you get. This is also to remind critics that, despite pork barrel corruption, failed Yolanda relief and rehab,  record joblessness and continuing rights abuses; we are still sooo much better off now than we were 5 years ago.

Hence, there was a true test of faith when many members of the Church, once advocates for the poor, the marginalized, and the helpless, suddenly became silent in the face of the previous administration’s abuses, which we are still trying to rectify to this very day

The third element of an Aquino speech is hitting back at critics, no matter what the occasion, no matter how inappropriate. Since some critics refuse to be swayed by references to Martial Law and the Arroyo regime, the President will thus have to reserve his sharpest remarks for them. We’ve seen this many times, during Aquino’s speech at the TV Patrol anniversary where he took a swipe at Noli de Castro; at the anniversary of Yolanda where he criticized victims groups People Surge and the Tacloban Mayor, and during an IBP event where he slammed the Supreme Court and Chief Justice Renato Corona who was also present at the event.

In contrast to their previous silence, some members of the clergy now seem to think that the way to be true to the faith means finding something to criticize, even to the extent that one prelate admonished me to do something about my hair, as if it were a mortal sin. Is it any wonder then, that they see the glass not as half-full, or half-empty, but almost totally empty. Judgment is rendered without an appreciation of the facts.

The fourth element of an Aquino speech is actually a direct reference to the President. Words like, “I”, “Me” and “Myself” become very useful. This seeks to underscore how awesome the President is. And so during the event in Malacanang, in classic Kris Aquino fashion, the President talked about himself, amid other more pressing issues.

Take for example yesterday’s disturbingly messianic statement on why he ran for office:

I understand I am only human, and thus, I am imperfect. I ran for the Presidency despite my discomfort with the trappings of power, because if I passed up on this opportunity to effect real change, I would not have been able to live with myself, especially if the situation worsened.

Or how he is speaking the truth at all times:

Everything I have said has not been to criticize, but to speak the truth, for the truth shall set us all free.

Or why he and the Pope share a bond:

I believe that you are a kindred spirit, one who sees things as they are, and is unafraid of asking, “Why not?”

And why joining the President puts you on the path to truth:

We would like to think that even more will join us in the truth, in the fullness of time.

Because if you’re not joining the president “in the truth”, you’re screwed. You’re either with him or against him.

Such was the experience yesterday of more than 2,000 workers, farmers and urban poor who were prevented by police from welcoming the Pope, just as the Pope was calling on Philippine leaders to give voice to the poor. Same goes for the Mindanao nuns who were accosted by police on their way to Tacloban on suspicion that they were members of the NPA.

Indeed, the President’s speech and the message of Pope Francis provided us with a study in contrast. As one religious said, there is truly a difference in the outlook of a religious leader and a politician.

Pope Francis’ message to the poor, his heartfelt speech to the victims of Yolanda/Haiyan and his critique of corruption and inequality, continue to resonate with the Filipino people. His challenge to the clergy to place the Poor at the center of the Gospel, to be with the poor to be able to understand the poor, is a most welcome exhortation towards social involvement. His call to “break the bonds of injustice and oppression” is nothing short of revolutionary.

We tip our hats to the Pope of the Poor even as we humbly ask forgiveness for the actions of our President.

Noynoy, for all his claimed achievements, truly does not know what he’s doing. ###



  Revilla Roxas Aquino
 Did a meeting take place? “Inimbitahan ako ni DILG Secretary Mar Roxas sa kanilang bahay sa Cubao…Ipinatanggal niya ang kanyang plaka, pinaupo niya ako sa likuran at pagkatapos noon ay umalis na kami patungo sa Malacañang.” “Sa isyu naman ng pagpupulong nila ni Pangulong P-Noy, natural sa Pangulo na humarap sa matataas na opisyal ng bayan.” “I was just confirming reports that there were a lot of sectors exerting a lot of pressure on the senators during the trial.” 
What was the meeting about? “Aaminin ko sa inyo, ako ay nabigla dahil tila dinidiktahan ako ng Pangulo (kaugnay ng impeachment).” “Dati kaming magkasama ni Senator Bong sa Senado kaya nang iparating niya na mayroon siyang gustong i-take-up sa Pangulo kasama ang Cityhood ng Bacoor at ang kanyang pagiging Pangulo ng Partido Lakas, gumawa ako ng paraan para magkausap sila. “We were trying to lessen the pressure on all of them (senator-judges).
What happened during the meeting? “Habang nag-aalmusal kami ng pan de sal, kesong puti, itlog, hamon, tapa, sinangag, at mga prutas, bumangka si Secretary Mar tungkol sa mga dahilan kung bakit dapat ma-impeach si dating Chief Justice Corona. Bago kami magtapos, nagulat ako nang sinabi sa akin ng Presidente… “Pare, parang awa mo na, Ibalato mo na sa akin ito. Kailangan siya ma-impeach.” Sabay sunod naman ni Secretary Butch Abad, “Magtulungan tayo Senator.”   “What I was trying to do was basically ensure that they decide on the merits of the (impeachment) case rather than any other outside factor.”
Anything else you want to say? “Sya ang nag-imbita sa akin, si Boy Pick-up…Tamaan ng kidlat kung sino ang nagisinungaling.”
“Hindi solusyon sa problema niya ang paglilihis ng isyu, pagbaluktot sa katotohanan at panloloko ng tao.” So was it right for me to just step aside while all these sectors were really threatening, pressuring and doing things to our senators?” (Aquino also admits to meeting with other senators during this period.)

What is clear is that a meeting did take place. All three confirm this.

With the exception of Mar Roxas, both Revilla and Aquino admit that the agenda of the meeting was the impeachment trial. Mar says it is the cityhood of Bacoor and Revilla’s chairmanship of Lakas. No one believes Mar.

Aquino says he was merely trying to lessen the pressure on the senator-judges… by exerting presidential pressure on one of them. Amazing, right? The President believes people are actually stupid enough to believe this shiz.

In fact, when the President was asked who were these sectors purportedly exerting “a lot of pressure” on the senator-judges, he replied… “Do I have audiotapes? Do we have affidavits? I have none,” he said, except “intelligence reports.”

Ah ganun. 

What makes the meeting troubling is that there are indications that the President attempted to bribe Revilla. There is no clearer indication of this than the presence of Budget Secretary Butch Abad. Why did the president need Abad to be there? Because Abad is the chief architect of the Disbursement Acceleration Program or DAP, that special fund considered part of the presidential pork that was believed to be used as reward money for the conviction of Corona, among others. “Magtulungan tayo,” says Abad. That’s like a talking to a guy with a sackful of money asking you to do something for him. What else could “magtulungan tayo” mean? If that’s not an attempt at bribery, I don’t know what is.

That’s an impeachable offense and once again raises questions about Aquino’s fitness to lead the nation. 



“Senator Noynoy” seemed more at ease trading quips with his running mate or reminiscing about his parents than in describing his policy views, which he delineated more in negative terms”

“Where Senator Aquino was most comfortable was in talking about the past – parents and family, the 1987 coup attempt, the bloody HUK rebellion”.

Kristie Kenney on her meeting with then presidential candidate Benigno Aquino III

“Estrada remains popular with a meaningfully large segment of the electorate despite well-known personal vices, a prior conviction for plunder, and widespread suspicion of culpability in a double murder now under investigation.  An Estrada victory — which we currently view as highly unlikely — could complicate U.S.-Philippine relations, given the former President’s connection to an American convicted of espionage.  Most politically astute Filipinos believe the Supreme Court will eliminate Estrada from the race on constitutional grounds”.

“Most in Manila’s elite circles dread any prospect of Estrada’s return to the presidential palace.  Stories of Estrada’s debauchery, corruption, and mismanagement abounded during his presidency.  Widely thought of as a womanizer, gambler, and alcoholic, Estrada was convicted by the Philippine anti-graft court of plunder.”

Kenney on Erap’s decision to again run for president in 2010

“While the ARMM elections were not perfect, COMELEC demonstrated that it can run an efficient and, for the most part, clean automated election that required sophisticated management capabilities and extensive training of election workers, volunteers, and voting machine technicians”.

Kenney’s assessment of the 2008 ARMM elections where Zaldy Ampatuan garnered 93% of total votes

“Critics of the U.S.-Philippine Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) turned out in force for an August 27 oversight hearing chaired by one of the Philippines most strident and thorny politicians, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago”.

“Philippine Senator Miriam Santiago, one of the Philippines’ most vociferous and domineering politicians, was among the leading skeptics”.

Kenney on the hearing of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the VFA

“On the government’s fight against the communist and Muslim insurgencies, Teodoro is a hawk.”

Kenney describing DND secretary Gilbert Teodoro

“While his term as SND will be fairly brief, it has the potential to be problematic.  In the past we have found Gonzalez to be inconsistent and prone to shooting from the hip”.

Kenney on the appointment of Norberto Gonzales as DND Secretary

“It is clearly not in the Philippines’ best interests to allow tensions in the South China Sea to escalate to the level of armed confrontations”.

Kenney on the Spratly’s dispute

 “A key figure in the Arroyo administration, General (Avelino) Razon has been a close and trusted interlocutor to the Embassy”.

“The burst of activity surrounding LCpl Smith in the past few weeks validates once again this Mission’s — and the U.S. government’s — intensive focus over the past three years on this highly fraught controversy, which has serious consequences not only for LCpl Smith, but the most crucial elements of our diplomatic and military ties with the Philippines”.

Kenney on the Subic rape case

“Her moral leadership, while coming at an important time for the Philippines, never fully compensated for her weak leadership style.  Her presidency was marked by numerous coup attempts and allegations of corruption.  Following her tenure, her antipathy toward President Arroyo led her to ally with more dubious political figures such as former President Estrada, blemishing her reputation as a moral crusader”.

Kenney on former president Corazon Aquino

The first 100 days of the Aquino government was marked by the continuation of many of the policies of previous governments, the continuing deterioration of the human rights situation and the failure to make any headway in the prosecution of former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

In his Ulat sa Bayan, President Benigno Aquino III again did not address crucial issues such as human rights violations, the prosecution of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her cohorts, land reform, migrants welfare and the plight of other marginalized sectors. The 20-minute speech was big on rhetoric but falls short of actual meaningful results.

Aquino’s superficial efforts to make himself appear different from Arroyo cannot cover-up the lack of any meaningful reforms in his government. He gets failing marks in many key areas of governance such as justice, human rights, economic reform and foreign policy.

The Aquino government finds comfort in survey results which it believes are unusually high.  History however has shown that even the most optimistic survey results are fleeting if there are no fundamental changes in place. Former presidents Fidel Ramos and Joseph Estrada during their first 100 days had higher scores than Aquino but both ended up as very unpopular regimes.

The president’s first 100 days saw the following developments:

  1. The failure to hold Arroyo and her cohorts accountable for gross corruption, human rights violations, and sell-out of national interests. Despite the formation of the so-called Truth Commission, no charges have been filed by the Aquino government against the former president. The TC in fact has slowed down the process of accountability. Even the Department of Justice cannot conduct its own investigations because it will have to defer to the TC. Aquino has gone after some tax-evaders and over-paid officials of the past government, but it has miserable failed to make any headway against GMA.
  2. Human rights violations continue with impunity throughout the country. There are now 16 activists who have become victims of extrajudicial killings during Aquino’s first 100 days. There are continuing reports of harassment, abductions, illegal arrests, trumped up charges and torture aimed at critics of government. There have been no charges filed against the known human rights violators of the Arroyo regime. The Aquino government, despite the abuses of the past, has continued the bloody counter-insurgency policy of its predecessor.
  3. Aquino has continued the failed neo-liberal economic policies of past governments. Like his predecessors, Aquino has relied on foreign investments, foreign loans and OFW remittances to prop up the ailing economy. He has not shown any plan for genuine land reform and national industrialization as basic requirements for national development.  Aquino has slashed the budget for social services (education, health) and plans to impose added burdens on the people such as the MRT fare hike. He has made “conditional cash transfer” (read: dole-out) as the centerpiece program in addressing, nay covering up poverty.
  4. The current government has remained subservient to foreign dictates. It has not delivered on its promise of reviewing the VFA. It has expressed unqualified support for the US war on terror and US intervention in Southeast Asia. It has not protested the indefinite stay of US troops in Mindanao.
  5. The Aquino government is wracked by internal squabbles and intensifying rifts between different reactionary factions. These warring factions out to corner the spoils of power  have severely hampered the functions of government. Aquino remains indecisive in addressing this reality as evidenced by his stubborn refusal to fire his friend and shooting-buddy DILG Undersecretary Rico Puno.

With the current state of affairs, the people must rely on their own strengths, initiatives and struggles in working for justice and meaningful change. Ika nga, ‘wag masyadong masilaw sa dilaw na ilaw.’ ###

(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!

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Matrix of controversial GMA midnight appointments