Luisita Watch, the Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) and the Alyansa ng Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (AMBALA) launched today a year-long commemoration and human rights campaign to compel concerned state agencies to finally prosecute and punish the perpetrators of the Hacienda Luisita Massacre which happened in November ten years ago. Dubbed as “HLM-X” the campaign likewise aims to continue seeking justice for victims of subsequent extrajudicial killings related to the unabated agrarian unrest in Hacienda Luisita.
An outdoor ECUMENICAL SERVICE led by Bishop Lito Cruz of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente was held in front of the AMBALA hut, 5th St., Brgy. Balete, Hacienda Luisita, Tarlac City this morning to commemorate the 9th death anniversary of FATHER WILLIAM and the martyrdom of other Luisita advocates who fell victim to extra-judicial killings (EJK) in the month of March – Tarlac City Councilor ABEL LADERA (died March 3, 2005), United Luisita Workers Union leader TIRSO CRUZ (March 17, 2006) and Anakpawis leader VICTOR “TATANG BEN” CONCEPCION (March 17, 2005).
The service was followed by a “JERICHO MARCH” around the walls of the disputed agricultural lands in Balete now controlled by the Cojuangco-Aquino-owned Tarlac Development Corporation. The march alluded to the Old Testament account of a people who, through their unity and thundering shouts, set the tyrannical walls of Jericho crumbling down. “We are doing the “Jericho March” as a symbolic and militant mass action to continue rallying the Luisita farm workers in the struggle for genuine land reform and justice amid the literal wall of terror and impunity of the Cojuangco-Aquinos,” said AMBALA spokesperson and Balete resident Christopher Garcia .
Read more on Fr. William Tadena, Councilor Ladera, Tirso Cruz & Tatang Ben Concepcion from the Luisita Watch factsheet
Photos of the Ecumenical Service & Jericho March.