ANGELES CITY, APRIL 9 — Multisectoral group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Gitnang Luson (Central Luzon) expressed the above statement to President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino as the Cojuangco-Aquinos wage a frenzy of attacks against farmworkers in Hacienda Luisita. Since the decision of the Supreme Court in April 2012 ordering the distribution of the more than four thousand-hectare sugar estate, the Cojuangco-Aquino clan has engaged in different schemes to circumvent the SC decision. Among these are the “tambiolo” or raffle system of land distribution to farmworker-beneficiaries last year facilitated by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), the fencing of farmlands in Barangay Balete, Cutcut and Mapalacsiao claimed by Tarlac Development Corporation (TADECO) and subsequently filing ejectment cases against farmworkers among others.
Since the last quarter of 2013 up to the present, the Cojuangco-Aquino family has heightened its use of violence against Luisita farmworkers and their supporters thru the family-owned Luisita Realty Corporation (LRC), TADECO and Central Azucarera de Tarlac (CAT) and Tarlac Development Corporation.
Among these violent incidents are the arrest of 11 individuals of a National Fact Finding Team including Anakpawis Representative Fernando Hicap by the Provincial and City Philippine National Police (PNP); the bulldozing of sizable hectares of farmlands last Christmas season and the illegal arrests of eight farmworkers defending their land, the demolition of AMBALA’s “kubol” (hut) in Balete and Cutcut; along with the destruction and arson of farmhuts of AMBALA leaders and members; the series of arbitrary arrest and detention, and trumped-up charges against AMBALA leaders, members and even supporters the latest of which are the illegal arrests of AMBALA leader Florida Sibayan and Julius Loveland last March 19, and AMBALA members George Gatus, Gerry Catalan, Jaime Quiambao, Alvin Gratil and Leoncio Suarez last April 3; while City Councilor Emy Ladera-Facunla, sister of extra-judicial killing victim Councilor Abel Ladera was charged with trespassing and coercion by TADECO.
The assault, physical injuries, warrantless raids and other forms of threat, harassments and intimidation are done by TADECO security guards and thugs with the connivance of the PNP Tarlac Provincial and City Command under Provincial Director Alex Sintin & Tarlac City Chief Bayani Razalan, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines particularly the 3rd Mechanized Infantry Batallion which constructed its headquarters at Barangay (village) Balete.
The latest of these unabashed attacks is the “Martilyo-gang” type of assault last March 28 by TADECO security personnel led by Mauro dela Cruz, Jovito Suelen and Willy Cariaga victimizing Jerry Mesa who suffered head injuries and three others in Barangay Cutcut II while the police were just at a distance in full view of the incident. Ironically, when the farmworkers defended themselves the police then arrested Marcelino Lugay, Pia Hernandez while Fernan Corpuz, was taken under hospital arrest at the Tarlac Provincial Hospital due to heart problems.
“These brazen attacks by the Cojuangco-Aquino and the state security forces of the Government of the Philippines against Luisita farmworkers and supporters all point-out to President BS Aquino, a member of the Cojuangco-Aquino family and the Commander in Chief of the state security forces”, stated Roman Polintan, Bayan-Gitnang Luson Chair.
“He cannot wash his hands of the continuing violence and injustice committed against Luisita farmworkers, in fact the continuance or end of violence in Luisita is at his disposal”, the Bayan-GL Chair added.
“Hacienda Luisita is a picture of how alive feudalism in the Philippines is, with BS Aquino as the chief feudal lord, with all the powers of bureaucracy and military at his command”, stated the Bayan-GL Chair.
The Bayan-GL Chair vows to heighten support for the Luisita farmworkers and for genuine agrarian reform in the country through series of campaigns ang mass actions by its provincial chapters and allied sectoral organizations in Central Luzon.
“Bayan-Gitnang Luson, its provincial chapters and allied sectoral organizations in Central Luzon has withstand the fascist attacks of Arroyo’s Oplan Bantay Laya and the current Oplan Bayanihan of BS Aquino and is in a position to wage different people’s struggles in Central Luzon — to fight feudalism that Hacienda Luisita epitomizes, bureaucrat capitalism and imperialism, alongside the Filipino people”, the Bayan-GL leader ended. ###