Kris Aquino trivializes conditions of Hacienda Luisita farmworkers

P-Noy’s Kamag-Anak, Kabarilan interests behind Luisita farmers’ sufferings

krisburnSTATEMENT  |  Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura | April 26, 2014

Presidential sister Kris Aquino trivializes the conditions of farm workers in Hacienda Luisita by laughing off the serious matter of government’s failure to address the peasants’ legitimate demands. Reacting to reports of farmers burning her effigy during a daring protest action Thursday, Kris even hinted that the farmers’ rage against the Cojuangco-Aquinos’ tyrannical feudal reign in the said sugar estate is but “part and parcel of life.”

Hundreds of farmers stormed the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) compound on the second anniversary of the Luisita Supreme Court ruling to protest the Aquino government’s implementation of “hoax land distribution.” An effigy of Kris Aquino depicting her as a black catwoman — to symbolize her position as one of the directors of the CAT or the Central Azucarera de Tarlac sugar mill in Hacienda Luisita — was among those burned by angry Luisita farmers.

The CAT is among several corporate avatars of the Cojuangco-Aquino family currently engaged in aggressive landgrab efforts. Last March, the CAT started evicting farmers from 214 hectares of agricultural lands found in Barangays Central, Mapalacsiao and Parang by bulldozing crops and fencing off these areas from the tillers.

Furthermore, the DAR’s supposed 87% land distribution accomplishment in Luisita is easily dispelled by the CAT’s uninterrupted control of sugarcane production. Cojuangco-Aquino financier-dummies such as P-Noy Kabarilan Virgie Torres have forged illicit lease agreements victimizing cash-strapped farmworkers. Torres’ transactions cover at least 200 hectares of land purportedly awarded to beneficiaries by the DAR.

Kris cannot escape accountability by candidly brushing aside her family’s grave crimes against Luisita farmers. Her denial of any responsibility by claiming that she has already left the CAT exposes her insensitivity and indifference to relentless violent attacks wrought by her family to Luisita farmworkers. The media and the public can always peruse records at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to confirm that Kris is still an active member of the CAT’s board of directors. In fact, Kris and the rest of President BS Aquino’s sisters all have business interests in Hacienda Luisita, according to SEC records. Aside form Kris, all the other Aquino sisters are stockholders of the CAT.

Maria Elena “Ballsy” Aquino-Cruz is also the treasurer of the Tarlac Development Corporation (TADECO), which is currently involved in the relentless spate of harassment, unlawful arrests and violent eviction of farmworker-beneficiaries in Hacienda Luisita. Ballsy is also a member of the board of directors of the Luisita Realty Corporation (LRC) where the two other Presidential sisters Aurora Corazon “Pinky” Aquino-Abellada and Victoria Elisa “Viel” Aquino-Dee sit as top stockholders. The LRC is behind the illegal Luisita Ecozone Project which is the cause of TADECO and CAT’s aggressive land grab efforts. If completely implemented, this project may cause the wipe-out of the whole agricultural community of Hacienda Luisita.

President BS Aquino cannot escape accountability for the land reform travesty in Hacienda Luisita. Despite having allegedly divested himself of all his Luisita shares, the public cannot but conclude that the President is actively protecting the interests of his family members, as he is perpetually indebted to them as his campaign contributors.

BS Aquino’s 2010 campaign kitty was bankrolled by his sisters Kris (Php 15M), Pinky (Php 5M) and Ballsy (Php 3M), and other members of the Cojuangco-Aquino “Kamag-Anak, Inc.” such as Luisita kingpin Peping Cojuangco’s daughter Josephine Guingona (Php 5M), also a director of the LRC; and TADECO stockholder Josephine Reyes (Php 5M), who also represent the clan’s big landlord interests to retain control of Hacienda Luisita. “Bobo lang ang maniniwala na wala nang interes si Noynoy sa Luisita,” said an angry farmer interviewed by a major TV station during the farmers’ DAR siege.

Kris seems ecstatic to see herself in the same league as US President Barack Obama whose effigies are burned by indignant peoples oppressed by US imperialism. Without land and justice for Luisita farmers, and with her brother President BS Aquino now acting as top agent of US imperialism in the country, her “Massacre Queen” title spawned by her mediocre acting in her early movies may well begin to stick to the Cojuangco-Aquino family – the country’s “Massacre Royalty” perpetuating impunity, despotic landlordism and feudal bondage in Tarlac and the rest of the Philippine countryside as evidenced by the Mendiola Massacre, the Hacienda Luisita Massacre and the bloody implementation of Cory’s bogus land reform via the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).##


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