#LuisitaUpdate | Why did netizens revive a 4-year-old news item on Hacienda Luisita?

luisitaupdate

This past week, the news report “SupremeCourt votes 14-0 to redistribute Hacienda Luisita” which first appeared on November 24, 2011 at Interaksyon.com suddenly went viral, eliciting mostly hopeful reactions from netizens. One opinion columnist even referred to the news as an “early Christmas” treat for Luisita farmers.

Why did netizens revive this 4-year old news item on Hacienda Luisita? We suppose that it is public knowledge that Hacienda Luisita farmers are still fighting for genuine land reform and justice. Concerned citizens, however, may not be fully aware that it has been years since the SC’s unanimous decision for total land distribution in Hacienda Luisita was made final and executory on April 24, 2012.

A closer look at the situation of the so-called “beneficiaries” will reveal that land distribution in Luisita under the BS Aquino regime has been a complete sham.

Paying attention to details of the Interaksyon.com video, one would realize that the areas where farmers are shown planting rice and cultivating vegetable plots are the same areas where farmers have been forcibly evicted in subsequent violent incidents from 2012 up to the present. Even the actual farmers interviewed in the story – Gary Gonzales and Anita Flores – have become victims displaced by police and military-assisted eviction from 2013 to 2014.

See this April 2014 UCAN news story showing farmer Gary Gonzales:

..and this Tudla newsreel dated November 2014 with farmer Anita Flores:

Agricultural areas shown in the Interaksyon video, located in Barangay Balete, Hacienda Luisita, are now fenced and heavily-guarded by private security personnel of Cojuangco-Aquino firm TADECO and LRC, and the Yuchengco-owned RCBC.

Only a few months after the Interaksyon.com report, from January to March 2012, a series of violent attacks in the RCBC area led to the unlawful arrest of several farmers. Other than this, it was a few days before Christmas in 2013 when crops and huts have been razed to the ground in the TADECO area. More atrocities, such as destruction of crops and property, burning of huts, unlawful detention of farmers including children, were reported in 2014.

Only last March, President BS Aquino signed a public-private partnership (PPP) project to construct the Tarlac Solar Power Plant in the said disputed areas. PetroSolar, the private firm tasked to implement the project with the Department of Energy is also owned by the Yuchengcos – the same Cojuangco-Aquino business partners claiming ownership of disputed lands through RCBC.

We stand with Luisita farmers fighting to stop further dislocation. Farmworkers have been consistently struggling alongside the people for genuine land reform and social justice.

We urge concerned citizens to closely monitor developments in Hacienda Luisita and join us in keeping the public informed of the most recent #LuisitaUpdate. For fresh news on the farmworkers’ struggle for land and justice, follow Luisita Watch on Twitter and visit our blog at www.luisitawatch.wordpress.com 

 

GI ESTRADA
Media Officer, Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA)
uma.pilipinas@gmail.com

Follow @UMApilipinas on Twitter

 

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#HLMX Music Video Tribute to Hacienda Luisita Martyrs

 //
Tribute music videos of songs from 5 Year Plan (“Pagbawi”),  Goons N’ Guns (“Luisita’s Cry), and Gazera  (“Kung Puntod na ang Bukirin”) launched during the November 7 solidarity activity at UP, were screened at the Luisita Watch Kapihan held last Saturday, February 21, at the Taumbayan Cafe, Kamuning.
The videos, directed by Cinemalaya X Best Editor Gerone Centeno, follow decades of Hacienda Luisita’s history through the eyes of Luisa, a 10-year old peasant girl. Luisa is played by Angela Tubiera of Hacienda Luisita, the youngest “spokesperson” of the farmworkers’ land and justice campaign. The videos, produced by Luisita Watch and Molotov, may now be viewed on Youtube.
Pagbawi by 5 Year Plan

 

Luisita’s Cry by Goons N’ Guns

 

Kung Puntod na ang Bukirin by Gazera

 

HLMX Trilogy [2015]

Produced by Luisita Watch (https://luisitawatch.wordpress.com) and Molotov, these music videos of songs from 5 Year Plan (“Pagbawi”), Goons N’ Guns (“Luisita’s Cry), and Gazera (“Kung Puntod na ang Bukirin”) pay tribute to the martyrs of Hacienda Luisita.

Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac province is a 6,453-hectare sugar estate controlled for decades by the Cojuangco-Aquinos, one of the most powerful landlord families to ever hold state power in the Philippines.

In 2004, seven farmworkers were killed and hundreds of others were injured in the infamous Hacienda Luisita massacre. Political killings and gross human rights violations continue under the current Philippine President, Benigno Aquino III, a scion of the Cojuangco-Aquinos.

The videos, directed by Cinemalaya X Best Editor Gerone Centeno, follow decades of Hacienda Luisita’s history through the eyes of Luisa, a 10-year old peasant girl. Luisa is played by Angela Tubiera of Hacienda Luisita, the youngest “spokesperson” of the farmworkers’ land and justice campaign.

THE MARTYRS OF HACIENDA LUISITA

November 16, 2004 Hacienda Luisita Massacre —

Jhaivie Basilio / Jhune David / Juancho Sanchez / Jaime Fastidio / Adriano Caballero, Jr. / Jesus Laza / Jessie Valdez / and the nameless sakadas of Hacienda Luisita /

Hacienda Luisita Political Killings —

Marcelino Beltran (December 8, 2004) / Abelardo Ladera (March 3, 2005) / Father William Tadena (March 13, 2005) / Victor “Tatang Ben” Concepcion (March 17, 2005) / Florante Collantes (October 15, 2005) / Ricardo Ramos (October 25, 2005) / Tirso Cruz (March 17, 2006) / Bishop Alberto Ramento (October 3, 2006) / Dennis dela Cruz (November 1, 2013)

To the memory of Isidro “Edong” Batan (d.October 31, 2014)

PRODUCTION TEAM

Gerone Centeno / AJ Metrio / Paolo Lorenzo / Sinag De Jesus / Angelo Jamilano / El Lorenzo / Kerima Tariman / Ericson Acosta / Onin Tagaro / Kirk Sanchez / Owen Berico / Joanne Cesario / Robert Sarmiento / MC Sacay / Joyce Cesario / Francis Diaz /

CAST

Angela Tubiera (Luisa) / Michelle Smith (Luisa’s mother) / Jimmy (Luisa’s father) / Merto (farmer) / Gerone Centeno (despotic landlord) / Sinag de Jesus (goons) / Ronald (Jhaivie Basilio) / Paolo Lorenzo (farmworker) / mga kambing //

MUSIC

// “Pagbawi” by 5 Year Plan // Rosler Esturco (vocals) / Neil Ambion (guitar) / Edsa Manlapaz (bass) / Michael Beltran (drums) /

// “Luisita’s Cry” by Goons N’ Guns // Luisita’s Cry” original song by Pink Cow // Lanseta (vocals / BLKD (vocals) / Thomas (vocals) / Pitz (guitar) / Dolpho Mapagmahal (bass) / Bryan Dela Vega (horns) / Lon Caacbay (drums) /

// “Kung Puntod na ang Bukirin” by Gazera // based on the poem “Kung Puntod na ang Bukirin” by Axel Pinpin / original song by Karit – NNARA-Youth // Lanseta (vocals) / Gold Villar (vocals) / Jonathan Mangulabnan (guitar) / Jomar Mangulabnan (guitar) / Jharem Bituya (bass) / Pigo Caig (drums)

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Creative and logistical contributions from

The people of Hacienda Luisita —

Florida Sibayan / Mila and Lando Capit / Capit-Tubiera family / Mandigma family / Christopher Garcia / Rudy Corpuz / Renato Mendoza / Michael Garcia / Ofelia Ocampo / Ocampo family / Violeta Basillio / Sabel Garcia / Emily Ladera and Boy Facunla / Versola-Sibayan family / Ramos-Intal family / Fastidio family / Beth Cruz / Pastor Gabby Sanchez & family / Marietta Dumaual / Pineda family / Gerry and Dina Catalan / Batan family / SAKDAL and AMBALA members in Barangays Balete, Mapalacsiao, Cutcut, Bantog, Asturias, Pando & Motrico //

Additional footage —

“Sa Ngalan ng Tubo” (2004, Tudla / Mayday / Eiler) / Aklasan (2004, Sipat) / AMBALA-UMA / Kiri Dalena / Dexter Aserdano / Tudla / Youtube //

Location, props, costumes, equipment other technical support —

Antares Gomez Bartolome / Vencer Crisostomo / Silay Lumbera-Crisostomo / Prof. Bien Lumbera / Prof. Shayne Lumbera / Rose Bucud (Linangan/KMU) / Jun Resureccion (Mayday) / Sarah Jane Biton / Roland Tolentino / Elwin Zalamea / Jedd Dumaguina / Marco Silvano (Sinagbayan) / Nick Sangil (Tambol Bayan) / Marie Mercado / Kristine Razo Malagueno / Rowena Bayon / Sarah Maramag / Angge Santos / Tom Estrera III / KARAPATAN / Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) / Linangan / One Dash Zero Cinetools / Blue Room Studio / Redverb Studio / e.g.Yolk Productions / UP CMC / UP CMC Student Council / All-UP Workers Union //

Luisita Watch network & HLMX campaign participants —

Jes Aznar / Frances Abrigo / Buen Abrigo / Rai Cruz / Leeroy New / Ness Roque-Lumbres / Vlad Maro / Sofia Guillermo / Bomen Guillermo / Gelacio Guillermo / Alice Guillermo / Andres Crisostomo / Ilena Saturay / Roselle Pineda / Sarah Raymundo / Prof. Cynthia Zayas / Brian Barrios / Gary Rojas Santiago / Renato Reyes Jr. / Monique Wilson (One Billion Rising) / Fr. Jess Dumaual / Sister Patricia Fox / Rene Galang / Angeli Bayani / Justine Flores / BAYAN Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares / Teddy Casino / Monet & Chickoy Pura / Jess Santiago / TKNK / Pink Cow / Talahib / AMGL / KMP / KMU / Linangan / Anakpawis Partylist / Office of Anakpawis Rep. Fernando Hicap / AMIHAN / Sinagbayan / NNARA-Youth / Pamalakaya / RMP / TaBaKK / Ugatlahi / Project Bakawan / Musicians for Peace / Soundkraft Music Studio / Tambol Bayan / Sining Bulosan / Tudla / Selestine Arts / DLSU-CSB / HLPSN / Anakbayan / Iglesia Filipina Independiente / IFI-Tarlac / IFI – La Paz, Tarlac / PCPR / NCCP-UCCP / Redemptorist Seminarians / KARAPATAN / Hustisya / Desaparecidos / Selda / KABATAAN Partylist / Bayan Muna / GWP / Act Teachers Partylist / KM64 / SIPAT / Bulatlat.com / PinoyMedia Center / Pinoy Weekly / Kodao Productions / Concerned Artists of the Philippines / UP CONTEND / STAND-UP / Migrante-Intl / BAYAN / atbp! //

Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (AMBALA) – Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA)

WATCH: #HLMX newsreels

News reports on the November 15-16 protest caravan for the tenth year commemoration of the Hacienda Luisita massacre (HLMX) from Mendiola, Manila to the Gate 1 of the Central Azucarera de Tarlac sugar mill, the site of the massacre a decade ago.

http://news5.com.ph/embed.aspx?g=5E1BAD5F6C6249B

The Hacienda Luisita Strike

Karaoke video version of “Aklasan” song by KARATULA, based on the poem by labor leader and national artist Amado V. Hernandez. Video by Sipat with footage from the Hacienda Luisita strike of 2004.

10th year anniversary of the strike: Justice for Luisita massacre, impossible under Aquino gov’t

AP logoStatement by Anakpawis Partylist, November 6, 2014

 

In commemorating the 10th year anniversary of the start of the historic strike in Hacienda Luisita by farm and mill workers on November 6, 2004, the militant Anakpawis Partylist said in a statement that justice for the victims of the violent dispersal dubbed as “Hacienda Luisita massacre” that took place 10 days later is “impossible” under the administration of president Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III.

“Sa ilalim ni Aquino, kung saan may malaking impluwensya at kontrol ang pamilyang Cojuangco-Aquino sa mga ahensya at institusyon, makikitang imposibleng mabigyang hustisya ang mga biktima ng masaker sa kanyang termino,” [Under Aquino, where his family enjoys immense influence and control over gov’t agencies and institutions, it is apparent that justice would remain elusive under his term,] said Anakpawis Partylist Representative Fernando “Ka Pando” Hicap.

Anakpawis said that the Hacienda Luisita issue had its roots to the centuries-old feudal problem that consequently led to the impoverished state of the farm workers compelling them to wage the strike in 2004. In 1989, former president Corazon Aquino who promised to distribute the 6,453-hectare sugar lands to the farm workers had instead covered it under the Republic Act 6657 or Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), particularly section 32 or its provision of stock distribution option (sdo). In more than a decade of being under the sdo scheme, farm worker beneficiaries (fwbs) suffered even worse socio-economic conditions that later pushed them to go on strike in 2004 to demand for land distribution.

“Nagsilbing instrumento ang CARP at sdo ng pamilyang Cojuangco-Aquino upang sila ay kumita nang malaki habang nagtiis sa hirap at gutom ang mga manggagawang bukid tulad ng pag-uwi ng arawang sahod na P9.50,” [CARP and sdo served as instruments to benefit the Cojuangco-Aquino family while farm workers faced poverty and hunger as demonstrated by their daily take-home pay that amounted to P9.50,] said Hicap.

On November 10, 2004, then-labor secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas of the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo gov’t issued an assumption of jurisdiction (aj) which practically served as “license” to violently disperse the picket line. Truckloads of government state forces were immediately deployed and on November 16, striking farm workers were fired upon resulting in the killing of 7, namely Jun David, Jhaivie Basilio, Jesus Laza, Jessie Valdez, Juancho Sanchez, Adriano Caballero Jr. and Jaime Pastidio, and the wounding of more than a hundred.

“Ang kutsabahang pamilyang Cojuangco-Aquino at Arroyo na gumamit ng aj ang nagbigay ng ‘go signal’ para pagbabarilin ang mga nagwewelgang manggagawang bukid, kaya malaki ang kanilang utang na dugo sa pamilya ng mga biktima at hanggang ngayon ay walang hustisyang naigagawad,” [The collusion between the Cojuangco-Aquino family and Arroyo which utilized the aj, gave the “go signal” for the gov’t forces to open fire at the striking farm workers, thus, they have a huge blood debt to the families of the victims and until now justice is yet to be served,] Hicap said.

The farm workers filed criminal charges against then-congressman Aquino and his relatives which were dismissed by the Ombudsman on July 2005.

“Habang busy ang mga alyado ni Aquino sa hacienda Binay, magsasampung taon na ang kawalang hustisya sa kanya mismong hasyenda, wala na tayong maaasahan sa ganitong gubyerno, kaya, ang hustisya ay posible lamang kapag tapos na ang kanyang pagkapangulo,” [While the Aquino’s allies are busy dealing with hacienda Binay, injustice within his own hacienda is nearing a decade-old, we have nothing to hope for this kind of gov’t, hence, justice is only possible when Aquino’s presidency is over,] Hicap said. ###

 

10 years after Luisita strike, still no land, justice for farm workers

kmu

Statement by Kilusang Mayo Uno (May First Movement), November 6, 2014

 

Marking the 10th year of the start of the historic strike in Hacienda Luisita, national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno condemned today the Cojuangco-Aquino clan for continuing to deny land and justice to the farm workers, saying the clan is behind one of the biggest land scams in recent Philippine history.

The labor group said the strike, which fought for higher wages and condemned the non-implementation of land reform in the 6,453-hectare estate, was met with violence –with a massacre on November 16 which killed seven people and the succeeding extra-judicial killings and harassment of land reform advocates.

“Today we mark the 10th anniversary of the just and historic strike at Hacienda Luisita. We continue to rail against the Cojuangco-Aquino clan for the low wages, denial of land reform, and brutal suppression of the peasants of Luisita and their supporters,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

The labor leader recalled that Pres. Noynoy Aquino, who was a congressman when the massacre occurred, defended the massacre at the floor of the House of Representatives against criticisms made by labor leader Crispin Beltran, who was representative of Anakpawis Partylist at the time.

He also recalled that Aquino promised to distribute Luisita’s lands to farmers during the campaign for the 2010 presidential elections, but immediately unseated former Chief Justice Renato Corona for leading the Supreme Court in ruling that the hacienda’s lands be distributed to farm workers.

“Noynoy Aquino has played a leading role in the continuing denial of land and justice to the farm workers of Luisita. He has led his family in perpetuating one of the biggest land scams in recent Philippine history and has consistently been anti-farmer and anti-poor,” Labog added.

KMU vowed to join the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura, and the Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita in holding protests to mark the 10th anniversary of the Luisita farm workers’ strike and the Hacienda Luisita massacre.

“We will continue to fight for genuine land reform and the abolition of all haciendas in the country, especially of Hacienda Luisita. The violence being inflicted on the Luisita farm workers and the deception being foisted on the public only add to the Cojuangco-Aquinos’ crimes against farmers and all Filipinos,” Labog stated.

Reference Person: 

Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson

 
Contact information: 

0908-1636597

Php 9.50 daily wage started off workers’ strike 10 yrs. ago

karapatan_logoStatement by KARAPATAN (Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights), November 6, 2014

“The case of Hacienda Luisita reflects the hypocrisy of the Aquino government—all these talks about land reform, ‘kayo ang boss ko’ and righteous path. If there’s one thing that succinctly describes the government’s double talk, it’s Hacienda Luisita,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay.

A decade ago today, November 6, farmworkers of Hacienda Luisita launched a strike against the Cojuangco-Aquino-owned Hacienda Luisita, Inc.  Some 5,000 farmworkers, all members of the United Luisita Workers’ Union (ULWU) were joined by about 700 sugar mill workers under the Central Azucarera de Tarlac Labor Union (CATLU).

“The struggle of the peasants and workers of Hacienda Luisita deserves public attention because it embodies how generations of landlord-bureaucrats used law and terror to further exploit and oppress the farmworkers and to keep the almost 6,500 hectares of Hacienda Luisita all to themselves,” said Palabay.

The farmworkers’ strike was a culmination of a series of actions they took to address the joblessness and other ploys the Cojuangco-Aquinos used to keep the hacienda workers’ wages low.  “Today, we also remember the Php 9.50 a day wage that the farmworkers were getting from the Cojuangco-Aquinos. Some were even getting Php 9.50 a week,” added Palabay.

The strike ended in what is now known as the Hacienda Luisita massacre, which led to the death of seven people, 121 seriously injured and hundreds of farmworkers arrested. Since then, terror inside the Hacienda has not stopped.

A documentation made by the Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) said the Yellow Army, maintained by the Conjuanco-Aquinos in the 1980s, was replaced by the Luisita Estate Management after the massacre. The LEM tapped the military to sow terror in the Hacienda.

When BS Aquino assumed presidency, AFP troops were deployed in the Hacienda, aside from the presence of the Civilian Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) and members of the Philippine National Police (PNP). There are military detachments of the 701st IBPA in 10 villages of Hacienda Luisita.

“The state forces are involved in harassment, mauling, and arrests of farmworkers, burning of farm houses, destruction of fields planted with vegetables and other crops, indiscriminate firing, aside from the continuing legal maneuvers to evade Supreme Court’s decision to distribute the lands to the farmers. BS Aquino should be held accountable for all these violations,” said Palabay.

 

Disqualify DAR & PNoy instead, not the 125 Luista farmers — Anakpawis Partylist


Video report by GMA News Balita Pilipinas Ngayon

The Anakpawis Party-list group called the recent move by the Department of Agrarian Reform to disqualify 125 Luisita farm worker beneficiaries unjust and clearly a vicious act of reprisal against those who have long been demanding for real land distribution in Hacienda Luisita.

“It appears that the DAR and the Cojuangco-Aquinos are punishing the farm workers for having been unremitting in exposing the travesty of land distribution in Hacienda Luisita, the atrocious social cost of the Presidential family’s drive to retain control over the long disputed agricultural estate, and the impeachable and criminally liable actions of the President himself” said Anakpawis Representative Fernando “Ka Pando” Hicap.

The 125 disqualified farmers are known members and officers of the Alyansa ng Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (AMBALA) which, as early as last year, has joined the clamor to hold President BS Aquino accountable for corruption in relation to the Disbursement Acceleration Program controversy.

According to Hicap, the beleaguered Luisita farmers and their group are taking great issue with the DAP not only because they are aware how this has generally exacerbated the rotten system of political patronage in the country, but also because in many instances, the so-called Presidential pork barrel modus has been used particularly to grossly undermine the struggle for genuine land reform and justice in Hacienda Luisita.

“There was DAP in the scandalous pay-offs during the Corona impeachment because the President wanted badly to get back at the former chief justice for having penned the 2012 Supreme Court ruling to finally distribute Hacienda Luisita. There was DAP most likely in the DAR landlord compensation fund because the Cojuangco-Aquinos were aggressively negotiation an astronomically unfair sum for even the nominal transfer to the farmers of Hacienda Luisita,” Hicap said.

“There was DAP even that got its way straight to Barangay Central in Tarlac City because the barangay chief is a local crony of the President, tried and tested in opposing every demand of the organized ranks of farm workers in Hacienda Luisita,” Hicap added.

Hicap was referring to Brgy. Captain Edgardo Aguas. Aguas, a former engineer for and present stockholder of the Central Azucarera de Tarlac, is known to have been rabidly against the physical distribution of Hacienda Luisita prior to the Supreme Court decision but, for obvious devious reasons according to Hicap, has now been declared a farm worker beneficiary by the DAR.

“It is the likes of Aguas who should instead be disqualified from claiming a piece of Hacienda Luisita and not the 125 farm workers of AMBALA who have all the legal, moral and historical rights to the land as its actual tireless tillers for decades,” said Hicap.

“It is the leaders of the DAR who deserve in fact to be disqualified from their posts for brazenly serving the interest of tyrannical hacienderos. For so many reasons compelling enough to point to his betrayal of public trust, including the plunder of public coffers for his own clan’s benefit and whatnot, it is the haciendero President himself who should be disqualified from completing his term of office,” Hicap concluded.

For reference: Anakpawis party list representative Fernando Hicap 09202271620

BS Aquino Hounded by Protest at Columbia University

From BAYAN USA

Watch this video primer  “Land & Justice: Hacienda Luisita” (with English subtitles)

New York– Around 35 protesters hounded Philippine President Benigno Aquino III during the latter’s speaking engagement at Columbia University. Aquino was visibly caught off guard as young Filipino-Americans with Anakbayan New Jersey, New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP), and Gabriela New York challenged him from the audience during a forum held inside Columbia’s Low Memorial Library with questions on the pork barrel scandal, Typhoon Haiyan, and human rights abuses treated with impunity.

At the same time, a rally was conducted outside in the main courtyard of the university with BAYAN USA, a Filipino-American social justice alliance, raised the issue of the dominance of US interests over Philippine economic and political spheres “stunting Philippine economic growth and deepening poverty in the country.”

Slashing Disaster Relief Funds vs. Pork Barrel System

At the forum, the questions and comments were raised on lack of adequate relief for Typhoon Haiyan victims, and some not receiving any relief at all, after 10 months.

A banner reading “Oust Aquino, Pork Barrel King” was unfurled by the stage in front of the audience.

Human Rights Abuses, Impunity, Hacienda Luisita

The young activists inside the library also raised the issue of human rights abuses with a banner reading “End Impunity. Stop the Killings”.

“I have been to Hacienda Luisita. I have seen first hand the continuing plight of the farmworkers, the families of the laborers of those who were massacred for wanting to earn more than 9 pesos a day. It’s unbelievable to me that this can happen on the piece of property owned by the President’s family,” stated Joelle Lingat of Anakbayan New Jersey, who was escorted out by New York City police after she got up and challenged Aquino on his human rights track record.

Protesters continued to rally outside until the forum was over and Aquino left the campus.

More news from Manila Today here

Watch the video from Rappler.com

Watch the Eskinita episode featuring Filipino-American activists’ recent  exposure trip to Hacienda Luisita here

HLMX: Ten years after the Hacienda Luisita Massacre

THE YEAR 2014 MARKS THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE INFAMOUS HACIENDA LUISITA Massacre. In November 16, 2004, seven farmworkers were killed while hundreds of others were injured and unlawfully arrested after police and military personnel opened fire on thousands of striking sugar workers near the gate of the Central Azucarera de Tarlac (CAT) mill in Hacienda Luisita – the controversial 6,453-hectare estate controlled for nearly five decades by one of the Philippines’ most powerful landlord families, the Cojuangco-Aquino clan. The current Philippine President, Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III is a fifth generation scion of the Cojuangcos.

Survivors and kin of the victims filed criminal and admistrative complaints against massacre perpetrators before the Office of the Ombudsman in 2005, but all complaints have since been dismissed. Until now, NOBODY has been held liable for the massacre. Today, despite a landmark Supreme Court ruling on land distribution, thousands of farmworkers still struggle with landlessness, poverty, hunger and impunity. Gross human rights violations related to land grabbing and the Cojuangco-Aquinos’ aggressive bid to retain control of the estate continue unabated.

Luisita Watch, the Hacienda Luisita Peasant Supporters Network, with people’s organizations AMBALA (Hacienda Luisita Farmworkers Alliance) and the national farmworkers federation Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA), and human rights group KARAPATAN – will lead the campaign to commemorate the 10th year of the Hacienda Luisita Massacre (HLMX) by advancing the struggle for genuine land reform and actively seeking justice for all victims of human rights violations and impunity in Hacienda Luisita.

Activities:

Sept 3 – 40th day mass and Tribute to Leticia “Apong Let” Lapuz (November 30, 1945- July 25, 2014), Hacienda Luisita farm worker, unionist, activist and poet

Sept 14 – Launching of People’s Initiative Against Pork Barrel in Hacienda Luisita

Sept 16 – Special Book Launch of “Mga Tula” (Poems) by renowned poet Gelacio Guillermo (born 1940 in Hacienda Luisita) 6 pm at the Handuraw Sikatuna, Anonas Extension, Quezon City

Oct 16 – Tribute to Luisita Martyrs – Commemoration of the death anniversaries of Bishop Alberto Ramento (killed Oct 3, 2006), Bayan-Muna Central Luzon Secgen Florante Collantes (killed Oct 15, 2005), Central Azucarera de Tarlac Labor Union President Ricardo Ramos (killed Oct. 25, 2005) and AMBALA bungkalan leader Dennis dela Cruz (killed October 31, 2013)

Oct 17-18 – Peasant Women International Fact-Finding Mission at Hacienda Luisita spearheaded by Amihan and UMA.

Nov 15- 16 – HLMX: Commemoration of the 10th year of the Hacienda Luisita Massacre

Support the HLMX campaign! For more information, please contact Luisita Watch at (02) 799-2009. Follow Luisita Watch on twitter and Facebook