Aquino's house at Times St., Quezon City. (Photo by AMGL)
Farmers belonging to the Alyansa ng mga Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luson (Amgl, Farmers' Alliance in Central Luzon) and Alyansa ng Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (Ambala, Farmworkers' Alliance in Hacienda Luisita) slammed the exposed linkage of Akbayan partylist with the Cojuangco-Aquino family and president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino's immoral defense of the said group. This is in reaction with the report that Aquino's sisters are the biggest backer of Akbayan donating more than P10 million for its campaign funds during the May 10 elections.
“This is unacceptable as Akbayan, a phony pretender of representing the marginalized in an immoral conspiracy with the Cojuangco-Aquino family who is known all over the country as an oppressor of Hacienda Luisita farmworkers,” Joseph Canlas said, Amgl chairperson.
“They claim to represent the marginalized but with the Hacienda Luisita issue they are the side of the very family who exploited them for decades and massacred them in 2004,” he added.
Amgl and Ambala urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to disqualify Akbayan as it is obviously not a representative of the marginalized and a concrete case is the Hacienda Luisita dispute. It also backed by president Aquino, his family and other rich and powerful personalities in the country. Ambala warned Akbayan leaders against luring the farmworkers into surrendering to the Cojuangco-Aquino family's interest.
“Akbayan paid leaders should stop deceiving the farmworkers or else they would face their resentment bigger than what Anakbayan members did during their press conference,” Canlas said.
“Comelec chair Brillantes and the other commissioners should simply consider the issue of Hacienda Luisita and they would clearly validate that Akbayan upholds the interest of the rich and powerful Cojuangco-Aquino family and not the oppressed and marginalized farmworkers,” he said.
Amgl said that Akbayan should quit their desperate attempt to deceive the Filipino people and simply act as “lieutenants” and “colonels” of president Aquino's “yellow army.”
“Akbayan is not a simple group, it is a traditional group, aspiring to reach the level of power and influence of established political parties. It engages in dirty politics and selling out the interest of the people,” Canlas said.
Amgl criticized Akbayan's disguise of serving poor farmers by pushing the enactment of the Republic Act 9700 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with 'Reforms' (CARPer). Amgl and Ambala is opposing its implementation in Hacienda Luisita as it would result to re-concentration of lands to the Cojuangco-Aquino family.
“It is now validated that CARPer is indeed an instrument of the Cojuangco-Aquino family, as it has been pushed by Akbayan in Hacienda Luisita, as well as in other areas,” Canlas said.
Amgl and Ambala warned the Dept. of Agrarian Reform (DAR) against further violating the Supreme Court decision, particularly about the list of 6,296 farmworker-beneficiaries (FWBs).
Ambala and Amgl said that DAR is considering a list of 8,537 names of farmworkers, which they believe is padded by those paid by the Cojuangco-Aquino family. The groups are demanding that DAR use the list including the names of the original FWBs, the 2004 petitioners, those presently tilling lands and those who joined the struggle against the stock distribution option (SDO).
“DAR's maneuver is obviously under Aquino's marching order. We warn then against allowing themselves as instruments of the Cojuangco-Aquino family,” Canlas said.
Ambala added that while DAR is pushing with the padded list, intelligence agents of the police and military are monitoring their movement around the hacienda. Yesterday early morning, their leaders were followed by a vehicle used by unidentified men.
“This is CARPer and Oplan Bayanihan at work promoted by Aquino and Akbayan. We call for other sectors to totally oppose Aquino-Akbayan's conspiracy to thwart land distribution in Hacienda Luisita,” Canlas said. #