“There is no debate that he is a lackey of Arroyo, positioned to the last minute for her protection. As Arroyo has trampled on the people’s rights, he should quickly abandon his loyalty as it is a major part of the Aquino’s government political onslaught against him,” said Joseph Canlas, AMGL Chairperson.
AMGL supports the impeachment efforts against Corona as they claim that, “he serve as Arroyo’s last knight and shining armor.”
“We are often asked on our position about Corona as many see that he decided favorably for the Hacienda Luisita farmworkers. We always clarify that he may have voted favorably, but it was the result of the sustained and ceaseless struggle of the farmworkers themselves, beefed up by the active support of different sectors,” Canlas said.
AMGL said that the Supreme Court acted slowly on the temporary restraining order (TRO) filed by the Cojuangco-Aquinos against the implementation of Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) decision revoking the Stock Distribution Option that lasted for more than 5 years since it was issued on June 2006.
“Farmworkers have submitted numerous letters to the Supreme Court for years to act on the issue,” Canlas said.
“On Corona’s rise to being chief justice, he announced that the en banc would discuss on the issue and held the oral arguments, but on July 5, 2011, the decision was essentially favoring the Cojuangco-Aquinos,” he added.
Hacienda Luisita farmworkers continued to mobilize during the oral arguments that transformed the Supreme Court as a protest center for farmers clamoring for genuine land reform.
“The Hacienda Luisita issue was the only issue that made farmers and other sectors to converge at Padre Faura, that clearly gave pressure to the high court,” Canlas said.
“We believe that the people’s protest made Corona and the Supreme Court to decide favorably for the farmworkers,” he added.
The Alyansa ng Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (AMBALA, Farmworkers’ Alliance in Hacienda Luisita), a member organization of AMGL also expressed support for the impeachment against Corona.
“As being part of the people’s movement pushing for reforms, AMGL, including AMBALA and our provincial chapters support the impeachment as it involved the interest of all sectors of our society,” Canlas said.
AMGL said that Corona have not asserted the people’s interest when the high court upheld the constitutionality of the Batas Pambansa 880 or the Public Assembly Act of 1985, Republic Act 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, RA 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Act (EPIRA) RA 8479 or Oil Deregulation Law, Stock Distribution Option (SDO), allowed value-added tax imposed on toll fees, coco levy decision favoring Eduardo Danding Cojuangco, Jr., and other issues that involved the people’s interests.
“From being an associate justice to chief justice, Corona served the puppetry of the Arroyo and Aquino government to the dictates of foreign monopoly and their compradors such as Danding Cojuangco. These obviously contradicts the people’s interest,” Canlas said.
“These issues affect the whole country, trampling the people’s rights and interests, thus, it is socially just to remove Corona. On the other hand, he has a choice of abandoning Arroyo and to affirm the interest of the people,” he added.
In addition, AMGL urged Corona to act on the increasing trend of demolition and displacement within Metro Manila, Central Luzon and other regions. The group said that government projects result to grave violation of people’s rights, mass displacement of farmers and conversion of productive agricultural lands.
In addition, AMGL and Ambala warned the Aquino government of exploiting the broad support of Corona’s impeachment and attempt to appoint his lackey to reverse the Hacienda Luisita ruling.
“It would be very clear and unquestionable, that if Corona is removed from his post and replaced by an another lackey chief justice, with the Luisita ruling being reversed, it would confirm that his impeachment was mainly because of the decision and president Aquino should be held liable for betraying the public trust and serving his own interest at the cost of trampling the farmworkers’ rights to land and livelihood,” Canlas said. #