“Ambala is firm in demanding the immediate and free land distribution, collective ownership and the revocation of the conversion order of the 500-hectare land in Brgy. Balete, where the 184-hectare land being claimed by RCBC is located. The Ambala organization is determined in pursuing the farmworkers’ rights on the RCBC claimed lands as they are obviously agricultural lands, thus, the 1996 conversion order should be immediately revocated,” said Joseph Canlas, Amgl chairperson.
The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is on the stage of implementing their information drive regarding the Supreme Court decision and determining farmworker-beneficiaries (FWBs).
“Ambala and its allied organizations are busy preparing their members to discourse with DAR officials who are clearly under the influence of president Noynoy Aquino. Ambala who represents the 6,296 legitimate FWBs are vigilant on DAR’s action of clouding the list with the Cojuangco’s proposal that it should reach about 10,000,” said Canlas.
Amgl believed that the Cojuangco’s attempt to bloat the list of FWBs shows that they are undermining the SC decision that clearly stated that the lands should be distributed to the 6,296 FWBs.
“We are certain that the padded 4,000 lists are those lured by Cojuangcos with measly quick money, for the them to control lands that would be awarded through individual ownership,” Canlas said.
As former chief justice Renato Corona is convicted at the impeachment trial, the farmworkers strongly believe that the Cojuangco-Aquinos would push through with their attempt to retain control of Hacienda Luisita lands.
“With the transpiring events that Corona is out of the way, we are vigilant against any Supreme Court alteration of the November 22, 2011 and April 24, 2012 decision. We encourage the people from different sectors to guard against the setting up of an ‘Aquino Court’ as it would be no different during the much-hated Arroyo regime,” Canlas said.
“We should remember that president Aquino ployed his assault against Corona as he is ‘benefactor’ and ‘protector’ of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and his position as chief justice would make it impossible to prosecute Arroyo,” he added.
“But as now Corona is out of the Supreme Court, the latest news about Arroyo’s prosecution is disappointing as even the prosecution’s witness statement was in favor of Arroyo, in addition, 2 other witness went missing,” he said.
Amgl said that the recent development is supporting the farmworkers’ viewpoint that Corona was only impeached because of the SC decision on Hacienda Luisita issue.
“We believe that the Aquino government was never serious about prosecuting Arroyo, as the cases against her legally weak and her arrest was only fuelled by the broad protest demanding her to be out on trial,” Canlas said.
“We warn president Aquino that the time is against his side as his lame excuse with Corona is now ineffectual and prosecuting Arroyo should be relatively straightforward. If Arroyo remains to enjoy special treatment and spared from conviction and the SC decision appear to be altered or reversed, the people have no one else to blame but the president and his wicked motives,” he warned. #