Farmers belonging to the Alyansa ng mga Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luson (Amgl, Farmers' Alliance in Central Luzon), Alyansa ng Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (Ambala, Farmworkers' Alliance in Hacienda Luisita) and Anakpawis Partylist - Central Luzon condemn the Dept. of Agrarian Reform's (DAR) scheme of auditing Hacienda Luisita, Inc., as part of imlementing the Supreme Court decision of ordering the Cojuangco-Aquino company to compensate the farmworkers from the income generated from converting lands, as well as its listing of farmworker-beneficiaries (FWBs) who are to be awarded of lands. On November 22, 2011, the SC ordered the revocation of the stock distribution plan (SDP) in Hacienda Luisita and distribution of lands to the 6,296 FWBs, and that HLI compensate the farmworkers an amount of P1.33 billion as their share to the income generated by the land use conversion implemented by the company inside the hacienda.
"This is clearly a machination of president Aquino and his family, and DAR is under his control. They would do everything to sabotage land distribution and keep their control over the lands," Joseph Canlas said, Amgl chairperson and Anakpawis Partylist - Central Luzon regional coordinator.
The groups said that DAR secretary Virgilio Delos Reyes is manipulating the process by undemocratically picking out an auditing firm connected to the Cojuangco-Aquinos, and continuously denying to consult the farmworkers under Ambala and United Luisita Workers' Union (Ulwu).
"They are issuing unnecessary procedures of identifying an auditing firm, but they are identifying one connected to HLI. The farmworkers have already motioned against this firm, but secretary Delos Reyes ignores it," Canlas said.
Ambala said that DAR is to release the final list of FWBs on February 27, but they are enraged of its composition. Ambala is citing the case of Brgy. Mapalacsiao, where there are reports that about 6,000 FWBs are considered by DAR, while there are only 5,169 included in the memorandum of agreement on the SDO in 1989. They suppose that the additional thousand FWBs were the result of the meeting between Jose "Peping" Cojuangco and DAR.
"We warn DAR against this kind of sabotage to delay and derail land distribution, the farmworkers are determined to uphold their rights on the land and against the control of Cojuangco-Aquinos on land, they would not allow this kind of conspiracy," Canlas said.
In addition, Amgl and Ambala called the attention of senatorial candidates to work for the distribution of Hacienda Luisita.
"We should observe these candidates as they always promise to serve the people, but they ignore concrete issues such as Hacienda Luisita. Candidates from the Liberal Party and United Nationalist Alliance are silent about this issue. They are all the same feather with the Cojuangco-Aquinos, coming from the landlord class, big businesses and political dynasties. With the issue of Hacienda Luisita alone, they are all deaf and insensitive on the plight of the farmworkers," Canlas said.
Amgl and Anakpawis asserted that only Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño supported the struggle of Hacienda Luisita farmworkers. Casiño has always called for the revocation of SDO and distribution of Hacienda Luisita.
"Casiño has co-authored the House Bill 374 or the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB), on its provisions, Hacienda Luisita should be immediately distributed to the farmworkers and without amortization. With GARB, the landlords such as the Cojuangco-Aquinos would be less influential and decisive," Canlas said. #