“The Hacienda Luisita farmworkers waited in vain for this kind of decision from the Supreme Court,” said Joseph Canlas, Amgl chairperson during a press briefing in Quezon City.
“It revoked the SDO but actually it has strengthened Cojuangco-Aquinos’ control over the lands, downgrading the options into mere corporate issue and being through coverage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with ‘Reforms’ (Carper),” he added.
Amgl is referring to affirming of Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) resolution revoking the SDO but adding the “modification” allowing the referendum of giving the farmworkers option of staying as “shareholders” of Hacienda Luisita, Inc. or land distribution legally bounded through Carper.
“This is the exact intent of the Cojuangco-Aquinos when they pushed through with their compromise deal on August 6 last year as they have the power and influence to dictate the result,” Canlas said.
The group said that the decision has strayed away from the land reform issue and discussed majorly on the property claim of the Cojuangco-Aquinos and how they cashed in the lands of Hacienda Luisita.
“The SC treated Hacienda Luisita as mere private property of the Cojuangco-Aquinos and did not decide on the weight of how they unjust and immoral they acquired the lands. It showed their benevolence to the Cojuangco-Aquinos and not to the oppressed and exploited farmworkers,” said Canlas.
Amgl added that the Supreme Court has only affirmed the feudal control of the Cojuangco-Aquinos and it prove itself as incapable of realizing genuine land reform that would truly benefit poor farmers. In addition to the executive and legislative branches of the government that have long been obstructing free land distribution through enacting Carp and Carper, the judiciary has finally confirmed that the system is totally ill-designed and ill-principled to serve the people.
“With this kind of decision, the Filipino people, particularly the poor farmers in the region as well in the whole country, are finally seeing things that government institutions are powerless to effect real change and are built only to protect and serve the interest of their kind, such as the landlord class,” Canlas said.
“Definitely, president Noynoy Aquino is joyous as the Supreme Court is apparently dishing out their family’s intentions. The Cojuangco-Aquinos may think that have achieved something, essentially, they are exposing themselves and Aquino himself as no ‘people’s president’ but of the KKK, a snowballing effect is possible and his already falling trust ratings would plunge even deeper,” Canlas said.
“We could only say that when the legal options ran out for us farmers, we are pushed to find other means and we all have our united strength to rely on, while other sectors who are sick of the rotting feudal system are always on our side to support us,” he added. #