“Hacienda Luisita is under a reign of terror, perpetrated by the Aquino government and the Cojuangco-Aquino family. They have sabotaged the Supreme Court decision to distribute the lands using the partial schemes implemented by DAR, and now a leader of Ambala was mercilessly killed,” Joseph Canlas said, Amgl chairperson.
Ambala believed that the murder of Dela Cruz is connected to the land issue as he was a staunch activist working with the bungkalan campaign, and was threatened by Tadeco security guards last September. The group said that it was to terrorize the farm workers who are fighting for their rights to land against the plot of the Cojuangco-Aquino family. In addition, Ambala reported that military deployment in Hacienda Luisita is intensifying as at least four (4) tanks were seen entering the estate.
“The Aquino government deployed many elements of the police and military during the so-called cloa distribution by DAR, to subvert the protest of the farm workers. Now they are actually sending in more forces to intimidate the unarmed farm workers led by Ambala,” Canlas said.
Amgl said that the Cojuangco-Aquino family is firm in keeping their control over the vast lands of Hacienda Luisita as it would bring about billions of profit. Agricultural land valuation around the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) and Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEx) ranges from P1 million to P6 million per hectare or P100 per square meter to P600 per square meter. Thus, reclassifying these lands as the Cojuangco-Aquino family has prepared in the land use plan furnished by the Luisita Realty Corp. in 1998, who obviously bring in unimaginable amount of profit.
“The Cojuangco-Aquinos are notorious in violently attacking the farm workers. It was under martial law during the Marcos dictatorship, de-facto martial law during Hacienda Luisita massacre and Oplan Bantay Laya, they are now again waging terror against the farm workers,” Canlas said.
Amgl reiterated its call for genuine land reform in Hacienda Luisita, immediate and free land distribution to the farm workers and halt to terror tactics launched by the Cojuangco-Aquinos.
“Inside Hacienda Luisita is like a time-space warp where you would think that it is still during the Spanish colonization where hacienderos rule with iron-fist and slaughtering those who oppose them. The Cojuangco-Aquinos are social parasites who fed from the sweat and blood of the farm workers. It is long overdure to overthrow their feudal control over the lands and we call on different sectors to struggle for national democracy,” Canlas called. #