Noynoy Using Sisters to Diffuse Hacienda Luisita Issue, Says Peasant Group

March 3, 2010

Manila – The left-wing Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP, Peasant Movement of the Philippines) criticized Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s tactic of fronting his sisters Maria Elena “Ballsy” Aquino-Cruz, Aurora Corazon “Pinky” Aquino-Abellada and Victoria Eliza “Viel” Aquino-Dee on the Hacienda Luisita issue. It was reported that his sisters also want out of the hacienda but could not as there were no interested buyers due to its debts and “labor” problems.

“After capitalizing on the death of his mother, former president Cory Aquino, Noynoy is now using to be his spokespeople to deal with the Hacienda Luisita issue. We believe that the Cojuangco-Aquino’ s objective is to front seeming `harmless and innocent’ faces to a fundamental and bigger issue on land reform to deter people to criticize and sway the public towards Noynoy,” said Danilo Ramos, KMP Secretary-General in a press statement.

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KMP said that innocent is totally different to being ignorant as they try “sanitize” Noynoy and their mother from the consequential poverty and massacre of agri-workers in Hacienda Luisita. The group also reacted to Pinky Aquino-Abellada’ s statement that the Stock Distribution Option (SDO) was nullified as their mother called for Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’ s resignation.

“It is really infuriating to hear stupid statements saying that the revocation of SDO was plainly due to a clash of ruling cliques Cojuangco-Aquino and Macapagal-Arroyo. Pinky seems to be ignorant that agri-workers have been working on the land even before they were born. She doesn’t even know how his grandfather acquired the lands using public funds,” said Ramos.

“We thought that Cojuangco-Aquino sisters are intelligent, but shows that they are dumb when it comes to history. They are idiotic about their mother’s Presidential Proclamation 131 and Executive Order 229 on February 11, 1987, inventing the SDO as part of her land reform program. As early as then, their mother was already thinking of how to cover Hacienda Luisita in a land reform program without actually transferring ownership of the lands to the agri-workers and farmers, or for the Cojuangco-Aquino’ s to keep control of the lands,” Ramos added.

KMP also scorned Noynoy and Cojuangco-Aquino’ s line of “minority ownership” to Hacienda Luisita, Inc., thus, they have limited decision-making powers.

“It is so `escapist’ to say that Noynoy only owns 1/32 of the HLI as agri-workers and farmers are not asking him to resolve the issue as a stockholder but as a presidential wannabe who says could realize reforms in society,” said Ramos.

“Noynoy could not get it into his head that we are demanding him to resolve the issue of Hacienda Luisita on the framework of Genuine Land Reform. On their case, their grandfather used public funds to acquire the lands, the agri-workers and farmers developed and worked on the lands, there are over-flowing reasons why the lands should be distributed directly to the agri-workers, ” said Ramos.

The group also said that Noynoy’s sisters are trying to be “legalistic” on saying that SDO was implemented as provisioned by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

“I am wondering if Noynoy’s sisters are even reading or watching the news, SDO caused poverty for the Hacienda Luisita agri-workers and farmers, a take-home pay of P9.50, cut-down in working hours pushing them away, massive retrenchment and everything,” Ramos said.

“Even when they say that agri-workers and farmers voted for the SDO, it was not justified as the Hacienda Luisita was militarized then, people were threatened and clearly they were deceived as the SDO provision themselves caused their deaths and hardship,” he added.

KMP called to Noynoy Aquino to stop using his mother, father and sisters to engage fundamental issues of the country and at least be man enough to present his viewpoints to utmost. He should initially withdraw his kinship and play the role of a statesman upholding the interest of the majority. The group said that if a presidential aspirant could not resolve an issue of 6,453 hectare-estate in a single province of Tarlac, he has no even little right to rule about 30 million hectare of the country’s territory.

“Clearly, Noynoy’s sisters admitted that the Hacienda Luisita issue is affecting Noynoy’s candidacy, it would really be as they are upholding their landlord’s exploitative and oppressive traits against farmers and agri-workers. Let the voice of the Filipino farmers be heard on May 10,” said Ramos.

Roy Morilla, Public Information Officer, KMP

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