Day: December 23, 2013

‘They were like monsters’

At around 3 p.m., Dec. 21, policemen under the command of Tarlac City Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Bayani Razalan, Provincial Director Alex Sintin, chief of Great Star Security Agency, Mauro dela Cruz and Tarlac Development Corporation representative Villamor Lagunero arrested Hacienda Luisita farmers Vicente Sambo, Rod and his mother Eufemia Acosta, Ronald Sakay, husband and wife Jose and Elsa Baldiviano, and Manuel and Mamerto Mandigma. They are now detained at Camp Macabulos, headquarters of PNP-Tarlac. No charges have been filed against them as of Dec. 22.

2013 YEARENDER: Defining year for the Aquino Administration

2013 is the defining year for the Aquino administration. First, the country entered the midterm of the Aquino presidency. All that has been happening in the political, economic, social and cultural life of the country is now a result of the Aquino administration’s own policies. It could no longer shift the blame on its predecessor, the much-hated Macapagal-Arroyo administration. Second, the Aquino administration faced the very issues that it raised against the previous administration: corruption, bribery, trapo politics, and political dynasties; and impunity in human rights violations and killings of journalists. Third, President Benigno Aquino III declared that it would finally settle, this year, the decades-old land issue involving the Cojuangco-Aquino clan. Fourth, its ability to respond to crisis was severely tested by the strongest typhoon to ever make landfall and a devastating earthquake, which hit the country at a time when the Filipino people has barely risen from two strong typhoons that hit the country late last year.

So how did the Aquino administration fare?