Tags: bungkalan

‘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.

Farmers from Negros, Southern Tagalog, Tungkong Mangga and Hacienda Luisita protested in front of the Department of Agrarian Reform office in Quezon City on Saturday, and blamed the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPer) for causing massive landlessness, poverty and hunger, marking what they dubbed as World “Foodless” Day.

After the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council ordered the revocation of the SDO in Hacienda Luisita, the farmer beneficiaries launched what they call a “bungkalan” or the cultivation of idle Luisita land. It was both a political statement and a matter of survival for the farm workers who were facing extreme poverty in the hacienda owned by President Benigno S. Aquino III and his family. Farmers who participated swear that their lives improved after the “bungkalan.” View related slideshow

After the strike ended more than two years ago, the HLI farm workers have been planting rice and vegetables providing them with income and food. But more than the earnings, they find fulfillment in cultivating the land that is rightfully theirs. BY DABET CASTAÑEDA Bulatlat Vol. VII, No. 28, August 19-25, 2007 Hacienda Luisita, Tarlac…