4 women, minor wounded in Hacienda Luisita attack

FOUR women farmworkers including a minor in Brgy. Balete inside Hacienda Luisita, Tarlac City  were wounded following the latest attack of guards hired by the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC).

Reports said about 15 RCBC security guards and 20 goons attacked the farmworkers and wounded four victims including Flor Sibayan, Analyn Martinez, Rowena Flores and Wendy Flores, 16 years old. The victims  were brought to the nearest hospital for medical attention.

The attack was in response against the farmworkers’ defense of the 184 hectares being claimed by RCBC.

The Alyansa ng Manggagawang bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (Ambala) said that the fencing was illegal as it has no fencing order or permit from the court, nor notice of eviction.

The groups said that the disputed land is under subject of a filed petition for the revocation of conversion order at the Dept. of Agrarian Reform central office.

“First of all, the recent attack of RCBC is another hopeless act to evict farmworkers and dismantle their camp-out on the said land. Since July 2011, incalculable rights abuses and various trumped up cases were crafted by RCBC to demoralize the struggling farmworkers,” according to Rodel Mesa, Chairperson, AMBALA.

“It is very clear that that fencing is illegal. There’s no fencing order at hand and no sheriff was around to serve the order. Also, RCBC should respect that we still have a pending case  at the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Central office in Quezon City.  We’ve submitted a petition for revocation of the conversion order of RCBC-claimed lands last January 5, 29012 and stated that it is deemed lapsed as there were no development in 5 years after it was issued” added by Mesa.

“This time, the RCBC and their goons have violated the rights of three women and a minor in Hacienda Luisita. The physical and mental abuse is very traumatic for them when in fact, they’re just asserting their rights to land” Mesa stated.

“The latest assault of RCBC to farmworkers is part of their Oplan April Spring and its objective is to threaten the leaders and members of Ambala and undermine the said organization. Definitely, this machination of RCBC is similar to Cojuangco-Aquinos’ and its only desire is to control the vast land of Hacienda Luisita and to rake up profits from land speculators” according to Joseph Canlas, Chairperson, AMGL.

The groups also demanded that DAR should immediately issue a cease and desist order against RCBC and implement a status quo to avoid further worsening of violent confrontation.

“In addition, we call on all our supporters in Central Luzon and Manila to support the farmworkers in Hacienda Luisita”, Canlas said.

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