Luisita farmers vigil at Mendiola for land

TO PROTEST the alleged maneuvers by President Aquino and his family to evade the distribution of the more than 6,000-hectare Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac, more than 200 farmers and farm workers from Hacienda Luisita today staged a vigil at Mendiola Bridge in Manila.

Willy Marbella, deputy secretary general of the Kilusang Magbubuklid sa Pilipinas said “President Aquino and the Department of Agrarian Reform are clearly circumventing the Supreme Court decision.”

“Aquino is using all his powers and influence for his family to maintain their illegal and immoral control over Hacienda Luisita,” the peasant leader said.

Marbella said  “the most glaring maneuver is the so-called verification process by the DAR” which he described as a “scam” and a ploy.

“Under the guise of so-called ‘verification process,’ the DAR, with the blessings of no less than President Aquino, are maneuvering to evade land distribution,” Marbella said.

“The DAR’s highly questionable verification process is all in accordance with the Cojuangcos move to bloat the number of beneficiaries, further reduce the size of land for distribution, sow confusion and disunity among farmworkers, and eventually put their dummies and loyalists as so-called beneficiaries,” the peasant leader said.

Reports said that the DAR already interviewed 8,400 farmworkers allegedly to validate those who signed the November 1989 stock distribution option.  The KMP said that “in just two barangays (villages), the DAR already interviewed 6,000 beneficiaries” referring to Barangays Cutcut and Balete.

“The DAR’s verification scam must stop. It puts genuine Hacienda Luisita farmer-beneficiaries in danger of losing their hard-fought rights to own Hacienda Luisita,” Marbella said adding: “We demand the DAR to produce the 1989 list of beneficiaries that also served as HLI’s bases for giving worthless stock certificates during the SDO (stock distribution option) regime.”

“President Aquino is now using the very same bogus Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) to once again evade the distribution of his family’s estate,” Marbella said.

Marbella said that “these political maneuvers by Aquino exposes him as a cold-blooded haciendero and his pro-land reform posturing is as sham as CARP.”

“While Aquino and his yellow gang are making false promises and deodorizing the bogus CARP, the President’s family-owned Hacienda Luisita stinks with political maneuvers and violence,” Marbella said.

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