KMP challenges DAR to name Aquino kin’s horse stable help, house helpers as Luisita beneficiaries

THE militant peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) today challenged Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Virgilio Delos Reyes to give names of horse stable hands and house helpers of President Aquino’s relatives in the preliminary list of Hacienda Luisita beneficiaries.

The KMP cited the names of Contacio G. Lundang, Rector G. Lundang, Antonio A. Claridad, Pedro A. Claridad, Pedro A. Claridad, and Rodrigo A. Claridad. All of them, according to the Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (Ambala) and United Luisita Workers’ Union (ULWU) are horse stable hands of the Cojuangcos’ Australia-bred horses but were listed in the DAR’s preliminary list of beneficiaries posted in Barangay Balete inside Hacienda Luisita.

“The inclusion of Cojuangco loyalists and dummies in the DAR’s list of beneficiaries is exactly the reason why the DAR’s so-called verification process is a scam and a barefaced maneuver by the President’s family to once again evade land distribution,” says KMP deputy secretary general Randall Echanis.

“This clearly demonstrates that the Cojuangcos have no plans of letting go of Hacienda Luisita and are now using the Palace-controlled DAR and the bogus Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) to once again deceive the farmworkers,” the KMP said.

The KMP said “these names of Cojuangco dummies are only a few of those listed in the DAR’s preliminary list of beneficiaries.”

“It is highly preposterous for the DAR to say that we are seeing ghosts in the list issued by them and ask us to produce names. The fact is, the DAR and Delos Reyes are the ones who interviewed these people, whether they are legitimate farmworkers or not, and are the ones who made and issued this ‘spooky’ list of beneficiaries during the Halloween in a vain attempt to beat the Supreme Court’s six-month deadline for compliance sake,” Echanis added.

“Secretary Delos Reyes should stop pretending that he has nothing to do with these listings. Delos Reyes and the DAR equally responsible and liable in this latest brazen attempt to deceive and deny Hacienda Luisita farmworkers of their rights to own the lands,” the KMP leader warned adding: “It will be the ghosts of Hacienda Luisita martyrs who will hound Delos Reyes and his Cojuangco bosses.”

Last October 31, the DAR issued two lists of beneficiaries, the preliminary master list which includes
5,365 potential farmer-beneficiaries who have been deemed qualified after two interviews and after submitting documents as proof of their employment.  Another set, composed of 1,221 farmers, on the other hand, has been placed on a provisional list because of deficiencies in documentary evidence that would prove the validity of their claim.

The KMP said that after “deeper scrutiny” of the two lists issued by the DAR, “many of those listed by the DAR in the provisional list were legitimate farmworkers and were asked to submit so many documentary requirements. At the same time, those who were in the preliminary master list are not farmworkers, but rather horse stable and house helpers of Pres. Aquino’s relatives.”

The KMP continue to question the DAR’s so-called distribution process saying the so-called inclusion and exclusion process is along the line of the Cojuangcos “to prolong the agony of the farmworkers.”

“We anticipate the Cojuangcos to question the inclusion and file exclusion charges against legitimate farmworkers in the list thereby prolonging the agony of farmworkers. This is how landlords make use of the bogus CARP to keep control of their landholdings,” the peasant group said.



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