Workers slam snail-paced implementation of the SC ruling on Hacienda Luisita

MEMBERS of the labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno joined other sectors today to mark the 26th anniversary of the Mendiola massacre and reiterated its call for genuine land reform and condemned the Aquino government for refusing to implement the program.

The labor center cited the snail-paced implementation of the Supreme Court ruling on Hacienda Luisita ordering the distribution of lands to farmers and the government’s efforts to revive banana and coconut plantations as well as mining operations in Mindanao.

KMU said the people of Mindanao urgently need land reform so they can meet their need for food, not a return of the plantations and mining operations that meet the needs of the world and not the domestic market, and destroy the soil and environment.

“We mark the anniversary of the Mendiola massacre by reiterating the demand of the 13 farmers who died 26 years ago – genuine land reform. Countless farmers have died over the years fighting for land reform yet successive governments have refused to heed their call,” said Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general.

“The land reform program implemented by the Cory Aquino government was a failure in distributing lands to farmers and only resulted in the further concentration of lands in the hands of a few families. Despite its failure, the program was extended, merely prettified with with so-called ‘reforms,’ and continues to deny lands to farmers,” he added.

“Despite the SC ruling favoring the farm workers of Hacienda Luisita, and despite the urgent need of the people of Mindanao for land reform, the Aquino government has refused to implement this most important of programs. Aquino has truly been loyal to his class and has sided with landlords against farmers,” he said.

The labor center also called for the junking of Oplan Bayanihan, the Aquino government’s counter-insurgency program, which it said is resulting in the violations of human rights of the country’s farmers and working people.

“Twenty-six years after the Mendiola massacre, farmers fighting for land are still being killed by state forces with impunity. Their human rights are being violated in an attempt to weaken their fight for land reform,” Soluta said.

“In the few years that it has been implemented, Oplan Bayanihan has resulted in the deaths of farmers and the violations of their rights. The Aquino government is intensifying the implementation of this oplan in order to defend landowning families’ monopoly of land,” he added.

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