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Sham Land “Reform” for the Peasants of Hacienda Luisita

Saturday, August 14, 2010

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A press release from the militant peasant and farmer organization Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas:

Staunch allies of striking Luisita farm workers—the militant peasant Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and the left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Sunday urged lawmakers from both houses of Congress to conduct either a joint or separate congressional investigation on the alleged irregularities and acts of fraud that led to the signing of the Hacienda Luisita compromise deal between the management and a few leaders of unions who misrepresented the entire 10,000 farmer beneficiaries.

In a joint press statement, KMP secretary general Danilo Ramos and Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said while the controversial and highly questionable breakthrough deal will be decided by the Supreme Court, Congress is empower to subject the compromise deal in aid of legislation because the deal according to agrarian legal experts like Christian Monsod, one of the framers of the 1987 Constitution and Atty. Jobert Ilarde Pahilga, lead counsel of Luisita farm workers in the case against the Stock Distribution Option (SDO) had dismissed the deal as unconstitutional, unlawful and anti-land reform.

“In the light of these common views shared by legal experts in land reform, we humbly submit this proposal to Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and House Speaker Feliciano “Sonny’ Belmonte to initiate a full-blown investigation on how the questionable deal was reached the HLI management and some leaders who misrepresented the 10,000 farmer beneficiaries during discreet negotiations,” the two leaders said.

Ramos and Hicap said senators and congressmen should cross party lines and conduct a deeper investigation on the Hacienda Luisita land deal.

“The Hacienda Luisita compromise deal according to legal experts violated the 1987 Constitution when it negated land distribution and keep the vast tract of sugar plantation under the monopoly control and disposal of the reigning feudal empire of the Cojuangco-Aquino family. The assertion does not include the issues about misrepresentations, coercions and other fraudulent acts committed by the HLI management in clinching this anomalous deal. The Senate and the House of Representatives have no other choice but take this matter and let the truth come out in the name national interest,” both leaders asserted.

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