Hacienda Luisita based groups United Luisita Workers Union (ULWU) and Alyansa ng Mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (Ambala) representing over 10,000 farm worker beneficiaries in the 6,500 hectare sugar estate on Friday declared they will not enter into any compromise deal with President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy’ Aquino III and the Cojuangco-Aquino family, as they denied for the second straight day that they were not privy of any “breakthrough agreement” between the management of the Hacienda Luisita Incorporated (HLI) and alleged farmer worker groups.

“Please allow us to set the record straight. We did not enter into any compromise deal with the camp of President Aquino. President Aquino is lying. Everybody in the Cojuangco-Aquino camp is lying. This breakthrough compromise deal is nothing but a product of bed time story written by the feudal lords of Hacienda Luisita,” said Ambala chairperson Felix Nacpil in a press statement.

On Thursday, Aquino’s cousin and HLI chief operating officer Fernando Cojuangco announced that a negotiated deal had been clinched between the management and farm worker groups representing the
10, 000 farmer beneficiaries of the hotly contested sugar estate that dated back as early as 1958.  Highly placed sources had said the Cojuangcos are offering 1,400 hectares of land to farmer beneficiaries representing Luisita farmer beneficiaries’ current 33 percent equity ownership in HLI plus 140 million pesos to be distributed in tranches.

“We did not sign any document. We did not sign any contract about compromise deal or judicial compromise. Noynoy and company are taking the people of Hacienda Luisita and the Filipino public to another roller coaster ride and this can be considered a national political foul play,” Nacpil lamented.

“President Aquino and his family are still obsessed with Stock Distribution Option. The framework of their proposed compromise settlement is still SDO, and we say no deal. Everybody in the Aquino-Cojuangco camp is imagining a win-win solution and disposes this agrarian issue like a noontime variety show in charity mode in the tradition of Kris Aquino’s variety show Pilipinas, Win na Win. This is incorrigible, mind boggling and exceptionally disgusting,” the Ambala official said.

In a rally at Don Chino Roces bridge (formerly Mendiola) this morning attended by some over 1,000 peasant activists from Hacienda Luisita and Hacienda Yulo in Barangay Canlubang, Calamba City in Laguna province, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) secretary general Danilo Ramos decried the “breakthrough deal” as patently illegal, unconstitutional and direct affront to the collective interest of farm worker beneficiaries.

The protest action in Mendiola coincided with the first year anniversary of the controversial Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program with Reforms (Carper) law, which KMP and other anti-Carper groups said will be used by the Cojuangco-Aquino to set up their defense against the scrapping of SDO and the free distribution of Luisita lands to farm worker beneficiaries.

“We strongly urge the Supreme Court to proceed with the oral arguments scheduled on August 18 and issue a cease- and- desist order against the HLI management and prevent the Cojuangco-Aquino clique from churning out misinformation, intrigues and deceptions,” the KMP leader added.

Ramos led his peasant colleagues in burning a photocopied and enlarged size of SDO and Carper law to symbolize the resistance against the bogus deal in Hacienda Luisita and the bankrupt extended land reform law.

Earlier, Atty. Jobert Ilarde Pahilga, executive trustee of Sentro Para sa Tunay na Repormang Agraryo (Sentra) and the legal counsel of the 10,000 Luisita farm worker beneficiaries, said his clients were not privy to the compromise deal as announced by the HLI management.

Pahilga noted that even while the case is pending at the Supreme Court, HLI management submitted lists and signatures of persons who supposedly wanted to continue with the SDO operation in the hacienda. But when Ambala and ULWU verified the lists and signatures, those persons who signed the document were already dead and some are not farmers or residents of Hacienda Luisita.

Another Luisita

Meanwhile, Axel Pinpin, secretary general of Katipunan ng Mga Samahang Magbubukid ng Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK) said the Hacienda Republic of President Aquino and the Carper law are paving the way for the transformation of the 7,100 hectare Hacienda Yulo in Barangay Canlubang in Calamba City in Laguna province into another Hacienda Luisita.

“The continuing agrarian reform nightmare that is Hacienda Luisita might have a repeat in Hacienda Yulo in Southern Tagalog because Aquino refuses to act on the legitimate claims of farmers inside the 7,100 hectare coconut plantation now being sold like hot cakes to the highest bidders by the Yulo landed clique,” the peasant leaders said.

Pinpin who led a fact-finding mission about a month ago inside the 7,100 hectare sprawling coconut and agricultural estate revealed that Malacanang under Aquino is tolerating the presence of Army troops and other privately run armed goons inside Hacienda Yulo to harass and terrorize thousands of farmers calling for immediate free distribution of farm lands, where tenancy relations were dated back during the Spanish colonial period.

“With Carper at the helm of bogus land reform program and Mr. Aquino as the chief political representative of the hacienda owning people in the country, Hacienda Yulo is not far behind to become the Hacienda Luisita of the South in the near future,” the Kasama-TK official added. #

August 6, 2010
Roy Morilla, KMP Public Information Officer (0907-418-0098)
Jay Cuesta, media liaison person for Hacienda Luisita (0929-174-5511)

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