Alternative Concept

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Hacienda Luisita - controversy

Hacienda Luisita case is in the hot seat these days for the DAR has recommended the revocation of the stock distribution plan that has kept the vast landholding under the control of the Cojuangcos. HL was supposed to be under the agrarian land reform program spearheaded by the former president Corazon Cojuangco Aquino but instead the landowners issued stock distribution option (SDO) agreement with the 5,000 farmers way back in 1989. The SDO allows landowners, who run their farms as corporations, to distribute shares of stock to farm workers in lieu of a land transfer. It is supposed to alleviate the lives of the farmers but when it never came to realisation. Instead, the farmers quality of lives have deteriorated and demanded torevoke the SDO and to distribute the 5,000-hectare hacienda to them. The farmers did not receive the benefits and dividends stipulated in the SDO.

Now, I have little concern on how the DAR and the Cojuangcos will settle their case, however the one thing that appalled me most was the comments made by the oppositions regarding this case.

According to Sen. Aquilino Pimentel:
  • the recommendation to cancel the SDO was a "gross retaliation" against Aquino (who actively participated for the ouster of Arroyo)
  • "It's an act of gross retaliation by a vindictive President, who's now at her wits' end trying to intimidate those who could be threatened just to prolong her stay in power"

Sen. Pimentel's statement was irresponsible, illogical, pathetic and far-fetch. He should keep his bulging eyes away from this case because his stupid statement could done no good to the poor farmers of Hacienda Luisita.

It has been known to the people in the Philippines the chaos the land ownership has bring to the people in the hacienda. There had been riots and rallies by the farmers demanding their rights for land ownership. These happened even before the Arroyo vs oppositions case and to say that it is a ploy by the Arroyo government against Corazon Aquino is totally pathetic. Aquino is not the sole owner of Hacienda Luisita, she is just one of the six.

The case of DAR vs. Hacienda Luisita is a pure land reform issue and the recommendation by the DAR is long overdue. It should not be perceived as political vendetta by the president to Mrs. Aquino. It is about the 5,000 farmers in Hacienda Luisita who have been deprieved of the land reform rights! It is about the rich against the poor....not about Arroyo against Aquino.

3 Comments:

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