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Hacienda Luisita. Comprises  of  6400 hectares (15,814 acres), Hacienda Luisita is the second largest single piece of contiguous land in the Philippines (after the 20,000-hectare Canlubang Sugar Estate of the Yulos in Laguna.) In 1957 by Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. advised to convince his father-in-law Jose Cojuangco Sr. to purchase the estate.With loans from the Manufacturer’s Trust Company of New York, the Chase Manhattan Bank, and the Government Service Insurance System, Cojuangco purchased the land. The GSIS loan carried a stipulation that the land would be distributed to the tenants and farm workers by 1967.

Fifty-two years later, Hacienda Luisita has yet to be redistributed. Corazon Aquino took pride in the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) , but exempted the hacienda from its coverage, instead placing it under a “stock distribution option” that supposedly made the farmers investors in -– as opposed to owners of — the hacienda, which was never the intention of a genuine land reform program.

With the running for presidency in 2010, Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III will need to untangle  what his mother has done to the agrarian reform. The selling the 6,400 hectares serves no social justice for the farmers, tenants and especially  the massacre of 14 workers in a violent dispersal on November 16, 2004  Hacienda Luisita Strike . The workers fought for a wage increase, hospitalization benefits and land distribution which still remains to be the major demand. Noynoy uses good over evil when in fact selling the land to gain profit or to regain the loss of it due to bad debts, is more evil than, say, corruption because he is depriving thousands of families of their basic human rights(land, food, dignity, etc.)

It will be interesting to see what change he will bring.

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One Comment

  1. Thank you for this write up. It will contribute to hacienda luisita people’s search for land, justice and freedom from feudal bondage. As for Noynoy, he is nothing but a stooge of those behind him


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