Farmers want raffle of Luisita lands stopped

>> Friday, November 25, 2016

By Ding Cervantes
CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga – Farmers are hoping President Duterte would stop the distribution of lands at Hacienda Luisita through raffle draw.
Renato Mendoza, Alyansa ng Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (Ambala) secretary-general, said yesterday farmers welcome the statement of Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano that he would invalidate the use of tambiolo or ”lottery drum land reform.”
The farmers claimed some of the beneficiaries were not qualified and only dummies for the Aquino-Cojuangco family.
Mendoza said farmers would continue to assert their claim on the land.
He said the family of former president Benigno Aquino III is answerable not only for the Hacienda Luisita massacre, but also human rights abuses against farm workers and “bogus” land distribution.
                 Members of Ambala, Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA), Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas and Anakpawis party-list led farmers in commemorating the 12th anniversary of the Hacienda Luisita massacre yesterday, which they dubbed as National Day of Protest of Farm and Agricultural Workers. Over a thousand farmers held a rally in front of Hacienda Luisita.
A bloody dispersal by the military and police against striking workers of the United Luisita Workers Union and the Central Azucarera de Tarlac Labor Union in 2004 left seven farm workers killed and more than a hundred others wounded.
“Twelve years have passed and the families of the victims continue to mourn. We are still very much indignant as justice remains elusive. The perpetrators are not only left unpunished but are in fact being promoted,” said Danilo Ramos, UMA secretary-general.

No. 7, 3 cols, half box


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