Corona told: Keep 14-0 decision on Luisita

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012


TARLAC CITY – A group supporting the Hacienda Luisita farm workers appealed on Wednesday to members of the Supreme Court (SC) to keep its 14-0 decision on Hacienda Luisita.

The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) issued the statement after the Hacienda Luisita Incorporated (HLI) management announced Wednesday they would request the inhibition of SC Chief Justice Renato Corona in high court’s deliberation on the distribution of the 4,196 hectares of sugar lands to farm worker beneficiaries.

In a press statement, Pamalakaya urged the remaining SC justices to reaffirm their November 22 decision, junking the Stock Distribution Option (SDO), thus allowing the more than 6,000 beneficiaries to cultivate the land in their name and demand payment of some P 1.3 billion from HLI management as shares to previously sold lands.

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“The SC should reaffirm their decision last year ending the illegitimate, grossly immoral and extremely exploitative control of the Cojuangco-Aquino clan on Hacienda Luisita. The cause for social justice and agrarian justice should be upheld at all times against the feudal aristocracy of the family of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III,” said Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap in a press statement.

HLI spokesperson Lawyer Anthony Ligon said a motion will be filed in the high tribunal requesting Corona to inhibit himself in any decision on cases related to the sugar estate because of his recent statements saying that his impeachment trial was a result of the tribunal’s adverse decision against the Cojuangco-Aquino family who owns 70 percent of HLI.

Ligon asserted that Corona is no longer free from biased due to his statement on Luisita, in connection with the current impeachment case he is facing before the Senate.

“We strongly appeal to the 13 remaining justices to keep their sense of justice intact and immovable. The Cojuangco-Aquino clan under the direct stewardship of President Aquino is now employing pressure politics and dirty tactics to reverse the Nov. 22 decision on Luisita. The legal track of the HLI management is very obvious here,” said Hicap.

Hicap said the 4,196 hectare should be immediately distributed for free under a mother certificate ownership of land award (CLOA) to more than 6,000 farm worker beneficiaries; and that the HLI management should pay farm workers some P 1.3 billion as share to previously sold lands to private interest groups.

Hicap added that the 500-hectare land currently occupied and contested by RCBC should also be nullified with the Department of Agrarian Reform nullifying the sale and application for conversion of RCBC.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on January 19, 2012.

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