SENATOR Loren Legarda is calling for justice and genuine agrarian reform for farmers, stressing that justice must be served to the victims and families of the Hacienda Luisita massacre.
In Negros Occidental, militant and cause oriented groups likewise heed the call as they lambast the Arroyo administration’s failure to fully implement the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law which according to the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries, “is anti-farmers’ law.”
In a statement, Legarda on the other hand said: “It has been more than five years since this bloody episode in our farmers’ struggle for genuine land reform. This is human rights violation that has not been resolved up to now by the administration nor the landowners of Hacienda Luisita.”
She added: “Luisita is a symbol of government’s failure to end a feudal and oppressive agrarian system. Neither Noynoy Aquino nor his running mate Mar Roxas, whose families are among the biggest landowners in the country, have taken any steps to correct it.”
This is a test of character – whether you stand against injustice or turn a blind eye to brutality, she said.
Legarda reiterated her call to implement the 20-year-old Agrarian Reform law.
“Noynoy and Mar should not make promises to redistribute their lands for the mere purpose of campaigning. How can you prove that you are pro-poor if you cannot even show transparency in the Hacienda Luisita and Araneta-Roxas records? People are starving. The plight of farmers continues up to this day. Farmers are killed, hurt and harassed. The landless must be given land. This is what the law says,” she said.
Legarda’s statement came on the heels of Aquino’s early declaration that he will distribute the property to its beneficiaries as among his political agenda.