A DECADE since the so-called Hacienda Luisita massacre, farm-workers of the Tarlac estate continue to cry for justice, saying the family of President Benigno Aquino III is continuously able to evade accountability for the massacre.

In a statement, the Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (Ambala) said their cry in 2004 continues to this day as the Cojuangco family, led by Aquino, still refuse to implement genuine land reform in the hacienda.

"Instead of implementing land reform and the Supreme Court ruling on Hacienda Luisita, the Aquino administration has been very busy terrorizing and arresting farmers, bulldozing crops and destroying the organization's bungkalan, burning homes, and erecting concrete fences around vast agricultural lands in Hacienda Luisita," said Ambala chairperson Florida Sibayan.

"All Luisita villages are still militarized. Impunity remains," she further said.

Back in November 16, 2004, seven farm workers were killed during the bloody strike dispersal of the then 10-day protest of farm workers from the United Luisita Workers Union (ULWU) and sugar mill workers of the Central Azucarera de Tarlac Labor Union (CATLU).

At that time, Aquino was the Representative of the First District of Tarlac while also serving as active manager of the Hacienda Luisita estate.

And on Saturday, farm workers paid tribute to the seven, namely Jessie Valdez, Adriano Caballero Jr., Jaime Fastidio, Jesus Laza, Juancho Sanchez, Jhaivie Basilio, and Jhune David during their street protests in Mendiola, Manila to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Hacienda Luisita massacre.

According to Sibayan, there is no better way to demand for justice than push for the ouster of President Aquino in order for him to be held accountable.

"To grant justice for Luisita’s people, Aquino should face accountability – this criminal and corrupt landlord President must be ousted from power," said Sibayan.

Aside from the protest, the farmers also burned an effigy of Aquino clad in a soldier's camouflage uniform and riding a wayward bulldozer to symbolize the Cojuangco-Aquino family's deceit, violence and land grabbing actions still prevailing in Hacienda Luisita. (HDT/Sunnex)