MABALACAT CITY -- The Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) has condemned the new case filed by the Luisita Land Corporation (LLC) against 15 farmers in Hacienda Luisita.
UMA, in a press statement, claimed that the farmers were merely asserting their rights to cultivate lands already declared by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) for land distribution.
Among those who were charged for malicious mischief and trespassing is Renato Mendoza, chairperson of UMA and Secretary General of the Alyansa ng Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (Ambala).
The 15 who were charged were part of hundreds of farmers in Hacienda Luisita who asserted their right to cultivate 200 hectares of lands between Barangays Balete and Cutcut.
The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) had already revoked the land use conversion order covering the 500-hectare LLC and RCBC areas in Hacienda Luisita on February 23, 2017, through then DAR Secretary Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano.
UMA Secretary General John “Butch” Milton Lozande called on DAR to take over the case because of its agrarian nature.
At the same time, Lozande dared the agency to implement the eviction of LLC and RCBC on lands it already ruled in favor of Ambala.