MANILA, Philippines- Leaders of Hacienda Luisita farm workers together with supporters from the National Capital Region (NCR) on November 16, 2010 kicked off a 25-vehicle caravan from Quezon City to Tarlac to commemorate the 6th year anniversary of the infamous massacre inside the hotly contested 6,453 hectare sugar estate.
The labor and agrarian dispute that culminated in the general strike at the main gate of Luisita resulted to the bloody dispersal of strikers on November 2004 and led to the death of 7 farm workers and the wounding of over 100 other striking agricultural workers.
In a joint press statement the KMP and UMA said they will pursue the re-opening of congressional inquiry in both Houses of congress which have yet to issue their respective findings on the massacre. The massacre led to the bloody killing of 7 farm workers and the wounding of 121 others. Of the 121, 32 suffered gunshot wounds, 11 were children or in their teens and 4 were senior citizens.
Aside from demanding justice and accountability, caravan participants also urged President Aquino and the HLI management to immediately withdraw before the Supreme Court their objection to the decision of the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) to have the 6,453 hectare distributed to over 10,000 farm worker beneficiaries. The KMP and UMA are supporting the call for urgent and free distribution of the sugar estate which has been under control of the Cojuangco-Aquino family since 1957.
Organizers were led by the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), the Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) and the umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan). Source: KMP and UMA