The Asian Peasant Coalition (APC) congratulates the Hacienda Luisita farmers for their victory in their decades-old struggle against the family of President Benigno Aquino as the Supreme Court ruled in their favor today.
The court affirmed its November 2011 ruling ordering distribution of the 4,916 hectares of Hacienda Luisita and rejecting offers of shares of stock.
In its final ruling today, the court also junked the plea of Aquino’s family – for payment based on current fair market value. It fixed the land value to 1989 prices when the estate was put under the government’s agrarian reform program.
Last November, the court unanimously agreed that the land should be distributed to the original 6,296 beneficiaries, as ruled by the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council in December 2005.
“This is a victory for genuine agrarian reform. Their victory will serve as an inspiration to other farmers in Asia and the world to continue with the struggle,” said Zenaida Soriano, national chairperson of AMIHAN (National Federation of Peasant Women) and concurrent APC Coordinating Council member.
“But the Hacienda Luisita farmers and farm workers must remain vigilant and frustrate every maneuver of the Cojuangcos to continuously deny them of their hard-won victory,” remarked Randal Echanis, deputy secretary general of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP). .
The APC also pushed for “the immediate free distribution of Hacienda Luisita to genuine farmworkers. .” #
AMIHAN National Chairperson and
APC CC Member
KMP Deputy Secretary General