April 12, 2012 - The militant peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and the Kaisahang Pambansa ng mga Magsasaka sa Koprahan (KOPRAHAN) today demanded the Aquino government to “immediately pave the way for the return of the coco levy funds and assets to small coconut farmers and not to use it at will.”
“The Aquino government’s job is only to turn-over the coco levy funds and assets to small coconut farmers from whom the levies were forcibly exacted. It’s not Aquino’s job to use our money and put his own cronies in coco levy funds acquired and established oil mills and companies as if the funds and assets are government property,” says KMP deputy secretary general Willy Marbella.
Marbella said “under the guise of developing the coconut industry, the Aquino government wants to dip its hands over the multi-billion coconut levy funds.”
“Aquino and his cronies have no moral, legal, and political authority to use our money for highly unacceptable and anti-peasant programs like the NAPCs so-called anti-poverty roadmap,” says Marbella, a small coconut farmer from Bicol who holds stock certificates from coconut oil mills established through the coco levy funds.
Marbella said “the six CIIF Companies, the 14 Holding Companies, and the 33,133,266 shares in San Miguel Corp. were established and acquired using the coco levy funds, and are legitimately owned by coconut farmers, and not by the government.”
The 6 CIIF Companies are:
1. Southern Luzon Coconut Oil Mills (SOLCOM);
2. Cagayan de Oro Oil Co., Inc. (CAGOIL);
3. Iligan Coconut Industries, Inc. (ILICOCO);
4. San Pablo Manufacturing Corp. (SPMC);
5. Granexport Manufacturing Corp. (GRANEX); and
6. Legaspi Oil Co., Inc. (LEGOIL),
The 14 Holding Companies are:
1. Soriano Shares, Inc.;
2. ACS Investors, Inc.;
3. Roxas Shares, Inc.;
4. Arc Investors, Inc.;
5. Toda Holdings, Inc.;
6. AP Holdings, Inc.;
7. Fernandez Holdings, Inc.;
8. SMC Officers Corps, Inc.;
9. Te Deum Resources, Inc.;
10. Anglo Ventures, Inc.;
11. Randy Allied Ventures, Inc.;
12. Rock Steel Resources, Inc.;
13. Valhalla Properties Ltd., Inc.; and
14. First Meridian Development, Inc.
“We demand Aquino to immediately turn-over these coco levy assets to legitimate small coconut farmers,” says Marbella, also Koprahan spokesperson.
The KMP and KOPRAHAN also assailed NAPC Secretary Joel Rocamora’s confirming that the Aquino administration along with the NAPC and the DSWD are indeed “scheming” to use the coco levy funds.
“Borrowing off from the coco levy funds? Is this another big joke? It’s not funny because it’s exactly the same alibi used by Danding to cover up the crime of plunder and strengthen his control over the coco levy funds,” says Marbella.
“Even the so-called inter-agency group bear similarity with the Marcos regime’s interlocking directorate on the coco levy funds,” Marbella said referring to the interlocking directorate of Marcos cronies led by Cojuangco.
“Small coconut farmers are bound to resist attempts to further plunder the coco levy funds by people coming from the political breed of the Peace Bonds syndicate now being coddled by Aquino’s haciendero regime,” the peasant leader warned.
Marbella also chided agrarian reform secretary Virgilio de los Reyes for dismissing the claim that the coco levy funds will be used for just compensation of big landlords.
“Secretary de los Reyes should tell that to the NAPC. It was Joel Rocamora who said in a statement that they plan to use it for the anti-poverty roadmap that includes agrarian reform,” he said.
KMP and KOPRAHAN reiterated calls for the enactment of House Bill 3443 or the proposed Coconut Levy Funds Administration and Management Act filed by Anakpawis party-list Representative Rafael Mariano.
HB 3443 defines the “exclusivity of use of the coco levy funds” to ensure that it is used primarily to the best interests of small coconut farmers.
“The enactment of House Bill 3443 will ensure the direct and immediate return of the funds to small coconut farmers, the legitimate and rightful owners of the coco levy funds,” the groups said. #