The Asian Peasant Coalition (APC) would like to extend its solidarity with the Hacienda Luisita farmworkers in Tarlac, Philippines in fortifying their ranks for another struggle to defend their rights to land.
We salute the Hacienda Luisita farmworkers in protecting 23 of their comrades facing imprisonment after the Tarlac municipal trial court issued arrest order on charges of grave coercion and illegal occupation of property. The complaint was filed by RCBC which has claimed ownership of the land after Luisita Industrial Park Corporation (Lipco), which was controlled by Pres. Aquino’s family, turned the property to the bank as loan payment in November, 2004, eight days after the so-called Hacienda Luisita massacre which killed seven farmers seeking land reform in the vast estate.
We admire the bravery of Hacienda farmers who have been camping out in 184-hectare land being claimed by RCBC (Rizal Commercial and Banking Corp.), and planted crops for several years now.
We condemn the Cojuangco-Aquinos and RCBC, who are playing with fire by using trumped-up charges against the Hacienda Luisita farmworkers.
We denounce this criminal cases being pushed by RCBC against farmworkers and their supporters. We strongly believe that it was pure intimidation to undermine the struggling farmworkers of Hacienda Luisita.
We call the attention of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) officials to act in favor of the Hacienda farmers on their January 5, 2012 petition for the revocation of the land conversion order on the 184-hectare land which was re-classified by the department as industrial in favor of RCBC. The Hacienda Luisita farmworkers are the legitimate owners of the said land.
We call for the dismissal of grave coercion and illegal occupation of property against 23 farmworkers and the robbery against 20 other farmworkers who participated last Feb. 20, 2012 . The farmers merely confiscated galvanized iron fences being put up by a construction team escorted by armed security guards, police and military in the land being claimed by RCBC.
We call more than 15 million APC members to send their solidarity messages or conduct solidarity actions to express their support to the struggling Hacienda Luisita farmworkers. #