MANILA, Philippines - As the Supreme Court continues its oral arguments today on the issue of the Stock Distribution Option as a scheme to distribute the lands of Aquino-owned Hacienda Luisita to farmers, labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno reiterated its call to the hight court to recognize the SDO as not in any way a tool for land reform.
“For two decades, the SDO has caused the misery and exploitation of Hacienda Luisita farmers. The SDO made them have a take-home pay of only P9.50, forced them to launch a strike in 2004, made them victims of a bloody massacre, and entitled them to as low as one-peso payments as ‘stockholders’ of the land,” KMU secretary-general Rogelio Soluta said in a statement.
“We hope the SC sees the obvious: the SDO is not a means to distribute lands to farmers, in violation of the principle of land reform. It is a means to continue to deprive farmers the land they have tilled for decades and the decent livelihood they rightfully deserve.
“The Cojuangco and Aquino clans staged the signing of the compromise deal and the holding of a referendum in Luisita in hoping to pre-empt the SC’s oral arguments on the SDO. May this hearing put an end to the Cojuangco and Aquino clans’ efforts at making a grand deception. For if the SC will show that it is favoring the SDO, the people will judge it as part of the Luisita landlords’ ploy,” Soluta warned.
KMU also criticized the Aquino administration for pushing the SC to decide in favor of the SDO scheme. Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda himself said that “Hopefully, the Supreme Court will look with favor on the compromise agreement.”
“With these statements and his hands-off posturings on the issue, Noynoy is serving the greed of his clan. He must not be so confident with his popularity at present. He is earning the workers’ and people’s wrath.”
KMU also urged Congress to hold an inquiry into the sham referendum and compromise deal.
“History will judge those who will stand with the Luisita landlords on this issue. When the time comes that the people finally own and benefit from the lands of our nation, the honor of those who stood with the landlords will be burried six feet under the land.