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Hacienda Luisita Mediation Panel Suggests Another Referendum Published on September 11, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hacienda Luisita Mediation Panel Suggests Another Referendum

Published on September 11, 2010

 "The farm workers of Hacienda Luisita had been through so many referendums already. All of these were merely used by the Cojuangco family to deceive the farm workers and keep the land.” – Lito Bais United Luisita Workers Union acting chairperson.

MANILA — After two days of hearings, the mediation panel that was formed by the Supreme Court to arrive at a win-win agreement in the agrarian dispute at Hacienda Luisita is suggesting that another referendum among the farmer beneficiaries be held.

In the said referendum, the farm workers would be made to choose between physical land distribution either to individuals or to a cooperative, or remain under the Stock Distribution Option (SDO). “We called on the Supreme Court to revoke the SDO. But it seems that the mediation panel is paving the way for its legality by calling for a referendum,” United Luisita Workers Union acting chairperson Lito Bais told Bulatlat.

The SDO has been implemented at Hacienda Luisita for some 20 years now. It supposedly entitles the farmer beneficiaries to own shares of stock of Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI). In 2005, however, the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council ruled that the SDO is unconstitutional as it failed in its objective of improving the lives of farmers.

Peasant leaders walk towards their supporters gathered in front the gate of Supreme Court during the first day of the hearing. (Photo by Janess Ann J. Ellao / bulatlat.com)
While the results of the referendum will not apply uniformly to all – those voting for land distribution would be given parcels of land while those voting to remain under SDO would be given shares – Bais said, it will still be oppressive to those who would be deceived or forced into voting for the SDO because of poverty. if 10 people are deceived into signing for the SDO , it wool mean 10 families would be made to suffer. He added that ULWU is deeply concerned for the welfare of the farmworkers in Hacienda Luisita because “we have martyrs, those farm workers who have died for our struggle for our right to the land we till. But SC gave life, yet again, to the SDO that killed them.”.... MORE


URL: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/09/11/hacienda-luisita-mediation-panel-suggests-another-referendum/

1 comment

Jesusa Bernardo said...


HACIENDA LUISITA: Land Theft, Massacres, Assassinations, SDO


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