Farmworkers are urging Mr. Alfonso Yuchengco, owner of RCBC, to hound the president and his relatives instead, “because they are the ones who cheated him by luring his bank into an onerous deal.
By MARYA SALAMAT
MANILA – Last month, Eric Trinidad, 17, got injured when a policeman used the butt of a M16 rifle to hit his legs after he and other farm workers in Hacienda Luisita tried to block the “incursions” of the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) into their farm plots. At the time, RCBC was fencing off the farmworkers’ farm plots in the renowned hacienda in Tarlac, which was ordered by the Supreme Court to be distributed to the tillers.
RCBC is claiming ownership of 182 hectares of the hacienda. It was reportedly given to RCBC as debt payment of the Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI), a corporation formed by the Cojuangco family to manage Hacienda Luisita, after it postponed actual land distribution through stock distribution since the 80s. Farmers groups led by the farmworker-based Unyon ng Manggagawa sa Agrkultura (UMA) and its Tarlac chapter said the HLI “gave” RCBC 182-hectares just weeks after the November 16 Hacienda Luisita massacre in 2004.
The RCBC, said Eric Trinidad, is currently trying to fence off its supposed land in the hacienda, in the process destroying some of the farmworkers’ planted vegetables. With Eric, another minor was “arrested” and jailed briefly last month when they tried to block the RCBC’s demolition efforts. He told bulatlat.com that their elder fellow farmers who were also taken to the police station had been jailed for two days. Now, five are slapped with legal cases.
“Farmworkers are being charged with forcible entry, malicious mischief, and other trumped-up charges, just because they are defending their farm plots and crops from the demolition team hired by the RCBC,” said Joseph Canlas, leader of the Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon, in a rally staged in front of an RCBC branch in Queson City this Monday (May 7, 2012).
Eric Trinidad(Photo by Marya Salamat / bulatlat.com)
RCBC not an “innocent purchaser” but a Cojuangco-Aquino accomplice.... MORE