Students in the Philippines express solidarity with local farmers

April 25th, 2012 11:55 am

A Message from SCM Philippines

Student group asks the President to heed SC landmark decision on Hacienda Luisita

The Student Christian Movement of the Philippines (SCMP) expresses congratulations to the Hacienda Luisita farmers for their defiant struggle for the distribution to the toilers of HLI land. It proved that with unity and unwavering struggle, there is a “light at the end of the tunnel” so to speak.

Today’s Supreme Court decision compelling the Cojuanco-Auino to dismantle the stock-distribution option under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) can be a precedent to other sprawling haciendas which are owned by the Cojuanco-Aquino family such as the plantations in Negros. This can also be a warning to the Ayalas, Roxas and other big landlords in our country who are exploiting the SDO provisions in the CARP to retain ownership of these lands.

The landmark decision of the Supreme Court today ordering distribution of the vast HLI land must be respected by the President’s family. Any further defiance of the Cojuanco-Aquino family will only enrage the farmers and actions to derail the court’s order will only highlight the Aquino government’s outright deprivation of justice to our farmers since it personally conflicts with his family’s interest over the land ownership of HLI.

We further demand from the Aquino government to withdraw military and troops harassing the HLI farmers inside the plantation. The military camps inside the HLI must be dismantled as they only served as the “fortification” of the Cojuancos in their claim to the HLI which had threatened the farmers in the course of the struggle.

We share the sweet victory of the HLI farmers, and at the same time honor the hard-work of all those who toiled and offered their lives in the course of the struggle which included the seven martyrs of November 16, 2004 massacre, CATLU leader Tirso Cruz, Bishop Alberto Ramento, Father WilliamTadena and many other supporters of the farmers struggle.

– SCMP is also a convenor of the TANGGULAN Youth Network for Human Rights and Civil Liberties, abroad network of young human rights advocates.

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