“What about Pres. Aquino’s statement about ‘just compensation’ for landlords?”
This was labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno’s reaction to presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda’s dismissal of KMU’s statement that Pres. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino is using the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issue to get back at the Supreme Court for the latter’s ruling favoring the distribution of Luisita lands to farmers.
Lacierda said KMU’s statement is “a complete disinformation,” citing the Office of the Solicitor-General’s motion for reconsideration against the SC’s ruling allowing farmer-beneficiaries to choose between owning land or owning stocks through a referendum.
“We maintain our view: that Pres. Aquino’s word war with the Supreme Court is only superficially about going after Gloria for her crimes against the Filipino workers and people. It is really about wanting the high tribunal to step back from its decision ordering the distribution of Luisita lands to farmers,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
“Mr. Lacierda wants to create the impression that Pres. Aquino is all for the distribution of the Luisita lands to farmers and does not hold grudges against the Supreme Court for its latest ruling on the land dispute,” he added.
“But by mouthing ‘just compensation’ even ahead of the Aquino-Cojuangcos, Pres. Aquino set up an immense roadblock to the distribution of Luisita lands to farmers. If he really wants land reform in Luisita, he can order the immediate, unconditional and free distribution of the hacienda’s lands to farmers,” he said.
The labor center said the president can do this on the basis of the condition for the government loan in 1957 that was used to purchase Hacienda Luisita and of the Cojuangco-Aquino’s wealth from the farmers’ decades-long toil.
Only forced to take action vs. GMA
KMU said that the Aquino government was only forced to take action against Mrs. Arroyo when it was clear that she was planning to leave the country and go into exile.
“It is difficult for us to believe that Pres. Aquino will go to war with the Supreme Court over Gloria. All through the more than one year of the Aquino regime, it was very lenient with her,” Labog said.
“The Aquino government was only forced to take action against Gloria because it feared the protests that would be sparked by her departure from the country. It was also afraid of losing a deodorizer whenever it needed one,” Labog said.
“It was the regime’s inability to file a case, any case, against Gloria which the Supreme Court used as basis for granting her the right to leave the country. Pres. Aquino saw no reason to wage war against the Supreme Court when it junked its Truth Commission,” he added. Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU Chairperson