A partial victory was achieved by farm workers under the Alyansa ng Manggagwang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (AMBALA) when they were able to regain part of grabbed lands, set-up a hut, and to stop temporarily the bulldozing of their lands by hired thugs of Tarlac Development Corporation (TADECO) In the afternoon of December 18, 2013 in barangay Balete.
AMBALA which was assisted by Tarlac City Councilor Emmy Ladera and Balete barangay captain Rodel Galang asked TADECO representatives and security guards whether they had a court order which stipulated that no farm workers who have tilled the land since 2005 would be barred from working the land that they are claiming as their own. Councilor Emmy Ladera is from barangay Balete.
All they could say is that the land is theirs and they have titles to these but were dumbfounded when they were shown a notice of coverage (NOC) by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) dated January 2, 2006 and a letter from DAR Tarlac dated December 13, 2013 that there is no record of any appeal, application for retention area or naming any heir beneficiaries by TADEO on said NOC.
The farm workers though remain vigilant by setting up a vigil in the hut that they have set-up as the Tarlac City police and even a whole SWAT team stayed behind supposedly to preserve peace and order. These same police officers have in the recent past been consistent in assisting security guards in intimidating the farm workers and even their advocates.
TADECO also would not let this partial victory last as it has the support of no-less than President Aquino, whose family owns said company. It already got the support also of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) which publicly stated that TADECO’s claims are legitimate as the contested lands are not part of what the Supreme Court decided and never brought up the Notice of Coverage which it issued itself in 2006.
Thus it is only through the militant, united and collective actions including maintaining and expanding their bungkalan (tilling of the soil) and through getting the support of the public would the farm workers succeed. It was through this that they were able to win their case in the Supreme Court, and it is only again through this way that they would win the battle against TADECO.
Kindly provide letters of support to them and CC or write statement of concerns to the following government email addresses which include the Office of the President: firstname.lastname@example.org
Department of Agrarian Reform email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
and use this webpage to email the House Committee on Agrarian Reform:
Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura
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