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    Farmers clash with police, security guards in Hacienda Luisita

    Farmers slam DAR for inaction, partiality towards TADECO

    A hundred farmers in Barangay (village) Balete, Hacienda Luisita clashed this morning with around 60 security guards and police officers who thwarted their attempt to assert their claim on lands they have been tilling since 2005.

    Said properties are now being land grabbed by Tarlac Development Corporation (TADECO) which is a suspect in the killing of Dennis de la Cruz on November 1 and which filed cases against farmers in Barangay Cutcut on November 4 for unlawful detainer.

    On November 12, TADECO bulldozed houses set up by a few families in Balete and stated that they were also constructing a road in the property they are land grabbing.

    TADECO suddenly appeared in the picture of the ongoing land saga in Hacienda Luisita right after the Lot Allocation Certificate (LAC) distribution in Cutcut on July 18, 2013.  Initially it set-up security guard outposts in the two barangays and eventually gave warning letters to around 100 farmers demanding that they stop encroaching on said property.

    Ka Pong Sibayan, acting chairperson of Alyansa ng Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (AMBALA) and her mother Maria Versola were slightly injured when they fell while struggling with security guards near the foundation of the hut they were trying to set-up. Ka Pong also hurt slightly her nape and shoulder.

    An apologist of Noynoy Aquino working as a columnist in a Manila newspaper earlier wrote that Mr. de la Cuz, which he wrongly named as Mr. Cayabyab allegedly died of an accident. He revealed that supposedly there is a witness to this and that photos of SOCO also proved that this was indeed what happened.

    There was no autopsy, however, done on Mr. de la Cruz. The family told AMBALA who visited his wake and paid a tribute to him, that they were afraid of repercussions if they would agree to have his cadaver autopsied.

    Overall, however, it is the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) that has been the staunchest apologists for TADECO and the Cojuangco-Aquinos. It stated that the lands being grabbed by said firm are not part of the lands that were distributed to farm worker beneficiaries as ruled by the Supreme Court.

    DAR Secretary de los Reyes also warned the farmers that they had no right to till the land as they are still determining its status. He added that those who encroach and till the land would have no right to own it if they decide that this should be distributed later to them.

    The DAR chief however has remained silent on the recent actions done by TADECO. It is only a continuation of its unabashed subservience to the Cojuangco-Aquino clan who owns the Hacienda when it undertook a sham land distribution there. But that is another story.

    Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura
    (Agricultural Workers Union)

    Source Verification:
    Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura

    Florida “Pong” Sibayan, Acting Chairperson, AMBALA
    CP no. +639293201477
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