Luisita Magsasaka


Who were the 7 who died in the Luisita massacre?

Until when the victims of hacienda luisita massacre will wait for Justice?

How many decades and how many lives has to suffer from this Madness?

If  Senator Benigno “noynoy” Aquino will run this country with biggest massacre background together with the Mendiola Massacre…

What will happen to our country? People are so blinded with his godly image which is perfectly a product of media– that people should be questioning what he has really done for our countrymen? Come to think of this.. Senator Benigno “noynoy” Aquino became the Deputy Speaker of the House Since November 8 2004- February 21 2006… when was the masscre happened? November 16, 2004.

What did he do: NOTHING.

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Special reports from GMA news.tv

Jhaivie was the youngest of the victims who died. He worked part-time at Central Azucarera de Tarlac, cleaning sugarcane every Monday, to earn money after he stopped going to college when his father died six months before the massacre. His mother said Jhaivie was a homebody, but he went to support the strike because almost all the children in his barangay were children of farm workers in Hacienda Luisita, and he understood what they were fighting for.

Jhavie was shot when he tried to climb up one of the fire trucks after the military tank broke through the gate of the sugar mill. He was hit on the thigh. As he tried to crawl away, soldiers went to him and hit his face with a rifle butt. A soldier tied barbed wire around his neck, hung his body on a fence, then shot him in the chest. His body was found at 3:00 am the next day along with two other victims. A photo of Jhaivie holding a gun was released. He and the two others were accused of being members of the New People’s Army (NPA).

Jhune David, 27

Jhune came from a family of farm workers in Hacienda Luisita. His late father and 3 of his 9 siblings were farm workers. He started working in the sugarcane fields at age 18. Jhune worked at the sugar mill for 9 years and was a member of the workers’ union until his death. He was shot on the right shoulder, and was taken to the hospital in the sugar mill compound. His body was later found outside the compound. During the wake at the sugar mill, an unidentified couple went to his coffin, lifted his shirt, and took photos. He was later shown in the news as a member of the New People’s Army (NPA).

(On November 24, 2004, a report in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on the statements of the Philippine National Police (PNP) about the massacre said that “The NPA angle surfaced after one of the fatalities, Jun David, was found to be a member of the group which is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.”)
Jhune left behind a wife and one child.

Jesus Laza, 34

Jesus was a farm worker in Hacienda Luisita from 1984 to 1990. Unable to make ends meet, he tried working in Manila. He returned to the hacienda in 1991 to work as a sugarcane cutter and sell dried fish during milling season. For more than a decade, Jesus sold food in buses plying the San Fernando-Tarlac route, until he decided to return to the hacienda, his true home, with his family of farm workers. Instead of selling food in buses, he sold food at the picket line near the gate of the sugar mill. This was where he died when he was shot on the back of the leg and on the right chest while running away from the shooting.
Jessie Valdez, 30

Jessie tried working in Sanyo, UFC, and Kawasaki at the Luisita industrial park, but went back to his true calling as a farm worker. He was shot by snipers positioned on the sugar mill’s water tower. Jessie was taken to Camp Aquino before being transferred to a funeral home. His family was able to retrieve his body only on the day after the massacre. The autopsy showed marks on his fingers and hips that indicated torture. The report showed he bled to death. His wife was pregnant with their fourth child when he died.

Juancho Sanchez, 20

Juancho was a college student at the State University of Tarlac who temporarily stopped schooling and worked as a jeepney driver to help with the tuition of his two younger sisters. His father was a former farm worker who became a pastor. Juancho himself was an active member of a Christian youth fellowship. He went to the picket line to sympathize with the hardship of the workers. On the day he died, Juancho still drove his jeepney in the morning and had lunch at home in Barangay Balete inside Hacienda Luisita. He then said goodbye to his father to go to the picket line. That was the last time his father saw him alive. The autopsy report showed Sanchez died from a gunshot that exited from his lower back, but his family said his face and feet had indications that he was first taken alive and beaten.

Adriano Caballero, Jr., 23

Adriano was born and raised in Hacienda Luisita. He and his father were caddies at the golf course owned by the Cojuangcos. One of his siblings worked at the sugar mill and was a member of the Central Azucarera de Tarlac Labor Union (CATLU). Adriano had gone to the picket line to support a friend. Adriano’s wife was five months pregnant when he died.
Jaime Pastidio, 46

Jaime became a farm worker in Hacienda Luisita in 1974. His father and 3 of his 7 siblings were also farm workers. Jaime was shot while running for cover when gunfire broke out after the tank broke through the gate of the sugar mill. Some protesters tried to run back and help him, but soldiers fired at their feet before they could reach Jaime. They saw the military take him inside the hacienda’s hospital, which was then shut down by soldiers. The next day, his family was told that he was dead. Jaime had been working in the hacienda for 30 years.

(From a report by Lisa Ito, and interviews with the victims’ relatives by members of the International Solidarity Mission. The International Solidarity Mission was a group of 80 foreign human rights advocates that visited various areas in the Philippines, including Hacienda Luisita, in August 2005 to look into human rights violations.)


source of article: http://www.gmanews.tv/story/182537/who-were-the-7-who-died-in-the-luisita-massacre

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How the Cojuangcos got majority control of Hacienda Luisita

By:

STEPHANIE DYCHIU
 

Senator Noynoy Aquino: The MASAker King

 

When the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) was implemented in Hacienda Luisita in 1989, the farm workers’ ownership of the hacienda was pegged at 33%, while 67% was retained by the Cojuangcos.

The 33-67 split was based on the valuation of the capital each party injected into the new company. The farm workers’ capital, made up of the hacienda’s 4,915.75 hectares of land, was valued at P197 million (P40,000 per hectare). The Cojuangcos’ capital, made up of non-land assets, was valued at P394 million. The ratio of P197 million to P394 million is 33:67.

Those who have studied HLI’s books say the non-land assets seem to have been overvalued to increase the Cojuangcos’ share, while the land assets were undervalued to limit the farm workers’ share.

In his 1992 book A Captive Land: The Politics of Agrarian Reform in the Philippines, American development studies expert Dr. James Putzel showed how the non-land assets were inflated.

(Dr. James Putzel did extensive research on agrarian reform in the Philippines in the 1980s and 1990s. He is currently a Professor of Development Studies at the London School of Economics.)

Hacienda Luisita Inc. balance sheet (1988-1989)

First, the “standing crop” of P103 million, comprising 18% of HLI’s total assets, was counted as a non-land asset.

“If this item alone was counted as part of the value of the land, which the law should arguably have required, then the workers would have been able to gain majority control of the company,” Putzel wrote.

Putzel said standing crop was a highly variable item of an agricultural company’s balance sheet that changed every year depending on weather and market conditions. It was therefore a questionable basis to use for determining the permanent share of the farm workers in HLI.

Second, “accounts due from affiliates” and “long-term notes receivable” worth P8.5 million and P28 million respectively were plugged into HLI’s balance sheet to further increase the value of the non-land assets. These items were payments HLI was due to receive from other Cojuangco companies. The P28 million represented the sale of part of Hacienda Luisita’s land to the Cojuangcos’ Central Azucarera de Tarlac.

Third, two items under “other assets” were assigned inflated amounts to raise the value of the non-land assets:

* The 120.9 hectares of “residential land” were valued at P60 million, or P500,000 per hectare, almost 10 times their valuation of P55,000 per hectare in the balance sheet of Cojuangco company TADECO just one year before (June 30, 1988).

* The 265.7 hectares of “land improvements” were valued at P58 million, more than 10 times their value of P5.6 million in the balance sheet of TADECO one year before.

These two items, along with the land transferred to Central Azucarera de Tarlac, were among the portions of Hacienda Luisita that were excluded from the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

The excluded areas are the reason why only 4,915.75 out of Luisita’s 6,443 hectares were subjected to land reform. – GMANews.TV



Hacienda Luisita’s past haunts Noynoy’s future
This week the country commemorates the tragic shooting of protesting farmers on January 22, 1987, an incident better known as the Mendiola massacre. Along with the Hacienda Luisita massacre of November 16, 2004, these two incidents represent the darker side of the Aquino legacy.

The struggle between farmers and landowners of Hacienda Luisita is now being seen as the first real test of character of presidential candidate Noynoy Cojuangco Aquino, whose family has owned the land since 1958. Our research shows that the problem began when government lenders obliged the Cojuangcos to distribute the land to small farmers by1967, a deadline that came and went. Pressure for land reform on Luisita since then reached a bloody head in 2004 when seven protesters were killed near the gate of the sugar mill in what is now known as the Luisita massacre. This is the story of the hacienda and its farmers, an issue that is likely to haunt Aquino as he travels the campaign trail for the May 2010 elections.

First of a series

Senator Noynoy Cojuangco Aquino has said he only owns 1% of Hacienda Luisita. Why is he being dragged into the hacienda’s issues?

This is one of the most common questions asked in the 2010 elections.

To find the answer, GMANews.TV traveled to Tarlac and spoke to Luisita’s farm workers and union leaders. A separate interview and review of court documents was then conducted with the lawyers representing the workers’ union in court. GMANews.TV also examined the Cojuangcos’ court defense and past media and legislative records on the Luisita issue.

The investigation yielded illuminating insights into Senator Noynoy Aquino’s involvement in Hacienda Luisita that have not been openly discussed since his presidential bid. Details are gradually explored in this series of special reports.

A background on the troubled history of Hacienda Luisita is essential to understanding why the issue is forever haunting Senator Noynoy Aquino and his family.

Remnant of colonialism

Before the Cojuangco family acquired Hacienda Luisita in the 1950s, it belonged to the Spanish-owned Compaña General de Tabacos de Filipinas (Tabacalera). Tabacalera acquired the land in 1882 from the Spanish crown, which had a self-appointed claim on the lands as the Philippines’ colonial master. Luisita was named after Luisa, the wife of the top official of Tabacalera.

Tobacco used to be the main crop planted in Luisita, but in the 1920s, the Spaniards shifted to sugar. Sugar production had become more profitable because demand was guaranteed by the US quota. In 1927, the Spaniards built the sugar mill Central Azucarera de Tarlac to accompany their sugarcane plantation.

Around the same year, the wealthy Cojuangco brothers Jose, Juan, Antonio, and Eduardo also put up a small sugar mill in Paniqui, Tarlac. The eldest brother, Jose “Pepe” Cojuangco, Sr., was the father of former President Corazon “Cory” Cojuangco Aquino, and the grandfather of Senator Noynoy Aquino.

Ninoy brokers purchase of Luisita

In 1954, Corazon Cojuangco married Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr. with President Ramon Magsaysay as one of the ninongs (sponsor) at the wedding. In 1957, Magsaysay talked to Ninoy Aquino about the possibility of Ninoy’s father-in-law, Jose Cojuangco, Sr. acquiring Central Azucarera de Tarlac and Hacienda Luisita from the Spaniards. The Spaniards wanted to sell because of the Huk rebellion and chronic labor problems.

Ninoy Aquino wanted the azucarera and hacienda to stay only within the immediate family of his father-in-law, not to be shared with the other Cojuangcos, wrote American development studies expert James Putzel in his 1992 book A Captive Land: The Politics of Agrarian Reform in the Philippines.

(Dr. James Putzel did extensive research on agrarian reform in the Philippines between the late 1980s to the early 1990s. He is currently a Professor of Development Studies at the London School of Economics.)

The exclusion of Jose Cojuangco, Sr.’s brothers and their heirs from Luisita caused the first major rift in the Cojuangco family, Putzel wrote. This played out years later in the political rivalry of Jose’s son Peping and Eduardo’s son Danding. Today, this divide is seen between Noynoy Aquino (grandson of Jose Sr., nephew of Peping) and Gibo Teodoro (grandson of Eduardo Sr., nephew of Danding), who are both running in the 2010 presidential elections.


(Click here to view the the Cojuangco family tree)
Government loans given to Cojuangco

Jose Cojuangco, Sr. received significant preferential treatment and assistance from the government to facilitate his takeover of Hacienda Luisita and Central Azucarera de Tarlac in 1957.

To acquire a controlling interest in Central Azucarera de Tarlac, Cojuangco had to pay the Spaniards in dollars. He turned to the Manufacturer’s Trust Company in New York for a 10-year, $2.1 million loan. Dollars were tightly regulated in those times. To ease the flow of foreign exchange for Cojuangco’s loan, the Central Bank of the Philippines deposited part of the country’s international reserves with the Manufacturer’s Trust Company in New York.

LAND REFORM AND SOCIAL JUSTICE


When Spain colonized the Philippines by force beginning 1521, its lands were claimed by the conquistadors in the name of Spain. The natives who were already there tilling the land were put under Spanish landlords, who were given royal grants to “own” the land and exact forced labor and taxes from the natives. After the Spaniards left, the Americans took over. When the Philippines became independent in 1946, history had to be set right by giving the lands back to the people whose ancestors have been tilling them for centuries. However, a new feudal system developed among the Filipinos themselves, and once again drove a wedge between the tillers and their land.

The Central Bank did this on the condition that Cojuangco would simultaneously purchase the 6,443-hectare Hacienda Luisita, “with a view to distributing this hacienda to small farmers in line with the Administration’s social justice program.” (Central Bank Monetary Board Resolution No. 1240, August 27, 1957).

To finance the purchase of Hacienda Luisita, Cojuangco turned to the GSIS (Government Service Insurance System). His application for a P7 million loan said that 4,000 hectares of the hacienda would be made available to bonafide sugar planters, while the balance 2,453 hectares would be distributed to barrio residents who will pay for them on installment.

The GSIS approved a P5.9 million loan, on the condition that Hacienda Luisita would be “subdivided among the tenants who shall pay the cost thereof under reasonable terms and conditions”. (GSIS Resolution No. 1085, May 7, 1957; GSIS Resolution No. 3202, November 25, 1957)

Later, Jose Cojuangco, Sr. requested that the phrase be amended to “. . . shall be sold at cost to tenants, should there be any” (GSIS Resolution No. 356, February 5, 1958). This phrase would be cited later on as justification not to distribute the hacienda’s land.

On April 8, 1958, Jose Cojuangco, Sr.’s company, the Tarlac Development Corporation (TADECO), became the new owner of Hacienda Luisita and Central Azucarera de Tarlac. Ninoy Aquino was appointed the hacienda’s first administrator.

In his book, Putzel noted that the Central Bank Monetary Board resolution from 1957 required distribution of Hacienda Luisita’s land to small farmers within 10 years. The controversies that would hound the hacienda for decades can be traced to the Cojuangcos’ efforts to retain control of the land long after the deadline for land distribution passed in 1967.

Land not distributed to farmers

“Ang pagkakaintindi ng mga ninuno naming manggagawang-bukid ng Hacienda Luisita noon, within 10 years, babayaran na [ng mga Cojuangco] ang utang nila sa gubyerno. Pagdating ng 1967, ang lupa ay sa magsasaka na (The way our elders, the farm workers of Hacienda Luisita, understood things at that time, within 10 years, the Cojuangcos were going to pay back the money they borrowed from the government. By 1967, the land would belong to the farmers),” says Lito Bais, one of the present-day leaders of the United Luisita Workers Union (ULWU). Bais was born on the hacienda in 1957, the year before the Cojuangco family took over. His mother was also born on the hacienda.

When 1967 came and went with no land distribution taking place, the farm workers began to organize themselves to uphold their cause. That year, Ninoy Aquino also became the Philippines’ youngest senator. His entry into national politics marked the start of his bitter rivalry with President Ferdinand Marcos.

After Marcos declared Martial Law in 1972, his most voluble critic Aquino, who was planning to run for President, was one of the first people arrested.

Government files case vs. Cojuangcos

The Cojuangcos’ disputed hold over Hacienda Luisita had been tolerated by Marcos even at the height of his dictatorship. However, as Ninoy Aquino and his family were leaving for exile in the US, a case was filed on May 7, 1980 by the Marcos government against the Cojuangco company TADECO for the surrender of Hacienda Luisita to the Ministry of Agrarian Reform, so land could be distributed to the farmers at cost, in accordance with the terms of the government loans given in 1957-1958 to the late Jose Cojuangco, Sr., who died in 1976. (Republic of the Philippines vs. TADECO, Civil Case No. 131654, Manila Regional Trial Court, Branch XLIII)

The Marcos government filed this case after written follow-ups sent to the Cojuangcos over a period of eleven years did not result in land distribution. (The Cojuangcos always replied that the loan terms were unenforceable because there were no tenants on the hacienda.) The government’s first follow-up letter was written by Conrado Estrella of the Land Authority on March 2, 1967. Another letter was written by Central Bank Governor Gregorio Licaros on May 5, 1977. Another letter was written by Agrarian Reform Deputy Minister Ernesto Valdez on May 23, 1978.

The government’s lawsuit was portrayed by the anti-Marcos bloc as an act of harassment against Ninoy Aquino’s family. Inside Hacienda Luisita, however, the farmers thought the wheels of justice were finally turning and land distribution was coming.

Cojuangcos claim hacienda has no tenants

In their January 10, 1981 response to the government’s complaint, the Cojuangcos again said that the Central Bank and GSIS resolutions were unenforceable because there were no tenants on Hacienda Luisita.

“Inilaban ni Doña Metring, yung nanay nila Cory, na wala raw silang inabutan na tao [sa hacienda], kaya wala raw benipesyaryo, kaya ang lupang ito ay sa kanila (Doña Metring, the mother of Cory, said there were no tenants in the hacienda when they took over, therefore there were no beneficiaries, therefore the land belonged to them),” recalls Bais. “E, tignan mo naman ang lupang ito. Paano mapapatag ang lupang ito? Paano makapag-tanim kung walang taong inabutan? (But look at this land. How else could this land have been tamed? How could it have been cultivated if there were no people here when they took over?)”

(The distinction between a tenant farmer and seasonal farmers hired from outside was key to the Cojuangcos’ defense. A tenant farmer is one who is in possession of the land being tilled. In his book A Captive Land, James Putzel noted that the Central Bank resolution mentioned distribution not to tenants but to “small farmers.” Raising the issue of tenancy thus seemed ineffective in the defense.)

The Cojuangcos also said in their January 10, 1981 response that there was no agrarian unrest in Luisita, and existing Marcos land reform legislation exempted sugar lands. Further, they asserted that the government’s claim on Luisita had already expired since no litigation was undertaken since 1967.

Court orders Cojuangcos to surrender Luisita

In the meantime, vague rumors of a planned conversion of the hacienda into a residential subdivision or airport, or both, cropped up among the farm workers, causing anxiety that they would be left with no land to till. (This was likely due to the decline of the sugar industry in the Philippines after the US quota ended in the 1970s. Conversion became a buzzword among big landowners all over the country. The Cojuangcos formed Luisita Realty Corporation in 1977 as a first step to turning the hacienda into a residential and industrial complex.)

The government pursued its case against the Cojuangcos, and by December 2, 1985, the Manila Regional Trial Court ordered TADECO to surrender Hacienda Luisita to the Ministry of Agrarian Reform. According to Putzel, this decision was rendered with unusual speed and was decried by the Cojuangcos as another act of harassment, because Cory Aquino, now a widow after the assassination of Ninoy Aquino in 1983, was set to run for President against Marcos in the February 7, 1986 snap elections. The Cojuangcos elevated the case to the Court of Appeals (Court of Appeals G.R. 08634).

Cory promises to give “land to the tiller”

Cory Aquino officially announced her candidacy on December 3, 1985. Land reform was one of the pillars of her campaign.

A farmer GMANews.TV spoke to said they were told by Cojuangco family members managing the hacienda during this time that if Cory became president, Hacienda Luisita would once and for all be distributed to the farmers through her land reform program. He said this promise was made to motivate them to vote for Cory and join the jeepney-loads of people being sent to Manila from Tarlac to attend her rallies.

On January 6, 1986, Aquino delivered the first policy speech of her campaign in Makati and said, “We are determined to implement a genuine land reform program . . . to enable [beneficiaries] to become self-reliant and prosperous farmers.”

Ten days later, on January 16, 1986, Aquino delivered her second major speech in Davao and said, “Land-to-the-tiller must become a reality, instead of an empty slogan.”

In the same speech, Aquino also said, “You will probably ask me: Will I also apply it to my family’s Hacienda Luisita? My answer is yes.”

This campaign promise would haunt her for many years to come. To this day, it haunts her son.

Marcos flees, Aquino dissolves Constitution

The snap elections took place on February 7, 1986. Marcos was declared winner, but was ousted by the People Power revolution. Cory Aquino was sworn in as President on February 25, 1986. She named her running mate Salvador “Doy” Laurel Prime Minister through Presidential Proclamation No. 1.

A month later, Aquino issued Presidential Proclamation No. 3 declaring a revolutionary government and dissolving the 1973 Constitution. This nullified Laurel’s position as Prime Minister, and abolished the Batasang Pambansa (Parliament). Aquino announced that a new Constitution was going to be formed. Legislative powers were to reside with the President until elections were held.

To critics, Aquino’s abandonment of Laurel and her taking of legislative power were early signs that a web of advisers was influencing her decisions. The sway of these advisers would be felt later in the choices Aquino would make regarding Hacienda Luisita.

Juan Ponce Enrile’s link to Hacienda Luisita

On September 16, 1987, Laurel formally broke ties with Aquino. The New York Times reported that Laurel had confronted Aquino about her promise in 1985 to let him run the government as Prime Minister after Marcos was ousted, because she had no experience. This was the reason Laurel agreed to shelve his own plan to run for President and put his party’s resources behind Aquino during the snap elections. “I believed you,” the New York Times quoted Laurel saying he told Mrs. Aquino. Aquino just listened without response, Laurel said.

Laurel found an ally in Juan Ponce Enrile, another disenchanted EDSA veteran who now opposed Aquino.

Enrile also happened to be the lawyer of Tabacalera when Hacienda Luisita was taken over by the Cojuangcos in 1957. He was retained by the Cojuangcos after the sale. Enrile’s inside knowledge of the controversial transaction would be a big thorn in the side of the Cojuangco-Aquinos.

Mendiola, a portent of the Luisita massacre

On January 22, 1987, eleven months into the Aquino administration, the Mendiola massacre happened. Thousands of frustrated farmers marched to Malacañang demanding fulfillment of the promises made regarding land reform during the Aquino campaign, and distribution of lands at no cost to beneficiaries. At least a dozen protesters were killed in the violent dispersal. More were seriously injured.


In a protest march for land reform in January 1987, 13 protesters were killed near Malacañang in what has gone down in history as the Mendiola Massacre, a low point in the administration of former President Corazon C. Aquino. Photo by Mon Acasio

Under pressure after the bloodshed in Mendiola, Aquino fast-tracked the passage of the land reform law. The new 1987 Constitution took effect on February 11, 1987, and on July 22, 1987, Aquino issued Presidential Proclamation 131 and Executive Order No. 229 outlining her land reform program. She expanded its coverage to include sugar and coconut lands.

Her outline also included a provision for the Stock Distribution Option (SDO), a mode of complying with the land reform law that did not require actual transfer of land to the tiller.

(Aquino’s July 22, 1987 “midnight decree”, as Juan Ponce Enrile called it back then, raised eyebrows because it was issued just days before the legislative powers Aquino took in 1986 were going to revert back to Congress on July 28, 1987, the first regular session of the new Congress after the May 1987 elections. The timing insured the passage of the SDO.)

LAND REFORM AND SDO


Why is land reform a big issue in the Philippines?

Land reform is linked to social justice. When Spain colonized the Philippines by force beginning 1521, its lands were claimed by the conquistadors in the name of Spain. The natives who were already there tilling the land were put under Spanish landlords, who were given royal grants to “own” the land and exact forced labor and taxes from the natives. After the Spaniards left, the Americans took over. When the Philippines became independent in 1946, history had to be set right by giving the lands back to the people whose ancestors have been tilling them for centuries. However, a new feudal system developed among the Filipinos themselves, and once again drove a wedge between the tillers and their land.

What is the SDO (Stock Distribution Option)?

The Stock Distribution Option (SDO) was a clause in the 1988 Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) that allowed landowners to give farmers shares of stock in a corporation instead of land. The landlords then arranged to own majority share in the corporations, to stay in control. This went against the spirit of land reform, which is to give “land to the tiller”. The SDO was abolished in the updated land reform law CARPER (CARP with Extensions and Revisions) that was passed in August 2009.

Cory withdraws case vs. Cojuangcos

On May 18, 1988, the Court of Appeals dismissed the case filed in 1980 by the Philippine government—under Marcos—against the Cojuangco company TADECO to compel the handover of Hacienda Luisita. It was the Philippine government itself—under Aquino—that filed the motion to dismiss its own case against TADECO, saying the lands of Hacienda Luisita were going to be distributed anyway through the new agrarian reform law.

The Department of Agrarian Reform and the GSIS, now headed by Aquino appointees Philip Juico and Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte respectively, posed no objection to the motion to dismiss the case. The motion to dismiss was filed by Solicitor General Frank Chavez, also an Aquino appointee. The Central Bank, headed by Marcos appointee Jose B. Fernandez, said it would have no objection if, as determined by the Department of Agrarian Reform, the distribution of Hacienda Luisita to small farmers would be achieved under the comprehensive agrarian reform program.

Stage is set for “SDO”

A month after the case was dismissed, on June 10, 1988, Aquino signed the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law. Soon after, Hacienda Luisita was put under the Stock Distribution Option (SDO) that Aquino included in the law. Through the SDO, landlords could comply with the land reform law without giving land to farmers.

On June 8, 1989, Juan Ponce Enrile, now Minority Floor Leader at the Senate, delivered a privilege speech questioning Aquino’s insertion of the SDO in her outline for the land reform law, and the power she gave herself through Executive Order No. 229 to preside over the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC), the body that would approve stock distribution programs, including the one for Hacienda Luisita.

Enrile also questioned the Aquino administration’s withdrawal of the government’s case compelling land distribution of Hacienda Luisita to farmers. All these, Enrile said, were indications that the Cojuangcos had taken advantage of the powers of the presidency to circumvent land reform and stay in control of Hacienda Luisita.

Aquino’s sidestepping of land reform would stoke the embers of conflict in Luisita, climaxing in the November 16, 2004 massacre of workers fifteen years later.

TO BE CONTINUED

This story was first published in November 2009, the fifth anniversary of the Luisita massacre. This updated version has been expanded to accommodate additional information. Succeeding parts of this series will be published in the coming days. Part Two is here.

source: http://www.gmanews.tv/story/181877/hacienda-luisitas-past-haunts-noynoys-future


The Ampatuans’ Yellow ties

11/27/2009

DIE HARD III

By: Herman Tiu Laurel

My source from the Yellow forces had this to say about the Ampatuans: After the 1986 “Yellow” coup d’ etat where a “revolutionary government” was imposed, thousands of local government officials were summarily dismissed and replaced with OICs (officers-in-charge).

Through the sponsorship of Tingting Cojuangco (Peping’s wife), Zacarias Candao was appointed OIC of Maguindanao and went on to become ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) chief. It was under Candao that the Ampatuans were tapped to control the province to manipulate its elections. Thus began the rise of the Ampatuans.

Dan Murphy of the Christian Science Monitor, who provides supporting research for his report last Nov. 24 entitled, “Philippines massacre: The story behind the accused Ampatuan clan,” says that “Many Filipinos are pointing to the massacre of 46 unarmed people (now 57) in the southern Philippines province of Maguindanao Monday as evidence of the deadly influence of a dynastic clan that has been nurtured by the central government for almost 20 years.”

Yes, folks. That’s 20 years of the Yellows holding the reins of government — interrupted only by less than two and a half years of President Estrada. Liberal Party (LP) chief Frank Drilon’s attempt to cash in on the massacre, despite the Yellows’ long history with the Ampatuans, by saying that the aggrieved Mayor Mangudadatu is joining his party, smacks of malice, hypocrisy and opportunism. The Ampatuans and their warlordism have been part and parcel of the feudal-oligarchic system, which the Yellows have long fostered. So this isn’t something new as far as the Yellows are concerned. In fact, it is their trademark.

There is no question that Edsa II only strengthened the power of the Ampatuans even more. In sweeping aside the Constitution and justifying the illegal removal of an elected president, thereby legitimizing the illegitimate, Gloria and the rest of the Yellows had to resort to force, deception, and fraud to supplant the Rule of Law. Hence, chaos ensued. The bloody May 1 end of the Edsa III march, where unnumbered Erap supporters were machine-gunned in Mendiola; the countless rallies dispersed with tear gas and truncheons; the hundreds of “extra-judicial” killings; the worsening corruption; the 2004 electoral fraud (which none of the Yellows nor the PPCRV exposed or denounced, until Estrada’s forces helped the late NBI Director Samuel Ong bring out the “Hello Garci” tapes); the declarations of a state of rebellion, emergency, ad nausea; and the barbaric ambushes, bombings, and beheadings in Mindanao are but reflections of the current lawless order.

We must recall that in 2007, 14 Marines were ambushed and killed, with 10 beheaded in Basilan. The suspected perpetrator, administration Rep. Wahab Akbar, was then killed in a motorcycle bomb attack as he was stepping out of the House of Representatives five months later. Norberto Gonzales was acting defense secretary at that time. Now that another grizzly episode has taken place a few days after he was returned to that post, is it still mere coincidence, considering Gonzales’ perpetuity gameplan for himself and his principal?

For sure, Basilan is a less important vote manipulating base than Maguindanao is because it has much fewer fraudulent votes to add to the regional total. But in all, ARMM politicians assumed heightened importance in the era of massive electoral fraud thanks to Edsa II and the Yellows. Undoubtedly, from 1986 to 2004 and 2007, until today, the Yellows have been allied with these feudal-warlord Muslim politicians for this very reason.

While Drilon still tries to cash in on the deaths of the 57 to score points for his party, the significant recollection in many people’s minds is that of President Estrada’s success at pacifying and stabilizing Mindanao when he crushed the MILF and other rebel groups. Now could the Maguindanao massacre have happened under Estrada? Many believe that he would have been far more effective in containing any seething warlordism in Mindanao. Given his record of cracking down on crime and injustice in the entire country, he would have gone hammer and tongs after the culprits immediately after discovering Monday’s crime. And since several governments have traditionally cultivated these warlords as a counterfoil to the mercenary MILF and Abu Sayyaf, Erap’s crushing of these groups would have rendered those warlords more dispensable too.

The truth is, the Ampatuans would sooner or later have forged an alliance with the Yellows again the way many of Gloria’s people have done. The LP, notwithstanding Philippine Star columnist Billy Esposo’s hypocritical protests against the Yellow dummy’s new recruits, is proving to be “Lakas Pala!“ anyway — a party of hypocrites and opportunists composed of: Drilon, Abad, the Hyatt 10 of Dinky Soliman, Purisima, et al.); NGO stalwarts Dan Songco (of the PeaceBonds infamy), etc.; plus incumbent Arroyo officials who have sworn allegiance to the LP while still serving Gloria, such as Romulo, Bello, and others.

Yellow is not only the color of cowardice but also of opportunism — taken from the color of the balimbing no less. The Republic’s colors should thus fly high above this yellow jaundice to return this country to honor, dignity and democracy.

(Tune in to 1098AM, Sulong Pilipinismo, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Global News Network, Destiny Cable Channel 21, Talk News TV, Tuesday, 8:15 p.m. to 9 p.m. on “An Analysis of the Maguindanao Massacre;” also visit http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com)

 

source: http://www.tribune.net.ph/commentary/20091127com6.html



RP HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF

To all thinking Filipinos! Let’s not be duped into electing into office someone who claims to stand for change when his history tells us otherwise. Let us learn the lessons of our history, and save the Philippines for our children’s future. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!

 

IS RP HISTORY TO REPEAT ITSELF?

(The Truth about the People Power Revolution)

By Fredelino Buscayno Marasigan

 

History’s significance is by having knowledge of the past, one can chart and plan for a better future by avoiding the mistakes or debacles committed in previous or bygone times. By knowing what had truly happened in the past, one can arrive to an objective decision of what to do; so that it becomes essential that one should thoroughly examine the real facts that occurred in an event. A big propaganda lesson from World War II history is an infamous “Big Lie” principle perfected by the Nazi Germany Reich Minister of Public Enlightenment & Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels. The propaganda technique is based on the theory that a lie, if audacious enough and repeated enough times will be believed by the masses.  Broadcast a lie over and over again and people will believe it as the gospel truth.[1] So as to arrive at what really occurred in a historic event, a historian must detach himself to carefully examine event, analyze the characters involved and their motives regarding their participation and evaluate their effects. By ascertaining the relationships or linkages between historical persons or organizations, one will understand the rationale of their actions or deeds; and even predict their future actions.

 

Corazon C Aquino & the People Power Revolution

 

In February 1986, Philippine history was rocked by a phenomenon called EDSA People Power Revolution. Supposedly, the Pilipino people by going to EDSA Avenue ejected and sent into exile its dictator Ferdinand Marcos (FM), the president of more than 20 years and installed Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino (CCA) as the new president of government.  She was heralded as the Savior of Philippine democracy, a plain housewife with no political experience except for the fact that she was the widow of slain returning-from-US-exile Senator Benigno Aquino in August 21, 1983. Prior to her husband’s assassination, she was a mere backdrop to her popular politician-husband, and as fate had it, she then had now a country to run.

 

Being a neophyte in governance, Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino had a board of advisers-assistants, who helped run the country for her. To put a stamp of legitimacy on her assumption of power, they had a revolutionary government immediately declared & a Freedom Constitution. These enabled them to execute her authority over the government & the people, to put structures in government to remove whatever systems & procedures she deemed to be oppressive & anti-democratic as used by the previous regime (like the military trial courts, Ministry of Human Settlements, Ministry of Information), and to uncover abuses & confiscate hidden wealth of the Marcoses & their cohorts (like the PCGG). CCA began to erase reminders and vestiges related to the previous regime and suppressed whatever loyalties or sympathies that may still be felt towards the Marcoses. For all the help they assisted her run government and attain her desires, CCA rewarded her advisers generously with positions of power with access to wealth, influence or fame.

 

For those who supported her ascent to power, who were truly opposition, or who suffered during martial law & the Marcos Era, Corazon C Aquino was correctly righting a wrong done to the country, her family & person; while those who prospered with Marcos & believed in his cause, it was politics of revenge. For those did not take sides or were just to busy surviving by making a decent living, they could not care less.  While for those who were part of the military, political or civil government, at this period of transition or cusp between two (2) eras, the name of the game was called Balingbingan—switching to the winning side to save one’s skin or wealth. However, there were those who prospered in the Marcos era but played a part in creating the events that led to the fall of Marcos & the installation of CCA, they were proclaimed heroes and were able to keep their share of loot accumulated under Marcos—untouched by the PCGG.

 

The Transition between Two (2) Eras

To allay fears or perceptions that CCA will not turn to a dictator by her revolutionary government, a new constitution was urgently needed to put a stamp of legitimacy on her assumption to power. An “instant” constitution was hastily cooked up by selected “learned” men of the same persuasion as the new president & hurriedly ratified within the heady spirit of euphoria of change for the better under the new era. Actually, the 1973 Constitution was then amended by discarding whatever articles & procedures were synonymous to Marcos era, by adding what structures and systems that were in accord, correct, palatable to the perception of the new dispensation, and justifying whatever incorrect or inappropriate actions that were undertaken to displace the old regime. As time passed, multi-defects & shortcomings in the Cory Constitution surfaced affecting the proper & just governance of the state & the people that merits a charter correction. The problem is that the stalwarts of the Cory Constitution & administration are still around and a change of their beloved charter is perceived to be a return to martial law, abuses & plunder. Due to pride they turn a deaf ear on a legitimate call to rectify their defective charter since in their hasty task to legitimize Cory’s ascent to power, they fail to address the true social defects of Philippine society, like the mal-distribution of wealth caused by the Philippine oligarchy for which Corazon Cojuangco Aquino, is a blatant member.

 

To the victors go the spoils and their version of history as to what had happened in the change from a supposedly ruthless dictatorship to a new air of Philippine democracy is peddled. During Martial Law, the Marcos propaganda arm was the Ministry for Information to malign and belittle the opposition (traditional politicians as trapos) and suppress dissent using confiscated media resources. News blackout was a common occurrence to hide whatever faults, debacles or abuses committed by government or by those in cahoots or profited being in the side of Marcos. To a point the martial law curfews were rumored to have been used to hide the movement of the dead soldiers killed in the anti-secessionist campaign in Mindanao. The opposition used this rumor tactics well and thru hand-passed photo-copied papers to spread their anti-government campaign versus the Marcos government multimedia propaganda machinery.

 

With the success of the People Power revolution, the shoe is now on the other foot for the former oppressed opposition/dissenters, which experienced & learned from the Marcos propaganda machine to write their version of history and ensure the stomp-out of whatever vestiges, loyalties, and sympathies still inclined towards the past Marcos era. Like the martial law marches and hymns (Mabuhay ang Pilipino), the new era propagandists used songs and hymns (Ang Bayan Ko) to agitate & prop the minds of the people towards the new era of democracy. Using the same ‘Big Lie’ technique but with a more vengeful weave, the New Democracy disinformation stories were now more rabid to paint the Marcoses and their ilk as part of the plundering herd of the conjugal dictatorship, human rights abusers, insatiable looters of the national wealth, Imelda’s avariciousness for jewels & shoes, graft & corruption ridden regime. The new-democracy media depicted the image that nothing good came out of Marcos martial law era and only good things would come out of Cojuangco-Aquino administration.

 

Corazon C Aquino & Military Administration

 

President Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino swore that in her New People Power era the oppressive martial law techniques will never be used; her program of government is that of an anti-thesis of what Dictator President Marcos did. By her Church backing, she depicted her presidency as on the side of good; a reverse of whatever Marcos did, who was an evil fascist dictator. So, she immediately set free all political prisoners, including the communists brigands (Jose Maria Sison, Bernabe Buscayno, & others), the godless forces who have been fighting the government since the 1946 Philippine Independence from US colonialism. The communist rebels immediately went back to the mountains, reorganized and continued their armed struggle. By this one act, Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino belittled all the deaths, efforts and sacrifices of soldiers, constables & policemen in defense of this communist armed threat to Philippine democracy prior to rise to power.

To Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino & her supporters, they could not care less, since soldiers are just soldiers, and they got paid for their sacrifices & their families got their death benefits. It is now the CCA supporters’ time to reap the spoils of war—but war between whom? The Marcoses & the Aquinos? Were not the AFP soldiers the soldiers of the Filipino nation? Marcos claimed that Ninoy Aquino supported & was a sponsor of the NPAs. And since the side of Aquino won, so must his NPA allies be freed by his presidential widow. Since the military was used to prop up martial law, they can then be perceived to be the enemy who was on the side of evil & lost by serving under Marcos. Sun Tsu, the Chinese philosopher who wrote the Art of War, said that when soldiers are confused, their will to fight is affected. They will hesitate to fight, or can easily be misled and be defeated.[2]

 

Next, President Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino went to Indanan, Sulu and embraced Nur Misuari, the advocate of 1972 Muslim Secessionist rebellion in the South. She appointed Misuari as ARMM governor, who paid and re-armed all his MNLF soldiers from government funds & Arsenal, and organized the Abu Sayaff to continue their armed secessionist struggle, terror bombings & kidnapping activities.  She was strongly advised not to undertake this action, but she did—thereby, she revived the Moro Nationalist Liberation Front (MNLF), an insignificant vanquished force then, due to the vigorous Sulu anti-secessionist campaign, countless deaths and sacrifices of soldiers thereat after MNLF treacherous massacre of BGen. Teodolfo Bautista & 33 others at Patikul, Sulo in the guise of having peace negotiations.  As what CCA did with the NPA revival, she negated all the efforts, blood, deaths, sacrifices, that the AFP poured at the pacification drive in South-West Mindanao.  For every marine, soldier, policeman killed in Sulu & Basilan provinces today, they still blame & curse Corazon Cojuangco Aquino for her legacy of reviving the MNLF. The revived MNLF hostaging the whole Zamboanga City on 2002 was a huge embarrassment & a slap on the face of the AFP & its erstwhile Southern Command. Every MNLF-Abu Sayaff hostage-taking or terrorist act done in Mindanao is a huge blow to the credibility of RP Government to enforce peace & order within its territory.  Thanks to President Cory Aquino!

 

Despite all her executive powers, CCA failed to uncover the real masterminds & their principal cohorts, who perpetrated her husband’s assassination.  Instead, she had imprisoned the platoon of soldiers whose only fault was failure to secure her returning husband from exile; since by their unit’s approach, the assassination plot was carried out. Her scorn & denigration of soldiers and the military establishment for their participation in martial law & assassination of her husband, is understandable on why CCA distrusted & mistreated the military service despite all the AFP’s effort to sacrifice & die to defend & keep the country intact and keep democracy safe. By reviving the NPA, & resuscitating the MNLF/ Abu Sayaff, seven (7) coup d’etat attempts were undertaken by disgruntled and confused military & police elements led by the RAM, who triggered her being stalled into power. All these attempts were all defeated by constitutionalist & professional soldiers & policemen. These coup attempts had very telling effects on the Philippine economy; it triggered foreign investment pull-out, discouraged potential international investors, instigated capital flight, and caused the Philippine economy to spiral. This was what happened to the country when there is a misunderstanding between a commander-in-chief and her confused armed forces. Within the military service, CCA is still perceived as an avenging angel out to punish the Philippine military thru the MNLF-Abu Sayaff and the CPP-NPA-NDF that she resuscitated during stint of power.

 

By the way, do you know that Cory’s specially-picked & trusted generals introduced the ‘goose-step’ method of marching to the AFP when they were brought by CCA to Red China (junket)? CCA was so pleased by how the Chinese military marched, that the AFP generals required the AFP to goose-step. This style of marching is rather difficult to execute so the whole AFP had to spend countless hours or weeks learning & mastering how to goose-step under the hot sun just to please Cory & her generals. Little did the brown-nosed Cory generals realized that they instituted in the pro-democracy New AFP, the fascist or police-state method of marching that their Commander-in-Chief supposedly abhors. When generals only cater to whims of dumb politicians with an agenda other than the welfare of the people but protecting their vested interests, generals will also look after their own selfish interests, their promotions, their perks ( & pockets), their assurance of a seat in government when they retire, perhaps as cabinet secretary, as under-secretary, as assistant-secretary, or as ambassador? So who profits in this new military game of brown-nosing? When all the Cory generals retired, the AFP discarded the goose-step style of marching since it was fascistic in nature & bad image for a pro-democratic AFP. What a waste of time, effort and resources all that goose-stepping & brown-nosing was!

 

CCA must not be blamed for military graft & corruption for Marcos did that by spoiling, politicizing & corrupting them. [To become a CSAFP or Major Service Commander, one must have been assigned with the Presidential Security Command or Group.] Cory could not do anything to them for she was beholden to them for initiating the ouster of Marcos. Since she was at a quandary what to do with them, she left them alone to self destruct—losing their primary core values that they have become mercenaries & prostitutes.–That is for sale to those who would maintain their spoiled status. Military organizations in democracies are meant to be guided or given parameters or limits by which they are allowed to administrate & operate. History has something to do with about this assertion on the military institutions; they must be given a tight lease; not unless one would want to repeat the hard earned lessons of what World History taught about France and how a megalomaniac general named Napoleon Bonaparte set the 18th century Europe on fire. That is what Corazon C Aquino and her learned advisers did not know, and up to now plagues the present administration of GMA, including Estrada’s.

The New Democracy Administration

As a President, CCA had the least contribution in terms of infrastructure (she has the lowest record for infrastructure built, since Marcos loved to build—a source of graft & corruption); yet for her few civil works ports projects, there was only one (1) privileged contractor. Cory’s hand-picked people became rich to even becoming senators & congressmen; appointed city mayors entrenched themselves & their families in positions of power. Government positions & contracts were given to the privileged & connected especially when local & provincial elected positions were given/ appointed. Under her administration, the term Kamaganak, Incorporated came to be known for her relatives, cordon sanitaire, & close advisers, who made money during her term. One cannot say that there is no corruption during Cory’s administration; proof of which is that they are very much around running the city & country just as rapaciously then & now. All of them know that their position of power & wealth came from that Mother-Savior of Philippine democracy, CCA. People & the Cory media were quiet about this for it was considered a sin to criticize President Cory, who led the Crusade against the evil Marcos dictatorship. Actually, by the vilification campaign waged on the Marcoses, to criticize President CCA meant that one was a Marcos supporter or part of his evil ways.

 

The center piece of the Pres CCA government was the nation-wide Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL) & Program (CARP). It was meant to free the tenants of bondage from their rich land-owners and so get to own the land that they have been tilling & nailed to for centuries. The CARP was vigorously implemented nation-wide breaking up all large landholdings, leaving only 7 hectares to the land owners.  However, CCA despoiled it by exempting the Cojuangco’s Hacienda Luisita estate from CARL implementation; this caused her Agrarian Reform cabinet secretary, Miriam Defensor Santiago to resign her post. This is still a black mark on Pres CCA regime and an unresolved national agrarian issue against the government up-to-today.

 

Among all Philippine presidents, Corazon Cojuangco Aquino is the only one with a record of owning a full-pledged massacre committed right on the heart of Manila at Mendiola Street fronting the presidential palace. This was known as the Mendiola Massacre.[3] On January 22, 1987, 13 farmers were killed (39 wounded by gunshots, 12 sustained physical injuries) by Manila Police civil disturbance control units commanded by former Police General Alfredo Lim (now Manila mayor) that held the first line of defense. His defense rationale to the Presidential Fact Finding Citizen’s Mendiola Committee was that the Philippine Marines unit (under BGen [now Senator] Rodolfo Biason) did the shooting, which were at the 3rd line of defense; and yet television footage of the massacre showed and eyewitness accounts state policemen doing the firing.[4]

 

Police General Alfredo Lim was a Marcos general famous for his talent of magic of disappearances (commonly referred to as salvage); he made his name cleaning up criminals, drug syndicate pushers, gangs in the City of Manila. He openly switched side & allegiance during the EDSA event by affinity being of Chinese ancestry as the Cojuangcos. By joining the Aquino crusade for the good, whatever evil he had done for Marcos would be forgotten & forgiven (swept under the rug). As Manila mayor, he still uses his infamous ways on the supposedly bad boys of Manila, and a rabid staunched supporter of Pres. CCA & family. After what she did to him, he should eternally be grateful. This is why the city of Manila is festooned with Ninoy & Cory Aquino yellow banners to remind BGen Lim what he owes the heroic/saintly icons of democracy by supporting the presidential candidacy of their son, Noynoy.

What CCA did was to invite the leaders of the angry farmers to the Palace. Rumor had it  that all the massacred farmer’s families were paid off in terms of compensations, burial, transportation & hospitalization expenses; just as in the Phil Sports Stadium Stampede  (also referred to WOWOWWE Stampede  or Ultra Stampede) where 71 people died, 392 injured/ hospitalized. To avert complaints, burial & hospitalization fees were paid off, that is why no ABS-CBN executive was even charged in court for negligence. [5]In the Philippines, when there are no complaints, there is no crime committed. But, who and how much was paid for the massacred farmers’ burials, hospitalization & compensation to their families to keep the issue quiet? Just like compensation for poor dead soldiers, the poor farmers could not complain. Nobody was charged for a crime, went to jail, nor reprimanded for the Mendiola Massacre. Both Police General Alfredo Lim and Marine General Rodolfo Biason were absolved of any wrong doings and that is why President Cory has a clean human rights record. Senator Jose “Pepe”Diokno and JBL Reyes resigned in protest as Chair & Vice-Chair of the Human Rights Commission after they saw that the whole Mendiola Massacre was white-washed by the Presidential Fact-Finding Citizens’ Mendiola Commission. By this massacre & its apparent white wash, CCA holds the 2nd worse human rights record among all the RP presidents. [6]Where were the Church & the nuns’ condemnation on their fair-haired Savior of Philippine democracy? Is CCA not responsible for the Mendiola Farmers massacre perpetuated by her loyal henchmen and white-washed by her people? Is not the Catholic Church especially its rabid nuns, part of the Yellow Aquino oligarch fanatics that are anti-poor/ anti-farmers who deserve justice.

Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino’s Energy, Debt Payment & Despair Legacy

One legacy that CCA left the country was the severe power shortages. Can one remember the terrible 12-hour brown-outs during her Administration and the monstrous Metro-Manila traffic jams caused by these? Due to no electricity, there was also no water since the pumping stations will not work. There were long lines at gas stations by the same no electricity problem.  How much work losses did these brown-outs cause? How much business, tourism & investment or opportunity losses occurred, no one knows? Just what caused this energy shortage phenomenon?

 

When CCA came into power, she ordered the mothballing of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP), declaring that it was unsafe to operate due to supposedly 4000defects. The BNPP was depicted as an example of Marcos corruption & stupidity since the whole plant cost $2.3billion to build (or nearly four (4) times the initial bid of $600million); and for constructing it at Mt. Natib, supposedly a dormant volcano sandwiched between the earthquake-prone Philippine Fault and the West Luzon Fault. CCA, an anti-thesis of Dictator Marcos, decided that Westinghouse (the plant-builder) and the US Export Import Bank (the financier) should be paid the whole principal debt & interests, despite its bloated cost and the fact that it has never produced a single spark of electricity.[7]

 

Ana Marie R Nemenzo, Freedom from Debt Coalition President stated that President CCA was “equally guilty” as Marcos for foisting the “notoriously scandalous debt” on the Filipino people—“the strongman for building it and his successor for insisting to pay for it.” A whole generation of Filipinos had paid P120 billion for the BNPP, which CCA scrapped. The worse is that CCA failed to put in place alternative energy projects for the BNPP she scrapped and made the people suffer the experience of those power shortage black-outs that had a telling effect on the Philippine economy and the losses & despair it had caused. What a tremendous waste of money & loss of opportunity that the Filipino people had to endure & suffer for CCA”s mistake of being a biased anti-thesis of Marcos.

 

So much hope was generated by the return of freedom & democracy, but all these turn to despair by the mismanagement of resources, government by connections, politics of revenge and the continued oligarchic rule over the Philippines. The country’s economy started to spiral down the drain to become the basket case of East Asian economies during CCA’s time, and in order to survive, the brain-drain or diasporas of the youth & the jobless for greener pastures jump-started the overseas employment surge to make use of their talents else. All these started with Marcos but with the terrible despair generated by the Cory letdown administration, the brain-drain gushed. Thanks to Cory who motivated Filipinos to seek jobs elsewhere, the Philippines now have a robust overseas contract worker phenomena.

 

 

CCA’s Metro-Manila Floods Legacy

After the recent Typhoon Ondoy’s sincerely ravaging of eastern Metro-Manila, armchair columnists have started the blame game and castigating government unpreparedness & stupidity. Nonetheless, the current conventional wisdom for the cause of the disaster is Global Warming, MMDA’s allowing the Metro’s floodgates deteriorate, no budget for maintenance or flood control equipment upgrade or plan for modernization, squatter infestation of waterways. This was so until people in the know of history of Luzon & NCR flood issues surfaced and brought forth what they know in the internet. Right a way, CCA “Yellow Diehards” defended their heroine to forget the past and move on.[8]

 

“…following 40 days from Oct. 11 to Nov. 20 in 1970, three super typhoons — Sening (Joan), Titang (Kate) and Yoling (Patsy) caused a death toll of more than 2,000. …the worst to hit our country since 1947 as the damage wrecked havoc to the city of Manila, its suburban areas and nearby provinces, in terms of flooding and damage to property. (It would not be until November 1991 when Typhoon Uring(during the Cory administration) would claim more than 5,000 lives.) As an offshoot of that devastation, President Ferdinand Marcos immediately ordered the updating of studies on flooding and other such waterways issues in Greater Manila. …Corollary to this, Marcos also created in 1973 a policy think tank called Task Force on Human Settlements to look into Greater Manila’s problems brought about by its rapid population increase and urban growth…

“It was primarily on the basis of the recommendation of this think tank that in 1974, President Marcos enacted Presidential Decree 475 to add more teeth to his earlier decree going to the extent of actually appropriating funds for public works for various projects including P85 million for the Napindan Hydraulic Control Structure, P52 million for the Manggahan Floodway and P62 million for the Parañaque Spillway… the river walls of Pasig River were raised to accommodate a water level of 14 meters — a level that corresponds to the expected depth of flood with a 10-year return period. Twelve operating pump stations …put into operation… Aviles, Balete, Binondo, Libertad, Makati, Paco, Pandacan, Quiapo, Sta. Clara, Tripa de Gallina, and Valencia. There are floodgates in Escolta, Pandacan and Santo Bañez… focus revolved around Marikina City because it is most susceptible to flooding because it is a valley, with its Marikina River collecting water from the Sierra Madre mountain ranges on the east and the Quezon City Capitol Hills on the west. The Metroplan underscored a combination of infrastructure projects, consisting of the Napindan Hydraulic Control Structure, the Rosario Weir, and the Manggahan Floodway, the Marikina Flood Control Structure, the Marikina Dam and the Parañaque Spillway. The Napindan Hydraulic Control Structure at the confluence of Marikina and Pateros-Taguig rivers with Pasig River, was envisioned to prevent or lessen the increase of salinity from Manila Bay and pollution from the Pasig River itself from entering Laguna de Bay during times of reverse flow…

“The Rosario Weir is the sluice or floodgate from the Marikina River onto the Manggahan Floodway. …The Manggahan Floodway, on the other hand, was proposed and built to keep the floodwaters out of Metro Manila, particularly in Pasig and Marikina, by diverting the flow to Laguna de Bay. The floodway was completed in 1986. What the Parañaque Spillway was all about is exactly the answer Palafox[9] gave to his own question ‘What if Laguna de Bay overflows?’ The spillway to be situated further southeast of Makati, was supposed to have been built to siphon runoff from Laguna de Bay when it overtops, onto Manila Bay and the South China Sea. Why it was urgent and absolutely essential is now what typhoon Ondoy has fatally confirmed…

“The construction of the Parañaque Spillway ought to have been started as early as 1986 but that was the year President Marcos was overthrown by the People Power Revolution. Now who was the president at that time? Why it was Mrs. Corazon Aquino, may her soul rest in peace, but dear Lord, she dropped the ball on the Parañaque Spillway! She justified her decision saying that the project would have been very expensive as it would cut through middle class subdivisions. In truth, I wish I could buy that reason. I mean what was in vogue those days was for the Aquino government to destroy and put into oblivion everything that has the Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos brand on it. Well this issue would have been buried with her until Palafox started opening his mouth… the only other time the Parañaque Spillway provoked another round of discussion was 14 years after it was mothballed by the Aquino administration. In November 2000, a forum sponsored by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science in cooperation with the Tokyo Institute of Technology, the University of the Philippines and De La Salle University, once again raised yellow flags about the Integrated Manila Bay-Laguna Lake System and the Surrounding Watersheds. There Dr. Leonardo Liongson of the University of the Philippines Department of Civil Engineering said that which the Aquino administration endorsed instead… was a ring dike system.”[10]

It would not be right to just blame everything on the government unpreparedness for an “act of God,” especially by a global warming induced large amount of rainfall brought by a typhoon Ondoy. But when government could have prevented the floods with a proper Paranaque spillway or a Marikina dam to address these “occasional” catastrophic rainfall or over-sized overflows, the country may as well benefit from hard earned lessons not to repeat mistakes, debacles or catastrophes by carrying out infrastructure plans no matter who conceptualized them. It is criminal to let such stupid decision-makers waste invaluable resources spent on long-term projects meant to address the peoples’ energy needs or environmental protection/ prevention from such calamities. However, when the rabid supporters of past debacle-prone decision-makers still want to distort history by making them saints or heroes—or even rewarding their mistakes by insisting their scions lead the nation to perpetuate their legacies, it is doubly-wrong for people to acquiesce and permit the country go back into so much misery & despair.

CCA’s New Democracy Legacy

The worse legacy that CCA bequeathed to the Filipino People is the current state of political affairs. When the Pilipino people realized that a know-nothing can become the president of the country, anybody who believes he knows something, even the unqualified, believes that he should hold a government position—so long as they popularly elected.  This is the tyranny of democratic legacy of CCA. The Philippine political landscape, especially the Senate, has now become a bastion of movie/media/entertainment industry—comedians, actors, basketball players, and newscasters (readers of news), husbands of popular movie actresses, notorious coup-plotters and scions of trapos. The Senate’s legislative output in terms of quality has seriously diminished where grandstanding witch-hunts for media-exposure-hype is the name of the game. Gone are the high-level debates of statesmen of yesteryears; today’s senate debates are character mud-slinging attacks and arrogant misuse of warrant of arrests. Gone are when competence, brains, experience in public service and integrity are qualities desired for senator. Everyone now just wants to be elected to enrich or keep themselves in power like Cory’s new democracy people. CCA should not entirely be blamed for this state of affairs, since Marcos & company started the tradition, and CCA’s just continued the practice. So, how will the Pilipino people get rid of this state of affairs?

The answer to this is simple; amend the Constitution and put qualifier provisions that only the deserving get to be allowed to run as president. Likewise, only those who meaningfully contribute to the Philippine society, treasury & government be allowed to vote; disenfranchise those who fight the government like the terrorists, secessionists, plunderers, outlaw-criminals and tax-evaders.

CCA’s Other Legacies (Hacienda Luisita, Noynoy, ABS-CBN, Etc.)

 

On November 16, 2004, protesting Hacienda Luisita tenants were killed by Hacienda guards rumored to have been led by her son, Senator Noynoy C Aquino. The blood summary for this violent dispersal of CCA’s Hacienda Luisita are 14 killed, including two children aged 2 and 5years old; one victim strangled after being shot & his dead body hanged in the factory gate; at least 35 people sustained gunshot wounds; 133 arrested & detained; hundreds were wounded; and another hundred are still missing. The cause of the Hacienda Luisita Massacre was cheating (thru her the stock option scheme) & denying her own tenants the land that have tilled which was granted by the CARL-the center piece legislation of her administration. Cory’s true human rights colors are now revealed where her interests are ensuring or keeping the Cojuangco-Aquino oligarchic wealth intact. With the Mendiola Massacre and its whitewash to her name, CCA has actually two (2) massacres to her credit. Where are the hosannas to Saint Cory raised by the Church, ABS-CBN & her rabid yellow supporters?

 

The Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino diehards are foisting CCA’s son that he is a chip of the old block, the scion of a martyred politician father and a saintly mother-president, and Senator Noynoy Aquino will lead the country to a better future as his mother did. With his lackluster performance as a congressman & a senator plus the very poor track record of his mother, the country is doomed as a congressman remarked. He is no guarantee that he can be better than his parents combined; his record is sterling proof that he is no better than his mother. Even his mother, CCA, knows how unprepared he is to handle the Philippine presidency when she cautioned that he should finish at least one senate term before going for a higher position. The CCA diehards are pushing the same Carmelite spiritual retreat scenario prior to his declaration to run for presidency, and the same Senator Gerardo Roxas/ Mar Roxas backing down for Senator Ninoy/Noynoy Aquino presidential bid. The old adage says, “You can fool the people some of the time, but you cannot fool the people all of the time.” Everyone knows that both Senators Noynoy & Mar scions of old political families and therefore are really TRAPOS to the core protecting their vested oligarchic interests, and are now packaged as the new saviors of Philippine democracy.

 

Now, Noynoy wants to become president to continue what her mother had done—to protect the Cojuangco-Aquino vested interests. Noynoy promises to rectify the Hacienda Luisita injustice, since he is involved in the Hacienda Luisita travesty perpetuated by his oligarchic mother. He must address this issue to be a credible candidate. The terrible human rights record being attributed to current President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) actually stems from the aforementioned Hacienda Luisita Massacre of 2004. CCA and GMA were former allies in the ouster of President Joseph E Estrada (JEE). They parted ways when GMA sided with the poor tenants and went against the CCA Hacienda Luisita ‘stock option’ exemption from the CARL in 2005[11]. After this, GMA became a persona non-grata to CCA, and CCA fanatic supporters & propaganda machinery (ABS-CBN & allied lackeys) turned against her with all they can blame on GMA & her husband, maligning them with innuendos & rumors, that they had effectively used on oustering Marcos.

 

ABS-CBN was the former Lopez radio-TV media outfit allegedly confiscated by Marcos during Martial Law; Marcos people claim it was bought or arm-twisted from the Lopezes for not paying taxes. Vice-president Eugenio Lopez was a former Marcos ally at the start of FM’s presidency in 1965. CCA returned ABS-CBN to the Lopezes lock stock & barrel after the February 1986 People Power revolution, so the Lopezes owe President CCA a huge political favor. This political debt is being repaid by having CCA’s daughter, Kris Aquino, as a mainstay of ABS-CBN and by the backing of CCA’s son, Senator Noynoy Aquino for his presidential bid packaged as a new savior of Philippine democracy.

During the typhoon’s onslaught, this anti-government media station and its know-it-all newscasters dictated & meddled on NDCC disaster evacuation-relief operations. Instead of informing, assisting, & facilitating efforts, they ventured out & glorified their own endeavors while using government trucks, soldiers, personnel & resources. They used their media facilities to cajole & inveigle from kind-hearted people & firms for cash donations, clothes, goods & foodstuffs supposedly for relief & distribution to evacuation centers without accounting for how these donations are actually disbursed or dispensed. ABS-CBN should be audited by Commission on Audit for the disaster funds & goods received to remove any doubts of their misuse such as salaries/ bonuses of ABS-CBN personnel or purchase of new media equipment at the expense of real typhoon victims.

 

CCA & the People Power Big Lie

No one has written about the truth that happened to the country in February 1986 due to the lie perpetuated by the victors of the People Power Revolution and those who profited from it, and who are still around in positions of power or influence. No one has written about the role played by the US government in the ouster of Marcos.  Who convinced FM to go on a special election? Who convinced FM to cut out & cut clean? Who convinced the loyal generals to go on a ceasefire with the 1986 mutineers? Who brokered the ceasefire & immediate cessation of hostile fire between the loyalist soldiers & the mutineers? Nobody has written about the 1984 Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS- the Washington think-tank for the Pentagon & US Govt) Georgetown University Assessment Study on the need to ouster FM two (2) years before the people power revolution.[12] Who placed classified ads for destabilization operations in the Philippines at the Soldier of Fortune Magazine in 1984?[13] Who transported the Marcos entourage & baggage to Hawaii? Who were the unnamed US military/intelligence personnel, who were observed to be advising Col Honasan & the RAM mutineers at Camp Aguinaldo, Ramos men at Camp Crame and were back-channeling with FM loyalist commanders at Fort Bonifacio? What happened on the Feb 25, 1986 at Fort Bonifacio that caused the loss/collapse of loyalist military support for Marcos thereat? Who were the US bigwigs conferring with the Marcos & Aquino camps? Who were calling or coordinating the shots? All of them are from Washington.

 

The US government will neither confirm nor deny their key participation in 1986 removal of FM, their favorite puppet-ally of the Vietnam War. The CIA is just smiling at the gullibility of Filipinos about the EDSA People Power revolution story and the unheralded triumph of US official policy in its successful removal of a staunched US supporter-embarrassment-ally. After their successful change of the head of the Philippine government, the US would not allow the change their new puppet head of government by a military coup; CCA was easier to handle than some maverick military junta whose loyalty US would not be sure of; so the military adventurists seven (7) coup attempts against CCA were doomed without US support. The November 1969 military coup against CCA nearly succeeded if not for the USAF reassurance flights that stymied the military coup plotters. The opposition/leftist-instigated impeachment of GMA efforts with military coup backing will never prosper without US patronage. Or if the opposition would really like to successfully impeach GMA, they should get rid of leftist allies & secure US support.

 

To make a true simple historical statement, it was the US Government that removed President Ferdinand Marcos; they schemed, planned, and removed the Philippine dictator from power, for which Filipinos thought they booted FM out to exile. The Americans had the means and resources to take FM out of the country and they did. It was not the Cardinal Sin & the Catholic Church, nor the people at EDSA, nor the political opposition under CCA, nor the AFP RAM mutineers, nor their political sponsors. This is a historical fact and not one People Power book has written nor acknowledges this. The US government machinated this whole mumbo-jumbo called people power democratic revolution that the Cory Aquino’s propaganda people triumphantly peddled to the Pilipino people as its own.

The Cojuangco-Aquino oligarchic yellow mafia is extensive, fanatic, influential, cunning and ruthless. They will defend at all costs all the lies, the history of hypocrisy & deception and all their sequestered & hidden wealth that they have been getting away with. They have bishops, nuns & religious congregations that have benefitted from the Cojuangco-Aquino regime to mask the truth about their own abuse of power & wealth. The Church influence over CCA has the runaway overpopulation problem that the country is quagmire in. Her bleeding-heart sycophants have saddled us with the uncontrollable squatter & garbage problems that has mushroomed & clogged our waterways and caused terrible floods. Her political allies have exploited them as a political mass base for votes & issues; yet have not done anything to uplift their lives & welfare.  Her Hacienda Luisita is shining example of their concern for the poor & the masses. CCA’s advisers have given us no alternatives to address our energy needs that ruined the economy. Their advice & example are destructive & de-unifying with civil disobedience, mutiny, coup d-eats, massacres & white-wash, big lie propaganda and wealth accumulation for power retention. They have judges, police, military, senators, congressmen, ruthless city mayors, corrupt columnists, paid hacks, etc. So in what way are they different from Marcos, his ilk and their use of government and power? Have there not been enough of trapos in Philippine history & society. They have deceived us once and so many times. Will we allow ourselves the same despair, corruption in government, hypocrisy and frustrations we have previously experienced? By their righteous revenge angle & deceptive media and their spirit of injustice & hypocrisy, the Philippines under Corazon Cojuangco Aquino was beset by a record of calamities, natural & man-made disasters that the country retrogressed that despair permeated the archipelago. Will Philippine History repeat itself? Can the Philippines survive as a nation another six years with another Cojuangco-Aquino at the helm of the Ship of State?  Only God can save the Philippines, should this thing happen.

[This essay is written & dedicated to the Pilipino Youth, who were not around during the Marcos and Aquino eras when the youth was exploited by traditional politicians (or trapos) and now by their scions and rabid supporters.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


[1] Joseph Goebbels quotes “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

 

[2] Sun Tzu, The Art of War, Chapter III- Attack by Strategy,…,a ruler can bring misfortune upon his army:…By attempting to govern an army in the same way as he administers his kingdom, being ignorant of the conditions  which obtains in an army. This causes restlessness (confusion)in the soldiers’ minds….when an army is restless & distrustful, trouble is sure to come…This is simply bringing anarchy into the army, and flinging victory away

[3]Pres. Marcos bloodied his hand when five (5) students were killed in the January 30, 1970 student leftist attack on Malacanang Palace; but Cory’s hand is bloodier with a bigger number of deaths.

[4] Mendiola Massacre,  GMA News-TV. Wikipedia Encyclopedia

[5] Phil Sports Stadium Stampede, Wikipedia Encyclopedia

[6] Pres. Marcos owns the Corregidor or Jabidah Massacre with 28-60deaths; Pres. CCA has the Mendiola   Massacre & the Hacienda Luisita Massacre to her credit with a combined total of 27killed, 73sustained gunshot wounds, and 100 missing.

[7] Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, Wikipedia Encyclopedia

[8] Daily Tribune, Columnist Herman Tiu Laurel’s article, “The Yellow Lady of the Floods” on 10 Oct 2009

[9] Architect Felino Palafox Jr ,Business Mirror Online Space article ”Government Study foresaw flood- Palafox” by Dennis Estopace, Business Mirror issuedated28 September 2009

[10] Adolfo Paglinawan, Internet, Daily Tribune, Columnist Herman Tiu Laurel’s article, “The Yellow Lady of the Floods” on 10 Oct 2009

[11] Hacienda Luisita, Inquirer.net, Philippine News for Filipinos

[12] Strategic Requirements for the Army to the Year 2000, Edited by Robert H Kupperman &William J Taylor, Jr./Center for Strategic & International Studies, Lexington Books D.C. Heath & CO, Lexington, Massachusetts Toronto

[13] Soldier of Fortune Magazine, Classified Ads, Series of 1980s