As the Filipino people commemorates the 13th anniversary of the bloody Hacienda Luisita massacre which saw the killing of seven farmers and wounding of hundreds more by police and military upon the orders of the big landlord Cojuangco-Aquino clan, Anakbayan joins continuing calls for justice for its victims and the implementation of a genuine land reform program.

We strongly condemn the US-Duterte regime for being nothing more than a “landlord puppet” that has connived with the Cojuangco-Aquino and other hacendero clans to prevent the pushing of a real land reform program that will redistribute their large landholdings and protect farmers from the extraction of land rent, usury, land-grabbing, and other forms of feudal exploitation.

In spite of all the curses thrown by Duterte against the “oligarchs” and the “dilawans”, the Cojuangco-Aquino has retained control over the 6,543 hectare Hacienda Luisita in spite of orders from the Supreme Court and then Agrarian Reform Secretary Ka Paeng Mariano for its distribution.

The Duterte regime has allowed the rejection of Ka Paeng’s appointment and conspired with big landlord clans like the Cojuangco-Aquinos and technocrats in his Cabinet to reverse measures geared towards the attainment of genuine land reform such as Mariano’s proposed ban on land conversion of agricultural lands.

Duterte has not only failed to uplift the sorry conditions of country’s peasant majority but has also proven himself to be a fascist “farmer killer”. Duterte has presided over the red-tagging of farmers fighting for their right to land and the murder of 94 farmers in his first 14 months in power as part of his regime’s “all-out” counterinsurgency operations.

Indeed, on November 15, 2017, the fascist US-Duterte regime’s police forces and the Cojuangco-Aquino’s private army abducted Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (Ambala) president Florita Sibayan amidst an ongoing bungkalan by Hacienda Luisita farmers who were only asserting their right to collectively till the land that was rightfully theirs.

As we remember the Hacienda Luisita massacre, we call on the Filipino youth and people to stand up with the farmers in their call for justice and genuine land reform against the persistence of feudal subjugation and dark reign of fascist terror and violence under the US-Duterte regime.

 

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