By CPP Information Bureau
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) joins the Filipino people, the Filipino peasantry and the peasants and farm-workers of Hacienda Luisita in condemning the Supreme Court decision re-affirming the continuing monopoly ownership of the Cojuangco clan over Hacienda Luisita and failing to address the long-standing clamor of the peasants and farm workers for land and social justice.
The Supreme Court decision ordering a referendum to determine whether the peasants and farm workers of Hacienda Lusitia will choose to own the land or receive shares of stocks of the Cojuangco-owned company completely ignores the historical fact that the continuing monopoly control of the Cojuangcos over the vast estate runs contrary to the provisions of the loan it acquired in the 1950s which required it to subject the hacienda to land reform after ten years.
It ignores the long-standing demand of the peasants for land reform and social justice. The peasants and farm-workers of Hacienda Luisita have been struggling for several decades for genuine land reform. They have been subjected to various deceptive schemes and divide-and-rule tactics. In 2004, 14 peasant demonstrators were killed during a demonstration demanding for land reform.
The Supreme Court decision underscores the antipeasant and prolandlord character of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) and the CARP Extension with Reforms (CARPER) which allow hacienda owners to skirt land distribution through such schemes as the stock distribution option (SDO). This was well pointed out by Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona in his dissenting opinion where he asserted that Section 31 of Republic Act 6657 which allowed the SDO scheme counters the essence of land reform which calls for the distribution of land.
In siding with the Cojuangcos on such a fundamental issue as land reform, the Supreme Court has once again demonstrated one of the most invaluable historical lessons–that economic power begets political power. This is further underscored by the fact that the decision favoring the Cojuangcos was promulgated under Aquino’s regime who himself is a Cojuangco. Hacienda Luisita is one of the starkest and most contemptible symbols of the old feudal order.
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) applauds the peasants and farm workers of Hacienda Luisita in rejecting the Supreme Court order. They are determined to wage mass struggles in order to advance their just demand for land reform. They inspire the poor and middle peasants and farm workers across the Philippines to wage mass struggles for social and economic justice.
By continuing to ignore the Filipino people’s just demands for land reform and social justice, and instead subjecting them to bloody suppression, the Aquino regime is succeeding only in clarifying the need for them to wage armed revolution.
The worsening oppression and exploitation of the peasantry in the countryside provide favorable conditions for waging agrarian revolution. The revolutionary armed resistance being waged in the Philippine countryside by the New People’s Army is essentially a peasant war which aim to put an end to the centuries-long system that subjects millions of Filipino peasants to feudal and semifeudal bondage.