“Ampatuan massacre rooted in landlordism”


Makabayan presses SC and PNoy gov’t to distribute lands in Luisita
THE MAKABAYAN Coalition said that the Ampatuan massacre is “rooted in landlordism” and urged the Supreme Court to make true reported news that it would rule a total distribution of lands to farmers at the Hacienda Luisita.
Makabayan Spokesperson Liza Maza said that the clan wars, or rido, in Mindanaoare deeply rooted in the expansion of land monopoly by feudal lords.  “This spills over to politics and elections with political clans and dynasties in bloody clashes.  Innocent civilians, like the 37 killed in Ampatuan in 2009, are almost always the victims,” she said.
Surprisingly, several journalists have observed, the huge amount of US aid and other peace and development grants in Mindanao actually intensified instead of settling rido as clans start to fight over the spoils of development aid.
“To finally bring justice to the victims of the Ampatuan massacre, it is not enough to prosecute and convict the accused.  The Aquino government should end landlordism, distribute lands, implement genuine agrarian reform and be selective of so-called development aid.”
Makabayan welcomed news that the SC would be ruling in favor of farmers but warned that the issue “should not be used as leverage for its own rido with Malacanang.”
“We have had enough of politics at the expense of the people.  Aquino should initiate land distribution of their own hacienda to set precedent and be emulated in other haciendas,” Maza said.
Particularly for media rights, Maza noted that the people’s right to know “should be enhanced with the passage of the
Freedom of Information Act something which Aquino supported when he was in the Senate but is now adamant to certify as urgent for its passage in Congress and enaction by his signature.”
“We hope the SC and PNoy can get their acts together for the better interest of our people,” Maza ended. ###

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