Friday, December 10, 2004

NR1129:Compel Cojuangcos to attend HLI hearings

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin B. Beltran
News Release November 29 , 2004
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, chief of staff
Celphone number 09213907362

Rep. Beltran appeals to former President Cory to cooperate with
investigations on Luisita Massacre and urge his brother Luisita manager Pedro
Cojuangco to attend Nov.30 and Dec. 1 hearings

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today challenged former president
Corazon C. Aquino to cooperate with the ongoing senate and congressional
investigations on the Nov.16 Hacienda Luisita Massacre, and push his eldest
brother and hacienda manager Pedro Cojuangco to attend the hearings. The
hearing in Congress resumes tomorrow, while at the senate, the hearing
resumes Dec. 1. Beltran pointed out none of the Cojuangcos have attended the
hearings, and have sp far only sent a lone representative who is also their
legal counsel.

"It is customary that in labor disputes, the management sends its lawyers; but
the brutality unleashed against the striking workers and farmworkers of Hacienda
Luisita is no ordinary dispute. The Cojuangcos should be compelled to attend the
hearings.The dispute is not so much between the workers and the Philippine
National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as it is
between the workers and the Cojuangcos. And this is not just a labor dispute
either - it's a land dispute; the Cojuagco's continued ownership and management
of Hacienda Luisita is also being questioned. The massacre, the strike and
the land dispute are very important issues the Cojuangcos should face," he

Beltran appealed to the widow of Ninoy Aquino to do more than just pray for
the workers, and instead take more concrete action to help the farmworkers and
their families. "At this juncture, prayers are not enough. Mrs. Aquino's family
has lived off the blood and sweat of the workers of Hacienda Luisita all these
years, and its long overdue that they return the land they did not work for.
Mrs. Aquino's prayers are appreciated- but they certainly will not bring back
the worked felled by the bullets last Nove. 16."

Beltran said that Anakpawis party-list is pushing for the review of the Stock
Distribution Option (SDO) provision in the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law
(CARL) which is at the root of the conflict in Hacienda Luisita. He urged the
Committee on Agrarian Reform chaired by Rep. Gregorio Ipong to immediately
schedule the investigations into the SDO and its disastrous impact on the
lives and livelihood of the workers and farmworkers of Hacienda Luisita.

In the meantime, Beltran also called on the Committee on Labor to subject to
review the recent decisions laid down by labor secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas,
particularly her heavy-handed implemented of assumption-of-jurisdiction orders.
He also urged the members of the Labor Committee chaired by Rep. Roseller
Barinaga to oppose to re-appointment of Sto. Tomas at the Commission on
Appointments (CA). #


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