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MIJARES, Darlene P.


Atty. Danielto Jimenez February 27, 2013

Hacienda Luisita is an age-old issue that reflects the inequality between the rich and the poor. I still vividly remember how the feud cost the lives of innocent farmers but never was I able to watch something told from the side of the so-called stockholders of Hacienda Luisita. The documentary, Sa Ngalan ng Tubo was an eye-opener that justice sometimes can never be served as long as corruption exists. Upon watching, I felt as if I was one of them, an eyewitness of the oppressions that the Cojuangcos and the government did to the farmers and residents of Central Azucarera de Tarlac. Their struggle was a testament of their strength, character and unity as a labor union. Even though they knew the situation was fraught with dangers, they still fought until the very end. Being a Communication Arts student, I was enraged by the actions of the government, especially the Department of Labor and Employment. How can they preserve democracy if they abridge freedom of expression? Their right to due process, right to peaceably assemble and right to redress grievances were stripped off as if it was a privilege. No matter how one looks at the case at bar, it is utterly oppressive and unconstitutional since freedom of speech enjoys a special status in the hierarchy of rights. Moreover, the acquisition of the land was realized through a loan application made by Jose Cojuangco, Sr. to GSIS which bears a condition that after ten years land distribution to farmers will take place. But, the said contract did not happen and things got worse when former Pres Corazon Aquino signed the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law which put Hacienda Luisita under the Stock Distribution Option (SDO). Being

Stockholders, the farmers only receive Php 9.50 per day, lower than the minimum wage implemented. Who can ever live a decent life; even just provide for their basic needs? If and only if people will stick to their principles and not be blinded by wealth, cases like this would not even ensue. Lady Justice is blind to try people with equality, not minding ones stature in society or influence, old and young, rich and poor, all should be liable to their delinquencies. Lastly, the government should be of the people with the purpose to promote the common good, conserve and develop patrimony, and secure to the blessings of independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace.