Beware of Cojuangco maneuvers on Luisita, Corona told
Now that the Hacienda Luisita land dispute is at Chief Justice Renato Corona’s First Division, a militant lawmaker called for an immediate resolution in favor of the farm workers and called the attention of the Chief Justice of the Cojuangco-Aquino clan’s maneuverings to maintain stronghold on the controversial sugar estate.
“The Hacienda Luisita agrarian dispute remains an acid test to Chief Justice Corona” says Anakpawis party-list Representative Rafael Mariano adding: “In the face of President-elect Noynoy Aquino’s refusal to recognize Corona, a favorable decision for the farm workers will also test Aquino’s adherence to the rule of law.”
He said that an immediate resolution of the case favorable to the farm workers will prevent the Cojuangco-Aquinos to reclassify and convert a large portion of the lands, and transfer ownership to other Cojuangco corporations.
Mariano was referring to the establishment of the Luisita Estate Management, and the intervention by the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) in the Supreme Court case regarding the Hacienda.
According to the RCBC website, “in November 1996, RCBC joined Agila Holdings, Itochu and Hacienda Luisita in putting up the Luisita Industrial Park Corp., a 300-hectare industrial park for Japanese investors.”
At the same time, reports said that Philippine Olympic Committee chair Jose “Peping” Cojuangco is planning to set up a 50-hectare National Training Center inside Luisita for the country’s bid to host the 2014 Asian Games.
“We won’t be surprised if the Jose Cojuangco and Sons, Inc. will eventually have a claim over Luisita. All these maneuvers by the Cojuangcos are designed to evade the Hacienda’s distribution,” Mariano said.
“We hope that the SC justices would deem that these layers of corporations will frustrate the legitimate and just claims of the farm workers over Hacienda Luisita,” Mariano added.
The Anakpawis lawmaker reiterated calls for the immediate lifting of the Temporary Restraining Order issued by the Supreme Court which hinders the distribution of the more than 6,000-hectare sugar estate. #