KAKAMPI MO ANG BATAS: Just compensation for Luisita PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 02 December 2011 15:11

BY Atty. BATAS MAURICIO

LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives…” (2 Peter 3:10-11, the Holy Bible).
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PERSPECTIVES ON THE EXECUTION OF ANOTHER OFW: Here is a perspective on the December 8, 2011 execution in China of another overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who was allegedly found guilty of drug trafficking in that country: the Bible warned that any nation whose people are no longer listening to God and who are no longer obeying Him will have its sons and daughters given to other nations and persecuted in foreign soils.

Here is that warning, taken from Deuteronomy 28:15 and 32: “However, if you do not listen to God and do not obey His commands, all of these curses will come upon you… Your sons and daughters will be given to other nations and you will wear out your eyes waiting for them, powerless to lift a hand…”
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JUST COMPENSATION FOR HACIENDA LUISITA: The issue of just compensation for the lands at Hacienda Luisita which were  ordered distributed by the Supreme Court to some 6,000 of its 10,000 or so farm workers cannot be defeated by claims from militant lawmakers that the Cojuangcos must be paid only P1 per hectare because they already benefited anyway from the estate since 1958.

It would seem that if we are going to talk about “benefits” as the basis of resolving the Hacienda Luisita dispute, the records will show that, through the years, hacienda farm workers enjoyed perks and privileges while working with the Cojuangcos which appeared much, much more, when compared to the perks and privileges workers in other landed estates in any part of the country ever received.

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, reports about how the Hacienda workers were treated by Jose Cojuangco Sr. (known as Pepe) and his son-in-law, former Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. (called Ninoy), when they were administrators of the company:

“Pepe and Ninoy introduced an almost social welfare state: free medicines and check up, scholarships to colleges, free education, free food, and equitable shares to the harvest, free child care and nutrition, free burials, a village with housing earmarked for the farmers, even free gasoline to the tractoras. Like the Paniqui Sugar Mills, not a single workers’ strike was instigated during their administration…”
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REAL STATUS OF LUISITA: This was the reason why, Wikipedia says, “Pepe barely made any money from the Hacienda Luisita. Understanding that the value of the Luisita is in the farmers who till it, he chose to rehabilitate the Filipinos who before were almost slaves under the Tabacalera.

Wikipedia continues: “He was able to sustain these losses due in part of his other more money making investments in the Bank of Commerce and First Manila Management which owned the Pantranco buses and the Mantrade group…”

This was also the reason why the employees of Hacienda Luisita became daily witnesses to the persistent desire of their neighbors who live in the periphery of the hacienda to be included as Hacienda Luisita employees, precisely because of their better standard of living, a Tarlacqueno told me.