Candles lit to reiterate demand for justice | Inquirer Opinion
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Candles lit to reiterate demand for justice

01:59 AM November 19, 2014

Ten years after the Hacienda Luisita massacre, the P-Noy clan has given no indication that it will move to end its bloodstained land-monopoly and abandon its slave-wages-for-farmworkers practice. It’s totally outrageous that President Aquino’s family expects Filipino farmworkers and their families to survive on P9.50 a day (less than 0.30 New Zealand dollars) and silences them with bullets whenever they reiterate their long-running demand for genuine land reform.

Last Nov. 16, workers’ rights advocates around the world marked the International Day of Action against Trade Union Repression to show solidarity with all workers who are asserting their rights to form unions to fight for just wages, job security and humane working conditions.

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On that day, members of Auckland Philippines Solidarity (APS), First Union and Unite Union lit candles after watching the documentary video on one of the worst attacks against workers’ right to freedom of association: the Nov. 16, 2004 massacre, by military and police forces, of striking sugar workers of the 6,453-hectare Hacienda Luisita owned by one of the Philippines’ biggest landlords—the Aquino-Cojuangco clan to which the President belongs. We lit the candles to reiterate the demand for justice for the seven martyrs of that Nov. 16 atrocity and for the scores of union leaders and supporters brutally killed in the following months. How many more poor peasants and farmworkers will be killed before the Aquino-Cojuangco clan heed the numerous court orders, massive strikes and solidarity actions demanding the just distribution of Hacienda Luisita.

President Aquino was the manager of Hacienda Luisita and a member of Congress at the time of the massacre.

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We dare President Aquino and his clan to try living on P9.50 a day, like the thousands of families of the striking sugar workers who remain deprived of justice and dignity up to this day.

—CAMERON WALKER,
spokesperson,
Auckland Philippines Solidarity,
[email protected]

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TAGS: Aquino-Cojuangco clan, Auckland Philippines Solidarity, Benigno Aquino III, hacienda luisita, Hacienda Luisita Massacre, President Aquino
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