Political Tidbits is the prestigious column of Belinda Olivares-Cunanan that ran for 25 continuous years in the op-ed page of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the newspaper that she helped put up with its multi-awarded founder, the legendary Eugenia Duran-Apostol, in December 1985, just two months before the EDSA Revolution.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Follow the chronology of events in this article by “Ang Panday,” as reprinted below

Hacienda Luisita

Many political pundits, including this blogger, have asserted---and continue to assert---that Hacienda Luisita was the trigger for the impeachment of CJ Corona that the House of Representatives railroaded in less than two hours last December 12, 2011. 188 members of the House signed the impeachment complaint, even as majority of them were not able to personally verify the contents of this complaint, as per the requisite of the Constitution.

I urge you readers to go through the following article and analyze for yourselves if you can share the same conclusion as various political analysts---that it was, as CJ Corona himself asserted after he was impeached, the Nov. 22, 2011 unanimous decision of the Supreme Court to order the decades-delayed distribution of Hacienda Lusita’s lands to the long-suffering farmer-tillers, that pushed President Aquino to order the impeachment of the Highest Magistrate of the SC.

Now the whole country is torn up over this impeachment case, and is facing possible civil and political turmoil not seen in decades. Was it simply because of Luisita? 


 “On May 7, 1980, the Marcos government filed a complaint before the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) to compel the surrender of Hacienda Luisita to the Ministry of Agrarian Reform for distribution of the land to the farmers at cost. The case stemmed from the refusal of the Cojuangcos to abide by their agreement with government to distribute the land to the farmers, in consideration of the financial assistance granted them by the government in their acquisition of the azucarera and the hacienda. During the campaign for the 1986 snap elections, while the case was pending, candidate Cory Cojuangco-Aquino promised the distribution of the hacienda to the farmers, if she won the elections.

“Shortly after the snap elections, where there were widespread allegations of cheating, the Edsa Revolution toppled the Marcos government and installed Cory in power.

“On July 22, 1987, in the exercise of her revolutionary powers, President Cory issued Executive Order No. 229 establishing her agrarian reform program, and providing for a stock distribution option (SDO) instead of actual land distribution. “On May 18, 1988, upon the motion of Cory's Solicitor-General Frank Chavez, the Court Appeals dismissed the complaint filed by Marcos for the surrender of the hacienda, which the government previously won before the RTC.

“On June 10, 1988, Cory signed into law Rep. Act No. 6657 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, enacted by the Cory dominated Congress. The law adopted the original Cory SDO mechanism.

“On November 21, 1989, Cory's DAR Secretary Miriam Defensor-Santiago approved the SDO for Hacienda Luisita.

“So if you're a die-hard Cory fan, but could not understand why Cory herself inserted the SDO mechanism into her agrarian reform program, then think no more. Cory' real reason is clear.


“During the Edsa II Revolution in January 2001, Cory supported the civilian-military uprising which toppled the Erap administration and installed GMA in power. “During the presidential elections of 2004, Cory again supported GMA, using her vaunted yellow media to help defeat Erap protege FPJ. “Meanwhile, sometime in December 2003, the hacienda workers petitioned the revocation of the SDO for non-compliance with the promised dividends and benefits.

“About one year later on November 6, 2004, almost all of the more than 5,000 hacienda workers staged a protest against the mass retrenchment implemented by the management. "On November 16, 2004, violence erupted between the protesters, the police and military forces, where 7 people were killed and 121 injured in what became known as the Hacienda Luisita massacre.

“Soon after, 8 people who supported the farmers or had evidence supporting their case were murdered one by one. “GMA then created DAR Task Force Luisita to tackle the petition of the hacienda farmers. By July 2005, the DAR task force completed its report recommending the revocation of the SDO and distribution of the hacienda to the farmers.

“Meanwhile, on July 8, 2005, Cory turned against GMA, and led opposition protests calling for her resignation, alleging widespread cheating known as the Hello Garci scandal. “On December 22, 2005, GMA's Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) issued Resolution No. 2005-32-01, ordering the revocation of the SDO and the distribution of the land to the farmers.

“So if you're a die-hard Cory fan, but could not understand why Cory turned against her own protege GMA, alleging widespread cheating in a presidential election where Cory herself actively campaigned, then wonder no more. Cory's motivation is clear


“On February 1, 2006, Hacienda Luisita petitioned the Supreme Court to prevent the PARC from enforcing its resolution revoking the SDO and ordering the distribution of the land to the farmers. “On June 30, 2010, Noynoy Cojuangco-Aquino took over the presidency from GMA.

"On November 18, 2011, the Pasay Regional Trial Court ordered the arrest of GMA based on charges of electoral sabotage filed by PNoy's DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima and Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes. 

“Going back, GMA was the chair of PARC that ordered the revocation of the SDO of Hacienda Luisita. 

“On November 22, 2011, the Corona Supreme Court promulgated its Decision affirming the revocation of the hacienda's SDO, and directing the distribution of the land to the farmers.

“On December 12, 2011, a total of 188 Congressmen allied with PNoy impeached SC Chief Justice Corona on various charges in just one day. 13 more Congressmen later added their signatures.

“On December 19, 2011, the management filed a motion for reconsideration of the Decision. Thereafter, they asked for the inhibition of Corona in the Hacienda Luisita case.

“The last word from PNoy's Akbayan supporters is that they were actually aiming to replace 8 of the 15 SC justices and not just the chief justice.

“So if you're a die-hard PNoy fan who believes in his Daang Matuwid, but did not see the fixation against GMA coming, nor the blitzkrieg impeachment of CJ Corona, then wonder no more. PNoy's motivation is clear.


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