HERE is a piece that I wrote earlier but which I did not send to my editors because I was very much preoccupied by the usual corporate stuff that I write about based on disclosures
posted on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).
Then came the meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Council (APEC) which President Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino 3rd found to be another forum to tell foreign leaders what he has been boasting as the main accomplishments of his six-year erratic presidency.
To show them he is boss, he told them how his administration has jailed former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and caused the ouster of Chief Justice Renato Corona but failed to justify such forms of presidential oppression.
The APEC leaders must have reluctantly listened to every word uttered by Malacanang’s temporary chief occupant. Or did they only pretend to be listening to him?
Because this president did not tell them the circumstances behind the continued detention of the former president and the impeachment of Corona, the following piece is Due Diligencer’s humble contribution to the truth that Aquino the son intentionally omitted in his APEC speech.
Unknown to, or perhaps unperceived by, Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino 3rd, Malacanang’s temporary chief occupant, his prepared statements containing the same rhetorics that sent him to the palace would not succeed in making Filipinos forget the biggest issue that would haunt him until the end of his term. He should be reminded that his departure on June 30, 2016 from Malacanang may be the most awaited moment in his six-year misrule. When this finally happens, farmers of Hacienda Luisita could finally revive their faith in the government and its agrarian reform program.
Unfortunately for BSCA the son, the Supreme Court has put an end to his family’s perpetual ownership of Hacienda Luisita. Its ruling, in effect, has frustrated the efforts of the late Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr., his wife, Corazon C. Aquino and finally their son to save the family’s prime property asset from the hacienda’s tenant farmers. Certainly their only recourse to keep their ownership intact was to defy SC’s decision like what Aquino the son has been doing to other rulings of the High Court unrelated to the hacienda issue.
Aquinos’ common legacy
Yes, if Filipinos would only look more closely at the issues surrounding Hacienda Luisita, they would find among them the common legacy of the father, the mother and the son. The father hated President Ferdinand E. Marcos for proclaiming martial law and Due Diligencer is giving him the benefit of the doubt that his anger had nothing to do with the late president’s Presidential Decree No. 2 placing the “entire country under the government agrarian reform program.”
How about Aquino the mother? Well, she may be best remembered for implementing her brand of agrarian reform. She had the law amended to allow the incorporation of Hacienda Luisita into a stock corporation in 1988. Instead of farm lots, the farmers got pieces of paper called stock certificates identifying them as stockholders.
What a way to circumvent the law!
SC as farmers’ saviour
As a stock corporation, Hacienda Luisita was to remain under the majority control of the owners who are the Cojuangcos while the tenant farmers were to be limited to owning a minority stake of up to 37.5 percent. Luckily for the farmers, the High Court intervened with a ruling that outlawed the corporate agrarian reform mode of the administration of Aquino the mother.
With only six months and few days left in his six-year term, Aquino the son may be running out of time to save his and his family’s inheritance from the hacienda farmers.
When he exits from Malacanang, he will be leaving a number of issues unanswered. One of these would be the payment of P471.5 million, which was sourced from Priority Development Assistance Fund, as “just compensation” for his family as owners of the hacienda. Will the Aquino’s agrarian reform office explain where this money went? Who benefited from this cash bonanza that the administration of Aquino the son has so generously appropriated for his family?
Why should I be writing about Hacienda Luisita?
My answer is simple: Aquino the son has been very much obsessed with the presidency that he has been treating Filipinos if they are tenants who are subservient to his family.
For whatever this may be worth, this piece is also in response to the presidential threat to go after the critics of his alleged reform agenda, which, in the first place, he did not have when he took office in 2010 and still does not have today. He appeared vague as to how he would make good his threat. But then again, he only made sure that he was able to get his message across. Whatever his message was, no one knew it and many would not care to know it anymore.
Besides, it is about time BSCA be told that Filipinos need a leader who works more and talk much less and not one who simply talks. He speaks only the language of the elite and resorts to the use of motherhood statements without specifics. As the supposed leader of more than 100 million Filipinos including the members of his mother’s yellow tribe, he and his presidency cannot be saved by series of prayer-and-hate gatherings even if each of these were to be undertaken every hour of the day. Pope Francis should not have asked Aquino the son to pray for him. In seeking his prayers, his Holiness may have given the impression that he is, after all, not be infallible.