Seven peasant farmers, who were protesting their take home pay of P9.50-a-day at the Cojuangco-owned Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac, were murdered in cold blood at the gate of the hacienda, a hail of bullets ensuring that Nov. 16, 2004 will forever live as a day of infamy.
With Noynoy Aquino as a member of the security committee at his family’s sugar estate, killed by sniper fire from suspected members of the Cojuangco’s private army were: Jhavie Basilio, Adriano Caballero, Jhune David, Jesus Laza, Juancho Sanchez, Jaime Pastidio and Jessie Valdez.
Left to die
Some of them could have lived, but hospitals in Cojuangco-controlled Tarlac refused to admit patients from the hacienda. Hundred others sustained wounds, including 27 who were hit by bullets, from the incident now infamously known as the HACIENDA LUISITA MASSACRE.
The killings continue
But the killings did not stop there! Over a period of 10 months, at least seven more peasant farmers, labor leaders and church ministers – bonded together by their being staunch critics of the family of presidential wannabe Noynoy Aquino – were silenced. Permanently!
Like the seven martyrs of the Hacienda Luisita Massacre, the following also met bloody end at the hands of known henchmen of Noynoy’s family, just because they want to put an end to the injustices at the hacienda:
Marcelino Beltran (RIP +)
Killed on Dec. 8, 2004 as he was celebrating his birthday with his family at their home. A retired army officer turned peasant leader, he was shot before he could testify at the Senate and Congress on Dec. 13 and 14, 2004, on the trajectories of the bullets fired during the Hacienda Luisita Massacre.
Councilor Abelardo Ladera (RIP +)
Shot while buying spare car parts on March 3, 2004, a day after he accessed critical documents regarding Luisita’s stock distribution option and Land Use Conversion Plan from the Department of Agrarian Reform. He was killed before he could bring the documents to the Senate and Congress.
Rev. William Tadena (RIP +)
Tadena had been lending a sympathetic ear to the plight of Luisita’s peasant farmers and for it was killed on March 13, 2005. A fellow Aglipayan priest in Fr. Jun Flores, who has gone into hiding fearing for his own life, saw a bodyguard of Noynoy shoot Fr. Tadena.
Victor “Tata Ben” Concepcion (RIP +)
Remembered for championing the cause of land-tillers at Hacienda Luisita, the 66-year-old secretary general of the Aguman de reng Maglalautang Capampangan, was peppered with bullets on March 17, 2005.
Florante Collante (RIP +)
A coordinator of Bayan Muna, Collantes was murdered in his home in Camiling Tarlac on Oct. 15, 2005 for being very vocal against Noynoy and his family on their oppression of farmers.
Ricardo Ramos (RIP +)
President of the Luisita labor group CATLU, Ramos was shot Oct. 25, 2005 as he celebrated the awarding of P8.8 million in wages already worked for by Luisita farmers, but which had been withheld by Noynoy and his family.
Bishop Alberto Ramento (RIP +)
Stabbed seven times on Oct. 3, 2006, right at his parish office, Bishop Ramento irked Noynoy and his family for providing moral, spiritual and other support to Luisita farmers. Until now, his killer had not been brought to justice, with the mastermind said to be even gunning for the highest office of the land.
Tirso Cruz (RIP +)
A leader of the United Luisita Workers Union, he was killed on March 17, 2006 for opposing the SDO scheme used by Noynoy’s family to exempt the hacienda from land reform coverage.
Dead men tell no tales, but those who survive do. In his sworn testimony at the Senate on Jan. 12, 2005, Luisita farmer George Loveland, who was shot with Ernesto Ramos at Luisita’s west gate of Las Haciendas seven days earlier, identified the bodyguards of Noynoy Aquino as their assailants.
Noynoy ordered shooting
Loveland said Noynoy was there when his bodyguards shot him and Ramos, remembering that Noynoy motioned and muttered to his security before shots rang out. The then Congressman Aquino, was later on heard pitching to people in and around Luisita a “superhighway” that would turn out to be the controversial SCTEX project.
And he wants to be President?
The killing of Father Tadena and the shooting of Loveland and Ramos positively linked Noynoy Aquino to the Hacienda Luisita Massacre and the subsequent killings, shootings and intimidations of farmers. With blood in his hands, how can Noynoy now aspire to be President, not of God-forsaken Luisita, but of the entire country?
He must be crazy if not retarded.