THE STORY OF HACIENDA LUISITA
The struggle between farmers and landowners of Hacienda Luisita is now being seen as the first real test of character of presidential candidate Noynoy Cojuangco Aquino, whose family has owned the land since 1958. Our research shows that the problem began when government lenders obliged the Cojuangcos to distribute the land to small farmers by1967, a deadline that came and went. Pressure for land reform on Luisita since then reached a bloody head in 2004 when seven protesters were killed outside of the plantation’s gates in what is now known as the Luisita massacre. This is the story of the hacienda and its farmers, an issue that is likely to haunt Aquino as he travels the campaign trail for the May 2010 elections.
Part 2: Cory’s land reform legacy
Part 3: Workers’ strike turned into massacre
Part 4: After massacre, more killings
Meanwhile, here’s a video of presidential candidate Noynoy Aquino speaking before the Makati Business Club.