Duterte hits Aquinos for excluding Hacienda Luisita from land reform: 'Whole country was declared but not their land'

President Rodrigo Duterte says the exclusion of the Hacienda Luisita from the agrarian reform program as “the greatest aberration” done to beneficiaries.

Duterte said the farmer-beneficiaries should have been awarded with portions of the Aquinos owned land in Tarlac, but said he has "nothing against" to the family, even to late President Corazon Aquino and her son, former President Benigno Aquino III.

“I’d like to state very clearly that I have nothing against the Aquino family. 

"'Yung dalawang presidente, pati ang pamilya. I’d like to put it in record that for the first two Aquino presidents, sumuporta po kami, ang pamilya namin sa Davao because we believed in Corazon Aquino and I happen also to just…the best that was available at that time,” Duterte said in his speech during the 31st anniversary celebration of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) at the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) main office in Quezon City.

“Pero (But) the greatest aberration, if I look back in time… alam mo, kung ako naman siguro ang naging malapit lang naman makapag bulong (you know, if I could only suggest), to make the suggestion na (that) will not irritate 'yung sinasabihan ko…alam mo 'yung the greatest aberration sa (in) land reform was the Philippines was declared…the whole of the country.. as a land reform program area pero tinanggal nila ang Doña Luisita (but they excluded Doña Luisita),” he said.

If recalled, union farmers and activists conducting a strike were violently dispersed on November 16, 2004 - which was called, the Hacienda Luisita Massacre.

Prior to 2004 incident, another group of farmers fighting for land reform on Hacienda Luisita were also violently dispersed by police and soldiers in Mendiola, Manila on January 22, 1987.

The President stressed to the Hacienderos that “there is a time for everything”, that includes a time to live a simple life.

Source: PNA

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