The online news portal of TV5
BARANGAY BALETE, Hacienda Luisita -- Farmers in this barangay deep within Hacienda Luisita were ecstatic on hearing news that the Supreme Court had unanimously affirmed its ruling for the complete distribution of the vast sugar estate of the Cojuangco clan, to which President Benigno Aquino III.
Elderly men and women clapped their hands and cheered at a small hut where they had gathered to savor the news that the land they had struggled for decades to own was finally on the brink of being theirs.
"Wala ka ng lupa rito sa Hacienda Luisita at ito ay pag-aari na namin (You have no more land in Hacienda Luisita and we own it now)!" 64-year old Anita Flores said in a message addressed to Aquino, whose mother, the late President Corazon Aquino was a Cojuangco.
Flores and her family of seven expect to get 2.8 hectares from the more than 4,900 hectares covered by the SC decision.
She said through the decades of struggle, they had never lost hope.
“Ang laban na ito buhat pa ito ng panahon ng tatay ko na ipapamahagi dapat na hindi pinamahagi ng mga Cojuangco kaya’t inilaban namin ito sa apat na dekada. Masayang-masaya po kami (Our fight started in the time of my father when the Cojuangcos did not give what they should have given, so we have been fighting for four decades. We are very, very happy),” she said.
“Talagang inilaban namin kahit sa patayan ang lupang ito dahil marami ng namatay sa lupang ito at ‘yun ay pinagpatuloy namin (We really fought to the death for this land because many have died on this land and we carried on for them),” she added.
Lolita Solis, 75, cried on hearing the news of the SC ruling.
“Nagpapasalamat kami sa mga taong walang tigil na pinaglaban ang lupang ito para sa amin. Sa wakas po, sa katagalan na hinintay namin na makamit ang tagumpay, heto na po (We thank all the people who never tired of fighting that this land would be ours. In the end, after a long wait for victory, here it is),” Solis said.
Flores said their victory is for their children and their grandchildren, who will be the ones to benefit from the land.
“’Pag hindi man namin mapakinabangan ang lupa, nandiyan po ang mga anak ko at apo ko na makikinabang (If we cannot benefit from the land, my children and grandchildren will),” she said.
“Basta magsumikap kami, ‘di tulad ngayon wala kaming lupa, walang sinasaka. Siguro ngayon na meron na kami, pwede na naming sakahin (So long as we persever, not like now when we have no land, nothing to farm. Maybe now that we do have land, we can begin farming it),” Flores said.