“As of now, we do not have any plan to pull out from the Hacienda because the barangay officials themselves are requesting… they support our presence,” said Maj. Enrico Gil Ileto, spokesman of the Army’s 7th Infantry Division.
The 4,915-hectare sugar plantation owned by relatives of President Benigno Aquino III has been the subject of a legal tug-of-war between its owners and farmer-beneficiaries of the government’s agrarian reform program.
Farmers who want soldiers out of the area are members of the Anyansa ng Manggagawan Bukid sa Asyenda Lusita, the Luisita Unyon ng mga Manggagawa, and the Luisita Peasants and People’s Alliance.
The groups claimed that the soldiers have no business staying inside Hacienta Luisita because it is the subject of an agrarian issue. They also said they are threatened by the military’s presence.
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