[In the news] Soldiers to remain in Hacienda Luisita despite opposition from farmers -GMA News

Soldiers to remain in Hacienda Luisita despite opposition from farmers
March 11, 2012

There will be no pullout of military forces in the disputed Hacienda Luisita estate in Tarlac province despite the demand of farmer groups in the area for the soldiers to leave.

“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.

Read full article @ www.gmanetwork.com

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