[In the news] Luisita farmers seek DOJ probe of continuing military presence -INQUIRER.net
By Philip C. Tubeza, Philippine Daily Inquirer
March 20, 2012
MANILA, Philippines—Farmers of Hacienda Luisita on Monday asked Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to investigate the continuing presence of soldiers inside the sprawling sugarcane plantation owned by the family of President Benigno Aquino III in Tarlac.
In a two-page letter of urgent appeal, the United Luisita Workers Union (Ulwu), the Alyansa sa mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (Ambala) and the Unyon ng mga Mangagawa sa Agrikultura (Uma) urged De Lima to look into the presence of the military “virtually in almost 10 village communities of Hacienda Luisita.”
“Our group found out numerous cases of human rights violations perpetrated by the military and their civilian agents against members of Ambala and Ulwu,” read the letter dated March 19, 2012.
“Cases of surveillance and interrogations by the military, especially among the members of our organization, were among (those) recorded,” it added.
The military allegedly accused some Ambala and Ulwu leaders of being members of the communist New People’s Army while Ambala chair Felix Nacpil Jr. “received death threats.”
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