Farmers hail SC ruling on Hacienda Luisita

by Niko Baua, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 25 2012 12:24 AM | Updated as of Apr 25 2012 07:44 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Some farmers of Hacienda Luisita called for a meeting on Monday, the day before the Supreme Court ruled on their case.

Many of them were anxious, like Mila Gonzales who has 7 children who were unable to finish school.

Gonzales is pinning her hopes on the land she will receive.

“Kay tagal nila kami tinambunan ng batong malaki, ngayong naalis na namin gusto nila ibalik na naman,” said Gonzales.

On Tuesday, the farmers decided to go to Baguio to push their case.

But on their way to the Supreme Court's compound, police blocked them.

The farmers were unfazed.

There was also tension when they saw their fellow farmers who sided with Hacienda Luisita management.

“Magbago ang pamumuhay ng lahat ng tao sa hacienda, hindi ‘yung kung anong pakikibaka o kung ano pang sinasabi. Respetuhan lang bawat grupo,” said Noel Mallari, one of the beneficiaries.

The farmers patiently waited until the decision was announced.

Gonzales felt renewed hope after hearing the Supreme Court re-affirmed its ruling on total land distribution.

“Maraming salamat sa Panginoon, alam niya rin ang totoo sa hindi. Hindi na kami maghihirap. Makakain na namin ang gusto namin,” she said.

Farmers who stayed behind in Barangay Balete, Tarlac City were also ecstatic.

Mercedes Fernandez, 72, cried tears of joy.

Fernandez said she now has something to leave behind to her 4 children and 20 grandchildren.

“Masayang-masaya, mayroon na silang mamanahin,” said Fernandez.

There are over 6,000 farmer-beneficiaries at Hacienda Luisita. -- ANC