yellow naif disses land reform :(

nakakadismaya the 5-minute video produced and posted by newbie blogger felicity tan entitled Ang nangyari sa Hacienda Luisita, ayon sa mga magsasaka.   it’s a cut-to-cut talking-heads kind of quickie production featuring just 7 former farmworkers / laborers / tenants of the hacienda saying they miss the old feudal days when the cojuangco-aquinos took care of their needs — complete with free health care, weekly allowances for the kids — and that they went on strike not for land — what would they do with land without capital and knowhow — but for better pay, except that the likes of satur ocampo and teddy casino made pakialam and satur even made millions of bucks, so please, leftists, stay away, we don’t want you meddling in our affairs.

i could not but react when i first saw it posted in facebook via carlos conde:

the video by itself is rather slanted against land reform and against the left, almost like an advertisement for oligarchic rule.  but let’s rewind to the part where these few farmers are saying that they went on strike for better pay, so obviously things had deteriorated since the happy past when the hacienda took care of all their needs.  sana ilagay naman sa context.  oh and the accusation that satur got a lot of money out of some deal should have been followed by a statement from satur either denying or confirming, in fairness lang.

tan’s reply:

my purpose was just to air the other side para mailabas naman, yun lang, if you visit HL you will see it is impossible that the farmers demonize the cojuangcos as it is seen in the media.  in any case, i put in the UP clip from TV patrol because the general sentiment is “give what the farmers what they want.”  So I asked them.  We already heard the farmers who want the land.  How about the others?  Lahat ba sila land ang gusto?  Looking at reports, it seems that way. Inside  HL is a different story.  if you change your opinion on it or not is besides the point and not my purpose.  I think Caloy’s blurb above says it all: “the OTHER side that ought to be heard as well” (thanks again C!)

soon after, men sta. ana also posted the video in fb with a comment, and we had this exchange:

men : Sad to say, this cannot be the full story. Some Noy campaigners, specifically those who work with the farmers, even think that the video might have been produced by the Luisita management (which is not the case, I think). So whoever produced this video only complicated the issue even for Noy supporters. The story is more complicated than what the video offers. I myself went to Luisita more than a month ago, accompanied by a young academic researcher doing his postgrad in Australia, a local organizer, a national peasant organizer, and a farmer who heads a national peasant organization (they are all pro-Noy), and the stories we received from the farmers differ from those interviewed in this video. In other words, there are many voices in Luisita, which this video does not capture. But what is clear is that different forces have used the farmers as pawns. What a tragedy.

me : men, i so agree.  carlos conde also posted the video and i commented that it’s practically an advertisement for oligarchic rule, sabay banat kay satur.  the video producer says it is simply meant to air the side of luisita farmers who continue to be unemployed, as if there were only this one side and only these few farmers. and she claims to be a journalist, even blogs about ethics of journalism.   absolutely, support like this noynoy doesn’t need.

men : Oo nga, Angela.  She committed the mistakes that she was railing against.  Actually, I don’t have any problem re opinionated journalism.  Just be honest about it.  Hunter Thompson is my idol because of his gonzo journalism.  Problem here is she becomes holier than thou.

worse, she’s getting a lot of kudos in her blog, i assume from political naifs like herself, who are thankful that she has cleared the air, so now they get it, the farmers don’t really want land, they just want the good old feudal days back, so now they WILL vote for noynoy.   susmaryosep.   i don’t get it.    why isn’t she practising what she preaches re journalism ethics?  maybe she thinks these ethics don’t apply sa blogosphere?    she’s been blogging for just a month, so let’s give her the benefit of the doubt?  LOL

pero sige na nga, maybe she didn’t plan for the video to stand alone, maybe she thought her “blurb”, where she says she didn’t bother airing the other sides because they’ve had enough exposure in media, presuming, incorrectly, that her readers all know the big picture already, would be posted around along with the video.  still, the blurb said hardly enough.   and besides, that’s not the way it works in the blogosphere.   you have no say in what or how much gets picked up and posted around, so a video has to be complete in itself, airing all sides, unless hindi naman talaga credible journalism ang drama kundi partisan sensationalism.

salamat na lang at meron din siyang commenters na mas marunong sa kanya, like jonas and the penniless sitar player:

Jonas :  medyo may intellectual dishonesty dito sa ginawa mo, ms. tan.  una, binanatan mo ng todo ang report ng dahil sa tingin mo mali-mali at iisang panig lang.  tapos sinabi mo, pupunta ka sa luisita para hanapin ang katotohanan.  pero ano ang ginawa mo?  you just presented a few farmers na kontra kina lito bais, at napaka-tendentious pa ng mga argumento at totally without basis or proof (lalo na ang akusasyong binigyan si satur ocampo ng 6m).

in the final analysis, propaganda din ang ginawa mo na ang makakabenepisyo ay si noynoy at mga kalaban ng ulwu at catlu.  true, pinresent mo ang side ng ilang mga farmers pero what they said didn’t help the discussion of the issue. they  merely vented their ire.

medyo tuso ang posisyon mo na ang ginagawa mo lang ay ang side ng mga farmers na di naririnig.  ok lang sana ito kung hindi mo pinipresenta ang sarili mo na journalist.  e kaso, napaka-self-righteous pa nga ng dating mo about journalism, as if you are god’s gift to journalism in this part of the woods.

hindi mo pueding sabihin na kaya di mo nilagay ang side nina lito bais ay dahil masyado na silang sikat sa media.  tusong pag-iisip yan.  kung totoo kang journalist, give us the complete picture.  otherwise, don’t pass yourself off as a journalist na walang kinikilingan kundi ang katotohanan.

in the final analysis, walang pinagkaiba ang ginawa mo sa mga puntong ayaw mo sa story ng  bagkus, mas maganda ang ginawa ni stephanie dychiu dahila at least mas throrough ang research, mas maayos at mas complete ang picture, kahit na sabihin mong one-sided. April 24, 2010 2:22 PM

penniless sitar player :  it only shows that redistribution should not be the only concern of land reform.  a finite resource such as land, should be managed sustainably (considering the economic, social and ecological dimensionsof it.)  unlike the virtual land in farmville (he he he) further subdividing it to smaller portions would not optimize its eco-social contribution. with the chains and layers of people and processes involved in production (farmhand, farmhelp, capital and service providers, irrigation providers, traders, buyers) agricultural production is actually one big enterprise. and with that, only a sustainable business model could answer the increasing needs of people dependent on it.  new forms of ownerships and/ or profit/fruit sharing should be set in place.  I also abhor the idea that control remains in the hand of a mega-family corporation but individually distributing it would even marginalize the people at the far end of the value chain.  the idea of setting up cooperative, interdependent structures and mutually reinforcing agro-enterprises, owned and managed by the farmers, could be explored and it should be coupled with efforts to build the capacity of farmers to deal with it in a businesslike way. April 26, 2010 3:47 AM

cory’s comprehensive agrarian reform program failed (and carper, its extension, will fail) because of loopholes designed to allow old-rich hacenderos to be creative about finding ways of holding on to their hundreds of thousands of hectares of land instead of being creative about sharing the bounty with landless farmers in national food production.   meanwhile, small middleclass landowners, like my nanay who inherited a mere 20 hectares or so of hard-earned riceland from her parents, had to give up all but 7 hectares some 20 years ago, ora mismo, agad-agad, grabe  :(


  1. i think its absolutely ridiculous how certain quarters have made it seem as though land reform were a mere “leftist” issue.

    its a philippine issue.

    its a national issue.

    its a development issue.

  2. i dont understand ur critique.

    you acknowledge that she limited the contents of the video in a blurb. but, you argue :

    ” still, the blurb said hardly enough. and besides, that’s not the way it works in the blogosphere. you have no say in what or how much gets picked up and posted around, so a video has to be complete in itself, airing all sides, unless hindi naman talaga credible journalism ang drama kundi partisan sensationalism.”

    1) what could the blurb had said that she did not already say? she has said that the interview doesnt include all sides. what more could she have said?

    2) the second part seems unreasonable. in the blogosphere, what more can you do, other than writing down the blurb? how can she be accountable for the irresponsible actions of other people?

    indeed, in the blogosphere, where people can post their own reactions/links, shouldnt the ethical burden be placed on the people sharing them? they can do this by linking to the source, “hat-tipping”, and explaining that the video comes with a big caveat?

    kasalanan ba ng blogger that others might take her out of context? OR kasalanan ng mga ibang tao that took her out of context?

  3. manuelbuencamino

    the HL issue is an internal matter among its stockholders – the cojuangcos and the workers. why don’t we allow them to work it out among themselves? what’s the business of non-stockholders, what right do outsiders have to meddle in it?

  4. manuelbuencamino: internal matter ka diyan. Ang ganoon kalaking lupa? Ang usapin ng reporma sa lupa? Iyung sangkot ang libu-libong magsasaka? Kahit batay sa kasaysayan, matagal na dapat ipinamahagi ang lupa?

    Grabe na ang pagsasakripisyo ng mga maka-Noynoy sa kanilang prinsipyo at pakikisangkot sa lipunan para sa kandidatura ni Noynoy. At sa posibilidad na makabalik sa pagtatrabaho sa gobyerno?

    May bukas pa, oy. Magtabi naman kayo ng dangal sa sarili. At kapag maggigiit na sa bagong gobyerno — sinuman ang maupo — mahalaga pa rin ang papel ng Kaliwa, kaya huwag naman kayong todo-upak diyan.

  5. on one of the most stupid ideas i’ve ever encountered in my so-called life and i quote: “Indeed, who needs direct repression when one can convince the chicken to walk freely into the slaughterhouse?”
    (Žižek 2009:34). manuelbuencamino’s logic is instrumental in both ways: he can be an instrument of ideological brainwash which leads the chicken to the slaughterhouse or if he’s ethical enough to actually believe and own up to his own yucky take on HLI, then he himself can be the chicken who gladly walks into the slaughterhouse. both ways are nihilistic. so what does one say in the face of philosophical nothingness and death? same thing with its literal occurrence, i guess. RIP.

  6. Antares Gomez B

    Mr. buencamino,

    I like you sometimes, especially when you direct your wit to cutting at the ridiculous actions and statements of the Macapagal-Arroyo administration. Not today. Not when you cop out like this. It is such a shame when one such as yourself, a satirist of all people, so readily looks the other way just because you have a candidate to boost in the polls. Shame, shame, and shame again.

    “An internal matter”? I’m sure. However, this is not merely about a complainant and a boss having a piddling disagreement. this is about how the complainants (thousands of them) are being gupped of land and livelihood by a large and powerful corporation whose political influence is capable of twisting law. Top it all off with a suspiciously rising number of dead farmers. internal matter? Not in this scale, and definitely not when one of the bosses involved happens to be running for the presidency.

    I cannot put my mind around the perversion or malice required to douse this matter with a smokescreen in the guise of a coldly dismissive managerial emollient.

    As your colleague Mr. Sta Ana has said, “support like this, [Noynoy] doesn’t need.”

  7. I agree, the video is downright shallow. To add insult to injury, the person who made it is wont to flaunt her schooling and hark to “journalism ethics.” It’s sad how some journalists glorify their profession, but in actuality are just trying to glorify themselves.

    To Manuel Buencamino, as I had earlier said in my blog: “A strike, especially one as landmark and high-profile as Luisita, is never a mere internal issue. It is something that involves the whole nation. The Luisita case is representative of how farmers and workers are being treated in the country, and its outcome will surely affect the rest of the country’s haciendas.”

    My own take on Felicity Tan and her Luisita video:

  8. teridon

    hoy buencamino,

    saksakan ka ng bobo, dakdak ka ng dakdak para ipagtanggol yang bobo mong presidente.

    sa totoo, questionable nga yung status nila as stockholders, dahil parang hindi naman talaga SHs ang turing sa kanila ng mga Cojuangco. kaya hindi mo pwede sabihin outrightly na internal issue ito among stockholders.

    besides, hindi naman ito ligal na usapin para mag-assert ka ng corporate law. bobo. political question kaya ito.

    kampanya ito ng patakaran ni abnoy kung magiging presidente siya. given na may SDO, o kaya may internal matter among SHs, papayagan ba niya na magpatuloy yung ganung olats na kalagayan? yun yung kailangan niyang sagutin.

    ngayon, dahil pumayag siya sa bobong CARPER, well, mukhang umaayon siyang magpatuloy ang ganung kalagayan, dahil pasok pa rin ang SDO doon.

    kung ganun nga, magsama kayong mga bobo kayo.

  9. bikolano

    internal matter ka jan! ang pambubugbog ba sa isang babae ng kanyang bayolenteng asawa ay hindi pwedeng pakialaman dahil ito’y “domestic” issue?

    Usapin ng mga manggagawa na sumasahod ng 9.50 pesos a month, sa isang asyendang showcase ng palpak na land reform program may bonus pang masaker ng mga mangagawang bukid. internal issue??? wag pakialaman at dapat isettle ng management at workers? may gad!

    Kung yung venereal disease nga ni kris ipinagbubuyangyangan sa national TV, kung yung pagmumulto ng mom, yung paglelecture ni ate ballsy at ni ate viel at yung pagtatanggol kay noy nagiging national issue, eto pa kaya? kam-on manuel…

    Anut anuman, hindi mapapasubaliang importanteng issue ngayong halalan ang hacienda luisita at ang land reform. dapat itong sinasagot nina aquino, at hubad na hubad( ingat baka mapulmunya ka manuel)ang kabalintunaan ng posisyon ng mga tulo laway na aquino talibans, na wala ng lohikay pilit pa rin ilulusot ang palusot, maipagtangol lang si lord noynoy. kawawa naman.

  10. last year, around this time, pumunta rin ako sa hacienda luisita. i was there for about a week, i think. nagturo ako ng photography sa mga batang anak ng mga magsasaka at dating farm workers. hindi totoong hindi mayorya ang gustong magkalupa at magtanim. at hindi lang dahil natural para sa isang magsasaka na gustuhing kanya na ang lupa na pinagtatamnan. gusto talaga nilang magtanim. gusto nilang palaguin ang tanim. nagagawa na nila ito. kolektiba ang pagtanim. nakakuha sila ng tulong mula sa mga church institutions at nakabili ng ilang makinang pang-araro. tuwang tuwa na sila roon. taun-taon lumalaki / umuunlad ang harvest nila. may mga magsasaka mula sa labas ng hacienda na tumutulong magtanim. pero ang nagmamanage ng palayan at karamihan sa mga nagtatanim ay taga-hacienda rin.

    a year after ng masaker sa hacienda luisita, pumunta ako roon. nagsimula na silang magtanim ng iba’t ibang gulay. mayorya sa mga manggagawang bukid bago ang welga ay nagwelga ng 2004. mayorya ng nagwelga ay nagtanim at nagtatanim pa rin ngayon.

  11. manuelbuencamino

    Para sa chorus ng kaliwang hindi bumabatikos sa kandidato nilang maliwanag na nagnakaw ng lupa, nagconvert ng mga lupa na sakop ng CARP at kung ano ano pang katarantaduhan,

    Kung magpapansinan lang tayo ng katorpehan eh wala ng mas bobo pa dyan sa ginawa ninyong pagsiping kay Villar kasi ayaw ni Noynoy sumiping sa inyo. Nagpadala kayo kay Joma sa Daang Hari. Iniwan ninyo ang rebolusyonarion daan. Ang Rebolusyonaryong Pananaw ay naging Vista Land. Ang dapat magkalaban sa class war naging classmates.

    Pero ibalik natin ang usapan sa HL at kung bakit wala kayong pakialam sa isyung yan.

    1. Yun HL binili ng mga Cojuangco sa legal na pamamaraan.

    2. Nung naging presidente si Corazon Aquino inexpand niya ang land reform para masakop pati ang mga sugar lands.

    3. Nung ipinasa ng Kongreso ang CARP meron option dun na SDO. Ang option na yan ay para sa mga hacendero at sa mga magsasaka at sacada.

    4. Ang mga hacendero at ang mga nagtatrabaho sa HL ay nagdesisyon na pumasok sa SDO. Pwede din naman nagkaroon ng land distribution kung yun ang ginusto ng mga farmer o ng mga Cojuangco pero SDO ang pinili nila. Hindi naman nagkapilitan na pumasok sa SDO.

    Siguro naman mas may utak ang mga tiga-HL kaysa sa mga manok. Bigyan mo naman sila ng konting respeto, Sarah. At kung kasing bobo sila na mga manok eh di kasama na ninyo sila sa hanay ng mga tiga-hanga ng burgis na rebolusyonaryong si Joma. Pero hindi ko kayo tatawagan na mga manok kasi mga parrot kayo.

    5. Ang isyu ng HL ay internal matter sa stockholders ng HL. Ang isyu ng pagsiping ninyo kay Villar ang harapin ninyo. Paano ngayon kung matalo si Villar, eh di kasali na kayo sa hanay ng oposisyon kasama ni Villar at ni Gloria. Nandiyan na kayo kasi yan ang nangyari sa inyo sa pagsiping kay Villarroyo. Bot kayo kay Gloria para Speaker?

    Mahigit 40 years kayong lumalaban pero wala kayong maipakita kung hindi mga video sa YouTube kung saan ina-ambush ng mga NPA ang mga sundalo o kaya pulis. Parang tuwang tuwa pa kayo ipakita na ang isang grupong mahirap ay pumapatay sa kapwa nilang mahirap. At sa anong dahilan? Kasi yun kabilang grupong mahirap ay hindi sumasakay sa ideolohiya ninyo.

    O eh anong sama noon, wala bang karapatan ang isang tao pumili kung anong sistemang pultikal at ekonomikal ang gusto niya? O baka naman sasabihin ninyo na para silang mga utak manok kasi hindi sila katulad ninyo mag-isip. Ano yan class war ninyo naging na lang away ng parrot at manok.

    Mahirap makipagusap sa mga ideologues, parang nakikipagusap ka sa mga kleriko. Kahit anong paliwanag mo tungkol sa birth control, ang isasagot nila sa iyo ay ang doktrina catoliko. Ganyan din kayo, kahit ano pa ang paliwanag na ibigay sa inyo ang ibabato ninyo ay ang doktrinang marxist/leninist/maoist.

    Kaya magkanykanya na lang tayo. Dyan kayo Villarroyo, dito ako kay Noynoy, diyan kayo sa pilitang land distribution, dito ako sa bigyan ng sariling diskarte ang mga magsasaka. May the best side win.

  12. GabbyD


    “1. Yun HL binili ng mga Cojuangco sa legal na pamamaraan.”

    so u r saying that this account is NOT true:

    the land was given to the cojuancos, there was a deal with the monetary authority to re-distribute the land to the tennants?

  13. Edward


    The land was inherited by the cojuangco’s during the spanish colonial era.

    I don’t know whether you’re intentionally ignoring the essence of agrarian reform since you’re a noy fan / far rightist, or you really just don’t know.

    The question is not how they inherited it, but should they willingly resist to part with it for the sake of genuine land reform? It means it will be bought from them at a fair price, legally. But the profits are just too tempting isn’t it that’s why the landowners keep sabotaging the legal process. damn libertarians keeping us stuck at the feudal era. It shouldn’t even be questioned IF they should part with it, they should just do.

  14. Die Hard NoyPi

    @Gabby & Edward :+)=The CARP/ER was created as the legal framework to address the land reform problem and the Stock Distribution Option (SDO) was adopted as one of the mechanisms to transfer the ownership between the landlords and the tenants. In the HL issue, both parties agreed thru democratic voting to accept SDO as a mode of transfer of ownership using the Corporate entity as the legal vehicle. Let us not,therefore, extend the legal impediments of distribution as a political issue since the Constitutions provide legal remedies that do not lend ideological battle lines. Therefore, MBuencamino is logically correct that HL issue is an internal matter which we should respect since its resolution is within the confines of democratic process provided for by our laws.

    Secondly, if I may add, the Cojuangco bought the HL in 1957 from the owners who inherited this vast properties thru the Encomienda system during the Spanish colonial era, on condition that part (about 2,000 of more than 6,000 hectares) of this property must be distributed to tenants. If the distribution was unfair and unjustiably delayed can you hold Noynoy solely responsible who just inherited few shares of stocks more so when decision passes thru Corporate Management?

    The problem of implementing a genuine land reform program which maynot be perfect and contain loopholes, is that resistance to change is not due to Conflict of values but non-sharing of values for the good of the community. If an average middleclass landowners cannot just part away their inherited land what more to an institution like the Catholic Church who I believe up to this date have not divested itself of properties to benefit their impoverished faithfuls.

  15. BrianB


    Nakabili ka nakaw na kotse, sayo ba yun legally speaking? Isipin mo nalang ang land reform na historical justice. Ang ninakaw ng kastila imbis na i-confiscate i-land reform nalang, compensated pa ang mga “mayari.”

    At hindi ba totoo may kontrata ang mga Conjuangco na dapat nilang idistribute ang Luisita? Hiniram lang nila ang perang pambili sa gobyerno at pinahiram sila na may kundisyon.

  16. Edward

    @Die Hard Noypi Fan

    In years before the SDO was REVOKED by people petitioning against it. If it was by vote, then why are people clamoring for it to be removed? Now the Cojuangco’s issued a TRO against it. Why?

    The CARPER is a sorry excuse for a land reform, it is once again used to deceive that it is “the genuine land reform” but in reality is NOT. It has so many loopholes for the landowners that’s why Gloria Arroyo and Risa Hontiveros immediately passed it without resistance.

    “Let us not,therefore extend the legal impediments of distribution as a political issue since the Constitutions provide legal remedies that do not lend ideological battle lines.”

    Wow that sounds so “legal”, of course WHEREAS ideologies are the basic fundamental grounds sourcing from our ethics, morality and THEREFORE serves as our source for our legal framework. Legality is merely a product, not a basis, of our morality and ethics which transcends beyond legality. The democratic process you speak of entails the people’s clamor for a “genuine land reform” is basically what’s happening right now and this democratic process is not merely confined in a close area of space known as COURTS e.g. People Power.

    It is not an internal matter. The hacienderos do not own their employees and these employees are under protection of the Philippines.

    As repeatedly said, it is not Noynoy’s ownership that is in question but his ties to the Cojuangco clan that will provide further resistance to genuine land reform thru a conflict of interest. As a president, he should decide without any constraint of “utang na loob”, or by influence of relationships. It is evident as the Cojuangco clan has ‘clearly’ no plans of letting it go. And Noynoy is obviously impeded by those.

    “The problem of implementing a genuine land reform program which maynot be perfect and contain loopholes, is that resistance to change is not due to Conflict of values but non-sharing of values for the good of the community.”

    Incorrect. The only problem is that landowning congressman impede the progress of it’s implementation and try hard to impose their own skewed versions of land reform (always benefitting them). Just as how congressman Noynoy voted against the playing of Garci’s tape which almost impeded it’s expose.

    It is ludicrous to compare this issue in with the ownership of the Catholic church. No one actually protests in front of the church moreover shot by it’s owners’ guards. No one is clamoring for these properties to be distributed.

  17. GabbyD

    “It is evident as the Cojuangco clan has ‘clearly’ no plans of letting it go.”

    di ba sinabi na na ipapamahagi na?

    what is your primary basis for saying this? evidence?

  18. MB,

    Nakabili ka nakaw na kotse, sayo ba yun legally speaking? Isipin mo nalang ang land reform na historical justice. Ang ninakaw ng kastila imbis na i-confiscate i-land reform nalang, compensated pa ang mga “mayari.”

    At hindi ba totoo may kontrata ang mga Conjuangco na dapat nilang idistribute ang Luisita? Hiniram lang nila ang perang pambili sa gobyerno at pinahiram sila na may kundisyon.