- Facts carefully concealed from the public about the clan are emerging anew
- Historical accounts trace the source of the embezzled Cojuangco wealth and the expansion of their vast land-ownership
- With all these controversies, former President Noynoy Aquino should expect to be brought to court now that his term is over
A 15-minute YouTube video entitled AQUINO-COJUANGCO: FACTS THEY DON'T WANT US TO KNOW! has exposed shocking secrets about the controversial wealth and oppressive land-grabbing of the clan.
Recorded history really is written by the authors and not necessarily an account of what truly happened.
Here are some of the shocking revelations in the video:
1. It can be traced back to General Antonio Luna and Ysidra Cojuangco’s alleged romantic relationship.
After the 1899 Philippine-American War, General Luna brought the spoils of war (millions worth of gold and silver coins belonging to the Ilocos Treasury and the Governor of Pampanga) to Paniqui, Tarlac, specifically in the home of his girlfriend, Ysidra Cojuangco.
Three days later, General Luna was assassinated by then President Aguinaldo’s men. But the loot supposedly owned by the first Philippine Republic could no longer be found.
READ ALSO: A collection of stories on Marcos treasury
2. Ysidra’s brother, Melecio Cojuangco, had four sons who inherited the wealth.
The Cojuangcos grew their wealth and land-ownership by lending money to the poor farmers of Tarlac, Pangasinan, and Nueva Ecija. The collaterals the Cojuangcos asked for in their lending business were no less than the farmlands. Soon, the Cojuangcos became the owners of the land of every farmer who couldn’t pay their incapacitating debt.
3. The 1920s to 1930s: Ysidra helped establish the Paniqui Sugar Mills, the Finance and Mining Investments Corporation, and the Philippine Bank of Commerce.
The Cojuangcos had so much money they opened up businesses and corporations (even a bank) to their name. By the 1930s, much of Central Luzon was owned by the clan. Their land area of ownership in Tarlac alone is said to be 12,000 hectares.
4. To stay in power and to protect their wealth, the Cojuangcos ran for the government.
Here are some of them: Melecio Cojuangco (congressman), Eduardo Cojuangco, Sr. (governor), Jose Cojuangco, Sr. (congressman), Carlos Cojuangco (congressman and mayor), Danding Cojuangco (congressman), Peping Cojuangco (congressman), Miguel Cojuangco-Rivilla (congressman), Marcos Cojuangco (congressman), Tingting Cojuangco (governor), Gibo Cojuangco-Teodoro (congressman), Mercedes Cojuangco-Teodoro (congressman), Cory Cojuangco-Aquino (president), Noynoy Aquino (congressman, senator and president).
Ninoy Aquino was a son of a Tarlac congressman, who went on to marry Cory Cojuangco, one of the granddaughters of Melecio Cojuangco.
READ ALSO: 10 things we have to know about Sabah claims
5. The acquisition of the 6,400 hectares Hacienda Luisita in 1958 by Cory Aquino’s father, José Cojuangco, was intended by then President Ramon Magsaysay as a means to grant the Filipinos in Central Luzon their own farmlands by 1968, but the Cojuangcos did not fulfill the agreement.
With President Magsaysay’s consent and the government’s financial loan assistance via the Central Bank and the GSIS, Cory’s father bought the Azucarera Sugar Mill in Tarlac, along with the vast land surrounding it which is now known as Hacienda Luisita.
The agreement between the Philippine Government and José Cojuangco during the facilitated purchase was that after 10 years, Cojuangco was to grant the land to the tenants, farmers, and sugar planters of Hacienda Luisita. But the Cojuangcos never fulfilled their end of the agreement. Crying injustice, Hacienda Luisita workers formed a union asking for land distribution.
6. The Marcos Administration filed cases against the Cojuangcos pertaining to the Hacienda Luisita dispute, but Cory Cojuangco-Aquino junked all the cases during her term as President (1986-1992).
In the early 1980s, the Philippine government filed cases against the Cojuangcos citing the breach of the Hacienda Luisita Agreement. But with the inevitable event of then President Ferdinand Marcos being overthrown after many years of the Marcos Regime, Cory (with Ninoy assassinated) took over and became the new President via the EDSA Revolution.
Statistical data show that the 1986 revolution in EDSA (a main road in Metro Manila) was only participated in by 2-3 million Filipinos, and was not actually reflective of the sentiments of almost 56 million Filipinos at the time. The Aquino Administration then proceeded to dismiss all the cases filed against them.
7. The Aquino administration’s land reform program, made possible by the creation of the law RA 6657 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) of 1988, exempted all Hacienda Luisita lands from being distributed.
In an effort to protect the Aquino-Cojuangco’s ownership of the already disputed Hacienda Luisita, the CARP was formulated as a simulation of the Administration’s efforts to distribute land to the Filipinos, who relied heavily on farming as a livelihood.
Strangely, the Hacienda Luisita property was exempt from the law (RA 6657). It is also said that the 1987 Constitution was drafted for the oligarchs of the land, to protect them and their vast properties.
READ ALSO: Top 10 Pnoy’s promises, kept and broken
8. Several massacres and disappearances could be credited to the Cory Aquino administration, allegedly because of land disputes.
Here’s a few of those recorded: January 1987 Mendiola Massacre (13 farmers dead, 39 gunfire injuries); February 1987 Lupao Massacre (17 farmers dead, along with six kids and two elderly); March 1987 Total War against Rebels (a great number of civilian casualties).
The video summarizes the following during Cory’s term: 816 disappearances; 135 massacres; 1,064 victims of summary executions; 20,523 victims of illegal arrests and detention; 1.2 million civilian dislocations.
9. History repeats itself: The 2004 Hacienda Luisita Massacre draws attention back to the almost forgotten land disputes.
Two children and 12 picketing farmers died while hundreds were injured on November 16, 2004 in what is now known as the Hacienda Luisita Massacre by police and soldiers (who were dispatched to the protest by then Labor Secretary Patricia Santo Tomás).
The Hacienda workers were reportedly pushing for fairer wages, increased benefits, and land reform during the protest.
10. More killings still related to the Hacienda Luisita Massacre resulted in the aftermath.
The killings reportedly did not stop after that day. Within the same month, 32 gunfire injuries and seven deaths were reported in the Hacienda Luisita protest grounds. Those who emerged as critics and witnesses were also killed, among them: Marcelino Beltran (Dec 2004), Councilor Abelardo Ladera (Mar 2005), Father William Tadena (reportedly shot by a bodyguard of Noynoy Aquino in Mar 2005), Victor Concepcion (Mar 2005), Florante Collante (Oct 2005), Tirso Cruz (Mar 2006), Bishop Alberto Ramento (Oct 2006).
In January 2005, Noynoy’s bodyguards at Las Haciendas Subdivision opened fire at 20 farmers, injuring a George Loveland and an Ernesto Ramos. Loveland and Ramos would, later on, testify at a Senate hearing that ended with no charges against the shooters.
11. The Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), which opened in 2005, is actually the “Noynoy Superhighway” passing through the Hacienda lands.
It is reported that the Philippine Government paid 83 million pesos to the Cojuangcos for the construction of the toll-feed highway going through the very vast Hacienda Luisita property. A 170-million peso road was also constructed to serve as a private exit from the Luisita Golf and Country Club and the Las Haciendas Subdivision. - KJ, Kami Media
See the video here:
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Kami.com.ph.