A False Promise
|"I want justice for them. I want them paid over and beyond what they were promised—for all the grief, all the abuses, all the hardships they’ve had to endure in the hands of the greedy oligarchs."|
I don’t see them any different from me, the Sacadas.
Apparently not so with the Cojuangcos of Hacienda Luisita who recruited them from far off Mindanao with the promise of work that would pay them 500 bucks a day. An enticing pay that hundreds of them walked in to the trap and left their families last November.
When the dust had settled, the highest they were paid was 160 pesos a WEEK. Often it went down to as low as 40 pesos a week. And they were woken up at 2 or 3 am and in the dark, start the backbreaking work of harvesting sugar cane--- where they were paid by the tons of sugar cane they could harvest instead of by the day as they were promised.
Among them, MINORS AND SENIORS! They were made to pay for the food they were fed—rotten sardines, noodles and most days, nothing!-- so they had to scrounge around in the basurahan of the Aquino Cojuangcos—amidst the soiled sanitary napkins and toilet paper.
The going rate of the rice fed them was 6000 bucks per sack of rice ---the amount of which was deducted from their 50 peso-a-week take home pay. And they were kept under lock and key so they couldn’t just walk out of the joint.
|"When the dust had settled, the highest they were paid was 160 pesos a WEEK. Often it went down to as low as 40 pesos a week."|
Escape they did. And they found their way to the DSWD through the kindest of souls: Ricky Medenilla and Pia Castro—kind strangers who saw them sleeping in the streets near Aguinaldo (they were turned away there. Argh.) and took them into their homes, fed them and brought them to us.
As a kid I loved reading stories about slavery in the US. I just had no idea this shit still existed under our very noses.
And you know what’s the sh*ttiest part in it for me? Apart from the Cojuangcos distancing themselves from this, I am betting. The oligarchs do not want to dirty their hands. That's a given. They let their minions do the dirty job for them. So the sh*ttiest part for me is how the best they get from this now is a bus ticket home care of the DSWD.
Yes home is a big thing. HUGE. To be back in the embrace of their families after the hell called Hacienda Luisita.
But if all they get out of this is a bus ticket home, then we’re all f*cked.
Yes, I love that, in the embrace of DSWD, they got fed, listened to, comforted –TREATED LIKE THE HUMAN BEINGS THEY ARE--and that arrangements were made ora mismo to get them back home.
But if this is all we gun for, not JUSTICE, not INDEMNIFICATION, then we are so lost.
A Call for Justice
I want justice for them. I want them paid over and beyond what they were promised—for all the grief, all the abuses, all the hardships they’ve had to endure in the hands of the greedy oligarchs. A case has been filed against Hacienda Luisita and it is in the DOLE. I want us all to be so invested in it and watch it with eagle eyes.
I want the COJUANGCOS, those f*cking greedy bastards brought to justice and to be made to answer for all the crimes they have committed against the Filipino people. Seriously, how does one sleep at night knowing you got wealthy on the backs of the toiling masses? How does one enjoy living off BLOOD MONEY?
PS. A bus takes them home tonight. They are in the bus terminal in Cubao. You might want to say hi to them. I cried my heart out when they told me their story. It made them cry too. Crying allowed!
Our farmers need to be helped.This is all they ask: money to buy seeds and fertilizer. The aim of this fundraiser is to be able to give to each of the farmers what has been stolen from them by the Cojuangcos: the ability to dream and make those dreams happen. They need source of income while pursuing their cases.
Needless to say, there will be a clear and transparent accounting of all funds entrusted to Pia Castro and Ricky Medenilla.
DSWD will guide our farmers—as will DAR and DA and Ricky and Pia and other private citizens and NGOs.
When government is joined by an involved citizenry, CHANGE happens.
Maraming salamat, mga kababayan ko sa pagkakapit-bisig nyo sa amin nila Pia para sa mga kapatid nating nangangailangan ng tulong natin ngayon.
Photo credits: tessairini@wordpress
Facebook Post by Lorraine Badoy
Favor to the readers: If you are unable to give any amount but you see these oppressed farmers need their dignity back, please just SHARE and SHARE until a good and capable heart is able to support them. Thank you - FRIENDS OF SACADAS