Luisita woman leader, colleague detained

By RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat.com

MANILA – Florida Sibayan, chairwoman of the Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Asyenda Luisita (Ambala) and another farmer, Julius Loveland, were arrested by authorities at around 3 p.m. yesterday.

In a phone interview with Bulatlat.com, Sibayan said she and Loveland were about to post bail when they were ordered detained by the police in Tarlac City.

Florida Sibayan, chairwoman of Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Asyenda Luisita, leads women and girls during the One Billion Rising for Justice event in Hacienda Luisita, March 6. (Photo by Ronalyn V. Olea / Bulatlat.com)
Florida Sibayan, chairwoman of Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Asyenda Luisita, leads women and girls during the One Billion Rising for Justice event in Hacienda Luisita, March 6. (Photo by Ronalyn V. Olea / Bulatlat.com)

The complainant was Bartolome Rufino, a security guard hired by the Cojuangco-Aquino-owned Tarlac Development Corporation (Tadeco). Rufino alleged that Sibayan threatened to kill him during a protest action commemorating the ninth anniversary of the Hacienda Luisita massacre last November 16, 2013.

Judge Eleanor V. De Jesus of the Municipal Trial Court Branch II issued the warrant of arrest against Sibayan and Loveland.

“The sins of the Cojuangco-Aquinos against us continue to pile up,” Sibayan told Bulatlat.com in Filipino.

Sibayan is also slapped with malicious mischief, direct assault and grave coercion.

This is the third time that Sibayan was detained for fighting for their right to land in Hacienda Luisita.

At present, Tadeco and another corporation owned by the President’s clan, the Central Azucarera de Tarlac (CAT), are claiming ownership over last tracts of land in Hacienda Luisita despite the April 24, 2012 Supreme Court decision ordering the distribution of land to the farmworkers. ()

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