Coconut farmers vow to campaign vs Aquino candidates



LUCENA CITY, Philippines—Disappointed with President Benigno Aquino III’s continued silence on coco levy issue despite the recent Supreme Court final ruling that the multi-billion pesos 24-percent block of sequestered shares in San Miguel Corp. (SMC) belong to the government for its use to benefit the coconut farmers, a peasant group warned that the administration candidates will be rejected in next year’s election.

“The millions of coconut farmers across the country would surely wage a reject Aquino candidates campaign if the President would still maintain his deepening silence on the issue of coco levy,” Jansept Geronimo, secretary general of the Coalition of Coconut Farmers of Quezon, said in an interview Friday.

Quezon farmers are believed to be the biggest contributor to the coconut levy fund.

“The long suffering coconut farmers will reject politicians who will kowtow to the subservient attitude of President Aquino to the vested interest behind the continued legal maneuver of the coco levy fund,” Geronimo said.

Business tycoon and SMC chair Eduardo Cojuangco Jr., President Aquino’s uncle, holds a separate 20-percent block of SMC shares worth at least P85 billion that the farmers claimed were also bought with coco levy funds.

The Supreme Court ruled last year upholding Cojuangco’s claim that the 20 percent SMC shares belonged to him legally. Various coconut farmer groups are now appealing to the court to reopen the case.

Oscar Santos, a former Quezon congressman and administrator of the Philippine Coconut Authority during the term of President Corazon Aquino, also joined the call to Mr. Aquino to speak up and support the struggle of the coconut farmers for the recovery of the multi-billion pesos coconut levy fund.

Santos urged the President to “speak up now before it’s too late.”

“The millions of coconut farmers, most of them now old, sick and dying, are waiting Mr. President,” Santos said.

The octogenarian lawyer activist appealed to President Aquino to give his “go signal” for the use of the 24 percent SMC shares which have a minimum value estimated to be worth P50 to 100 billion to benefit the more than 20 million coconut farmers and their families.

“The bureaucracy is always slow to act. It always needs a go signal from the President especially on a sensitive matter like the coconut levy,” Santos said in a phone interview.

Santos said the millions of coconut farmers had long been waiting to taste the benefits of the coco levy fund.

“The levy was the product of their blood, sweat and tears forcefully imposed unto them by the repressive state during the dark days of martial law,” Santos said.

Santos, said the money from the coco levy fund will benefit the more than 21,000 coconut producing villages scattered across the country.

Santos and Geronimo both asked the President to give his support for the immediate passage of the pending bills of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and House Deputy Speaker Lorenzo Tañada III calling for the creation of a trust fund committee that would managed the coco levy fund.

Willy Marbella, deputy secretary general of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas also warned President Aquino against borrowing the coco levy funds in the government so-called anti-poverty programs.

“Borrowing the funds is precisely the same alibi used by Danding (Cojuangco) to cover up the crime of plunder and strengthen his control over the coco levy funds,” Marbella said.

In a nine-page resolution dated Sept. 4 and issued Thursday, the high tribunal has affirmed with finality the 2004 Sandiganbayan ruling that awarded to the government the 24-percent block of SMC shares acquired with the funds from the coconut levy imposed during the martial law years.

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  • Fulpol

    “You are asking too much”‘…. noynoying.

  • randyaltarejos

    What exactly is it that the farmers wanted? Do they want the 24 percent given to them in cash, to be distributed equally among them? Perhaps, the organization may want to give a practical suggestion as to what to do with the money.

  • randyaltarejos

    Lump sum payments to the farmers means “lonesome” result in the next couple of months.

  • randyaltarejos

    As far as I’m concerned, the interests of the 24 percent stake of government in SMC, shall be extracted and then distributed to the millions of farmers in the form of stocks.

    • Fulpol

      the stock is owned by the government… and it was never mentioned that it is owned by coco farmers… it only says, to benefit the coco farmers, so the disposal of the fund is solely on the hand of the government.. that is the problem.

      is the government the trustee of the coco farmers? never mentioned… but there is a pending bill seeking to put up a trust fund… still pending..

      coco farmers need to be vigilant.

  • jorge cruz

    24 percent coco Levy funds to the farmers? and 20 percent for Mr. Danding Cojauanco? Where is the remaining blocks of shares? In its early years of implementations  The Levy(tax) Funds collected from the Coconut Farmers  are covered by Stocks Certificate. In that same previous and forgotten years there are said to be Buyers of the said Stocks Certificate where the owners believed the same is worthless. Now where are these Stocks Certificate? Who do you think owns it now. ? 

  • jorge cruz

    Coco Levy Funds is in a Stock Certificate that no Farmers have in their Possession, How can the Government as Ordered by the S.C. issue an implementing guidelines does the Government knows where the same Funds is deposited?  

  • rock7222

    This is another example of the Ignorant & Stupid leading the Ignorant & Stupid. They have absolutely No Idea what’s going on EXCEPT they want Money Now from NoyNoy. All they know is Danding is a relative of Noy and therefore Unless Noy gives them money, the will conclude that he is somehow doing something bad or illegal.

    Now they threaten not to support PNoy’s candidates. Okay then…

    Good Luck nalang kayong mga “Tanga”, at Ignorante pag si President Binay at Vice-President Jinggoy Estrada na ang nakaupo.

    Then you will understand but it will be too late !

  • otoling

    Halungakatin papaano napunta ang disisyun ng SC na kay Danding ang pera.  Napa-korapt ni Corona ang ang walong assc justices ng panahun ni Corona kaya maaring nabayaran ang mga pu . ..  na . . . . 

    Sabi nga ni Justice Carpio-Morales, “it a joke of the century”.

    Walang pera si Danding ng mag-umpisa si Marcos nuong 1994 up to 1972.  Kinutongan niya ang mga coconut farmers with the blessing ni Marcos at ginamit niya ang pera to invest, invest and reinvest and re-invest and re-invest. 

    Siempre ang perang malaki ang bunga ay pera din malaki.  Perang maliit nauubos dahil magiging gipit.

  • RyanE

    “…calling for the creation of a trust fund committee that would managed the coco levy fund.”

    The energies of these coco farmers’ groups should be refocused to the Congress not to the Executive.

  • junpaxx

    Last April, Abad and administrator Euclides Forbes of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) explained that Malacañang could not act on demands by militant farmer groups that the Palace issue an order to use the funds to supplement Malacañang’s poverty alleviation program in time for the 2013 elections.But why even allot these funds for a poverty alleviation program when that money has been intended for the improvement of the coconut industry?
    The 24 percent share with an estimated value of between P50 and P100 billion has been converted from “common shares” into “preferred shares” in an SC decision in 2009.
    It forms part of the 47 percent share block of SMC shares sequestered by the PCGG in 1986 on suspicion that it was part of the ill-gotten wealth of the late President Ferdinand Marcos.
    The strange part about this sequestration business, first started by Cory Aquino, and out of vindictivess too, which trait obviously runs in the family as the son who now sits in Malacañang is very vindictive, is that properties and assets were ordered sequestered on the basis of mere suspicion which the courts and government lawyers have never proved.
    All these sequestered assets were really confiscated by the Cory Aquino government with government cases being won, not on merits but on the basis of hate politics. And those who benefitted from the sale of these assets were not just the yellow allies of Cory Aquino, who resurrected pre-martial politics but the infamous Kamag-Anak Inc. of Cory.Then it was a Cory Aquino and kin that benefitted from the sequestered assets.Today, it is her son Noynoy and his yellows who will be benefitting from this close to P100 billion in coco levy funds.Talk about injustice.

    • rock7222


      All I will say to you is………….. Ang Galing Galing mo magsalita. I just wish you first step back & think first. Put yourself in the situation of others before you ‘Proudly” accuse & attack others. Especially the VERY SAME FAMILY who gave their lives to FREE this country of ours.


      If you’re father was grab in the middle of the night, kinulong ng solitary confinement for 4 straight months, 23 hours out of 24 hours- Took away his  reading glasses from the very first night- And could NOT eat anything except mostly liquid for the first 5 months due to fear of poisoned food-HOW WOULD YOU JUN FEEL & REACT TO THAT???

      And if your Father was a prominent Senator of the Republic & without warning put to Jail for 7 years by himself- went thru days of mental & PHYSICAL torture & intimidation- HOW WOULD YOU FEEL & REACT TO IT AS A SON & FAMILY MEMBER???

      And your Senator Father & Well to do, very religious & nice Mother could ONLY See each other for once a month for the1st one year of incarceration… Then,  EVERY SINGLE TIME YOUR FATHER & MOTHER WOULD MAKE LOVE IN BED-  You knew that there were THREE MILITARY MEN CLOSELY WATCHING YOU ON A TV SCREEN AS YOUR FATHER & MOTHER  wewre making love as husband & wife.

      Now Jun, if you were NoyNoy, Kris, & the rest of the Aquino sisters – YOU NEVER AGAIN GOT TO Spend & Enjoy the last 12 years of your Dad’s life because he was in prison… for simply fighting for freedom.

      ** When he could have easily been freed in 2 minutes … When ALL he had to do was Say Sorry & ask Marcos for forgivenesss!!!!!! But he had principles & Marcos took advantage of that.

      At the Very end after being put in Jail for a total of about 8 long years…. YOU ARE SHOT IN THE HEAD and dragged like an animal….

      Now tell me Jun, Do you know 100% how you would be today????

      The problem with people like you Jun is you NEVER bother to step back & put yourself in the situation of others. Secondly, you are like a Parrot. You keep repeating what some former Marcos cronies say that the Aquinos are vindictive.

      Do you know Jun how many Millions of Filipinos would have made sure to Have the Marcos, the Enriles, JAILED as payback time . Many Filipinos would have had Bong Bong or Imelda payback with their lives .

      Did you ever see the Aquinos do any of that???

      The Aquino family have SUFFERED MORE THAN ANY FILIPINO POLITICIAN IN THE HISTORY OF THIS NATION! They gave a HUGE part of their family life for this nation.

      Ikaw Jun, ano ba ang nagawa ng pamilya mo para sa Pilipinas????

      This is why mahirap umasenso ang Pilipinas.

      Dahil we have a bunch of morons like this Jun.

      Hindi nag-iisip. May pinag-aralan but walang common sense! Walang sense of reality.’

      Walang intuition to put himself in the shoes of others!

      this has to be the most stupid post I have read in a while!!!!

      • rock7222

        And to add to all this…

        NoyNoy was shot 5 times !! One bullet is still in his neck today. 3 of his bodyguards were killed  & the 4th seriously injured.

        He was ambushed by Gringo Honasan & his men.

        After ALL that the Aquino went thru with his dad, Now the very same Marcos/Enrile people almost kills the son.

        Now when Noynoy became Senator, he was the 1st one to endorse pardon for Honasan.

        Let me ask you, would you 100% done the same thing Jun???

        How many millions of Filipinos would have surely wanted revenge against Honasan especially now that they are President???THINK, THINK, THINK Jun!!!!

        God gave you a brain- use it!!! 

        God gave you two ears, one big head, and just one small mouth!

        Do less talking & more thinking & listening!!!

        The stupidity is overwhelming!

        Bottom line.. maraming tangga sa pilipinas. Kahit naka-pag-aral pa, tangga pa rin!

      • Bert

        Unfortunately for you, your musing is NOT the issue here. The issue is about the GREED of the COJUANGCO-AQUINO OLIGARCHY, which happens that the sitting president is a member and whose deepening silence on the issue is not really surprising. Perhaps because Daning is an uncle and BLOOD IS THICKER THAN WATER?

        The Heroism of Ninoy is his credit alone, and we praise him for that. No unnecessary freeloaders, kris, pnoy or danding…..

  • Practicalandconcerned

    Talk about returning to lawlessness…may ruling move on freeloaders

  • Lopez Jaena

    Can’t we ever have justice in this country?

    • rock7222

      Eto isa pang tangga.

      Eto ni hindi na-iintindihan ang issue pero humihingi ng justice.

      Can you elaborate for us what exactly do you mean by justice  with regards to this issue?

      Sige nga Lopez- what do you mean?

      Daming ta-tanga-tanga!

    • Edwin

      how we can have justice kung ang mga nakaupo ang lumalabag sa batas at nilalaro pa nila..

    • jga94

      What do you mean? Di ba nga the SC ruled with finality that the shares belonged to the govt to be used for the benefit of the coconut industry….hindi ba justice yan?

  • ramelatilano

    If you campaign against aquino candidates, now whom you want to campaign?  if that is your position you are not helping the economic aspirations of the PHL…If you campaign for UNA that’s your position but as a pilipino who really believe for progress that the PHL is about to harvest, UNA success will not help aquino’S economic prosperity rather wit will hamper those aspirations…

  • Bert

    duh……you’re shifting too far. Honasan or Pnoy shot 5 or 10 times has nothing to do with the GREED of the COJUANGCO-AQUINO OLIGARCHY and the EXPLOITATION, ABUSE and the INJUSTICE experienced by these COCONUT farmers, where MY OWN DECEASED PARENTS happen to belong.

    • ramelatilano

      so whats the issue the issue…money? u can go ahead to nanding rather than destroy the flow of good economy….see the president has no something with danding….if danding to withdraw support to Noynoy thats the reality….if the president has low approval rating do you think danding continued his support to noynoy?  ha ha ha….if danding 100% support noynoy he should instruct NPC to coalice but he say that he only say cooperate…what does it mean?  he also support UNA group thats very simple…man

      • Bert

        Didn’t I tell you that the issue is the GREED of the COJUANGCO-AQUINO OLIGARCHY and Pnoy’s SILENCE on the exploitation against our poor coconut farmers? 

  • iping2sison

    Go ahead, vote for UNA candidates in next year’s election, and see for yourself how coco levy funds will dissipate under your noses.

  • scusi777

    Gunggong ka! Who among the relative of Pres Cory benefitted from being her relation? Explain to us how is this 100 billion coco levy benefit the President.
    What “vindictiveness” are you talking about? Were you born already during the time? Your father and mother need to be slapped for rearing a stupid daughter like you.

  • mario

    ito epekto ng desisyon ng mga corrupt justices kasama ni corona, sigurudo malaki lagay ni danding sa kanila, hindi raw siya crony ni marcos ayon sa mga bayaran justices buong mundo alam na crony siya ni marcos, kahit nga sa mga encyclopidia at wikipedia nakasulat na crony si danding ni marcos  

  • dikoy321

    Views from Germany:

    Wrong MOVE!
    Coco Farmers, when you do that, you will make corrupt Politicians and TRAPOs win next year’s elections!  The more you have problems with stronger Estrada, Binay, Enrile camp that will serve grafters and the corrupt!
    Try another dialogue with P-Noy, but not scare the President with BAD GOVERNANCE come next administration!

    Go dialogue once more with DA, DAR, DENR, JUSTICE and other gov’t offices!

    Forward, not backward, Philippines !!!


  • Yugi

    I’m with you.

  • Cal_Reznick

    The President being silent on matters in order to help farmers of the poor seems about right.

    One of the things we’ve seen the past 2 years is the President’s reluctance to help the poor. I don’t think the President has ever been to poor areas to show his presence amongst the poor.

    He did some photo ops during the recent floods but that was it and it was fairly fast. And even now, it appears he’s already forgotten about those poor victims of the the floods.

    So good luck to the farmers wishing to receive the President’s support. And to make matters worse for the farmers, their counterpart is the President’s uncle.

    • jga94

      Really?You know all of PNoy’s iteniraries from the past 2 years?Kakatawa…during his 1st year he was criticized for not going to such places….when he said he just didn’t like poto-ops…people still did not believe him….during his 2nd year (presuming he or his team has learned from the criticisms), his team made sure people know that he actually goes to places all over the country…including the poor….ngayon, sasabihin naman photo-op lang…..sigh…it must be really lonely at  the top….

      The CCT program of the govt is probably the biggest project (if not one of the)any govt has undertaken that directly benefits the poor….and I know quite a number of beneficiaries….the planned expansion of PhilHealth (which has already begun) thru benefits and no. of people covered (part of an ambitious, lofty plan towards universal health care is por-poor as well……when he put in good people at DILG (RIP Robredo), SC, Office of the Ombudsman and COA—omportant places to start his anti-corruption campaign—that;s pro-poor…..

      So I don’t know where you get this “Pnoy”s reluctance to help the poor…”—you have examples?

      And regarding this article….it hasn’t even been a week since the verdict was handed out and they say something about  suspecting PNoy will not supoort its use for the coconut farmers? Where did they get these insinuations? The way I see it parang blackmail ang dating…..and a bit irresponsible to day hindi susuportahan yung candidates ng administrasyon like its a blanket statement….isn’t Erin Tanada—a long supporter of coco farmers—with PNoy?

      • Cal_Reznick

        One supposed program like the CCT, which itself has been questioned about its implementation, is not enough to help the poor. All Presidents prior to this one also have had programs to help the poor. The only difference is this President seems to be hands-off and trying to help from afar.

        You can’t just throw money into a program and expect it properly help. It needs to be closely monitored and needs to be seen through by the President. Honestly, aside from the recent floods can you send me links of more than one photos of the President amongst the poor?? Have you seen the President amongst these people who have supposedly benefited from his ONE program??

        The President presumably not liking photo-ops is a lame excuse because the truth is he’s had plenty of other photo-ops just like in Masbate during the whole tragedy of the former DILG. Sec. But yet again there is nothing that would indicate he visits the poor because he doesn’t. Not because there is not photos of it but again because he does not. If you want call the Philippine Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP) and ask their staff how many times in the last 2 years the President has visited their offices or even coordinated with them about visiting and interacting with the urban poor??

        You know, its not even really about photo-ops, its just about visiting the poor to really and truly understand their plight. Or at the very least boost their morale and be able to see their situation in order that the President would understand how to really help. And bottom line the President has not done that.

        How can you help something you don’t know anything about or have not seen with your own eyes??

        I’m not trying to put down the President, i’m merely pointing out that the poor really need his help and he needs to be out there with them to know what help can be provided. I’m not saying he should be out there all day everyday…but its just he’s not out there ever any day.

      • jga94

        Are you implying that all previous presidents have been “hand-on” going to the poor?Ramos, Cory, PGMA…the only one I can remember who “goes to the poor” are Erap (Erap apara sa mahirap) and maybe Imelda in lieau of her husband….do I think Erap and Imelda are better leaders than PNoy…no way…

        If you are talking about Magsaysay or Robredo-like leadership….then yes, Aquino does not seem to have the same charisma with the masses as these two….but I can say so far that I think he has the interest of the Filipinos in general….maybe not the poor specifically but more of the nation as a whole…I do not begrudge his style of leadership because that is who he is…do you honetly think we would have been better off with Erap again or Gibo or Villar? I think not…but that is MY opinion…you have yours and I do not think any amt of convincing will change your mind….and that’s ok….

        The CCT program is not just 1 program….another ambitious program is the Universal health Care program…so ambitious I have my doubts this will come true within his term…but nonetheless I think he is serious about it…I am in the healthcare industry and I know personally people from the industry and the academe and other stakeholders making feasibility plans for this lofty program….

        When the country is on target with its goal of being self-sufficient in rice production (because of various programs it has implemented)….that’s pro-poor….

        If you want call the Philippine Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP) and ask their staff how many times in the last 2 years the President has visited their offices or even coordinated with them about visiting and interacting with the urban poor??

        Have you? What was their answer?I wouldn’t know because I am not with media and I do not work directly with the poor….do you?if you do then please enlighten us….

        Do I think that PNoy is one sort of president that is so inspiring because of his personal deeds…someone like say Magsaysay?No….but I think he is one who has the country’s best interest in mind…someone we can trust to do what he thinks is best for the country and not about self-interests….

        Plus I think he tries to learn from criticisms ( at least contructive ones and not the types I see in posts na puros name-calling)….during his first year, when he went to CDO and ILigan only weeks after the devastating flood….he was met with criticism….this year after the monsoon rains he went to many affected places….I think he’s learning to be more sensitive to people’s opinions…..

        PNoy is far from being perfect….but I think he is matino…and for me, that is a good start after the 9 years we had of GMA…..

      • Cal_Reznick

        Please check your information…since you have a few that are inaccurate. I think your whole rice self-sufficiency report is off. First of all, if the PI becomes rice self-sufficient it will not be because of the work he has done but because of the work the previous Administration has done, in particular with the FIELDS program. But in all honesty, the proclamation of the PI being rice self-sufficient was a bit premature. The Administration is slowly but surely allowing rice to be imported again.

        That Universal health program is basically non-existent so i can’t really comment.

        If you are saying that the President-elect was the best out of the bunch in the last election, i don’t believe that allows him to just make poor decisions and not work hard.

        I am not from the media however, you need not be from the media to know about the plight of the poor in the PI. They feel that they are being neglected for the most part. It seems this Administration would rather chase political wars rather than focus on real issues of today.

        Fyi FPGMA did visit the poor often, in Payatas, NGC, Malabon and many other areas with informal settlers.

        I can enlighten you but if you choose not to be enlightened then there is nothing i can do for you. That is why maybe you should call the PCUP yourself and ask them to compare the activities of the former President and the current one.

        Please don’t take offense to my commentary. If you feel that the President is doing a great job helping our poor then i can’t force you to think otherwise. But what i am saying is that based on facts, he is not doing enough to help the poor. And a program will not change my opinion. The President needs to do more and be out there in the poor areas more to know how to help the poor and eventually actually help the poor…coz right now again he is not doing enough at all.

  • joe__bloggs

    “…Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas also warned President Aquino against borrowing the coco levy funds…”

    The Coco Levy Fund was a tax paid by the coconut farmers for the development of the coconut industry ie it is  “hypothecated”, meaning ring-fenced and to be spent only for the purpose of which it was set up for. 

    This attempt to spend it for any other purpose must be legally challenged… but who would help the coconut farmers? They do not constitute a strong enough pressure group.

    Workers … UNITE …!!!

  • opinyonlangpo

    The plight of these coconut farmers are hopeless. I have been reading about the coco levy funds for decades now and so many presidents have aready finished their terms. Now they are resorting to blackmail the president or lets say the LP. It is a desperate move, next thing will be loss of faith to the government and thats how insurgents come into being. 



  • jga94

    Minsan hindi ko maintindihan mga militante….akala ko matutuwa na sila….SC ruled in their favor…ngayon nagbabala pa….ni wala pang 1 week from the time the decision was handed down…parang nagbablackmail na….eh hindi ba gobyerno nga nakipaglaban kay Cojuangco to get those shares….pinapangunahan nyo na gobyerno….not unless these militants show proof that they know something others do not (that govt will use these funds on things other than for the benefit of the coconut industry), I think it will be better to wait and see and continue being vigilant….hindi parang galit agad….wala pa ngang ginagawa….


      Please distinguish, we are the farmers robbed by the Cojuangco-Aquino of our rights to a living and to LIVE with dignity.   Hindi po kami mga militante, kami po ay mga inaping mga FARMERS. GINUGULO NYO ANG KWENTO. KAYO ANG TUNAY NA MGA DEMONYO.

  • johnllander

    Ibagsak ang mga militanteng grupo!

  • zeroko

    PNoy is a Chinese. His Cabinet Secretaries are all Chinese. Let us not vote Chinese in our government. They have done so much damge already…….. Kahit na sila saksakan ng talino at magaling magsalita ng english at tagalog, tandaan ninyo, Chinese sila. Ang Chinese is the number one greedy race in the whole world. Let us not vote the Chinese in the coming election. Let us vote anyone but not the Chinese.

  • pepengkabayo

    When tomatoe farmers are mad with the candidates, they throw them tomatoes.
    Now that coconut farmers are mad with Pnoy and his candidates, tama lang na batuhin sila di ng kamatis kundi buko o niyog.

  • Agat Sumi

    mr. geronimo gawin mo na lang wala ng maraming salita, puro ka pa epal…


    The media is being biased.


    Ugly truth really hurts. We must be critical and keen observer of the real motive why these people continues to stay in power. Ang aamo ng mukha parang mga anghel at kung mag salita walang kang mahahalata pero isa lang ang pakay nila, gawing ang mga PILIPINO mga DAKILANG TANGA. 

  • bayan

    thanks pgma and cj corona, kaya nga galit na galit mga aquino dyn diba, baka sabihin nila sila nagpamigay na has. luisita at yung coco funds. thanks pgma

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