KMP slams Poe over coco levy stance
DAVAO CITY — The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) has expressed disgust with how presidential aspirant Grace Poe is “reversing the historical truth” about the role of San Miguel Corporation chair and Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) founder Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr. in the multi-billion-peso coconut levy fund plunder.
In a bid to respond to questions on her future policy on the coco levy funds, Poe has claimed that Cojuangco no longer controls the fund and that it is already with government.
“Small coconut farmers are totally disgusted over Poe’s defense of Cojuangco,” KMP secretary general Antonio Flores said, reminding Poe that “small coconut farmers are still contesting Cojuangco’s 20 percent shares in SMC acquired using the coco levy funds.”
Flores said “the Supreme Court ruling is a product of a ‘sweetheart deal’ between Cojuangco and his nephew, President Aquino himself.”
“This is exactly the reason why up to now, under a Cojuangco-Aquino presidency, small coconut farmers are still struggling to recover their money. It’s a Supreme Court-approved uncle-and-nephew political maneuver ganging up against small coconut farmers,” Flores said.
“Instead of giving justice to millions of small coconut farmers by holding Cojuangco accountable, Poe quickly absolved one of the biggest plunderer of the coco levy fund.”
“After securing the NPC endorsement, Poe is now turning into a mouthpiece of the biggest plunderer of the coco levy fund. Mahuhulog sa puno ng niyog ang sinumang magsasaka sa niyugan na makakarinig ng pahayag ni Poe (Every coconut farmer who will get to hear Poe’s statements will surely fall from the coconut tree in shock),” Flores said.
The peasant group, which is part of the Makabayan bloc that supports the candidacy of Poe, said that “guided by the principle of ‘unity and struggle’ in the Left’s alliance with Poe, “KMP will continue to assert their own independence and initiative and will not hold back with their criticisms.”
“Poe’s position on the coco levy fund is adding insult to the injury suffered by small coconut farmers during the Marcos regime,” Flores said.
“Poe’s alliance with Cojuangco and reversing the historical truth on the coco levy plunder is Poe’s ‘Strike 2’ on farmers. The first was her totally disgusting statement to make President Aquino, who plundered more than P471 million of disbursement acceleration program (DAP) funds as compensation to his relatives for the still undistributed Hacienda Luisita, as anti-corruption adviser,” the peasant leader said. SFM
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