TARLAC CITY — Members of Malayang Magsasaka ng Hacienda Luisita (MALAYA) paid tribute to those who died during the Hacienda Luisita incident and expressed support to the government in ending the local communist armed conflict.
Dubbed as “A Time for Healing and Peace,” the event was highlighted by the ceremonial lighting of candles formed in a peace symbol and the release of white balloons to usher their call for peace and unity.
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) 1st Civil Relations Group Commander Col. Arnel Cabugon said the event aims to remember the victims of the unfortunate incident and make peace between the members of MALAYA and the government.
“They invited the AFP and Philippine National Police (PNP) to join the event, which means that they wanted to convey their call for healing and peace about the incident, and we are always here to guide them and help them start over,” Cabugon said.
In her testimony, former rebel “Ka Pong” remembered her experiences with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).
“They deceived us, agitated us and gave us promises to help us with our needs as farmers,” she said.
Ka Pong encouraged everyone to continue supporting the government and its programs for the people.
“The government is always there to listen to our issues. We no longer need to listen to the fake promises of CPP-NPA to voice out our concerns and no life should be sacrificed for those circumstances,” she emphasized.
For their part, PNP Tarlac distributed food packs to about 79 farmer-members.