For Land & Justice: Hacienda Luisita

TImeline of the Hacienda Luisita farmworkers struggle for genuine land reform & justice Philippines

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1882-04-01 00:00:00


Don Antonio Lopez of Spain, founder of the Compañía General de Tabacos de Filipinas or TABACALERA acquires a vast estate in Tarlac province. He names it “Hacienda Luisita” after his wife, Luisa.

1902-09-01 00:00:00

Servillano Aquino

Servillano Aquino, a Filipino general since the Philippine Revolution of 1896 surrenders to the Americans. He was jailed then pardoned by US President Roosevelt after two years. The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Northern Luzon Command headquarters near Hacienda Luisita is named after him.

1907-04-01 00:00:00

Melecio Cojuangco

Melecio Cojuangco, ex-president of Paniqui, Tarlac and only son of family patriarch Jose I Cojuangco or Ko Guiok Huang of Fukien China, sits as Representative of the 1st District of Tarlac in Philippine Legislature.

1916-04-01 00:00:00


Benigno Q. Aquino, Sr. of Concepcion town, owner of Haciendas Lawang, Murcia & Tinang sits as Representative of the 2nd district of Tarlac.

1920-04-01 00:00:00

Sugar Production

During the American colonial period, Hacienda Luisita supplied almost 20% of sugar in the United States.

1927-04-01 00:00:00

Central Azucarera de Tarlac sugar mill established

TABACALERA puts up a sugar mill inside the Hacienda Luisita estate. The Central Azucarera de Tarlac sugar mill is established

1928-04-01 00:00:00


Melecio Cojuangco’s four sons establish the Paniqui Sugar Mills with Ysidra Cojuangco, Melecio’s sister. The Cojuangco clan becomes the biggest landowner in Central Luzon.

1928-04-01 00:00:00


Benigno Q. Aquino, Sr. sits as Senator.

1934-04-01 00:00:00


One of Melecio’s four sons, Jose Cojuangco, Sr. sits as Representative of the 1st district of Tarlac in the Philippine Assembly.

1942-04-01 00:00:00


Benigno Aquino, Sr. sits as Speaker of the House of Representatives during the Japanese puppet government of José P. Laurel.

1942-12-01 00:00:00


Hacienda Luisita continued to operate during the World War II Japanese imperialist invasion of the Philippines. US Gen. Douglas MacArthur moved his headquarters to Hacienda Luisita on January 25, 1945. The main highway in Tarlac Province is named after him.

1954-04-01 00:00:00


Benigno Simeon “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr. works as assistant to Pres. Ramon Magsaysay. Ninoy negotiates the surrender of rebel leader Luis Taruc of HMB.

1954-10-11 00:00:00

Ninoy & Cory wed

President Magsaysay serves as wedding sponsor to Ninoy Aquino and Cory Cojuangco at the Our Lady of Sorrows Church. The Cojuangcos and the Aquinos, the two most powerful political clans in Tarlac and the whole of Central Luzon, merge.

1955-04-01 00:00:00

Mayor Ninoy

Ninoy Aquino is elected mayor of Concepcion town in Tarlac province

1956-04-01 00:00:00

Luisita farmworkers union established

The United Luisita Workers Union (ULWU) is established.

1957-04-01 00:00:00

Cojuangcos take Hacienda Luisita

Jose Cojuangco Sr. takes control of the Central Azucarera de Tarlac and Hacienda Luisita through loans from the New York-based Manufacturer’s Trust Co. endorsed by the Central Bank, and GSIS under condition of land distribution to farmers after 10 years.

1958-05-11 00:00:00

TADECO takes Hacienda Luisita

The Cojuangcos' Tarlac Development Corporation or TADECO takes control of Hacienda Luisita & the Central Azucarera de Tarlac (CAT) sugar mill. Ninoy Aquino became Luisita’s first administrator.

1959-04-01 00:00:00

Vice Governor Ninoy

Ninoy Aquino is elected vice-governor of Tarlac.

1959-04-01 00:00:00

Mayor Peping

Jose “Peping” Cojungco, Jr. is elected mayor of Paniqui.

1961-04-01 00:00:00

Governor Ninoy

Ninoy Aquino assumes the governorship of Tarlac.

1961-04-01 00:00:00

Congressman Peping

Peping Cojuangco is elected Representative of the 1st District of Tarlac.

1963-04-01 00:00:00

Ninoy elected governor

Ninoy Aquino is elected governor of Tarlac.

1965-04-01 00:00:00

President Marcos

Ferdinand Marcos starts his 1st term as President of the Republic of the Philippines

1967-04-01 00:00:00

Youngest Senator

Ninoy Aquino is elected Senator.

1967-04-01 00:00:00

Cojuangcos break promise to distribute Luisita to farmers

After 10 years, the Cojuangco-Aquino clan refuses to distribute Hacienda Luisita. Farmers assert their rights. The Marcos gov’t presses the Cojuangco-Aquino clan on the distribution of Hacienda Luisita.

1969-03-29 00:00:00

NPA established in Tarlac

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-led peasant army New People's Army (NPA) is founded in Capas, Tarlac.

1970-01-01 00:00:00


A series of mass demonstrations due to social unrest lead to the First Quarter Storm

1972-09-21 00:00:00

Marcos declares Martial Law

Marcos declares Martial Law. Opposition Senator Ninoy Aquino is arrested.

1972-10-21 00:00:00

Bogus Land Reform under Marcos

Marcos decrees his land reform law PD 27.

1977-04-01 00:00:00

Marcos gov't uses Luisita against Cojuangco-Aquinos

Marcos government starts an investigation on land distribution in Hacienda Luisita

1980-05-07 00:00:00

Marcos gov't files case vs TADECO

The Marcos government files Civil Case No. 13164 against TADECO before the Manila Regional Trial Court to compel heirs of the late Jose Cojuangco Sr. to turn over Hacienda Luisita to the Ministry of Agrarian Reform

1983-08-21 00:00:00

Ninoy assasinated

Ninoy Aquino is assasinated at the Manila Internatioanl Airport

1985-12-02 00:00:00

TADECO loses Luisita case

The court orders TADECO to surrender Hacienda Luisita to the Ministry of Agrarian Reform. The Cojuangcos elevate the case to the Court of Appeals.

1985-12-03 00:00:00

Cory runs for President

Cory Aquino files her candidacy for President on a land reform platform and vows to subject Hacienda Luisita to agrarian reform.

1986-02-21 00:00:00

EDSA People Power 1

The People Power Uprising topples the Marcos dictatorship and catapults Cory Aquino to the presidency in February.

1987-01-22 00:00:00

Mendiola Massacre

Farmers march to Malacañang to demand genuine land reform. State forces under Cory Aquino kill 13 farmers in the violent dispersal now known as the “Mendiola Massacre."

1987-04-01 00:00:00

Peping back in Congress

Peping Cojuangco gets reelected as Congressman of Tarlac

1987-07-22 00:00:00

Cory lays basis for new land reform law

Cory issues Presidential Proclamation 131 and Executive Order 229, the basis for her land reform program, the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law. The Stock Distribution Option or SDO was among its provisions.

1988-04-01 00:00:00

Cory junks case vs TADECO

Under the Aquino government, the Solicitor General, the Central Bank governor & the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) file a motion to dismiss the case vs TADECO. The Court of Appeals junked the Marcos case vs TADECO. The Cojuangco-Aquinos convert parts of Hacienda Luisita into commercial and industrial areas.

1988-06-10 00:00:00

CARP signed into law by Cory

Republic Act 6657 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARP) is signed into law by Cory Aquino.

1988-08-23 00:00:00

TADECO establishes the HLI

TADECO establishes the spin-off corporation Hacienda Luisita, Inc. (HLI) to implement the Stock Distribution Option (SDO) scheme of the CARP in Hacienda Luisita. To evade physical land distribution, the Cojuangco-Aquino family promised farmworkers shares of stocks in the HLI.

1989-04-01 00:00:00

Farmworkers alliance formed

AMBALUS, the precursor of the farmworkers’ alliance AMBALA or the Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita is established.

1989-05-11 00:00:00

MOA on the SDO signed

The Cojuangco-Aquinos, DAR and local gov't units of Tarlac compel Luisita farmworkers to choose between stocks (or the Stock Distribution Option) or land distribution in a referendum. The SDO wins via militarization & coercion. The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on the SDO is signed.

1992-04-01 00:00:00

Governor Tingting

Margarita “Tingting” Cojuangco, wife of Peping, sits as governor of Tarlac.

1994-04-01 00:00:00

Azucarera & Other Poems

Poet Gelacio Guillermo (b. 1940 in Hacienda Luisita) publishes Azucarera, a book of poems on Luisita farmworkers.

1995-09-01 00:00:00

Luisita reclassified

The Provincial Board of Tarlac under Tingting Cojuangco reclassifies 3,290 has. of Hacienda Luisita into commercial, industrial & residential land.

1996-08-01 00:00:00

Conversion of 500 hectares approved by DAR

The Department of Agrarian Reform approves 500 hectares of Luisita land for conversion. HLI cedes 300 hectares to its subsidiary, Centennary Holdings, Inc. (CHI). Banking ocnglomerate RCBC & HLI establish the Luisita Industrial Park Corp. (LIPCO) to develop the 300-hectare industrial park for Japanese investors. CHI sells the 300 has. to LIPCO. Pres. Ramos issues Executive Order 321 creating a Presidential Commission for the Central Luzon Growth Corridor.

1998-04-01 00:00:00

Congressman Noynoy

Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III sits as Representative of the 2nd District of Tarlac.

2001-01-01 00:00:00

Erap Ousted by People Power

President Joseph Estrada is ousted by a People Power uprising supported by the Aquinos. VP Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo assumes Presidency.

2003-04-01 00:00:00

Unrest in Luisita

Farmworkers led by the ULWU launch protests vs SDO, land conversion & joblessness. The HLI Supervisory Group files a petition to revoke the SDO. The 5,000-strong AMBALA pushes for land distribution in a petition against the SDO scheme & land conversion.

For Land & Justice: Hacienda Luisita

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