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    Friday, June 30, 2017

    Sacadas escape Hacienda Luisita: Their dreadful struggle revealed

    “These are the sacadas of Mindanao-indigenous people (Lumad, T’Boli, B’laan, etc) who were treated no better than slaves at Hacienda Luisita.”

    That’s how Dr. Lorraine Marie T. Badoy, current Assistant Secretary of the DSWD, started her Facebook post expressive of the plight and struggles faced by our brothers and sisters who were once exploited  as subjects of the ruthless Hacienda Luisita.

    “They were promised 500 pesos a day and free transpo to Tarlac and, too, free board and lodging,” Dr. Badoy explained revealing how enticing the initial offer was to the Sacadas.

    However, “when the dust settled” as how Dr. Badoy had put it, “the highest they were paid was 160 pesos a WEEK. Often it went down to as low as 40 pesos a week. And they were woken up at 2 or 3 am and in the dark, start the backbreaking work of harvesting sugar cane--- where they were paid by the tons of sugar cane they could harvest instead of by the day as they were promised.”

    Revealing how “dreadful” was the experience for our underprivileged fellow Filipinos, Dr. Badoy also emphasized that among them were “minors and seniors” as well.

    Continuing with her revelation, Dr. Badoy wrote that the food they consume for the day was also being deducted from their “unjust” salary. Moreover, Dr. Badoy also explained that the laborers even had to “scrounge” around the garbage heaps of their superiors.

    “They were made to pay for the food they were fed—rotten sardines, noodles and most days, nothing!—so they had to scrounge around in the basurahan of the Aquino Cojuangcos—amidst the soiled sanitary napkins and toilet paper,” Dr. Badoy wrote in her post.

    She also added that the “6000 bucks” cost of rice which was being fed to the sacadas were mercilessly being deducted from their “50 peso-a-week take home pay”.

    Dr. Badoy’s post also revealed that the laborers were kept under lock and key so they couldn’t just walk out of the joint.

    When hope is almost gone, there appeared two people with the “kindest of souls” who, upon seeing these tired and weary sacadas sleeping along the streets near Aguinaldo, took them into their homes, fed them and brought them to the DSWD.

    These two kind strangers Dr. Badoy had been referring to were the newlyweds, Ricky Medenilla and Pia Castro. And through the DSWD, the laborers were able to get back to their respective homes in Mindanao.

    "Their struggles weren’t over. There still were mouths to feed and hardly any means to feed except for those who were able to avail of livelihood programs by the DSWD and DAR and DA,” Dr. Badoy consequently claimed.

    Whilst the worries, blessing came pouring down through the facilitation of the abovementioned couples-Ricky and Pia, who were able to raise “over half a million for our farmers”. This huge amount according to Badoy will be used to start a coop composed of 213 farmers from 13 barangays in Mindanao.

    “In this coop, they will learn newer methods of farming. Through the coop, they will get their seeds and fertilizer. Through the coop, they will start over. And they will no longer be alone but they will have each other,” stated Dr. Badoy.

    Urging solidarity and subsidiarity, Badoy wrote: “Kapit bisig! THIS, my friend, is how we take our kababayans out of poverty, one at a time.”

    In conclusion, Badoy acknowledged the Duterte administration, which she described as a “clean” type of government, together with the private sector as the agents who could create a holistic improvement on the lives of our fellow Filipinos.

    “When a government as clean as this one we have now and the private sector get together, lives are changed for the better,” Badoy concluded.


    Source: Lorraine Marie T. Badoy
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