The Manila Times reports that during the press conference of Happy Together, Kris Aquino rose to the defense of former President Corazon Aquino:
Other than being a Cojuangco, my mom really has nothing to do with Hacienda Luisita. She is not a member of the board and doesn’t occupy any position in the management of the agricultural estate. That’s why it is not right to say anything against her, in relation to whatever is going on there.
Kris Aquino is not exactly being truthful here. One, her mom has something to do with Hacienda Luisita if only for the fact that the former president is a part-owner. (Six Cojuangco siblings equally own Hacienda Luisita, although the former President owns only now a half of one-sixth because of divestment during the martial-law years.) Two, President Aquino failed to deliver her 1986 campaign promise to make "Land-to-the-tiller...a reality, instead of an empty slogan." During her political campaign in the 1986 snap elections, President Aquino was also explicit that land reform would apply to her own family's Hacienda Luisita.
After the euphoric EDSA People Power of 1986, President Aquino had revolutionary powers. With one big stroke of her pen, she could have assumed the role Gen. McArthur played in Japan, the Kuomintang in Taiwan, and Mao Zedong in China: dissolve the landowning families once and for all. But what the former president did was to simply sit on her revolutionary powers. If not for the disastrous Mendiola Massacre, Corazon Aquino, perhaps in between recitations of the holy mysteries, would have conveniently forgotten the plight of the farmers in this country.
Before her revolutionary decree-making powers expired in 1987, Aquino proclaimed an agrarian reform program. But the important details of timing, priorities, and minimum legal holdings were left to be determined by the new Congress of landowners, who promptly circumvented the historical intent of land reform through the provision that allowed large landowners to transfer a portion of the respective corporation's total assets equivalent in value to that of its land assets, in lieu of the land being subdivided and distributed to tenants and farm laborers.
A land reform program without a division of the land is a joke. And Corazon Aquino was partially culpable for that joke.