Opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros on Thursday, June 9 expressed belief that any amount of disinformation and historical revisionism would change the facts that the coco levy funds that were intended to develop during the time of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos were plundered.
Hontiveros made the statement after outgoing President Duterte issued Executive Order no. 172 or the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP) which would pave the way for the release of the P75-billion trust fund from coco levy assets sequestered by the government.
According to Hontiveros, the government should include small coconut farmers in the consultations regarding the utilization of the coco levy funds.
“Bagamat masaya ako na umuusad ang mga hakbang patungo sa paggamit ng coco levy para sa coconut industry, inuulit ko ang aking posisyon na sa bawat hakbang ay dapat kabahagi at may konsultasyon sa mga maliliit na magniniyog (Though I am happy of the developments on the coco levy funds for the coconut industry, I reiterate my position that coconut farmers should be part of the consultations),” Hontiveros said in a statement.
“I had pushed for the membership of the coconut farmers in the trust fund committee at malungkot ako na hindi nakasama ang panukalang yon (and I am sad that that was not included),” she lamented.
Hontiveros said she would push for the inclusion of coconut farmers in the trust fund management committee in the 19th Congress.
“The plunder of the coco levy under the dictatorship is a matter of historical record, which cannot be erased by disinformation or historical revisionism. Let us do right by our coconut farmers,” she said.