At last! Supreme Court orders Hacienda Luisita to distribute land to farmers

An approximated 5,000 hectares of land comprising Hacienda Luisita will now finally be distributed to a total of 6,000 farmer beneficiaries, as per the recent 14-0 ruling of the Supreme Court. Hacienda Luisita which is known to be a prominent sugar plantation is owned by the Cojuangcos-an apparent immediate family of former President Benigno Aquino III.

It can be recalled that years ago, Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI) instead of distributing its land to concerned farmers has offered its beneficiaries to become stockholders of the corporation something that the 14 magistrates of the Supreme Court, recalled and set aside as evidently seen in their 56-page decision.

An expression of triumph

To express their gratitude over the timely decision of the Supreme Court, a considerable number of Luisita farmers trooped to the SC grounds.

In comparison to its previous ruling, the recently released decision of the Supreme Court included several modifications which include changes on salaries and benefits. Also, the 3 percent of the gross sales of the production of the agricultural lands, the 3 percent share in the proceeds of the sale of the 500-hectare converted land and the 80.51-hectare Subic-Clark-Tarlac-Expressway (SCTEX) lot and the homelots received by the 10,502 beneficiaries shall be respected with no obligation to refund or return them.

While it is true that a total of 6,296 original beneficiaries will forfeit and relinquish their rights over the HLI shares of stocks, as per order of the high court, the HLI is hereby obliged to transfer these shares to the stocks and transfer book. Additionally, the Supreme Court ruled out that the transfer should include no taxes, fees, or charges.

Farmers to receive 1.3 billion

A total of P1.3 billion worth of payment will be given to all qualified farmer beneficiaries of the Hacienda Luisita Inc. The amount is broken down as follows:

P500 million received by the HLI for the sale of 200 hectares out of the 500 hectares covered by an August 14, 1996 conversion order; P750 million received by the HLIs subsidiary, Centennary Holdings, Inc. for the sale of the remaining 300 hectares from the 500-hectare land; and P80,511,500 paid by the government for the sale of the 80.51-hectare lot used for the construction of the SCTEX road network.

No comment

The Aquino party meanwhile had not released any official statement on the matter claiming that they are yet to receive a copy of the decision of the Supreme Court. According to former Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, the former President have not seen a copy of the decision yet and we will defer comment until such time.

An outburst of support 

Several concerned groups and organizations shared the triumph with the Hacienda Luisita farmers. Among them was the Anakbayan group who consequently dared the former president to break free from his filial interests and start executing the benefits and provisions of the new SC ruling to all qualified Luisita farmer beneficiaries.

Akbayan partylist, also commended the Supreme Court for its decision claiming that victory is not just a celebration of Luisita farmers but by all Filipino farmers who have long been subjects of injustice and abuse.

Conclusively, the group has warned the farmer beneficiaries not to remain complacent and continue to be vigilant. As how the group had put it: The landlords in Hacienda Luisita still have a few aces up their sleeves and they will not hesitate to use it to derail agrarian reform at all costs.

It can be recalled that the call for justice in the disputed Cojuangco property transpired shortly after the November 16, 2004 Hacienda Luisita Massacre which to deaths of seven protesting farmers.

Source: One Global

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Avel Dalumpines said…
Salamat naman at sa wakas makakamtan na rin ang napakatagal na panahong paghihintay ng mga magsasaka ng Tarlac. Pangarap ito ng dating Chief Justice na si CJ Corona. Ito ang dahilan kung bakit siya na-impeach. Sa pamumuno ng Pangulong Duterte siguradong makakamtan na nila ito. Ang tagumpay ng mga magsasakang taga-tarlac ay tagumpay ng mga mamamayang Pilipino.