cojuangcos, kapit-tuko sa hacienda

08 August 2010

obvious na ba kung bakit di na umasenso ang pilipinas?   this time the president’s own family is setting the precedent, hoping that the supreme court approves.   is this why kaya biglang nire-recognize na ni aquino si corona as chief justice?

Cojuangcos don’t want to let go of the land
By Philip Tubeza

MANILA, Philippines—It’s a world turned upside down.

This was how lawyer Christian Monsod, a member of the Constitutional Commission that drafted the 1987 Constitution, reacted to the reported compromise deal that was reached between the farm workers and management of Hacienda Luisita, the 6,500-hectare sugar plantation in Central Luzon owned by the Cojuangco family of President Aquino.

“The bottom line is that the Cojuangcos do not want to let go of the land,” said Monsod, who was himself helping to broker a deal between Hacienda Luisita Inc. and the farmers, with thebacking of the CatholicBishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

The deal runs counter to the “letter and spirit” of the 1987 Constitution which dictates that agrarian reform lands should go to the farmers while landowners get just compensation in return, according to Monsod.

“Now, it’s a world turned upside down with the landowners getting the land and farmers getting the compensation. If you have economic and political power concentrated, you can turn the world on its head,” he said.

25 Responses to cojuangcos, kapit-tuko sa hacienda

  1. August 8, 2010 at 7:34 pm
    Bert

    “Now, it’s a world turned upside down with the landowners getting the land and farmers getting the compensation. If you have economic and political power concentrated, you can turn the world on its head,”-Monsod

    That was Christian Monsod’s reaction to a reported deal between the farmers and the owner of Luisita, offering a compromise to give the contested property to the farmer. Monsod was talking hogwash here with that statement. The Cojuangcos are offering to distribute the land to the farmers and they are waiting for the Supreme Court decision on the case. How can Monsod rightly says that the powerful Luisita owners are ‘turning the world on its head’?

    Palagay ko nagpapapansin lang si Christian Monsod. Mukhang kulang sa pansin, :).

  2. August 8, 2010 at 10:19 pm
    manuelbuencamino

    For a good take on the Luisita issue READ HERE

  3. August 9, 2010 at 12:31 am

    because, the landwowners should receive the compensation and not the farmers. it is the other way around. baligtad nga.

    my reaction:

    http://pinaysaamerika.blogspot.com/2010/08/welcome-in-hell.html

  4. August 9, 2010 at 9:13 am
    GabbyD

    for sure, the farmers are split, with a slight majority favoring NOT stocks per se, but employment and a steady paycheck.

    i wonder if this is better than the ag reform that exists now… that is: giving out land, with little (or no) support services.

  5. August 9, 2010 at 1:22 pm
    manuelbuencamino

    Here’s more on the HLI issue: Leave HLI and the farmers alone

  6. August 9, 2010 at 5:38 pm
    GabbyD

    @mb

    the problems are:

    1 ) its only barely half the farm workers who want it.

    2) its still unclear if the farmers would be better off with the title:

    assuming all 10k say yes, each gets 150M/10k=15k.

    15 k for their land share, is that a fair payout? i dont know. i do know thats about 2 months salary, maybe 3 months at best.

    this computation undervalues saying yes to the deal. if u say yes, and IF things go well, you should get employed at the going agri wages, which is probably minimum wage.

    but thats pretty much the whole benefit. after waiting for a decade.

    3) it seems they are saying yes out of desperation. thats never a good sign, mb. never.

  7. August 9, 2010 at 5:59 pm
    UP nn grad

    Farmers who want the land can’t get loans on their land. The agreement states that should farm workers decide to liquidate, lease or transfer their assets, they should grant HLI one full-year of right of first refusal.

    The new agreement also obliges farm workers to “express support or not to interpose objections to the further development of HLI lands even for nonagricultural purposes.

    Maybe HL1 will convert to rice-farming. Or maybe not.

  8. August 9, 2010 at 7:10 pm
  9. August 9, 2010 at 9:04 pm
    manuelbuencamino

    angela,

    land reform is good idea unfortunately it has not worked out as we had hoped it would. Farmlands have been converted to subdivisions, the government cannot support small farmer/landowners etc. The Carp and Carper are not comprehensive at all. So the issue of land reform instead of one about justice and food production has degenerated into a political issue between the left and the big landowners with the tenant farmers caught in between. It’s sad but that’s the way things happen in this country – lots of good ideas poorly executed. Anyway, if HLI is redistributed it would be good to track what happens to the beneficiaries five years or so down the road. And to track whether the land will still be producing agricultural products or homes and factories.

  10. August 9, 2010 at 11:12 pm
    UP nn grad

    Manny Villar and Cojuangcos teaming up —- yeh bah??? or Bah humbug??

    Now Pinoys as Jews, and HL run as a kibbutz — heavenly???

  11. August 9, 2010 at 11:47 pm
    UP nn grad

    Pinas has US-style economics, and US-style economics works with economies of scale. The 2-hectare rice-farmer is doomed to either fail (bad location, no irrigation) or to get enticed into selling to a subdivision (good location, near roads). Pilipinas needs 10-hectare sized farms (and give them tax-breaks and very-low-cost mechanization loans as long as they agree to restrictions — can’t convert to subdivisions in next 20 years). Vietnam rice is good quality, but still. Rice-self sufficiency is a good romantic concept; if Pinas is good enough to feed Beijing, Pilipinas is good enough to feed Times Street neighborhood.

    Now check the conditions of the HL terms. For a full-year, Cojuangcos retain right-of-first refusal to any farmland owner who wants to sell, so a more professional farmer like a Burgos (right, the missing one!) can’t buy 9 or 10 parcels to get to economies of scale.

    You’d want Noynoy Aquino to encourage DAR and Land Bank to enact policies to favor the medium-size farmer, but this is like wishing that GMA was able to get charter change while she was in Malacanang. Noynoy is Cojuangco of Hacienda Luisita.

    Chief Justice Corona is the remaining roadblock.

  12. August 10, 2010 at 12:06 am

    “HLI is redistributed it would be good to track what happens to the beneficiaries five years or so down the road. And to track whether the land will still be producing agricultural products or homes and factories.”

    Last time I read, HLI is on the red bottomline for the past years. Economies of scale did not also work for the 6,000 or so hectares?

    Or the expenses are bloated to show losses to avoid taxes and also payment of dividends.

    Well, the executives/ owners need not receive dividends, they could receive salaries, bonuses and allowances. Pasti siguro salaries ng bodyguards kasama.

  13. August 10, 2010 at 12:15 am

    “15 k for their land share, is that a fair payout? i dont know. i do know thats about 2 months salary, maybe 3 months at best. ”

    the farmers get Php 309 a day only. Multiply it by man-days, you will get the salary per month. This is equivalent to more than two months salary.

    What I am interested in is what they are going to get in exchange of stocks.
    For stock investors, the only income you will get is dividend.

    To declare dividends, the corporation has to generate income. Not all income is distributed as dividends. A portion of that can be reserved for appropriations the corporation deem necessary to sustain equity.

    How will the farmers know that the company is really earning.

    You see in the world of accounting, there are two sides of the world, the reality and the what you project as reality.

  14. August 10, 2010 at 1:17 am
    UP nn grad

    There is no competition for the Hacienda Luisita property. The “bidding” is only between the farmers (who have the accounting and finance skills) and the Cojuangcos (who stand for “…the greater good”}

    Erap Estrada-and-cronies can’t organize to bid for the land because HL has right of first refusal. Manny Villar can’t bid, too.

    The Ca t speaks correctly. HL’s zero-income (so zip corporate taxes, zip dividends) may be because the business-model is lousy (Doesn’t make sense since the Cojuangcos want to hang onto the business, right???). Or zero-income may mean that the business is being stripped with extraordinarily compensation packages for top employees. And look for the dozen sweetheart deals between HL and other entities. [That’s how the Ayalas help their “favorites”; encourage the favorite to create a business and Ayala throws a generous contract to that business.] Didn’t Noy get a “security guard” contract from Hacienda Luisita?

    Stockholders don’t get to check the compensation packages or the sweetheart deals. The board-of-directors are supposed to do that. And HL board of directors — do they represent the farmers with their SDO’s, or do they represent the Cojuangcos?

  15. August 10, 2010 at 4:58 am
    UP nn grad

    Now I see what HL is really offering — hush money.

    HL expects some farmers to accept SDO while others get land. HL really paying farmers to shut-up on any plan that Hacienda Luisita proposes for any remaining land that HL gets to own. [If the proposal is detrimental to a farmer’s access to water or to roads — tough!!!]

    The HL-offer is in the family of the Sulpicio offer to the MV Princess of Stars survivors. They who accept the insurance money promise not to argue anymore.

  16. August 10, 2010 at 4:12 pm
    Bert

    “The HL-offer is in the family of the Sulpicio offer to the MV Princess of Stars survivors. They who accept the insurance money promise not to argue anymore.”-UP n

    What’s the right thing to do, UP n? Are you supposed to get paid and still you want to go on with your claim? Hindi kaya kasuwapangan na iyon?

  17. August 10, 2010 at 6:59 pm
    UP nn grad

    Bert: You are correct. Really very bright, those Cojuangcos.

    That is why the farmers should follow them, the Cojuangcos have been always thinking “…of the greater good”. Or maybe the farmers are getting food.

    Reason I say that — the Cojuangcos first made the farmers extremely hungry. Then they offered them money with strings attached. Maybe the farmers of Hacienda Luisita are the exception, but usually hungry farmers can’t think straight.

  18. August 10, 2010 at 7:01 pm
    UP nn grad

    or maybe the farmers are getting fooled, and the money offered is pamboladas-de-politiko lokohan lang. First, ginutom ang mga farmers. Then…

  19. August 10, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    There is something lost in translation or debate here. The landowner (HLI) has a right to just compensation, payable by the State, i.e., by everyone else. It looks like HLI is cutting a deal with government as well, in effect saying it will accept just compensation in the form of being allowed to retain 2/3 of the land. The legal question is whether that kind of deal violates the land reform law. If so, is it because the compensation is too generous? A retention of even 1/4 or 1/3 may be legally tenable.

    I believe some of the farmers can legally “give up” their share under the law if there is a showing that the size of the land to be distributed to them is not economically viable, i.e., too small. In theory, they sell their share to the government, who then bids it out to any buyer, including HLI. The real issue is of course in the pricing, and who really pays the just compensation. The latest HLI deal could be quite advantageous to HLI, and it is up to public officials to do the right and transparent thing in favor not just of the tenants but also of the rest of the citizenry who in one way or another pays for the cost of the land reform.

    In the meantime, it would seem that grandstanding by the Left and the Catholic bishops doesn’t help to bring the issue to closure.

  20. August 10, 2010 at 9:38 pm
    Bert

    I think I understand what Orlando R is trying to say. Isn’t it that the agrarian reform law state that the government can distribute to the rightful tenants a large piece of land covered by the law, provided that the government pay the owner/landowner for the land to be distributed? Isn’t it the law?

  21. August 10, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    “I believe some of the farmers can legally “give up” their share under the law if there is a showing that the size of the land to be distributed to them is not economically viable, i.e., too small.”

    In case it is not economically feasible and sound to divide the land, then it shall be owned collectively by the worker-beneficiaries who shall form a workers’ cooperative or association which will deal with the corporation or business association. Until a new agreement is entered into by and between the workers’ cooperative or association and the corporation or business association, any agreement existing at the time this Act takes effect between the former and the previous landowner shall be respected by both the workers’ cooperative or association and the corporation or business association.

    source: CARP

  22. August 11, 2010 at 11:48 am

    @ The Ca t: It seems the law does not prevent a member of a coop from giving up his share in favor of another. And it seems that the coop collectively can do the same. The language you quote also implies that “a new agreement” between the coop and the former landowner can arise, but what this would be about (since the land now belongs to the worker-beneficiary coop) seems to be a mystery.

  23. August 12, 2010 at 5:29 am
    UP nn grad

    Manny Villar and the Ayalas has converted a lot of pinoys to the ways of making money with land — convert agricultural to residential or commercial.

    Which is why Pilipinas has strict laws about keeping agricultural land as agricultural. Can’t convert agricultural into a golf course (which the Cojuangcos have already done to a large part of the original agricultural land). Can’t convert into subdivisions (which the Cojuangcos have already done, too).

    Orlando is a good student of making money with real estate.

  24. August 12, 2010 at 7:18 am

    “Which is why Pilipinas has strict laws about keeping agricultural land as agricultural. Can’t convert agricultural into a golf course (which the Cojuangcos have already done to a large part of the original agricultural land). Can’t convert into subdivisions (which the Cojuangcos have already done, too).”

    And is that the reason why only 1/3 of the total area of the hacienda will be allotted to the farmers because that is what is left as agricultural farm?

  25. August 12, 2010 at 6:18 pm
    UP nn grad

    And a newspaper reminds people about this —
    The main issue — lest we forget — is that Jose Cojuangco Sr. was provided a government loan of P5.9 million and given a government guarantee (for a foreign exchange loan of US$2.1 million) to allow him to acquire the sugar estate and the sugar mill in 1957, with the express condition that the agricultural land “would be distributed to the agricultural workers” after 10 years.

    —————-
    The justices of Pilipinas Supreme Court can settle this issue very soon.
    Let us hope that Noynoy does not send troops if he disagrees with the impending Supreme Court decision.

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