hacienda luisita: 1,527 hectares still owned by cojuangcos
everyone was expecting pained remarks from the aquino-cojuangco camp after the supreme court ruled that compensation is to be based on 1989 valuations. but, nothing. i wondered if maybe because they had read alex magno’s “Hacienda” where he says The price for the blood-soaked land is probably ridiculously low. That might be what social justice requires.
Recall that the agreement in the fifties, in exchange for government financing acquisition of the hacienda, was for the landowners to distribute the land to the farmers by 1968. Since that time, the matter was tied up in litigation.
It will probably take at least a year for the land to be actually redistributed. That means that all of 45 years was lost to the farmers fighting this case in the courts.
Any day added to the waiting and any peso added to the price of the land will be an injustice. A more militant position on this issue might have pegged land prices at their 1968 levels — the year the land was supposed to have been redistributed.
In addition, a portion of Luisita land was sold earlier by its owners to a private company. The farmers, who have been stockholders in the meantime, demand a share of the proceeds from that sale. Hacienda Luisita claims the money made from the sale have all been expended. But if the farmers deserve a share of that, the amount due them might be discounted from what they have to amortize from here on.
or maybe they read solita collas-monsod’s “Screwed coming and going” where she points out that in 1989 the cojuangcos used that same 40,000 per hectare valuation which gave the family absolute control of the new corporation, Hacienda Luisita Inc., and the farmers only one-third ownership.
which is really some kind of poetic justice, no? but wait. tila unfinished, incomplete, ang justice, after all. read mareng winnie’s punchline.
Remember: The total land area of Hacienda Luisita that should have been subjected to agrarian reform was 6,443 hectares, but the actual area reformed was 4,916 hectares. Which means that the owners of Tadeco, with the approval of the DAR, were allowed to keep for themselves 1,527 hectares of land.
That’s a heck of a lot of land. Even if one deducts 66 hectares that supposedly comprise the sugar mill land, 263 hectares supposedly unfit for agriculture, 266 hectares of roads and creeks, and 121 hectares “given” to the farmers for home lots, there would still be 811 hectares of land left for the owners of Tadeco.
Eight hundred eleven hectares of land is larger than most of the other sugar plantations in the country.
Which leads to the question: Shouldn’t the DAR reform that land, too? The original decision of the Supreme Court gives it the authority to do so. I sincerely hope that Agrarian Reform Secretary Gil de los Reyes is made of stern stuff.
wow. ang coconut and rice lands, someone correct me if i’m wrong, 7 hectares lang ang puwedeng i-retain ng landowner. ano ba yan, iba pang kaso? talaga naman. pahirapan. state of the nation.