Uploaded on Nov 23, 2011
PWEDE NAMAN PALANG PABILISIN ANG HACIENDA LUISITA. BAKIT PINAG-HINTAY PA ANG MGA MAGSASAKA NG TAON TAON? KUNG HINDI PA NAKASUHAN SI GMA, HINDI MANGYAYARI ITO. NAKAKAHIYA KAYO SA SUPREME COURT!
Supreme Court orders Luisita land distribution in 14-0 vote
11/23/2011 | 11:56 PM
In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court ordered the distribution of land to the farmer beneficiaries of Hacienda Luisita, the sugar plantation which the Cojuangco side of the family of President Benigno Aquino III owns.
All 14 justices who participated in the deliberations, including Chief Justice Renato Corona, voted for land distribution. Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio did not take part.
The high court adopted a modified version of the decision they handed down last July. Justice Presbitero Velaso penned the 56-page resolution promulgated on Wednesday.
In their July 5 decision, the court upheld the revocation of the stock distribution plan (SDP) that gave farmers shares of stock in Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI) instead of land in the sprawling sugar estate in Tarlac.
The just-promulgated resolution agreed again with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC), who last July asked the SC to order the land distribution of the Hacienda Luisita sugar estate to farmer beneficiaries of the Cojuangco-owned Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI).
In a 44-page motion for partial reconsideration filed last July 22, the two agrarian reform bodies adopted the "land to the tiller" position of their predecessors under the administration of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
In that joint appeal, DAR and PARC asked the Supreme Court to fully adopt PARC's 2005 resolution which revoked the stock distribution option (SDO) agreement that gave farmers in 1989 the choice between owning shares of stock in HLI or land in the sugar estate.
After finding that the stock option made farmers' lives worse, the council ordered compulsory land distribution of Hacienda Luisita to the farmers.
Seven years after Hacienda massacre
The Supreme Court's resolution came seven years after the Hacienda Luisita massacre, the anniversary of which was observed last week.
Seven protesting farmers died at Hacienda Luisita on November 16, 2004 in a clash with security forces.
Thursday morning, the youth group Anakbayan welcomed the SC decision ordering the land distribution of Hacienda Luisita to its farm workers.
Anakbayan dared President Aquino to "break free of his family interests and immediately and fully implement the Court ruling through the free and full distribution of land to all Luisita farm workers."
Farther back in time
Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac is owned by the Cojuangcos, the family of President Benigno Aquino III's late mother, former President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino.
The current Hacienda Luisita has an area of 4,334.55 hectares. The sugar estate used to occupy 6,435 hectares but over the years, portions of land have been sold to industrial companies.
The stock distribution plan (SDP) has been in place since 1989, when HLI forged an agreement with thousands of farmers who preferred stocks instead of land.
But in December 2005, the PARC ordered the revocation of the SDP for its alleged failure to fulfill the 1988 Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law's thrust of social justice and improved lives for farmers.
HLI challenged the PARC order in the Supreme Court, saying the revocation of the SDP violated the 1987 Constitution. HLI also said the PARC has no authority to cancel the plan.
In February 2006, the SC issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) which prevented the PARC from ordering land distribution. — ELR, GMA News
VIDEO SOURCE: GMA NEWS
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