- The Department of Agrarian Reform ordered the distribution of 358 hectares of Hacienda Luisita
- The said prime agricultural lands are in addition to the nearly 5,000 hectares of land that was announced to be distributed by the Supreme Court
- The move of the agrarian reform department eased the longstanding struggle of Hacienda Luisita farmers
Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael V. Mariano ordered the distribution of hundreds of hectares of Hacienda Luisita in addition to the 5,000 hectares of land that was set to be distributed as well, based on the order released by the Supreme Court.
The said hectares of prime agricultural lands are located in the villages of Belete and CutCut in Tarlac City and are under the management of the Tarlac Development Corporation-Hacienda Luisita (Tadeco) of the families of the late president Corazon Cojuangco Aquino and former president Benigno Cojuangco Aquino III.
Moreover, Secretary Mariano explained that the 358 hectares of land were not included yet in the 4,915.75 hectares that Tadeco assigned and conveyed to its spin-off corporation, the Hacienda Luisita Incorporated (HLI).
The Alyansa ng Manggagawang Bukid ng Asyenda Luisita (Ambala) petitioned to DAR that the properties of Tadeco be included under the agrarian reform program. Further, members of Ambala stated that they are qualified to be farmer-beneficiaries once the Tadeco properties are distributed.
Following this, DAR issued notices of coverage of 8 Tadeco properties in 2013, however, the corporation protested against them.
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Mariano ordered the provincial office of DAR in Tarlac, “… to immediately proceed with and complete the land acquisition and distribution process over the subject properties in the light of the provisions of Section 30 of Republic Act Number 9700 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms law.”
As stipulated in the section on resolution, “Any case and/or proceeding involving the implementation of the provisions of Republic Act Number 6657, as amended, which may remain pending on June 30, 2014, shall be allowed to proceed to its finality and be executed even beyond such date.”
Further, the DAR secretary told the DAR regional office III, “to do all acts and things necessary, including but not limited to securing assistance from appropriate law enforcement officials, to ensure that landowner-protestant Tadeco and/or any persons acting in its behalf comply with this order.”
The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law was signed by President Corazon Aquino on June 10, 1988. – Kami Media