Latest Stories

DAR told to pay for Luisita lots


HARD TOIL Thorns along their path and the seething heat do not discourage farmers of Hacienda Luisita in Mapalacsao village in Tarlac City from doing their daily work in the fields. Last week, the Supreme Court upheld with finality their ownership of land parcels in the sugar estate. EV ESPIRITU / INQUIRER NORTHERN LUZON

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO— The Supreme Court has ruled that Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI) is  entitled to just compensation for the home lots it gave to farmers who will now get land on the company’s sugar plantation through agrarian reform.

In a resolution dated April 24 but released only last week, the Supreme Court said HLI should be paid since the stock distribution program that covered the home and farm lots in 1989 was revoked by the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) in 2005 to clear the way for land distribution.

Each measuring 240 square meters, the home lots were considered part of the farmers’ benefits as shareholders in HLI, a company owned by the family of President Benigno Aquino III.

Resolving questions that arose from the revocation of the stock option, the court ordered the government to pay HLI, through the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), for the home lots.

The order to pay, the court said, follows Section 4, Article XIII of the Constitution, which requires just compensation for land coming under agrarian reform.

It is the only amendment that the court made to its July 5, 2011, decision and

Nov. 22, 2011, resolution affirming the PARC’s decisions to revoke the stock option and distribute Hacienda Luisita through compulsory acquisition.

The court ordered the payment to be based on 1989 land prices, which the court also used as basis for just compensation to HLI for the 4,195 hectares of land that would be distributed to qualified land-reform beneficiaries in Hacienda Luisita.

The court said the payment for the home lots should be made to HLI, not to Tarlac Development Corp. (Tadeco), which was 77-percent owned by HLI at the time the court upheld the PARC decisions.

Plantation workers owned 33 percent of HLI until the PARC revoked the stock option.

Tadeco should not expect payments since it transferred the titles to the home lots to HLI in 1989, the court said.

Filomeno Inocencio, agrarian reform director in Central Luzon, said he understood the court’s April 24 resolution to mean that the farmers would not pay for the home lots.

He said the DAR might get funds from the budget of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms, but the agency should first see if the compensation could be legally drawn from the program’s funds.

In a text message from the United States, lawyer Antonio Ligon, HLI spokesperson, said paying for the home lots was not the obligation of the farmers. They should pay only for the farmland they would get, Ligon said.

In Manila, the DAR had proposed a system that would make owning a piece of the hacienda worth it for the farmers.

The Supreme Court has ordered the division of the 4,335.24-ha sugar plantation among 6,296 farmers. This means each farmer will get a 0.68-ha plot.

The farmers should not despair. Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes suggested that the farmers try block farming—combining small farms to make large farms to achieve better production.

“We are encouraging them to do block farming with the [Department of Agriculture] (DA) and the [Sugar Regulatory Administration] (SRA),” De los Reyes said.

The DAR is already using block farming in agrarian-reform communities in Batangas, De los Reyes said. Block farming could increase yield on sugar farms by 50 percent, or from 99 bags to 147 bags of sugar per hectare, De los Reyes said.

Under a block-farming agreement, the DA will shoulder the cost of equipment and development services, while the SRA will take care of the cost of technology and overall management of the block farms.

The Hacienda Luisita farmers stand to benefit from the system and they can also plant other crops, like vegetables, which, according to De los Reyes, are suitable to small farms. With a report from Kristine L. Alave, in Manila

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: agrarian reform , Aquino , Benigno Aquino III , Cojuangco , DAR , Department of Agrarian Reform , Hacienda Luisita , HLI , Land Reform , Presidential Agrarian Reform Council

  • californiaflip

    HLI will just turn into a big squatter area, a breeding ground for communist NPA cadres. What a shame…

  • Mario_Garcia

    Justice served at last.

    • Reorita

      maybe its justice, but we hope that it will lift now the farmers from poverty…distributing the land individually may not be the solution at all times to solve poverty…the lots should be  commonly managed, beneficiaries must organize itself as a Cooperative to be more competitive and effecient.. 

    • muddygoose

      Really? Let’s talk after ten years and see if “justice” has actually been served.

      • Mario_Garcia

        Just being sarcastic about the Philippine justice system. As long as the Supreme Corruption is composed of questionable justices, there will be no justice.

  • kilabot

    hacienda luisita distribution now! if noynoy kapon can order congress to impeach the cj in 3 hours, he can order dar to start distribution now. as in right now, pronto. no if’s no but’s.

    • kajaime


    • indiots

      ang iniisip mo parang panahon ni gloria. lahat pweding -i release ang pera kaya million-milyon ang napunta sa bulas.

      hayaan mong tingnan kung may naka-allot na pera para dun.

  • Fernando Cresente Hernandez

    .68 hectare? Good luck on making that productive. Higher sugar prices are sure to come, thanks to land reform.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GEL5M676WZ7BLFR4SNH66WKRZM Bigboy I

    within a period of ten years farmers will not be able to afford to till the land that was awarded  by the goverment. Goverment must prioritize agriculture.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CKBW2BZX34JXQUSVAMZVKCLNAU TagaDumantay

    bakit tayo ang magbabayad ng home lot? 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/R4YOCRZDE5JBDT7UGI54KTZD5M Jpb

      Ang pagkaalam ko farmland lang ang sakop ng agrarian reform, hindi kasama ang residential lot, condo, subdivision lot, commercial lot etc. Di bale, marami naman pwedeng gawin sa .68 hectare – pero hindi lahat pagtatanim.

  • AlyasPogi

    Nagpadala kasi sila sa mga aktibista na humahalo sa kanila kahit di naman tigaroon. Within 5 years, I can see them selling their land. It will be turned into a subdivision by private companies. and those poor farmers will become homeless. san kaya sila pupunta?

  • muddygoose

    Who can make a living from 0.68ha of land? Dapat nag-organize na lang yung farmers at kinuha nila ang share nila ng HLI as a corporation. Maraming makikinabang na malalaking negosyante na bibili ng mga lupang ito.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/R4YOCRZDE5JBDT7UGI54KTZD5M Jpb

      Akala ko ba “to own the land they till” ang purpose ng agrarian reform, eh di parang real estate na rin sila kung isub divide nila tapos ibenta.

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Opinions split on Napoles turning state witness
  3. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  4. Plunder complaint filed vs PNP chief, firearms office head over license delivery deal
  5. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  6. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  7. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  10. Boy ‘sexually assaulted’ at Indonesia international school
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima


  • Palace prepared to charge its allies
  • 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  • PNP chief on plunder raps: ‘Amateurish’
  • Makati readies 12-month traffic plan for Skyway 3
  • Heard on Radyo Inquirer 990AM
  • Sports

  • Mixers trim Aces, force do-or-die tiff
  • Donaire junks Garcia as coach, taps father
  • ’Bye Ginebra: No heavy heart this time
  • UAAP board tackles new rules
  • Baguio climb to decide Le Tour de Filipinas
  • Lifestyle

  • Entering the monkhood a rite of passage
  • Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Entertainment

  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • In love … with acting
  • From prison to the peak of success
  • ‘Asedillo’ location thrives
  • Business

  • PH banks not ready for Asean integration
  • Stocks down on profit-taking
  • Banks allowed to use ‘cloud’
  • SMIC to issue P15-B bonds
  • Honda upgrades PH plant
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • 19 Ukrainians, Russians, Filipinas rescued in bar raid
  • Filipinos coming home from Mideast must obtain MERS clearance – DOH
  • US Secret Service in Manila ahead of Obama visit
  • Palace thanks Estrada for successful HK mission
  • Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  • Marketplace