Palace to coco farmers: Be patient

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Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Coconut farmers may have to wait a little longer for President Aquino to come up with a clear-cut policy on the disposition of the P70-billion recovered coco levy fund assets.

The presidential task force on the coco levy was still finalizing Tuesday its recommendations to the President concerning the custody and utilization of the funds, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Tuesday.

The disposition of the coco levy funds was a complex issue that involves many stakeholders, so that all possible solutions are being explored, she said.

“Just because we are not saying anything doesn’t mean we’re not doing anything. It’s difficult at this point because there are many groups invested in the issue,” Valte said at a press briefing.

Coconut farmers’ groups are demanding that the P70 billion in recovered coco levy fund assets that were used to buy a 24-percent stake in San Miguel Corp. (SMC) be “returned” to them. They have been critical of Mr. Aquino’s continuing silence on the issue.

Valte could not say if the farmers would get an answer from the President before the year ends.

“The task force is aware of the pendency of this issue and they are working to the best of their abilities to make sure that all issues are answered,” she said.

She said the task force, convened in December 2011, was to have reconvened last Oct. 5 to finalize their recommendations in the light of the Supreme Court final ruling on the ownership of a 24-percent block of SMC shares.

The 24-percent block was part of a  47-percent block of SMC shares sequestered by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) on the ground that these were illegally acquired by the dummies of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos using funds from a forced tax imposed on coconut farmers from 1973 to the 1980s.

The Supreme Court has ruled that the 24 percent (originally 27 percent but diluted and reduced because of SMC’s expansion) belonged to the government in trust for the country’s coconut farmers.

But the high court ruled that the remaining 20-percent block claimed by businessman Eduardo Cojuangco had been legally acquired by the crony that Marcos had appointed as administrator of the levy funds.

Coconut farmers’ organizations in Quezon province yesterday said they are asking for only one Christmas gift from Mr.  Aquino, that he resolve the issue of the coco levy funds in their favor.

“We want to hear him (Aquino) declare his plans for the P70-billion coco levy fund and how he will use it for the benefit of the coconut farmers. His favorable declaration will be his best Christmas gift for the more than three million coconut farmers across the country,”  said Jansept Geronimo, secretary general of Coalition of Coconut Farmers of Quezon (Coco-Farm-Quezon), the biggest coalition of coconut farmers’ organizations in the province. With Daniel Mallari, Inquirer Southern Luzon

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  • arao_liwanag

    Ano hihintayin nyo pa ba na mga matay muna yong mga beneficiaries  Napakatagal ng naghitay patay na ang mga magulang ko kapatid na malaki ang parti diyan sa coco fund.

  • oink2oink

    Siempre patatagalin yan kasi hawak ng uncle niya dati yang perang yan. Noong panahon ng kampanya, pagtumira sa kalaban, parang kayang kaya nilang gawin agad, ngayong nasa poder na, di na madali.

  • kismaytami

    Mag-antay kayo!!! Pinapatubuan pa ni tito danding ang pera!!!

  • kalikasanipagtanggol

    Pagputi ng uwak at pag-itim ng tagak! o kaya naman mamumuti na ang mata niyo sa kakahintay! Pinapaasa lang kayo! 

  • $20722540

    magbigay ka ng timeline valte, hindi puro kuwneto lang…baka mawalaan na kami ng buhok 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/O3ENWYQ6FDNIXMUJDQ7HP2TLQM rey

    another 30 years? maybe?

  • No Mind

    sana mapangalagaan yang pondo na yan. i monitor mabuti kung sa tama ba napupunta. baka matulad yan sa fertilizer scams ni tiya goya. o baka ma divert na naman ng paglalaanan. wag po yan ibigay sa mga rebelde baka mamaya kotongan na naman kayo ng mga yan ibigay nyo. kawawa po ang mga mahihirap. ang para sa mahirap eh dapat sa mahirap, malapit na naman ang erection baka ipambili na naman ng voto yan!

  • Jeanne Thompson

    Baka iniisip ng mga coco farmers na pera ang ibibigay sa kanila. Dapat mga projects ang ibigay.

  • EdgarEdgar

    The short fat lady with short fat limbs has spoken again. As always, she speaks on behalf of the president who presides over this country on behalf of the fat oligarchs. Almost one full year after convening the coco levy task force, Noynoy still has no plans of returning the hard-earned money of the coco farmers to the coco farmers. It’s not exactly Noynoy’s fault as he is merely serving at the pleasure of the fat oligarchs. Noynoy’s disquieting silence on the matter is all part of a grand strategy that is being executed in secrecy. Time is immemorial and life is short and farmer’s life rendered even shorter by penury. As time goes by, people forget and coco farmers will die one by one, slowly but surely. That is the plan. At least on paper and at least it’s working. And that is the tragic truth of this epic failure of justice for 26 years and still counting. Noynoy would rather kiss and make up with his Tito Danding, than give the coco farmers their rightful closure. Noynoy is truly one with the oligarchs, for the oligarchs, with the oligarchs forever and ever till kingdom come. Coco farmers be damnned.

  • Camillo

    At yung coco farmers pa ang sinabihan niyong maghintay! Ilang dekada na silang naghihintay! Pwe!

  • $20926843

    The demand of the long exploited coconut farmers is plain and simple-return to them the recovered money and assets of the fund.  But this inconsequential Regime together with its inutile president is making the issue a complex one.  Perhaps the objective of the task force created on his behest was to come up with a policy on how to utilize the fund to make him more popular and benevolent on the eyes of the farmers and the nation in general.  In short, he is trying to find a way on how to fry them in their own lard.  This is vintage aquino/cojuangco type of cursed malodorous toxic politics……ah, Philippines and God, what have we done to deserve this kind of evil administration?

  • superlucky2

    Alam mo Valte ubos na paciencia namin mga coco framers, imagine, since Marcos time pa kami niluko. Tapos nguyan si Abnoy Aquino ganon din. lulukuhin pa rin kami. Valte, be on our shoes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/flowsotelo Flow Sotelo

    Yung Php70billion pag dinivide equally sa 3million farmers, tig-23thousand++ lamang bawat isa sa kanila. Na-realise kaya ng mga farmers ito?

  • Stuubs

    What if this Ph70 billion is currenty time deposited in a bank by Peenoy? with just a 5% of interest in one year, it will result into a boatload of money for Peenoy without the coco farmers even knowing it…there must be a billion reason for the dilly-dally here…coco farmers, watch out !!… never ever trust a haciendero politician like Peenoy with your hard earned money because you will never see it again.

    • disqusted0fu

       and this may be the reason why they are also delaying and maybe even completely killing the FOI bill. so no one will ever know all of their hidden agenda

  • Your_King

    This sounds like more excuses from the Aquino administration. Be patient is their way of saying, don’t get your hopes up anytime soon poor farmers. Simply put, this issue is being neglected.

  • disqusted0fu

    this has been long overdue!!! but the president is still coming up with a clear cut way on probably how he could possibly fool these farmers again. so be patient farmers

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