Latest Stories

6,212 in DAR’s final Luisita list


FINAL LIST Farmers of Hacienda Luisita, a vast sugar estate in Tarlac owned by the family of President Aquino, sift through sheets of tarpaulin looking for their names on the list of people entitled to receive land under the agrarian reform program. E.I. REYMOND T. OREJAS/INQUIRER CENTRAL LUZON

TARLAC CITY—Most were happy, others were overwhelmed, and still others were confused, even angry, as the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) on Wednesday released the final list of 6,212 beneficiaries of the sprawling sugar plantation owned by the family of President Aquino, which was ordered distributed to its workers by the Supreme Court.

Printed on tarpaulin and mounted on boards, the list posted by Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes came in two sets: The first was alphabetically arranged and the second pertained to specific barangays (villages) in Hacienda Luisita.

For Irma Salvador-Masanque, 49, seeing her and her relatives’ names on the list was an overwhelming experience. Impatient to wait for her turn, she ducked under the heavy sheets of tarpaulin, ran through the names and came out smiling and excited.

“I am on the list, my brothers and sisters, and in-laws, all eight of us,” she said.

Masanque said her siblings and relatives would still plant sugarcane when they finally get their land. “I hope this happens soon,” she said.

Rodrigo Aquino, 57, who has been working in the hacienda since 1974, said he could only be happy because he and wife, Luz, were both on the list.

Aquino said he would plant rice and vegetables instead of sugarcane as this would be more profitable. He is hoping that the government will help him by distributing seedlings and fertilizers.

He said he did not want to go through the hardship of sugarcane planting again as he did when he was a “tabasero,” or cane cutter. His earnings then, he said, were too small that his two children, who are now married, never made it to college.

For members of the United Luisita Workers Union (Ulwu) who were in Barangay Mapalacsiao when De los Reyes handed out copies of the final list, the presence of Noel Mallari, whom they said broke off from their group to form a company union, brought tension as they started heckling and booing him.

The women said Mallari’s group pushed for the stock distribution option (SDO) in lieu of land distribution under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) that contributed much to the delay of the cases filed in court.

Others, however, were confused and angry. After confirming that their names were on the final list, there wasn’t a glint of joy in their faces because they feared that they would not get land from the villages where they are living.

No petition for exclusion

In earlier interviews, Assistant Agrarian Reform Secretary Teofilo Inocencio said that while the allocation of farm lots in areas where the beneficiaries live was ideal, there would be places where there was not enough land to be distributed and they would have to settle elsewhere in the hacienda.

On July 5, 2011, the Supreme Court upheld the DAR’s revocation of the SDO that was implemented in 1989. It reaffirmed this decision on Nov. 22 that year and ordered the DAR to distribute 4,915 hectares of the estate to 6,296 farm workers.

On April 24 last year, the court threw out a motion for reconsideration filed by Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI).

De los Reyes said the final number of beneficiaries was drawn after scrutinizing the qualifications and documents of those in the probationary list that was released in October last year as well as those who filed petitions for inclusion.

The DAR last year drew up two sets of names of potential beneficiaries totaling 6,586.

Aside from the preliminary master list of 5,365, another set of 1,221 names was tagged as “probationary.” De los Reyes said people on the probationary list had been asked to submit proof that they were working in the estate in November 1989, the reckoning date established by the Supreme Court when the plantation came under CARP.

The preliminary list of 5,365 beneficiaries was not changed, De los Reyes said, as no one petitioned for the exclusion of anyone on that list.

He said the additional 847 beneficiaries came from the probationary list who complied with the requirements, and some from the 357 who filed a petition for inclusion and were duly qualified.

Distribution in June

Lito Bais, Ulwu chairman, said his group would question the DAR as to how and why the number of beneficiaries rose to 6,212.

Bais said Ulwu had sought the inclusion of only 16 members and insisted that the base figure should still be the signatories to the 1989 SDO.

De los Reyes, however, said that the rest of the petitioners for inclusion were not done by the HLI. He said these people came to DAR.

The agrarian reform secretary said now that the number of beneficiaries had been finalized, the DAR’s next step was to determine how much land the beneficiaries would get.

De los Reyes said he planned to distribute the land by June. He said segregation and surveying were being done to determine how the 4,915 ha would be parceled out.

He said roads, firebreaks and other common-use portions would be removed  from the total area to be distributed, as well as the 500 ha belonging to  Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., as mandated by the Supreme Court, and the 83 ha expropriated for the Subic–Clark-Tarlac Expressway.

Bais, however, said that when the DAR classified the 4,915 ha as agricultural land, the roads and canals were already removed from that and what remained to be deducted were only 583 ha.


De los Reyes said the valuation of the property could be a contentious issue and Land Bank of the Philippines would determine this.

Should HLI disagree with the valuation and file a petition in the Supreme Court, De los Reyes said this would not stop the DAR from distributing the land.

“We are the implementor of the decision of the Supreme Court and we are directed to distribute the land and we will,” he said.

He also brushed aside accusations of the farmers’ group Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (Ambala) that the DAR was railroading the implementation of the decision of the high court. He said the DAR had been transparent in all its activities.

“While positions taken by Ambala during the consultation meetings will be duly considered in the finalization process, the DAR is duty bound to get the consensus of the parties as required by the Supreme Court decision,” De los Reyes said.

DAR list a sham

Randall Echanis, deputy secretary general of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, said in a statement that the DAR list was a “sham.”

“Even the basis of the DAR’s master list is patently illegal,” he said, referring to the DAR’s pronouncement that this was based on the master list submitted by HLI in 2010 to the court and HLI’s list of employees under the Social Security System (SSS).

“The master list submitted by the HLI to the Supreme Court is a product of an illegal process or the bogus referendum conducted by the Cojuangcos in August 2010,” Echanis said.

“And since when did the SSS become a basis for the identification of farmer-beneficiaries?” he asked. “SSS membership only proves the employer-employee relationship and is not a basis for the identification of beneficiaries.”

Echanis said the names of “Cojuangco loyalists” made it to the DAR’s final list. He identified them as HLI supervisor Windsor Andaya,  Mallari, Julio Suniga, Eldie Pingol, HLI engineer Rizalino Sotto and Edgardo Aguas, incumbent chairman of Barangay Central inside Hacienda Luisita.

“These are the very same people who sided with the Cojuangcos, argued for the continuance of the antipeasant stock distribution option scheme, and vigorously opposed land distribution,” he said.

He claimed that a petition for the six names to be excluded from the list was made by Ambala, but De los Reyes said his department received no petition for exclusion at all.—With a report from DJ Yap 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 , beneficiaries , Department of Agrarian Reform , Hacienda Luisita , Luisita list , Philippines , Tarlac

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. Gigi Reyes back to face charges
  2. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  3. In the know: Gigi Reyes
  4. SC suspends proctor in 2011 bar exams
  5. Senator Pimentel backs German think tank’s stand vs dynasties
  6. Bar proctor suspended for photographing test papers
  7. Collector Danny Garcia says Inquirer worth more than news
  8. Meteor shower to light up PH skies
  9. What Went Before: Enrile denies Gigi Reyes was ‘other woman’
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  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. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  8. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  9. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • Healing priest invites political leaders to join ‘prayer for nation’
  • Tagle: Christ’s resurrection a message of hope to faithful
  • Aquino vows to intensify anti-corruption drive further
  • Unease in Vatican over cardinal’s luxury flat—report
  • Nepal calls off search for missing guides on Everest—official
  • Sports

  • Rain or Shine grabs No.4, sends Ginebra to 8th
  • Red-hot Alaska rips injury-depleted San Mig Coffee
  • Pacquiao courtesy call to Aquino set for Monday
  • Nick Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk
  • Teague scores 28 as Hawks soar past Pacers in Game 1
  • Lifestyle

  • Angono petroglyphs in danger of disappearing
  • Britain’s baby Prince George visits Australian zoo
  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Supper power
  • Condo unit sales boosted Shang Properties earnings
  • ERC mulls over WESM price cap for May, June
  • Whatever happened to the ubiquitous pagers?
  • Huge 2013 net profits seen difficult to surpass in 2014
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Aquino, Obama to tackle US pivot to Asia during state visit
  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Marketplace