Latest Stories

Part of Luisita now titled to gov’t

Survey delays distribution, but farmers’ group wants it before Sona


WORK in Hacienda Luisita is backbreaking for farm workers. E.I. REYMOND T. OREJAS/INQUIRER CENTRAL LUZON

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—Some 4,000 hectares of the expansive estate owned by President Benigno Aquino’s family in Tarlac have been titled to the government to pave the way for land distribution, which farm workers said should take place before Mr. Aquino’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) if his administration doesn’t want to face protests.

Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes, in a phone interview on Wednesday, said the revalidation of a survey done on Hacienda Luisita, the estate owned by the Cojuangco family, is delaying actual distribution.

He said, however, that the Land Registration Authority has titled the 4,000 ha marked for distribution to the government.

Noel Mallari, head of the Original 1989 Farmworkers, said the distribution should happen before the President’s Sona when the 16th Congress opens on July 22. He said the President faces massive protests from farmers if the lands are not distributed before he delivers his Sona.

De los Reyes said the distribution of the 4,000 ha to 6,212 beneficiaries will start “in the next few days.”

Another group, the Farm Workers Agrarian Reform Movement-Luisita, earlier asserted that the entire estate, with an area of 6,443 ha, was covered by agrarian reform in 1989.

Mr. Aquino’s grandfather, Jose Cojuangco, bought the property in 1957 using a government loan and guarantee.

Mallari said the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) should work fast. “It’s been almost a year since the DAR began its information drive in the 10 barangays of Luisita on how agrarian reform would be done here,” he said.

“Hunger is so widespread now. People eat rats and snakes, make do with little vegetables or take jobs as housemaids or laborers. Many had pawned or rented out the lands they still don’t own,” said Mallari, one of the petitioners representing the supervisory group in the first case that was filed before the bloody labor strike in the estate in 2004.

The Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (Ambala), the original claimant, scored the DAR for reducing the land area to 4,000 ha and excluding the group from the land survey process.

But De los Reyes disputed Ambala’s assertion.

The Supreme Court, in a final resolution on April 22 last year, upheld the 2006 decision of the DAR to distribute 4,915.15 ha to 6,296 farm workers who, together with the Cojuangco family-owned Tarlac Development Corp., agreed to own shares of stock in the Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI) instead of lands when the estate was covered by agrarian reform in 1989.

The high court also ordered the DAR to segregate from the 4,915.15 ha the 500 ha that were sold later to the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. and the 80.51 ha bought by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority for the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, or a total of 580.51 hectares. It ordered HLI to be audited and pay the farm workers P1.3 billion.

The court asked the beneficiaries to pay for the land at the 1989 value and the DAR to pay for the home lots that HLI gave them.

De los Reyes said that after segregating the 580.51 ha, the DAR also excluded the lands for roads and quarry sites as “common areas.”

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 , Hacienda Luisita , land distribution

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. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  2. Chinese lawyers say they were tortured by police
  3. Hair salon’s Kim Jong Un poster riles embassy
  4. Siquijor ‘healer’: For every cure, there’s a plant
  5. State seeks guilty verdict for Abalos
  6. Why college grads end up in the PNP
  7. Estrada: I will pray for my detractors
  8. Miraculous image makes Gapan City top site for pilgrimage in Central Luzon
  9. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  10. Five men from Cavite found dead in jeep in Batangas
  1. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  2. Massage attendant arrested on rape complaint filed by Japanese tourist
  3. ‘Tell no one’ Makati bettor won P250M lotto
  4. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  5. Netizens cry: 6/55 Lotto was rigged
  6. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  7. North Korea uses flamethrower to execute official
  8. ‘King’ Yabut and I: Driver bares Makati dad ‘abuses’
  9. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  10. It was difficult having Japanese blood
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. UP back on top as ‘average’ student aces bar
  5. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  6. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  7. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  8. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  9. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  10. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’


  • Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  • AFP denies hand in disappearance of Tiamzon’s gardener
  • PH gov’t to verify MILF presence in Basilan clash
  • Padaca ‘eager’ to air side on trial over graft, malversation raps
  • DPWH to favor road rehab over preventive maintenance in next 2 years
  • Sports

  • Power Pinoys salvage 7th place in Asian men’s volley club championship
  • Knicks prevent Nets from clinching fifth seed
  • Arsenal beats West Ham 3-1 in Premier League
  • Memorial service marks Hillsborough anniversary
  • My ideal weight is 140, declares Pacquiao
  • Lifestyle

  • Celebrate Easter Sunday at Buddha-Bar Manila
  • Moriones feast: A slow, steady transformation
  • Weaving ‘palaspas’ a tradition kept alive in Tayabas City
  • Finalists announced for best translated books
  • Summer treat for your aspiring astronomers
  • Entertainment

  • Deniece Cornejo posts bail—report
  • Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels US concert
  • Otaku Summer Jam 2014: Summer’s hottest J-rock/Cosplay event
  • 2NE1 returns to Manila with “All Or Nothing” Tour
  • Gary Valenciano just keeps moving
  • Business

  • I-Remit teams up with Lakhoo for remittances from Oman
  • Megawide nets P1.4 B in 2013
  • Longer TRO sought on rate hike
  • Make a stylish statement with the all-new Yaris
  • Hearing set in Olarte case
  • Technology

  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Another reason to quit social media this Holy Week: your safety
  • Opinion

  • We may never know
  • Couple of things
  • Mommy D’s magic
  • Stop bizarre and bloody Good Friday rituals
  • Holy Week taboos
  • Global Nation

  • 2 PCG men ordered arrested over Balintang Channel shooting
  • US Embassy closed on Holy Thursday, Good Friday
  • Relief worker draws inspiration from helping Yolanda victims
  • Philippines says peace pact should hold despite clashes
  • No travel restrictions to Middle East amid MERS-CoV scare
  • Marketplace