Luisita distribution by Sept. doubted



An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Wednesday cast doubt on the government’s claim that the vast sugar estate owned by President Aquino’s family in Tarlac would be distributed to farmers by September.

Fr. Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of the CBCP-National Secretariat for Social Action, said the announcement of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) that Hacienda Luisita would be distributed to its farmer-beneficiaries by August to September should be taken with a grain of salt.

“To see is to believe. With the inefficient track record of DAR in the implementation (of agrarian reform), I hope it happens but I really doubt it will,” Gariguez said in an interview.

He explained that the government has yet to adequately address the many concerns raised by Hacienda Lusita farmers.

“Two of my staff members just came from there and (the farmers) still have a lot of concerns. They are not convinced by the management, particularly regarding the list (of beneficiaries), which they are still questioning,” Gariguez said.—Philip C. Tubeza

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