SC pegs ‘Luisita’ land valuation at 1989 price
BAGUIO CITY, Philippines -The Supreme Court by a unanimous vote of 14 ended the decade old land dispute and ordered the distribution of almost 5,000 hectare land to farmers and fixing the valuation for just compensation to 1989 value of the land.
High Court Spokesman
Jose Midas Marquez said 8 justices voted that the basis for just compensation for its 4,915.75 hectare vast sugarland plantation be the valuation of the land in 1989.
The eight justices are Chief Justice Renato Corona, Associate Justices Presbitero Velasco, Arturo Brion, Teresita Leonardo De Castro, Roberto Abad, Jose Perez. Jose Mendoza, and Martin Villarama.
The six justices who voted that the determination of valuation for just compensation be given to the Special Agrarian Court are Associate Justices Lucas Bersamin, Maria Lourdes Sereno, Diosdado Peralta, Mariano Del Castillo, Bienvenido Reyes and Estela Perlas-Bernabe.
The high court affirmed its Nov. 22, 2011 landmark ruling which held that just compensation due Hacienda Luisita, Inc. (HLI) should be based on the valuation of the land on Nov. 21, 1989, the day the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) approved Luisita’s stock distribution option agreement (SDOA).
The court denied Hacienda Luisita Incorporated’s appeal that the court follow Sereno’s opinion that the valuation of the land should be based on current fair market value, at the time HLI was issued a Notice of Coverage on Jan. 2, 2006.
If the valuation of the land would be based on the 2006 fair market value, HLI would have to be compensated some P10 billion for the total 4,915.7466 hectares up for distribution.
The 6,443-hectare Hacienda Luisita, one of the nation’s biggest properties, has been controlled by the Cojuangco family since the 1950s. Cojuangco is the maiden name of Aquino’s mother, the late President Corazon Aquino, who made land reform a pillar of her 1986 presidential campaign.
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