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SC to DAR: Explain Luisita land distribution
The Supreme Court (SC) has issued a show cause order to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to make sure that the agency has complied with the implementation of the Hacienda Luisita land distribution order. File
MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court (SC) has issued a show cause order to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to make sure that the agency has complied with the implementation of the Hacienda Luisita land distribution order.
The SC ordered the DAR to show why it should not be cited in contempt for supposed failure to implement the land distribution as ordered by the high court.
In a resolution issued on May 3, the high court gave the DAR a non-extendible period of 10 days to submit its answer to the motion for contempt filed by the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) last month.
Also covered by the order is the Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Hacienda Luisita (Ambala), the organization of farmers in the sugar plantation owned by the family of former president Benigno Aquino III.
In its motion, RCBC alleged that the DAR Undersecretary Rafael Mariano violated the SC’s decision that directed the department to segregate, among other parcels, a 500-hectare lot that had already been converted into industrial land under a conversion order issued by the DAR itself.
A part of this land is the 184-hectare property belonging to RCBC.
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RCBC also argued that the SC had earlier ruled that the conditions of the conversion order covering the property had been complied with.
Last month, supposed farmer-workers and various militant groups staged a rally in front of RCBC properties claiming rights thereto pursuant to the DAR’s revocation order.
The rally later escalated to violence against RCBC’s personnel and destruction of its properties.
In its July 2011 decision, the SC upheld the validity of the order issued by the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) which revoked the stock distribution option plan (SDO) that had been offered to the original 6,296 farmer-beneficiaries of Hacienda Luisita, in lieu of land distribution which is mandated under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
The court affirmed with modification PARC’s Resolution No. 2005-32-01 issued on Dec. 22, 2005 by allowing the original farmer-beneficiaries to choose to remain as stockholders of Hacienda Luisita Inc. or get the land due them.
But in its resolution in November 2011, the Court modified its decision and ordered the total distribution of the plantation to its farmer-beneficiaries.