RECENT UPDATES ON HACIENDA LUISITA 8/ 7/ 2010 MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - The compromise reached between the farmerbeneficiaries of Hacienda

Luisita and the Cojuangco-Aquino family is a "sham agreement" that will not end the conflict in the sugar estate, a leftist party-list group leader said. "This compromise is a grand deception by the Cojuangco-Aquinos of farmers and the entire nation. It exposes the greedy character of the President's relatives," said Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano. "It will not end the conflict in the hacienda," he added. "Instead, this will add fuel to the conflagration of peasant resistance in Tarlac." Anakpawis called on the Supreme Court, which is hearing a petition to revoke the existing stock distribution arrangement between Hacienda Luista Inc. (HLI) and farmers, to "junk this sham deal." "The Luisita dispute is not simply about intra-corporate dispute as claimed and signaled by the landlord-President to the court. This is about agrarian reform, about social justice to Luisita farmers tied in more than half a century of bondage at the hands of the Cojuangco feudal lords,” Mariano said. President Aquino said on Friday the matter was an intra-corporate dispute, and that he had divested his shares in HLI as required by under the law after assuming the presidency. Under the agreement between HLI and farmer-beneficiaries, only 1,366 hectares (has.) out of the 4,915 has. owned by farmers are covered since this is the area representing the beneficiaries' 33% share in the company. The agreement provides that should farmer-beneficiaries decide to liquidate, lease or transfer their assets, they should grant HLI "the right of first refusal." Mariano said the "sham deal is totally unacceptable." He said the 33% share of the farmer-beneficiaries in HLI represent 4,915 hectares of agricultural land, not 1,366 has. as provided in the agreement. “The scheme has practically rendered impossible the break-up and distribution of the Luisita landholdings. The Cojuangcos still have control over the lands,” the Anakpawis leader said. Mariano, who is also chair of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), called on agrarian reform advocates to "condemn, expose and oppose the grand deception done by the Cojuangco-Aquinos to Luisita farmers." “This grandiose deception by the Cojuangco-Aquinos in Hacienda Luisita exposes what kind of agrarian reform will be implemented under the Aquino administration.

SENTRA already learned that they were co-opted by the Luisita management. He also said the deal is "illegal as it violates existing agrarian reform laws. may be liable for contempt. purportedly on behalf of the farm workers. we do not know whether in signing the agreement. we do not anymore wonder why they signed the deal. has never been president of Ambala. which is composed of around 200 persons. were the clients of SENTRA in the case before the Supreme Court. However. Even then. 'Deal is invalid' Meanwhile. Thus.000 members filed the petition to revoke the SDO before the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in 2004. Jose Julio Zuniga and Windsor Aadaya.This so-called deal is a lethal blow to the peasantry’s struggle for genuine agrarian reform. who claims to be the president of Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (Ambala)." Pahilga said. not Ambala." He said the records of the case pending before the Supreme Court would reveal that Mallari claimed to represent FARM Luisita. he said Mallari was kicked out of Ambala as he secretly negotiated with the Luisita management without authority from the farm workers. called the Hacienda Luisita deal "invalid. while the farm workers were struggling daily to make a living. they were given the green light by the rest of the members of the Supervisory Group." Pahilga. Thus.” he said. they lived affluent lives courtesy of the Luisita management. When the case was pending with the DAR." He said Noel Mallari. and had long been ousted from the organization for "acts inimical to the farm workers. After the Supreme Court issued the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) that prevented the DAR to revoke the SDO and distribute the land to the farmers. He said Zuniga and Aadaya represented the Supervisory Group of Hacienda Luisita. "He is biting on an HLI proposal that was already vehemently rejected by the farmworkers in 2006. "This Mallari is an impostor. Pahilga said the two no longer communicated with SENTRA. said the Cojuangco-Aquino family and the alleged farmers' representatives who signed the deal. lawyer Jobert Ilarde Pahilga. Pahilga said two others involved in the deal. a lawyer of Hacienda Luisita farm workers who had sought revocation of the SDO before the Supreme Court." Pahilga claimed." Pahilga said Mallari was the Vice-President of Ambala when its more than 6. . Pahilga said the persons who signed the deal. had no authority to enter into the settlement. executive trustee of Sentro Para sa Tunay na Repormang Agraryo (SENTRA). "SENTRA learned that they were given vast tract of land by Luisita management to cultivate and planted with sugar cane.

Moreover. and unless this decision is reversed.102 hectares. He was the Vice-President of United Luisita Workers' Union (ULWU).400 will be divided to the farm workers who will opt for land distribution while the rest of the land will remain with HLI.102 hectares. Under the existing law. approximately. This means that the farm workers will only be given 33% of the 4. will total only to 1." he explained. Even worse than original SDO Pahilga said the deal signed on Friday is even "worse that the original SDO agreement of 1989. Pahilga said. Pingol could not represent ULWU as he was not given the authority to represent the farm workers' union." "The agreement stated that the farm workers have two options . But contrary to their assertion in the agreement." "It is illegal because the PARC decision to cover the HLI lands for agrarian reform still stands. He said HLI has no right to retain the rest of the land because they should be covered by the existing agrarian reform program. the lands are effectively under the jurisdiction of DAR". Pahilga said "HLI is subverting the law to maintain their control and ownership of Hacienda Luisita." 'The referendum is illegal' He also said the "referendum" conducted by the HLI management purportedly to make the farm workers choose whether they would continue under the SDO scheme or get a piece of HLI lands "is also illegal. which in effect. ULWU is not a party to the Supreme Court case. In the event that the farm workers opt for actual land distribution. He explained that the TRO issued by the Supreme Court merely restrained the implementation of the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council's (PARC) decision. He said the HLI's act of conducting a "referendum" was in defiance of the DAR. Thus. they will be given the equivalent percentage of the size of the land from the remaining HLI land actually devoted to agriculture.to continue with the SDO scheme or to have the land actually distributed to them. Thus. This 1. He said it was was HLI who went to the Supreme Court to question the validity of the PARC decision.400 hectares. HLI management very well knows this. Pahilga said only DAR has the "authority to decide what to do with the HLI lands as they are already placed under the agrarian reform program."The same is true with Edilberto Pingol. agricultural land in excess of 5 hectares shall be distributed to the farmers. Pahilga said Supreme Court had already set on August 18 the oral argument on the HLI petition against the PARC's decision." Pahilga said. with a total area of 4." He also pointed out that the "referendum" was not supervised by DAR. he said the HLI . but the decision is valid as things stand.

"Kung kailan magdedesisyon ang korte. Over 800 farmers from 10 barangays attended the signing of the agreement. PARC's resolution to revoke the SDO. Pahilga said "the Cojuangcos-Aquinos have not really learned their lessons in 1989. or own a parcel of land in the plantation. "We have reached an agreement. "We are happy [with the deal]. which mothered the protracted strife that now bedevils the farm workers community in Hacienda Luisita. However.500-hectare hacienda will be put up for distribution. was unanimous." another added. . For one. Lito Bais. Around 1. giving farmers the choice to retain shares of the company under a stock distribution option (SDO) signed 21 years ago.400 hectares comprising a third of the 6." he said." he said." "We will definitely question in the Supreme Court the validity of the deal and the standing of these individuals with whom HLI management negotiated and hold them in contempt of the court.915 has. contested the compromise deal. as it did not improve the lives of the farm workers but made them more miserable. Bais' group did not attend the signing of deal. saka may settlement. "The agreement was intended to muddle the issue and pre-empt the outcome of the case now pending with the Supreme Court.should wait for the Court to decide instead of trying to "pre-empt" the court. saying that all 4. The agreement also includes a P150 million financial assistance for the 12. and most of them voted in favor of the SDO. HLI had violated several agrarian reform laws and the SDO scheme is clearly unconstitutional and unjust." one farmer said.000 farmer-beneficiaries of HLI." said Bais. Supreme Court spokesman Midas Marquez told reporters on Friday that the High Tribunal is awaiting manifestations from parties in the Hacienda Luisita land distribution case regarding the reported settlement signed Friday before the court can act on this development. of the sugar plantation that were covered by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) should be distributed among farmers. Choose: SDO or land? Representatives of HLI and 3 labor unions representing the farmer-beneficiaries signed an agreement early Friday in Tarlac." Pahilga said. "What the HLI is doing is a repeat of the manufactured referendum in 1989. For another. The HLI management very well knew that they will not win the battle in the Supreme Court. acting president of United Luisita Workers Union.

"It was learned that the Hacienda Luisita case was transferred from the Third Division to the First Division through an internal resolution issued last June 15 ordering the reorganization of the divisions based on the seniority of the justices. The SC ruling called for the implementation of the stock distribution option (SDO) plan of the Tarlac Development Corp/Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI) in a bid to resolve the land dispute between the Cojuangcos and some 5. Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr. the SC issued a temporary restraining order stopping the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) in subjecting the Cojuangco family's sugar estate under the coverage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP)." he said.Marquez said the manifestations should be submitted on Monday so they could be calendared for Tuesday's en banc session. The Supreme Court will then decide whether to proceed with the August 18 oral arguments on the case. Mariano Del Castillo and Jose Perez as members. each of the farmers-tenants would get certificates of stocks instead of lands for them to till. which has been transferred to the First Division. SC spokesman and court administrator Jose Midas Marquez said Corona has asked for updates on the long-standing land case involving the 4. . The First Division is composed of Corona as chairman. In June 2006. the High Court has yet to revoke the TRO and the case has remained pending before the tribunal. 2010 RESPONDING to the request of farmers of Hacienda Luisita.000 farm workers. Chief Justice Renato Corona ordered Supreme Court (SC) Clerk of court to check the status of the case. The development has awakened the much-delayed case at the SC. The court is hearing a petition by HLI questioning an earlier directive from the Department of Agrarian Reform that the hacienda be distributed following a violent strike that killed 7 people in 2004.915-hectare agricultural estate of the Cojuangcos in Tarlac. Hacienda Luisita case now on the Move June 23. To date. and Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo-De Castro. as the working chairman. Under the SDO scheme imposed by Aquino to farmers-tenants in Hacienda Luisita.

Below is part one. which had a self- . Along with the Hacienda Luisita massacre of November 16. an issue that is likely to haunt Aquino as he travels the campaign trail for the May 2010 elections. Pressure for land reform on Luisita since then reached a bloody head in 2004 when seven protesters were killed near the gate of the sugar mill in what is now known as the Luisita massacre. it belonged to the Spanish-owned Compaña General de Tabacos de Filipinas (Tabacalera). The investigation yielded illuminating insights into Senator Noynoy Aquino’s involvement in Hacienda Luisita that have not been openly discussed since his presidential bid. GMANews. First of a series Senator Noynoy Cojuangco Aquino has said he only owns 1% of Hacienda Luisita. A separate interview and review of court documents was then conducted with the lawyers representing the workers’ union in court.TV traveled to Tarlac and spoke to Luisita’s farm workers and union leaders. To find the answer. to the farmers-tenants prompted them to write DAR seeking the cancellation of Aquino's Stocks Distribution scheme. an incident better known as the Mendiola massacre.TV also examined the Cojuangcos’ court defense and past media and legislative records on the Luisita issue. Tabacalera acquired the land in 1882 from the Spanish crown. GMANews. part three here and part four here. A background on the troubled history of Hacienda Luisita is essential to understanding why the issue is forever haunting Senator Noynoy Aquino and his family. 2004. in compliance with the MOA.) Hacienda Luisita's past haunts Noynoy's future January 18. Details are gradually explored in this series of special reports. This is the story of the hacienda and its farmers. 2010 This week the country commemorates the tragic shooting of protesting farmers on January 22. Part two is here. Remnant of colonialism Before the Cojuangco family acquired Hacienda Luisita in the 1950s. 1987. Why is he being dragged into the hacienda’s issues? This is one of the most common questions asked in the 2010 elections. Our research shows that the problem began when government lenders obliged the Cojuangcos to distribute the land to small farmers by1967.The failure of the Luisita management to release stocks dividends. The struggle between farmers and landowners of Hacienda Luisita is now being seen as the first real test of character of presidential candidate Noynoy Cojuangco Aquino. these two incidents represent the darker side of the Aquino legacy. a deadline that came and went. whose family has owned the land since 1958.

but in the 1920s. (Dr. the Spaniards built the sugar mill Central Azucarera de Tarlac to accompany their sugarcane plantation. Putzel wrote. the wealthy Cojuangco brothers Jose. acquiring Central Azucarera de Tarlac and Hacienda Luisita from the Spaniards. was the father of former President Corazon “Cory" Cojuangco Aquino. Jr. Luisita was named after Luisa. this divide is seen between Noynoy Aquino (grandson of Jose Sr. Ninoy Aquino wanted the azucarera and hacienda to stay only within the immediate family of his father-in-law. wrote American development studies expert James Putzel in his 1992 book A Captive Land: The Politics of Agrarian Reform in the Philippines. Tobacco used to be the main crop planted in Luisita. received significant preferential treatment and assistance from the government to facilitate his takeover of Hacienda Luisita and Central Azucarera de Tarlac in 1957. nephew of Peping) and Gibo Teodoro (grandson of Eduardo Sr. Antonio. Sr. $2. and Eduardo also put up a small sugar mill in Paniqui. Dollars were tightly regulated in those times. Jose “Pepe" Cojuangco..’s brothers and their heirs from Luisita caused the first major rift in the Cojuangco family. Today. The Spaniards wanted to sell because of the Huk rebellion and chronic labor problems. To acquire a controlling interest in Central Azucarera de Tarlac. Sugar production had become more profitable because demand was guaranteed by the US quota. Sr. Ninoy brokers purchase of Luisita In 1954. nephew of Danding). the Spaniards shifted to sugar. He is currently a Professor of Development Studies at the London School of Economics. who are both running in the 2010 presidential elections. The eldest brother. Juan. Government loans given to Cojuangco Jose Cojuangco.appointed claim on the lands as the Philippines’ colonial master. the wife of the top official of Tabacalera. In 1927.. Jose Cojuangco. To ease the flow of foreign exchange for Cojuangco’s loan. In 1957.) The exclusion of Jose Cojuangco. Sr.1 million loan. This played out years later in the political rivalry of Jose’s son Peping and Eduardo’s son Danding.. He turned to the Manufacturer’s Trust Company in New York for a 10-year. Sr. the Central Bank of the . Around the same year. Corazon Cojuangco married Benigno “Ninoy" Aquino. James Putzel did extensive research on agrarian reform in the Philippines between the late 1980s to the early 1990s. Cojuangco had to pay the Spaniards in dollars. with President Ramon Magsaysay as one of the ninongs (sponsor) at the wedding. and the grandfather of Senator Noynoy Aquino. Magsaysay talked to Ninoy Aquino about the possibility of Ninoy’s father-in-law. not to be shared with the other Cojuangcos. Tarlac.

GSIS Resolution No. The GSIS approved a P5. (GSIS Resolution No. the farm workers began to organize themselves to uphold their cause. 1085. 3202. Putzel noted that the Central Bank Monetary Board resolution from 1957 required distribution of Hacienda Luisita’s land to small farmers within 10 years. the land would belong to the farmers). within 10 years. February 5. the Tarlac Development Corporation (TADECO). By 1967. Cojuangco turned to the GSIS (Government Service Insurance System). . On April 8. His application for a P7 million loan said that 4.’s company. the year before the Cojuangco family took over. 1958. Sr. Bais was born on the hacienda in 1957. When 1967 came and went with no land distribution taking place.000 hectares of the hacienda would be made available to bonafide sugar planters. 1240. Land not distributed to farmers “Ang pagkakaintindi ng mga ninuno naming manggagawang-bukid ng Hacienda Luisita noon.Philippines deposited part of the country’s international reserves with the Manufacturer’s Trust Company in New York. To finance the purchase of Hacienda Luisita. In his book. Jose Cojuangco.453 hectares would be distributed to barrio residents who will pay for them on installment." says Lito Bais. within 10 years. on the condition that Hacienda Luisita would be “subdivided among the tenants who shall pay the cost thereof under reasonable terms and conditions". May 7. 356. Jose Cojuangco. August 27. the Cojuangcos were going to pay back the money they borrowed from the government. 1957. should there be any" (GSIS Resolution No. understood things at that time. requested that the phrase be amended to “. one of the presentday leaders of the United Luisita Workers Union (ULWU). This phrase would be cited later on as justification not to distribute the hacienda’s land. babayaran na [ng mga Cojuangco] ang utang nila sa gubyerno. 1957) Later. Ninoy Aquino also became the Philippines’ youngest senator. became the new owner of Hacienda Luisita and Central Azucarera de Tarlac. shall be sold at cost to tenants." (Central Bank Monetary Board Resolution No. 1957). His entry into national politics marked the . ang lupa ay sa magsasaka na (The way our elders. The Central Bank did this on the condition that Cojuangco would simultaneously purchase the 6. Sr. November 25.9 million loan. That year. while the balance 2. Ninoy Aquino was appointed the hacienda’s first administrator. His mother was also born on the hacienda.443-hectare Hacienda Luisita. The controversies that would hound the hacienda for decades can be traced to the Cojuangcos’ efforts to retain control of the land long after the deadline for land distribution passed in 1967. the farm workers of Hacienda Luisita. 1958). . Pagdating ng 1967. “with a view to distributing this hacienda to small farmers in line with the Administration’s social justice program.

TADECO. 1980 by the Marcos government against the Cojuangco company TADECO for the surrender of Hacienda Luisita to the Ministry of Agrarian Reform. A tenant farmer is one who is in possession of the land being tilled. 1967. was one of the first people arrested. a case was filed on May 7. the Cojuangcos again said that the Central Bank and GSIS resolutions were unenforceable because there were no tenants on Hacienda Luisita. 1978. 1977." recalls Bais. the farmers thought the wheels of justice were finally turning and land distribution was coming. so land could be distributed to the farmers at cost. kaya ang lupang ito ay sa kanila (Doña Metring. Government files case vs. However. Cojuangcos The Cojuangcos’ disputed hold over Hacienda Luisita had been tolerated by Marcos even at the height of his dictatorship. “E. Another letter was written by Central Bank Governor Gregorio Licaros on May 5.. 1981 response to the government’s complaint. In his book A Captive Land. Sr. After Marcos declared Martial Law in 1972. his most voluble critic Aquino. How else could this land have been tamed? How could it have been cultivated if there were no people here when they took over?)" (The distinction between a tenant farmer and seasonal farmers hired from outside was key to the Cojuangcos’ defense. therefore the land belonged to them). The government’s lawsuit was portrayed by the anti-Marcos bloc as an act of harassment against Ninoy Aquino’s family. kaya wala raw benipesyaryo." Raising . Inside Hacienda Luisita. therefore there were no beneficiaries. Cojuangcos claim hacienda has no tenants In their January 10. said there were no tenants in the hacienda when they took over. na wala raw silang inabutan na tao [sa hacienda]. Paano mapapatag ang lupang ito? Paano makapag-tanim kung walang taong inabutan? (But look at this land. as Ninoy Aquino and his family were leaving for exile in the US. tignan mo naman ang lupang ito. (Republic of the Philippines vs. Civil Case No. who was planning to run for President. James Putzel noted that the Central Bank resolution mentioned distribution not to tenants but to “small farmers.start of his bitter rivalry with President Ferdinand Marcos. “Inilaban ni Doña Metring.) The government’s first follow-up letter was written by Conrado Estrella of the Land Authority on March 2. Manila Regional Trial Court. who died in 1976. 131654. (The Cojuangcos always replied that the loan terms were unenforceable because there were no tenants on the hacienda. in accordance with the terms of the government loans given in 1957-1958 to the late Jose Cojuangco. yung nanay nila Cory. Another letter was written by Agrarian Reform Deputy Minister Ernesto Valdez on May 23. Branch XLIII) The Marcos government filed this case after written follow-ups sent to the Cojuangcos over a period of eleven years did not result in land distribution. the mother of Cory. however.

1986.) The government pursued its case against the Cojuangcos.the issue of tenancy thus seemed ineffective in the defense. The Cojuangcos elevated the case to the Court of Appeals (Court of Appeals G. The Cojuangcos formed Luisita Realty Corporation in 1977 as a first step to turning the hacienda into a residential and industrial complex. “Land-to-the-tiller must become a reality. Land reform was one of the pillars of her campaign. 1985.) The Cojuangcos also said in their January 10. Aquino also said. to enable [beneficiaries] to become self-reliant and prosperous farmers.TV spoke to said they were told by Cojuangco family members managing the hacienda during this time that if Cory became president. and by December 2." Ten days later. it . 1981 response that there was no agrarian unrest in Luisita. He said this promise was made to motivate them to vote for Cory and join the jeepney-loads of people being sent to Manila from Tarlac to attend her rallies. Conversion became a buzzword among big landowners all over the country. 1985. “We are determined to implement a genuine land reform program .R. 1986 snap elections. was set to run for President against Marcos in the February 7. this decision was rendered with unusual speed and was decried by the Cojuangcos as another act of harassment. instead of an empty slogan. they asserted that the government’s claim on Luisita had already expired since no litigation was undertaken since 1967. . Court orders Cojuangcos to surrender Luisita In the meantime. the Manila Regional Trial Court ordered TADECO to surrender Hacienda Luisita to the Ministry of Agrarian Reform. Hacienda Luisita would once and for all be distributed to the farmers through her land reform program. A farmer GMANews. now a widow after the assassination of Ninoy Aquino in 1983." This campaign promise would haunt her for many years to come. 08634). Aquino delivered her second major speech in Davao and said. or both." In the same speech. vague rumors of a planned conversion of the hacienda into a residential subdivision or airport. and existing Marcos land reform legislation exempted sugar lands. On January 6. . Further. (This was likely due to the decline of the sugar industry in the Philippines after the US quota ended in the 1970s. To this day. cropped up among the farm workers. “You will probably ask me: Will I also apply it to my family’s Hacienda Luisita? My answer is yes. because Cory Aquino. Aquino delivered the first policy speech of her campaign in Makati and said. Cory promises to give “land to the tiller" Cory Aquino officially announced her candidacy on December 3. According to Putzel. 1986. on January 16. causing anxiety that they would be left with no land to till.

Juan Ponce Enrile’s link to Hacienda Luisita On September 16. 1986. Marcos was declared winner. Aquino’s abandonment of Laurel and her taking of legislative power were early signs that a web of advisers was influencing her decisions. Legislative powers were to reside with the President until elections were held. 1987. but was ousted by the People Power revolution. This was the reason Laurel agreed to shelve his own plan to run for President and put his party’s resources behind Aquino during the snap elections. eleven months into the Aquino administration. and abolished the Batasang Pambansa (Parliament). The New York Times reported that Laurel had confronted Aquino about her promise in 1985 to let him run the government as Prime Minister after Marcos was ousted. More were seriously injured. Aquino announced that a new Constitution was going to be formed. Mendiola. Enrile also happened to be the lawyer of Tabacalera when Hacienda Luisita was taken over by the Cojuangcos in 1957. 1986. Laurel found an ally in Juan Ponce Enrile. “I believed you. At least a dozen protesters were killed in the violent dispersal. She named her running mate Salvador “Doy" Laurel Prime Minister through Presidential Proclamation No. Thousands of frustrated farmers marched to Malacañang demanding fulfillment of the promises made regarding land reform during the Aquino campaign. the Mendiola massacre happened. 1.haunts her son. To critics. because she had no experience. Cory Aquino was sworn in as President on February 25. The sway of these advisers would be felt later in the choices Aquino would make regarding Hacienda Luisita. Aquino issued Presidential Proclamation No. 1987. Marcos flees. Laurel said. . Aquino. Laurel formally broke ties with Aquino. This nullified Laurel’s position as Prime Minister. a portent of the Luisita massacre On January 22. Aquino just listened without response. 3 declaring a revolutionary government and dissolving the 1973 Constitution. A month later. and distribution of lands at no cost to beneficiaries. He was retained by the Cojuangcos after the sale. Enrile’s inside knowledge of the controversial transaction would be a big thorn in the side of the Cojuangco-Aquinos." the New York Times quoted Laurel saying he told Mrs. Aquino dissolves Constitution The snap elections took place on February 7. another disenchanted EDSA veteran who now opposed Aquino.

on June 10. Her outline also included a provision for the Stock Distribution Option (SDO). Through the SDO. now headed by Aquino appointees Philip Juico and Feliciano “Sonny" Belmonte respectively. Fernandez. 1989. as Juan Ponce Enrile called it back then. saying the lands of Hacienda Luisita were going to be distributed anyway through the new agrarian reform law. She expanded its coverage to include sugar and coconut lands. Hacienda Luisita was put under the Stock Distribution Option (SDO) that Aquino included in the law. The motion to dismiss was filed by Solicitor General Frank Chavez. Stage is set for “SDO" A month after the case was dismissed. Under pressure after the bloodshed in Mendiola. landlords could comply with the land reform law without giving land to farmers. headed by Marcos appointee Jose B. 1987. 1987 “midnight decree". now Minority Floor Leader at the Senate. said it would have no objection if. The new 1987 Constitution took effect on February 11. posed no objection to the motion to dismiss the case. a low point in the administration of former President Corazon C. The Central Bank. Aquino fast-tracked the passage of the land reform law. 1987. 1987. Aquino issued Presidential Proclamation 131 and Executive Order No. Juan Ponce Enrile. delivered a privilege speech questioning Aquino’s insertion of the SDO in her outline for the land reform law. The timing insured the passage of the SDO. (Aquino’s July 22. It was the Philippine government itself— under Aquino—that filed the motion to dismiss its own case against TADECO. The Department of Agrarian Reform and the GSIS. the distribution of Hacienda Luisita to small farmers would be achieved under the comprehensive agrarian reform program. also an Aquino appointee. Cojuangcos On May 18. . 229 outlining her land reform program. a mode of complying with the land reform law that did not require actual transfer of land to the tiller. raised eyebrows because it was issued just days before the legislative powers Aquino took in 1986 were going to revert back to Congress on July 28. Aquino. Aquino signed the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law. the Court of Appeals dismissed the case filed in 1980 by the Philippine government—under Marcos—against the Cojuangco company TADECO to compel the handover of Hacienda Luisita. 13 protesters were killed near Malacañang in what has gone down in history as the Mendiola Massacre.) Cory withdraws case vs. and on July 22. 1988. Soon after. 1988. and the power she gave herself through Executive Order No.In a protest march for land reform in January 1987. as determined by the Department of Agrarian Reform. the first regular session of the new Congress after the May 1987 elections. On June 8.

All these. were indications that the Cojuangcos had taken advantage of the powers of the presidency to circumvent land reform and stay in control of Hacienda Luisita. including the one for Hacienda Luisita. Enrile also questioned the Aquino administration’s withdrawal of the government’s case compelling land distribution of Hacienda Luisita to farmers.229 to preside over the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC). 2004 massacre of workers fifteen years later. climaxing in the November 16. Enrile said. . Aquino’s sidestepping of land reform would stoke the embers of conflict in Luisita. the body that would approve stock distribution programs.

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