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MANILA, Philippines -- Malacanang vowed Thursday to ensure the implementation of the decision of the Supreme Court to distribute Hacienda Luisita, the vast sugar estate of the family of President Benigno Aquino III, to agrarian reform farmer-beneficiaries.
“We will implement the law … (Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio) de los Reyes will do what is necessary,” Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda said.
However, Lacierda would not comment on the high court ruling pegging the compensation for the Cojuangco family on the 1989 land valuation, or almost P200 million for the close to 5,000 hectares to be given out, as reckoned by farmers’ groups.
“We would rather get the decision rather than the gist,” he said.
The Cojuangcos had asked for close to P10 billion for the sugar estate in Tarlac, based on the 2006 valuation of P2.5 million per hectare.
Lacierda said the Department of Agrarian Reform will immediately begin identifying farmer-beneficiaries.
De los Reyes earlier said the normal process of land acquisition would take between six to 12 months, including the time needed to conduct a census and survey the land.
He said the Land Bank of the Philippines will first have to examine the books of the estate, apply the formula under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, and then send their computation to the DAR.