Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano today ordered the distribution of 358.22 hectares of prime agricultural lands in Bgy. Belete and CutCut, Tarlac City owned and managed by Tarlac Development Corporation-Hacienda Luisita of the influential Aquino-Cojuangco family.
TADECO, then owned and/or controlled by the Jose Cojuangco, Sr. Group, bought the sugar estate famously known as the Hacienda Luisita from its Spanish owner Compañía General de Tabacos de Filipinas (Tabacalera). On 23 August 1988, TADECO organized the Hacienda Luisita, Incorporated (HLI) as a spin-off corporation, and then assigned and conveyed its 4,915.75-hectare property to HLI. In the present protest, aside from those properties conveyed to HLI, TADECO is also the registered owner of the properties (subject properties) which were the subject of the NOC caused by the DAR to be published in a newspaper on 17 December 2013.
The Alyansa Ng Manggagawang Bukid Ng Asyenda Luisita (AMBALA), Incorporated, an organization farmworkers in the sugar estate known as Hacienda Luisita, located in Central Luzon filed a petition seeking for the coverage of the subject properties under the CARP. AMBALA members assert their rights over the properties as potential farmer-beneficiaries under the country’s agrarian reform program.
Mariano explained the 358.22 hectares is outside the 4,915 hectares HLI property subjected to CARP by the Supreme Court.
Mariano in effect denied the Protest and Supplemental Protest filed by Tarlac Development Corporation for lack of merit and ordered the said property covered under agrarian reform program.
Mariano also maintained the validity of the publication of Notices of Coverage over the eight (8) parcels of land specifically identified as follows: T-400301; T-231174; T-231166; T-231183; T-231164; T-408282; T-408283; and T-408279, all of which are owned and registered in the name of TADECO;
He directed the DAR Provincial Office of Tarlac to immediately proceed with and complete the land acquisition and distribution process over the subject properties in the light of the provisions of Section 30 of Republic Act No. 9700;
Mariano likewise directed the DAR Regional Office III to do all acts and things necessary, including but not limited to securing assistance from appropriate law enforcement officials, to ensure that Landowner-protestant TADECO and/or any persons acting in its behalf comply with this Order.
He denied all ancillary motions filed by TADECO for lack of merit. (30) (Public Assistance and Media Relations Service, Department of Agrarian Reform)