The DAR said that from 2011 to June 2014, Landbank disbursed P4.052 billion ($92.94 million) representing the cash portion of landowners compensation to more than 4,000 landowners whose lands were distributed to farmer-beneficiaries of the agrarian reform program. Of this amount, P471.50 million ($10.48 million) was paid to Hacienda Luisita. Incorporated (HLI).
By RONALYN V. OLEA
MANILA – A part of the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) released to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) was used to pay the clan of President Benigno S. Aquino III for Hacienda Luisita land.
Based on the list of DAP projects released by Malacañang, the DAR received P5.4 billion ($123.8 million) for landowners compensation and another P1.29 million ($29, 573) for agrarian reform communities project 2.
In a statement released to the media July 17, DAR admitted that the funds from the DAP were used to compensate over 4,000 landowners, including that of Hacienda Luisita.
The DAR said that from 2011 to June 2014, Landbank disbursed P4.052 billion ($92.94 million) representing the cash portion of landowners compensation to more than 4,000 landowners whose lands were distributed to farmer-beneficiaries of the agrarian reform program.
The DAR paid the Hacienda Luisita Incorporated (HLI) a total of P471.50 million ($10.48 million) broken down as follows: P304.03 million ($6.75 million) as the actual cost of land and an additional P167.47 million ($3.72 million) as interest.
The amount is 11.6 percent of the P4.052 billion ($92.94 million) paid to more than 4,000 landowners.
According to the Unyon ng Manggagawa sa Agrikultura, the amount is equivalent to P100,000 ($2,223) per hectare or “double the value initially prescribed by the April 24, 2012 Supreme Court decision on Hacienda Luisita.”
In its final ruling, the high court maintained that the date of reckoning for land valuation in Hacienda Luisita shall be November 21, 1989, the same date that the stock distribution option (SDO) in Hacienda Luisita was approved. The SDO is one of the non-land transfer schemes allowed under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). To evade actual distribution of the land, the Cojuangco-Aquinos during the administration of the late president Corazon Aquino, the current president’s mother, gave farm workers shares of stocks instead of land.
According to Ambala’s lawyer Jobert Pahilga, the 1989 valuation should be pegged at P40,000 ($952) per hectare, the same valuation given by the Cojuangco-Aquinos when they computed the shares of stocks of farm workers under the SDO. The SC affirmed that the valuation should be based on 1989 prices.
The UMA said the Cojuangco-Aquinos were overpaid by as much as P167 million ($3.83 million).
“President Aquino himself has allocated billions of pesos from his unconstitutional DAP for landlord compensation and for alleged bribery to secure the impeachment of Chief Justice Corona after the SC promulgated its final and executory decision on Hacienda Luisita,” the UMA in its 2013 fact-finding report.