SC pressed on TRO vs Luisita land distribution
MANILA, Philippines—A militant lawmaker is urging the Supreme Court (SC) to lift the three-year old temporary restraining order (TRO) against the distribution of the 6,000-hectare Hacienda Luisita property of the Cojuangco-Aquino family in Tarlac.
Anakpawis party-list Rep. Rafael Mariano made the appeal on news that the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC), the Cojuangco-Aquino’s mortgage banker, has fenced off more than 170 hectares inside the vast estate.
“The TRO has been dragging for more than three years now rendering Hacienda Luisita’s distribution locked in legal battle. It’s long-overdue for the Supreme Court to uphold Luisita farmers’ rights to the lands and put an end to the Cojuangco-Aquinos decades-old feudal rule in Tarlac,” Mariano said.
The Presidential Agrarian Reform Council revoked the stock distribution option scheme proposed by the Cojuangco-Aquino management in 2005 and pushed for their compliance to land distribution under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program. The Cojuangco-Aquino management filed an appeal with the SC and succeeded in getting a TRO in 2006.
Mariano made the appeal on fears that the management’s bankers have been steadily increasing their physical presence in the property. He said RCBC built the fences shortly after it sought intervention in the SC claiming that 300 hectares of Hacienda Luisita had been mortgaged to the bank.
“The construction of fences only shows how the Cojuangcos used and abused the Supreme Court-issued TRO to deny farmers of their rightful claim,” Mariano added.
“All these maneuvers by the Cojuangcos—from the mortgaging of the lands, land-use conversions, up to the present construction of fences by the RCBC—are all intended to evade Luisita’s distribution and strengthen their control over the lands,” said Kilusang Magbubukid sa Pilipinas deputy secretary general Randall Echanis.
Copyright 2013 INQUIRER.net and content partners. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.