Palace orders DAR to resolve issue in Hacienda Luisita

November 18, 2009 1:53 am 

MANILA, Nov. 17 — Malacanang directed the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to resolve the issue of farmers in the Hacienda Luisita, owned by Liberal Party standard-bearer Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino Jr.’s family.

”We will direct the DAR to act with dispatch on the disposition of this case and after so directing DAR Secretary Nasser Pangandaman to act with dispatch, and justice and fairness to this case,” Press Secretary Cerge Remonde told reporters in a briefing at Malacanang on Tuesday.

But Remonde was quick to say that there was no ‘politics’ in the directive of the Palace to DAR to resolve the issue in Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac.

Remonde said the Palace also appealed to all concerned, including the Aquino family and the Cojuangco families and the complainant-farm workers, to fully cooperate with DAR for the immediate resolution of the case for the good of all the concerned and justice to all.

The farm workers of Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI) in Tarlac commemorated last Friday the strike they mounted on Nov. 16, 2004 wherein seven strikers were killed.

Some 3,000 HLI farm workers, led by the United Luisita Workers Union, staged the strike to pressed for the distribution of lands and hike in wages and benefits.

The farm workers of the sugar mill, owned by the Aquino and Cojuangco family in Tarlac, called on the government then to give to 5,000 tillers all the 6,453 hectares of Hacienda Luisita.

But on Nov. 16, 2004 a violent confrontations erupted between strikers and soldiers and policemen, which resulted in the death of seven strikers.

The Supreme Court last year issued a temporary restraining order, stopping the DAR from proceeding with the revocation of stocks distribution option and from giving out lands to the farm workers.

Meanwhile, Senator Noynoy Aquino said that he wanted the Luisita lands to be distributed to farmers but added that the matter was mainly for the Cojuangco clan to decide.(PNA)

RMA/rudyma

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