Complainants on DAR's preliminary list of beneficiaries of Hda. Luisita have until Nov. 30 to file petition

November 8, 2012 11:12 pm 

By Lilybeth G. Ison

MANILA, Nov. 8 — Malacanang said on Thursday the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has set Nov. 30 as the deadline for the filing of petition by whoever has complaint on the preliminary list of farmer beneficiaries of the Hacienda Luisita property.

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda, in a press briefing, said the list that the DAR came out with was just a "preliminary" list.

"It is still subject to change; so hindi pa po tapos ‘yung listahan na ‘yon," he said.

"(DAR) Secretary Gil de los Reyes mentioned that they have until Nov. 30 to file a petition if they want to include or exclude anyone from that particular list," he added.

On Oct. 31, the DAR issued a preliminary list of 5,365 farm workers who will receive parcels of land from Hacienda Luisita under the agrarian reform program of the government.

Another set of 1,221 farm workers, on the other hand, was placed under a provisional list due to deficiencies in documentary evidence to prove the validity of their claim.

It can be recalled that when the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) took effect in 1988, Hacienda Luisita has offered the stock distribution option to own shares of stock instead of land to the farmers, which sparked a long court battle.

Last May, the Supreme Court upheld with finality a Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) decision in 2005 to scrap the stock distribution option and order the distribution of some 4,915 hectares of Hacienda Luisita to 6,296 farm workers.

Since then, the DAR has sought to verify two lists of farm workers who are supposed to receive land based on that decision.

Lacierda explained how the DAR came up with the list.

First, he said farm workers of the contested landholding underwent two interviews to prove that they are the legitimate beneficiaries of Hacienda Luisita, aside from the Social Security system (SSS) and also the voters' list of the Stock Distribution Option of 1989.

"You must remember that the Supreme Court decision mentioned that the farmer beneficiaries should be based in 1989. So only those who were there in 1989 would be the beneficiaries," he stressed.

Lacierda said the case folder of each applicant on the preliminary list is open for public scrutiny, of which a copy of the entire folder referring to any particular person can be given by the DAR.

He said if there are complaints on the preliminary list, they should approach the DAR so it can conduct investigation on the matter.

"Handa po ang DAR. Puwede ho nilang tingnan, that’s why nilabas po ‘yan. Ang listahan pong ‘yan ay inilabas sa publiko para siyasatin. And also, for transparency purposes, inilabas po ‘yung listahan na ‘yon," he said.

The DAR expects to release its final list of Hacienda Luisita beneficiaries by the first quarter of 2013, following an "inclusion-exclusion process." (PNA)



Comments are closed.