PNoy to DAR: Do what is right with Hacienda Luisita
Tarlac City (13 December) -- President Benigno Simeon Aquino III has asked Agriculture Secretary Virgilio Delos Reyes to simply follow the law and do what is right on the issue of Hacienda Luisita properties.
Delos Reyes said the Chief Executive is aware of the government's position on Hacienda Luisita which is to distribute it to farmers.
"I explained it to him and essentially his only instruction is to do what is proper under the law and to do what is right," he said.
Delos Reyes who recently led the launching of the Philippine Israel Center for Agricultural Training here expressed readiness to act on the government's position once the Supreme Court issues a final decision.
"We're waiting for the Supreme Court to make its decision on what will actually happen to the Luisita. The position of the government which is manifested to the Supreme Court by the Solicitor General and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is this should be distributed to the farmers," he stressed.
The DAR, he added, is "ready to implement when the court finally decides on this. The regional office of the DAR is preparing and is prepared for this, so we are hoping that the decision will come out soon. Depending on what the decision says then we are prepared to intervene."
The SC issued a temporary restraining order based on the petition filed by the Hacienda Luisita Inc. questioning PARC Resolution No. 2005-32 which upheld the DAR's order that revoked the stock distribution option pursued by the Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI) management.
Delos Reyes stressed that the Aquino administration is determined to uplift the lives of Filipino farmers, which goal pressed for the convergence in various of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Agriculture (DA) and local government units in implementing various agriculture-related programs.
Mayor Lorna Mae Vero, meanwhile, asked national agencies to effectively "download to farmers the technology" that would upgrade the agriculture sector.
Our farmers are team-players, they are always open to cost-sharing," the mayor said who appropriated at least 2,000 hectares of rain-fed land to technology being brought by the Philippine and Israeli governments for high value crops. (PNA thru PIA 3) [top]