Palace defers to SolGen, DAR on Luisita case


Posted at Apr 24 2012 04:21 PM | Updated as of Apr 25 2012 12:21 AM

MANILA, Philippines - A Palace spokeswoman on Tuesday said Malacañang officials have yet to read the Supreme Court's ruling upholding its earlier decision to compensate the landowners of Hacienda Luisita based on the 1989 valuation instead of 2006 rates.

"We have not read the decision itself. We will defer to the Office of the Solicitor-General and the Department of Agrarian Reform on this," Deputy presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte said.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court upheld its unanimous ruling mandating land distribution for the sugar estate, which is owned by President Aquino's relatives.

Last November 22, 2011, the Supreme Court ordered the distribution of almost 5,000 hectares of Hacienda Luisita to 6,296 farmworker-beneficiaries.

The valuation based on 1989 rates would mean that relatives of President Aquino would be paid P40,000 per hectare or around P200 million instead of P1 million per hectare or P5 billion as petitioned by Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI). Report by Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News