MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang denied reports that a prosecutor in the trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona would be appointed agrarian reform chief.
In a press conference, Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio delos Reyes still has the confidence of President Benigno Aquino III.
The leftist peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) claimed on Thursday there was strong pressure on Delos Reyes to resign since the Aquino administration is supposedly opposed to the distribution of Hacienda Luisita to farmer-beneficiaries.
"We believe there is strong pressure on Sec. De Los Reyes to resign. He is a collateral damage of the Aquino-Akbayan conspiracy to circumvent the Supreme Court decision on Hacienda Luisita," said KMP deputy secretary general Willy Marbella.
The KMP issued the statement in response to reports in some newspapers that Bag-ao would soon be replacing delos Reyes.
Bag-ao earlier served as DAR consultant. She was also a lawyer for the Sumilao farmers who marched from Bukidnon to Manila two years ago.
Bag-ao handled one of the articles of impeachment against Corona in his impeachment trial.
"The confidence of the President on Secretary delos Reyes remains steadfast," Lacierda said.
Some farmers and religious leaders have criticized delos Reyes for failing to implement land distribution programs.
Lacierda said Aquino "realizes the difficulties in the implementation of our agrarian reform program."