SC: 1989 valuation to be used for Luisita


Posted at Apr 24 2012 01:55 PM | Updated as of Apr 25 2012 12:20 AM

MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) - The Supreme Court on Tuesday voted 8-6 upholding its earlier decision to compensate the landowners of Hacienda Luisita based on the 1989 valuation instead of 2006 rates.

Chief Justice Renato Corona led the voting for the SC majority.

The 7 other SC justices who voted with Corona are: Presbitero Velasco Jr., Arturo Brion, Teresita Leonardo de Castro, Roberto Abad, Jose Perez, Jose Mendoza, and Martin Villarama Jr.

The 6 justices who voted that an agrarian court determine compensation are: Lucas Bersamin, Maria Lourdes Sereno, Estela Perlas Bernabe, Bienvenido Reyes, Mariano Del Castillo, Diosdado Peralta.

Justice Antonio Carpio inhibited.

The Supreme Court also 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).

There were originally 10 magistrates who voted to compensate HLI based on the 1989 valuation. In the  full court session today in Baguio, Associate Justices Mariano del Castillo and Diosdado Peralta changed decisions.

The majority insisted, however, that the rightful valuation is the 1989 rate.

SC spokesman Midas Marquez told this was the year that the sugar estate was reckoned to be disbursed under the stock distribution plan.

“[1989] effectively nawala sa Cojuangcos ang [Luisita],” he said.

President Aquino divested his shares in HLI when he assumed the presidency in June 30, 2010. -- with a report from Ira Pedrasa,