Hacienda Luisita done distributing sale shares to farmers – SC

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) said that Hacienda Luisita has fully complied with the Court’s 2011 order to distribute sale shares to 6,296 farmworker beneficiaries.

An audit panel from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) informed the SC that there are no more unspent balances from the sale of some of Luisita’s lots which were covered by the agrarian reform program.

Luisita had sold to private and government entities lots which were supposed to be under agrarian reform. In July 2011, the Supreme Court ordered Luisita to share with the farmworker beneficiaries proceeds from the sale. (READ: Hacienda Luisita: The struggle continues)

The lots were sold for P1.3 billion. The Court ordered the DAR to get accounting firms to determine how much of the proceeds were legitimately used for corporate purposes.

The remainder shall be distributed to 6,296 farmworker beneficiaries. 

“To sum up, all three members of the audit panel have determined that the legitimate corporate expenses of Hacienda Luisita Inc for the years 1998 up to 2011, coupled with the taxes and expenses related to the sale of the 3% share already distributed to the Farmworker Benbeficiaries, far exceeded the proceeds of the sale of the adverted 580.51-hectare lot,” the SC said. (READ: 12 years on, still no justice for Hacienda Luisita massacre victims)

The sales included P500 million from Luisita Realty Inc for a 1996 conversion order; P750 million  received by Hacienda Luisita's subsidiary, Centennary Holdings Inc, from the Luisita Industrial Park Corporation; and P80.5 million from the Bases Conversion Development Authority for the sale of a lot used to build the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway or SCTEX.

The DAR's audit panel tapped the services of firms Ocampo, Mendoza, Leong and Lim (OMLL) and Navarro Amper & Co. (Deloitte), and certified public accountant Carissa May Pay-Penson. 

In 2017, farmers broke the walls surrounding a lot, claiming it should be part of the distribution plan. Hacienda Luisita turned over the land to Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) as payment for a P431.7-million loan obligation.

RCBC claimed the property should be exempted from the distribution plans. Rappler.com