[In the news] Supreme Court coco levy ruling ‘too late, too obscure’—Sen. Arroyo- INQUIRER.net

Supreme Court coco levy ruling ‘too late, too obscure’—Sen. Arroyo
By TJ Burgonio, Philippine Daily Inquirer
January 26, 2012

  The Supreme Court ruling that the government owned a portion of the multibillion-peso coconut levy funds collected from farmers during the Ferdinand Marcos regime was “too obscure,” “too late” and “too little,” Senator Joker Arroyo said yesterday.

Arroyo rued that the court ruling was unclear over how the coconut farmers, who had been forcibly levied taxes by the government under the Marcos dictatorship, could benefit from it.

“Where does the reduced 24 percent go?” he said of the block of shares in San Miguel Corp. (SMC) registered under the Coconut Industry Investment Fund (CIIF) and its holding companies, and held in trust by the government for coconut farmers. “To the government or to the farmers? That is the question.”

This was originally 27 percent but was reduced to 24 percent after it was diluted with the investment of Japanese brewer Kirin in SMC. The remaining 20 percent claimed by businessman Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco had earlier been ruled by the court as having been legally acquired by the uncle of President Benigno Aquino III.

Read full article @ newsinfo.inquirer.net

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