[In the news] Audit of Hacienda Luisita firm runs late -INQUIRER.net

Audit of Hacienda Luisita firm runs late
Philippine Daily Inquirer
May 20, 2013

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CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—A leader of a farmers’ group has accused the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) of sabotaging the audit ordered by the Supreme Court (SC) on the financial status of Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI) after the process was delayed by more than a year.

The high court had directed the DAR to determine whether HLI has P1.3 billion to pay the more than 6,000 beneficiaries of agrarian reform in the sugar estate owned by the family of President Aquino in Tarlac.

Lito Bais, chair of the Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura and one of those who made it to the final list of beneficiaries in March, said the DAR has been insisting that HLI is a party to the selection of the auditing firm.

“HLI was not even present in the May 17 meeting and in effect, the DAR became its spokesperson and defender,” Bais said in a statement. Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes said the agency has been following the high court’s directive.

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