[In the news] New Solicitor General worries Hacienda Luisita farmers – INQUIRER.net
New Solicitor General worries Hacienda Luisita farmers
By Delfin T. Mallari Jr., Leila B. Salaverria, Inquirer Southern Luzon, Philippine Daily Inquirer
February 7, 2012
The changing of the guard at the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) should not lead to a change in its position to distribute Hacienda Luisita to land tillers, farmers and militant groups said Monday.
The groups expressed concern that the resignation of Solicitor General Jose Anselmo Cadiz could be linked to the land dispute.
Renato Reyes of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan noted that Cadiz resigned before the Supreme Court case on the sugar estate, which is owned by President Benigno Aquino III’s family, could become final.
“We are very concerned about the position of the replacement of SolGen Cadiz on the Luisita dispute still pending in the Supreme Court. Cadiz’s resignation comes at a critical juncture when the court sets to rule with finality on the case,” Reyes said.
The Supreme Court ordered in November last year the distribution of the Tarlac sugar estate to farmers under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law, ending years of heated debate over the fate of the land.
The hacienda management has filed a motion for reconsideration and clarification over the amount to be paid to the farmers and asked the court to give the farmers the option to remain as stockholders.
Before this decision was handed down, the OSG under Cadiz and Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes, had argued for the distribution of land and had contested the previous court ruling that allowed farmers to choose between getting shares of stocks or a redistribution of the estate
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) believes that the Cadiz’s resignation has something to do with the controversial case.
“We believe that Solicitor General Anselmo Cadiz’s resignation is closely linked to the continuing political maneuvers and arm-twisting being exerted by the President’s family involving the Hacienda Luisita agrarian dispute,” said Randall Echanis, the KMP deputy secretary general.
Both Reyes and Echanis were adamant that the position taken by Cadiz should stay.
“The new SolGen must not depart from the basic position already taken by the OSG,” Reyes said. “We will be closely watching the new SolGen should he take on a position favorable to Luisita.”
He added that there would be questions about whether the Hacienda Luisita case was a factor in the selection of Cadiz’s replacement.
Read full article @ newsinfo.inquirer.net