Friday, 30 March 2012 11:03
LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… and the truth shall make you free…” (Jesus Christ, our God and Savior, in John 8:32, the Holy Bible).
THE TRUTH ON LUISITA, BASED ON GOV’T DOCUMENTS: Henceforth, whenever anyone talks about distributing the lands comprising Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac, it is important---and mandatory even---to look into the basic documents that enabled a company owned by the Cojuangco Family to buy the estate in 1958. Any discussion about Luisita land distribution without looking into those documents is pure and simple propaganda.
By looking at the documents which the government itself, in 1958, imposed upon the Cojuangcos as a pre-requisite to the purchase of Hacienda Luisita, the truth about distributing the estate will come out and be readily understood. This should also unmask the real motive of those using the issue in their commentaries and public discourses.
Now what is the truth? The truth is that, under Resolution No. 3203, as amended by Resolution No. 356, Series of 1958, of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), the lands in Hacienda Luisita can be distributed only when there are tenants tilling the lands, when conditions exist requiring the distribution of the lands under the Land Tenure Act, and when the lands have been paid for.
GSIS INVOLVEMENT IN LUISITA ACQUISITION: Now, how did the GSIS get involved in the acquisition of Luisita by the Cojuangco family? Well, GSIS extended a loan to a company owned by the Cojuangcos to enable it to buy Luisita and, as a pre-requisite to the grant of the loan, it passed Resolution No. 3203, as amended by Resolution No. 356, Series of 1958.
What did these Resolutions provide? Here it is: “…That the lots comprising the Hacienda Luisita shall be subdivided by the applicant-corporation and sold at cost to the tenants, should there be any, and whenever conditions should exist warranting such action under the provisions of the Land Tenure Act.”
As I wrote here in a previous column, these Resolutions actually imposed three conditions before the lands of the Hacienda could be distributed to anyone---one, there must be tenants working on the lands, two, conditions must exist requiring the distribution of the lands, and three, the tenants must have paid for the lands.
COJUANGCOS FULLY PAID LUISITA LOANS: At present, there are concerns against the Cojuangcos being paid for the lands that will be distributed to qualified tenants, and the argument is that they should no longer be paid because they merely borrowed from the GSIS the money they used to buy the Hacienda in 1958, and that the government even guaranteed the payment of the loan in dollars.
But, as the Supreme Court itself noted in the case of “Hacienda Luisita Incorporated, etc. vs. Presidential Agrarian Reform Council, et. al.”, G.R. No. 17101, July 5, 2011, the Cojuangcos fully paid the loan extended to them, through their own money, generated by their management and operation of the Hacienda.
Likewise, as far as the dollar guarantee is concerned, it did not mean that the government would itself be paying any dollar for the Cojuangco loan. The guarantee was that the government would make sure it would convert the Cojuangco pesos into dollars, so the Cojuangcos could pay the loan, which they did, without the government shelling out even a single dollar. More of this next issue!
by Atty. Batas Mauricio
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