LEGAZPI CITY (26 Nov. 2011) – President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III declined to comment on the latest Supreme Court ruling which called for the immediate distribution of the Cojuangco-Aquino owned Hacienda Luisita’s 4,335.24 hectares to 6,296 farmer-worker beneficiaries.
In a press conference held at the Bicol University yesterday, President Aquino said he has not read a copy of the decision. Asked further if the Cojuangco-Aquino clan would comply with the order, he said compliance with the order is not optional.
“Do I agree with the decision, honestly I haven’t read the decision,” he said. He explained decisions made by the Supreme Court have always been hot copy as what happened on former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s petition while they were in Bali, Indonesia.
“Ang masasabi ko lang sa larangan ng Agrarian Reform, ang hinahabol, dalawang bagay. Number one i-empower mo yung magsasaka so magkaroon siya ng kanyang sasakahin at okay po ang parteng iyon,” he said.
“May ikalawang parte pa rin po ang agrarian reform, huwag nating ubusin ang kapital ibig sabihin, mayroong just compensation para naman yung dating nag-aari ng lupa ay hindi mo inagawan ng ari-arian at binayaran mo ng tama at yung kanyang kapital ay naibalik sa kanya at mapuhunan sa ibang mga industriya at makakatulong sa pagdagdag sa industriya sa ating bansa,” he further explained.
He said he hopes the two objectives would be achieved without any special favor to any of the two sectors.
President Aquino said he is not competent to say anything on the Supreme Court decision and added that there were more important pressing matters before him.
He said one has got to through the details of the decision because “even lawyers say the use of a comma or a semicolon may alter the true sense.”
The president said he cannot comment on what he has not seen yet because it may be misconstrued as something irresponsible.
Asked if he sees regularity in the timing of the release of the Supreme Court decision on the Hacienda Luisita case, President Aquino said he will adhere to the presumption of regularity at this point and time unless he is showed something that would prove otherwise. (Melo M. Acuna)