Duterte: Cory declared land reform for the entire Philippines but exempted Hacienda Luisita, her own land.

Former President Cory Aquino photo from Philstar (ctto)

President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday evening lambasted former President Cory Aquino for declaring agrarian reform in the Philippines but exempting Hacienda Luisita, owned by the Cojuancos, her family estate, from land distribution.

This chief executive raised an argument on Friday night as he tried to recall a huge contradiction in Aquino, the democracy icon who imposed the comprehensive agrarian reform program and yet spared Hacienda Luisita, a day after her 10th death anniversary.

“Cory Aquino may be popular, she is popular today. Why? For losing the husband at the hands of Mr. Marcos,” he added.

“Aquino declared land reform for the entire Philippines but exempted [Hacienda] Luisita. Her own land,” the President said during the Mindanao-wide ceremonial distribution of land certificates to agrarian reform beneficiaries in Davao City.

“When she said, I would like to declare land reform in all of the Philippines, hindi niya sinali ang sa kanya. She exempted her own. So you call her, the one who freed, emancipated. It’s incongruity, si Cory,” Duterte added.

However, the President recognized though that many Filipinos were grateful for Aquino’s contribution to regaining the country’s democracy after the Marcos regime.  

“To the many, to those who really wanted to be freed from Marcos, that’s another feeling, maybe of gratitude,” Duterte said.

The comprehensive agrarian reform law was signed by Aquino in 1988. The law aimed to grant landless farmers and farm workers ownership of around 7.8 million hectares of agricultural lands.

In 2012, the Supreme Court ordered the distribution of  Hacienda Luisita’s 4,915-hectare agricultural lands to the original 6,296 beneficiaries.

Last year, the court ruled the Cojuangco-owned estate had already complied with its order to distribute unused funds from the land sale proceeds.

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) committed to continue to distribute portions of the Luisita estate to farmers.

Source: Politiko

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