• ‘Government overpaid Cojuangcos for Luisita’


    A lawmaker has alleged that the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) overpaid the Conjuangco family for the acquisition of the Hacienda Luisita and called on Congress to investigate.

    Rep. Antonio Tinio of ACT Teachers party-list filed House Resolution 466 urging the House committee on good governance and public accountability to investigate what he alleged was the overpayment of more than P167 million to acquire Hacienda Luisita, the country’s biggest sugar plantation owned by President Be–nigno Aquino 3rd’s family.

    “Public funds have been used to further enrich the President’s kin,” Tinio claimed. “With the aid of compliant DAR and LandBank officials, the Cojuangcos might just get away with it.”

    According to the data from DAR and Land Bank, the government paid Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI) a total of P471 million. This was broken down into the P304-million actual cost of land and the P167-million interest.

    Tinio questioned the payment of the interest rate, noting that the P167.46 million represented the cash equivalent of matured 10-year LandBank bonds computed using the prevailing 91-day T-bill rates from 1989 to 1999.

    However, the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law allows the payment of 25 percent in cash and the remainder in 10-year LandBank bonds to landowners.

    “It appears that the DAR used this as a basis for computing the compensation they paid to the Cojuangcos,” he said. “Compensation should have been for the actual land value of P304 million only, since DAR will not be paying them over a ten-year period as contemplated in the law.”


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