Wednesday, 27 February 2013 22:25
The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) described today as “baseless” and “unfounded” allegations that it is railroading the processes related to the Supreme Court’s decision on the Hacienda Luisita case.
The DAR has been transparent in all aspects, even conducting consultations with all parties involved in the Hacienda Luisita case, including the process of selecting the accounting firm to conduct the special purpose audit on the Hacienda Luisita, Inc. (HLI) and Centenary Holdings, Inc.
The fact that all parties are being consulted to agree on both the criteria for the selection of and the terms of reference for the work to be rendered by the accounting firm show that no railroading is taking place.
The agreement for all parties to approve both the criteria and the terms of reference was arrived at during the last meeting attended by representatives of the parties on 25 January 2013, as shown by the minutes taken of the proceedings.
All the groups present during the consultation meeting were even assured that they will be consulted every step of the way, and that their participation will be guaranteed.
While the positions taken by AMBALA during the consultation meetings will be duly considered in the finalization of the process, the DAR is duty-bound to get the consensus of the other parties as required by the Supreme Court decision.
The transcripts of the meetings will show agreement on the following points:
In the event of a disagreement between the parties on the issues surrounding the audit, and the same cannot be reconciled or resolved despite best efforts, it is but logical to refer the matter to the Supreme Court, which exercises continuing jurisdiction over the execution of its final and executory decision.
The audit work on the proceeds of P1.3 Billion, along with the finalization of the master list, the surveying of the landholding, and the distribution of farm lots to the beneficiaries, among others, are clear directives of or are part of the dispositive portion of the SC. These directives of the Supreme Court cannot be disregarded.
This is the reason why the "motion" to disqualify an accounting firm will have to be resolved by all the parties themselves initially, and in case this is not possible, resort will have to be made to the Supreme Court. If the DAR were to act unilaterally on this issue, it might contradict the Supreme Court order.
The Final Master List posted today in Hacienda Luisita was drawn using as bases the HLI List containing 6,296 names, repeatedly mentioned in the Supreme Court Decision, the MOA List (referred to by Ambala and also mentioned by the Supreme Court in its Decision), as well as other documents with evidentiary value, such as, but not limited to, SSS records.
In arriving at the final master list, the DAR was guided solely by the existence of substantial evidence.
According to the DAR, the segregation of non-CARPable areas such as roads, canals, and the like is in full compliance with the SC's Decision.
It was stressed by the agrarian reform agency that the fact that the directive of the SC provides that the selection of the auditing firm must be approved by the parties means that the process cannot be railroaded by anyone, including the DAR. As such, it made an assurance that the meeting of all parties in the Hacienda Luisita case regarding the auditing process scheduled on February 28 will push through in order for the parties to start discussing the selection criteria for the auditing fir
Department of Agrarian Reform Elliptical Road, Diliman Quezon City, Philippines Tel: (632) 928-7031 to 39
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