Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano on Thursday ordered the distribution of a 358.22-hectare property owned by Tarlac Development Corp. (TADECO) within the Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac City.Mariano signed a DARCO Resolution MS 1608-234 ordering the distribution of eight parcels of land in Barangay Cutcut and Balete.
The Agrarian Reform chief told reporters in a press conference that the 358-hectare TADECO property was covered by a notice of coverage issued by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in December 2013, which the company opposed on grounds that the parcels of land were not agricultural.
"In effect, the protest and supplemental protest filed by TADECO for lack of merit are denied and the said property is covered under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP)," Mariano said.
The Cabinet official also claimed the published notice of coverage involving the parcels of land owned by TADECO was valid.
He directed the DAR Provincial Office of Tarlac to immediately proceed and complete the land distribution in light of the provisions of Section 30 of Republic Act 9700.
The 2009 RA 9700 amended the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988 or Republic Act No. 6657.
According to Section 30, any case or proceeding involving the implementation of the provisions of RA 6657, as amended, which may remain pending on June 30, 2014 will be allowed to proceed and be executed even after such date.
"The DAR Regional Office III is directed to do all acts and things necessary, including but not limited to securing assistance from appropriate law enforcement officials, to ensure that land-owner protestant TADECO or any persons acting in its behalf comply with this order," Mariano noted.
The order also denies all ancillary motions filed by TADECO for lack of merit, the DAR chief said.
Mariano, however, clarified that the order is not yet final and executory as copies of the said resolution must be given to TADECO.
"Pag wala nang appeal at motion for reconsideration, that would mean final and executory na; we have to count 15 days from the receipt of the resolution," DAR Undersecretary for Field Operations Marcos Risonar noted.
"Because of the resolution of the Secretary we will now proceed to the listing of all farmer beneficiaries in the area. This will run for about 43 days and at the same time we already started with preliminary survey activities which will be for about 48 days," Risonar added.— VDS/BM, GMA News