AGRARIAN Secretary Rafael Mariano said on Friday that farmer-beneficiaries of Hacienda Luisita Inc. will stay as owners of lots under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.
He declared that ownership and control of farm lots awarded to farmer-beneficiaries inside the Hacienda Luisita stay with them as all form of contracts they had entered into, be they rent out, lease out and/or sales, among others, are considered void ab initio or void from the very beginning.
He issued the clarification in the wake of reports that any beneficiaries found to have sold, leased or rented out the farm lots awarded to them under CARP would be disqualified and stripped of their rights as beneficiaries.
“In the first place, no violation was ever committed since the act being imputed to was void ab initio or void from the very beginning, as if no offense had ever been committed,” he said.
He cited Section 70, paragraph 2 of the Republic Act 6657 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law stating “any sale or disposition of agricultural lands after the effectivity of this Act found contrary to the provisions hereof shall be null and void.
”Such, he said, is reinforced by the prohibitory acts under Section 73 (f) of the same law: “The sale, transfer or conveyance by a beneficiary of the right to use or any other usufructuary right over the land he acquired by virtue of being a beneficiary, in order to circumvent the provisions of this Act.”
He said his recent visit to Hacienda Luisita was only meant to stress the fact that the ownership and control over the farmlots awarded to each farmer stay with them as the various form of transferring and/or conveyance the rights over the said farmlots were illegal and, therefore, have no force and effect.