Duterte says exclusion of Hacienda Luisita to CARP "greatest aberration"
President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday the "greatest aberration" in the land reform in the Philippines was the exclusion of Hacienda Luisita by administration of late President Corazon Aquino.
Duterte said this during the 31st Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Anniversary celebration and distribution of Certificate of Land Ownership Award to beneficiaries in Luzon, including farmers from Hacienda Luisita in Central Luzon.
"I’d like to state very clearly that I have nothing against the Aquino family --- the two (former) presidents and also their family. I’d like to put it in record that for the first two Aquino presidents, our family in Davao supported them, because we believed in Corazon Aquino and I happen also to just --- the best that was available during at that time," he said.
Duterte was able to enter politics when Aquino appointed him as officer-in-charge vice mayor in Davao City shortly after the 1986 Edsa People Power revolution that catapulted her to power.
"But the greatest aberration, if I look back in time,...in land reform, was the Philippines was declared --- the whole of the country as a land reform program area. But... Luisita was excluded," he said.
He noted that many people died in fighting for the land.
"A lot of people died, invested blood just to realize until late today for the land, which they should own," he said.
During the event, Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones said that 87,000 hectares of land in Northern Luzon, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon and Mimaropa were distributed to more than 46,000 agrarian reform beneficiaries.
Of the total land distributed, he said 102 hectares were from Hacienda Luisita.
In the same speech, Duterte promised to earmark higher budget for the farmers during the last two years of his administration. Celerina Monte/DMS