1 HLI v. PARC, 5 July 2011 (Full Text).docx - Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R No 171101 July 5 2011 HACIENDA LUISITA

1 HLI v. PARC, 5 July 2011 (Full Text).docx - Republic of...

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Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. 171101 July 5, 2011 HACIENDA LUISITA, INCORPORATED, Petitioner, LUISITA INDUSTRIAL PARK CORPORATION and RIZAL COMMERCIAL BANKING CORPORATION, Petitioners-in- Intervention, vs. PRESIDENTIAL AGRARIAN REFORM COUNCIL; SECRETARY NASSER PANGANDAMAN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM; ALYANSA NG MGA MANGGAGAWANG BUKID NG HACIENDA LUISITA, RENE GALANG, NOEL MALLARI, and JULIO SUNIGA1 and his SUPERVISORY GROUP OF THE HACIENDA LUISITA, INC. and WINDSOR ANDAYA, Respondents. D E C I S I O N VELASCO, JR., J.: "Land for the landless," a shibboleth the landed gentry doubtless has received with much misgiving, if not resistance, even if only the number of agrarian suits filed serves to be the norm. Through the years, this battle cry and root of discord continues to reflect the seemingly ceaseless discourse on, and great disparity in, the distribution of land among the people, "dramatizing the increasingly urgent demand of the dispossessed x x x for a plot of earth as their place in the sun." As administrations and political alignments change, policies advanced, and agrarian reform laws enacted, the latest being what is considered a comprehensive piece, the face of land reform varies and is masked in myriads of ways. The stated goal, however, remains the same: clear the way for the true freedom of the farmer. Land reform, or the broader term "agrarian reform," has been a government policy even before the Commonwealth era. In fact, at the onset of the American regime, initial steps toward land reform were already taken to address social unrest. Then, under the 1935 Constitution, specific provisions on social justice and expropriation of landed estates for distribution to tenants as a solution to land ownership and tenancy issues were incorporated. In 1955, the Land Reform Act (Republic Act No. [RA] 1400) was passed, setting in motion the expropriation of all tenanted estates.
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On August 8, 1963, the Agricultural Land Reform Code (RA 3844) was enacted, abolishing share tenancy and converting all instances of share tenancy into leasehold tenancy. RA 3844 created the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) to provide support in all phases of agrarian reform. As its major thrust, RA 3844 aimed to create a system of owner- cultivatorship in rice and corn, supposedly to be accomplished by expropriating lands in excess of 75 hectares for their eventual resale to tenants. The law, however, had this restricting feature: its operations were confined mainly to areas in Central Luzon, and its implementation at any level of intensity limited to the pilot project in Nueva Ecija. Subsequently, Congress passed the Code of Agrarian Reform (RA 6389) declaring the entire country a land reform area, and providing for the automatic conversion of tenancy to leasehold tenancy in all areas. From 75 hectares, the retention limit was cut down to seven hectares.
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