On 21 November 1989, Hacienda Luisita, Inc (HLI) implemented the stock distribution option (SDO). The SDO was a special arrangement under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law where landlords could comply with the land reform law without giving land to farmers.
In 2005, the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council revoked the SDO of HLI rationalizing that it failed to improve the farm workers’ lives within the 16 years of its operation.
In a unanimous decision on 22 November 2011, the Supreme Court ordered the distribution of the land to 6,000 farmer-beneficiaries. And the contentious issue was the rate at which HLI will be compensated for the distributed land. On 24 April 2012, the SC ruled that HLI shall be compensated based on a 1989 valuation of the land of Php 40,000 per hectare, which was lower than what HLI wanted.
It was under the Arroyo administration that the SDO was revoked and it was Chief Justice Renato Corona who led the SC to vote to compensate HLI using the lower Php 40,000 per hectare fee.
In the impeachment of CJ Corona, PNoy used “the defense of the constitution and democracy” in justifying his administration’s actions. And most Filipinos gleefully cheered as each of the 20 Senators convicted CJ Corona.
We did not know then that it was all the machinations of a vindictive President, using the full resources of the government and the willing cooperation of the Liberal Party, collectively known as Daang Matuwid. Each Senator received 50M of taxpayers money to fuel, as Jesuit psychologist Fr. Jaime Bulatao diagnosed, PNoy’s evident obsession to punish all those who had done harm to his family.
During the Presidential campaign, PNoy again used these sacred words, “defense of the constitution and democracy”, not to punish all those who had done harm to his family, but to avoid punishment for him, his family and friends from potential jail time when his immunity is lifted. Jail time for the PDAF/DAP, for the massacre in Mamasapano. He knows that Gloria Arroyo was jailed for a much lesser crime.
During the same campaign, Duterte vowed to punish those who deserve to be punished and PNoy responded that we Filipinos should instead rally behind Mar Roxas, again “in defense of the constitution and democracy”, to defeat the “Duterte dictatorship”.
Now that PNoy’s worst nightmare came true, he is using the full resources of the Liberal Party to discredit the current administration. And he is relying on the same people who manipulated the thoughts of Filipinos against the perceived enemies of PNoy. You have the likes of Lacierda, Gutierrez, David, Diokno, Gascon, Rosales and of course, Trillanes and De Lima.
But instead of rallying behind Mar Roxas, the focal point of the Liberal Party’s revolution is centered on Leni Robredo. Her ascension to the highest position in the country is not to reinstate the powers of the oligarchs. They are too entrenched to worry about the next 5 years of a Duterte Presidency. Robredo’s ascension to power is to ensure that the “tradition” of Philippine presidents moving from Malacañan Palace to a prison cell is broken.