Palace: Nothing wrong if Aquino helpers in Luisita list

Posted at 11/08/12 4:58 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang sees nothing wrong with the inclusion of the supposed helpers of the relatives of President Benigno Aquino III in the list of farm workers who will benefit from the distribution of Hacienda Luisita.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda did not confirm nor deny the allegations of leftist Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas that a preliminary list issued by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) included “horse stable and house helpers of President Aquino’s relatives.”

Citing Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes, Lacierda said “if in 1989, they were farm workers and subsequently became helpers, they will still qualify. Bottomline is: they should be farm workers in 1989.”
Nonetheless, Lacierda said the preliminary list is still open to questions from the public until November 30.

In an earlier press conference, Lacierda said: “The list that the Department of Agrarian Reform came out with is a preliminary list. It is still subject to change, number one. Just to give you a background, how they came up with the list is that they went through several processes. They had two interviews; and number two, they gathered some evidence.”

He said KMP should be able to provide evidence and exact details of their allegations.

“Siguro sabihin po sa atin ng KMP kung maibibigay nila ‘yung eksaktong pangalan po ‘nung taong ‘yon, ibigay po sa atin at iimbestigahin po ng DAR po ‘yon,” he said.

He added DAR is ready to take questions. “Handa po ang DAR. Puwede ho nilang tignan, that’s why nilabas po ‘yan. Ang listahan pong ‘yan ay inilabas sa publiko para siyasatin. And also, for transparency purposes, inilabas po ‘yung listahan na ‘yon.”