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PNoy uncle Peping Cojuangco: Corona 'campaigned' vs Hacienda Luisita


The president's uncle and former congressman Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco Jr., patriarch of the Cojuangco family that owns Hacienda Luisita, said he was informed that Chief Justice Renato Corona “campaigned” for the recent Supreme Court ruling unfavorable to his family regarding compensation for the sugar land ordered redistributed to farmers.   In an exclusive interview with GMA News’ Mariz Umali, Cojuangco also said Corona and not President Benigno Aquino III has an “axe to grind.”  Moreover, he said their family is not against total land distribution.   “We’ve already lost more than 6,000 hectares before. Did you hear us cry? Did you hear us complain?”   The former congressman also raised the plight of some 4,000 Hacienda Luisita farm workers, who he said are legitimate beneficiaries of land distribution, but were excluded.   Cojuangco said the exclusion of these 4,000 farm workers is most likely the doing of Chief Justice Corona "para makabawi siya kay Noynoy [President Aquino]." "Unfortunately, ginawa niyang personal eh," the former congressman said, referring to the chief justice. Corona, who is on trial by the Senate sitting as impeachment court, has maintained that the SC ruling affirming an earlier decision on the compensation for the distribution of Hacienda Luisita's land to farmers was in accord with social justice. On April 24, the SC upheld its November 2011 decision that just compensation should be pegged on the value of the estate in 1989, and not on a higher valuation based on 2006 prices sought by the Cojuangco family.   The high court's final and executory ruling did not encompass an actual price for the sugar estate, but activists supporting the farmers placed the 1989 value of the 4,335-hectare Hacienda Luisita at P173 million. — ELR/LBG/HS, GMA News
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