Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI)
G.R. No. 171101
April 24, 2012
670 SCRA 392 (2012)
Before the Court are the Motion to Clarify and Reconsider Resolution of November 22, 2011 dated December 16, 2011 filed by petitioner Hacienda Luisita, Inc. (HLI) and the Motion for Reconsideration/Clarification dated December 9, 2011 filed by private respondents.
Hacienda Luisita Inc. maintains that the Notice of Coverage issued on January 2, 2006 may, at the very least, be considered as the date of "taking" as this was the only time that the agricultural lands of Hacienda Luisita were placed under compulsory acquisition in view of its failure to perform certain obligations under the SDP. January 2, 2006, was the date when the Notice of Coverage was issued by the DAR pursuant to PARC Resolution No. 2006-34-01 recalling/revoking the approval of the Stock Distribution Plan(DSP).
Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Hacienda Luisita (AMBALA) contends that if HLI or Tadeco is, at all, entitled to just compensation, the "taking" should be reckoned as of November 21, 1989, the date when the SDP was approved, and the amount of compensation should be PhP 40,000 per hectare as this was the same value declared in 1989 by Tadeco to ensure that the FWBs will not control the majority stockholdings in HLI.
Whether or not in determining the just compensation, the date of "taking" is November 21, 1989, when PARC approved HLI’s SDP [stock distribution plan] "in view of the fact that this is the time that the FWBS were considered to own and possess the agricultural lands in Hacienda Luisita"
We maintain that the date of "taking" is November 21, 1989, the date when PARC approved HLI’s SDP per PARC Resolution No. 89-12-2, in view of the fact that this is the time that the FWBs were considered to own and possess the agricultural lands in Hacienda Luisita. To be precise, these lands became subject of the agrarian reform coverage through the stock distribution scheme only upon the approval of the SDP, that is, November 21, 1989. Thus, such approval is akin to a notice of coverage ordinarily issued under compulsory acquisition.
In Land Bank of the Philippines v. Livioco, the Court held that "the ‘time of taking’ is the time when the landowner was deprived of the use and benefit of his property, such as when title is transferred to the Republic." It should be noted, however, that "taking" does not only take place upon the issuance of title either in the name of the Republic or the beneficiaries of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). "Taking" also occurs when agricultural lands are voluntarily offered by a landowner and approved by PARC for CARP coverage through the stock distribution scheme, as in the instant case. Thus, HLI’s submitting its SDP for approval is an acknowledgment on its part that the agricultural lands of Hacienda Luisita are covered by CARP. However, it was the PARC approval which should be considered as the effective date of "taking" as it was only during this time that the government officially confirmed the CARP coverage of these lands.