The HLI verdict and Gerry Bulatao
THE families and sympathizers of the more than 6,000 likely farmers-beneficiaries in the impending distribution of the Hacienda Luisita as recently decreed by the Supreme Court were understandably in a maze of a beyond-description jubilation right upon learning about the High Court’s verdict.
The downside of it all, however, is that at the moment, that long-nurtured victory is at the most phyrric. So much has to still be contended with: the (certain) motion for reconsideration to be mounted by HLI owners/stakeholders, the issue of who the actual farmers/workers beneficiaries ought to be (in view of the so many interested groups that have emerged for all those years that the case was pending in the High Court), the just compensation (to be determined by the DAR and the Land Bank of the Philippines) that has to be paid to the landowners, the assistance government is mandated to extend to the farmers (under the CARP Law) to make their farmland productive, to mention only a few.
Heartwarming, though is the President’s assurance that there is no other option really except to obey the Supreme Court verdict once it becomes final executory, and that the only matter to be ensured is the just compensation due the owners of the land.
It is, nonetheless, Rapidfire’s view that the presidential pronouncement has to be backed up by strong political will aimed at truly implementing the SC decision. This
means that there should be NO dilly-dallying on the part of the government agency/ies (i.e., DAR and LBP) primarily tasked to implement the same, even as each and every attempt in whatever form/guise aimed at derailing, delaying or sabotaging such implementation should never be permitted, and promptly nipped in the bud.
Three (3) gentlemen I know with impeccable credentials and unsullied integrity (DAR Secretary Gil Delos Reyes, DAR Undersecretary Tony Parungao and LBP Board of Director and my law classmate Gerry Bulatao) can, without doubt, implement such gargantuan task!
Phyrric or otherwise, our farmers won a decades-long struggle/battle. We owe them, therefore, our heartfelt salute and congratulations!
On a very personal note, I am sure classmate Gerry is celebrating this monumental victory of our Luisita farmers. My congratulations to you, classmate!
Oh, if they only have an idea how you devoted your life (nay, even risked it many times over) to almost anything that has to do with the farmers’/peasantry’s well-being.
In my book, you truly are a living hero, Mr. Gerry Bulatao, Esq.!