by Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Rafael Mariano maintained that farmer-beneficiaries who sold or rented out their lots in Hacienda Luisita get to keep their rights over the farmlands awarded to them.
Mariano issued the clarification yesterday after concerns were raised over reports that farmers who were given lands under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) would be disqualified and stripped of their rights as beneficiaries if they were found to have sold or leased the lands awarded to them.
He said their ownership over the lands stay as the contracts they had entered into, be it lease or sale, were already considered void.
It can be recalled that the DAR Chief nullified all forms of deals involving holders of certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs) last April after finding out in a recent study that about 4,000 of the 5,212 Hacienda Luisita beneficiaries have already sold, leased or subjected their lands into agreements.