MANILA- The exemption of Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac was the only “fly in the ointment” in the agrarian reform program of the late president Cory Aquino, President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday.
Duterte said the exemption ruined the implementation of Aquino's land reform program.
“The law says that there will be land reform, although Cory in-exempt niya ang lupa niya. Yun, that was the fly in the ointment, 'yun ang nagka-leche noon," he said in a speech during the decommissioning of arms and forces of former communist rebels in Jamindan, Capiz.
The estate belongs to Corazon Aquino's side of the family, the Cojuangcos.
In August, the President also slammed the exemption of the Cojuangco family's vast sugar plantation from the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law.
He called the act the "greatest aberration."
The Supreme Court in 2011 ordered the distribution of some 4,915 hectares of Hacienda Luisita, one of the largest pieces of privately-owned land in Luzon, to some 6,296 beneficiaries.
In July last year, the high court released a resolution saying Hacienda Luisita had "fully complied" with its order to distribute unused funds from the P1.33-billion sale of over 500 hectares of its land.