January 30, 2009 04:58 PM Friday [ journal.com.ph ]
ALMOST 900 hectares of agricultural lands owned by the family of First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo have already been awarded to 1,037 agrarian reform beneficiaries, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) said yesterday.
DAR Secretary Nasser Pangandaman said only 411 hectares are left in the hands of the Arroyos.
Pangandaman said 190 hectares of the 230-hectare Hacienda Manolita in Bgy. Payao, Binalbagan town, where the Arroyos’ ancestral home still stands, were already distributed to the benefits of 120 former tenants of the Arroyos.
Other distributed Arroyo properties include the haciendas Namulo (87 hectares) and Pallacon (163 hectares), both in Bgy. Payao, the Hacienda Olimbo (85 hectares) in Bgy. Calapi, Hinigaran town, and the 367-hectare property in Bgy. Camang-camang, Isabela, DAR records showed.
Farmer-beneficiaries thanked the Arroyos for allowing the distribution of their properties to them, an indication of their having a big heart for their former tenants.
Melcon Du, 41, who acquired one-and-a-half hectares of farmland at the Hacienda Manolita, said that to finally own a piece of land enabled him and his family to be very hopeful about their future.