(Based on THE CONTINUING SAGA OF THE FARMWORKERS OF HACIENDA LUISITA by Atty. Jobert Ilarde‐Pahilga, executive director, Sentro Para sa Tunay na Repormang Agraryo (Sentra) and campaign officer of National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL)
1957 – Jose Cojuangco Sr., buys majority shares of the Central Azucarera de Tarlac (CAT), including the 6,453‐hectare Hacienda Luisita from the Spanish company Compania General de Tabacos de Filipinas (Tabacalera) through a loan from the Central Bank. The CAT and hacienda are transferred to Cojuangco’s
Tarlac Development Corporation (TADECO), an agricultural corporation.
May 7, 1980 – Marcos government files a case against TADECO before the RTC of Manila for
specific performance to compel defendants TADECO, and the heirs of the late Jose Cojuangco, Sr. to turn over “Hacienda Luisita” to the Ministry of Agrarian Reform for the purpose of subdivision and sale at cost to “small farmers” or “tenants”.
December 2, 1985 – Manila RTC renders a decision that orders the Cojuangcos to transfer control of Hacienda Luisita to the Ministry of Agrarian Reform, which will distribute the land to small farmers after compensating the landowners P3.988 million
March 17, 1988 – the Cojuangcos elevate the case to the Court of Appeals which was docketed as CA G.R. 08634. The Solicitor General, CB governor and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) file a motion to dismiss the civil case against the Cojuangcos pending before the Court of Appeals on the ground that Hacienda Luisita would be covered by agrarian reform.
May 18, 1988 – Court dismisses the case against the Cojuangcos
May 9, 1989 – The landowners, along with then DAR Secretary Philip Juico, Tarlac governor and the mayors of Tarlac City, Concepcion, and La Paz, the three municipalities covering the hacienda, hold referendum among Luisita farm workers to present the SDO. Thereafter, Juico, Tadeco and HLI sign Memorandum of Agreement on the SDO.
May 11, 1989 – HLI is designated as the SECOND PARTY to which the TADECO has transferred and conveyed the agricultural portions of Hacienda Luisita and other farm‐related properties in exchange for shares of stock of the farm workers
September 1, 1995 – the Sangguniang Bayan ng Tarlac reclassifies 3,290 hectares of Hacienda Luisita from agricultural to commercial, industrial and residential purposes
August 14, 1996 – DAR approves the conversion of 500 hectares of the 3,290 hectares of reclassified Luisita land and has already been converted into the Luisita Industrial Park
September 28, 2003 – Elections for farm workers’ and supervisors’ representatives to the HLI Board of Directors only 15.26% of the shares voted thereof. Around 95% of the farm workers boycotted the elections as a protest to the SDO and because the four board seats were useless against seven management seats.
October 14, 2003 – the Supervisory Group of Hacienda Luisita, Inc. files petition before the DAR to revoke SDO, saying the HLI was not giving them dividends, their 1% share in gross sales and 33% share in the proceeds from the conversion of 500 hectares of land. They likewise cite other violations by the HLI of the MOA and that their lives have not improved contrary to the promise and the rationale for the adoption of the SDO.
October 7, 2003 – More than a thousand farm workers gather to protest the SDO, land‐use conversion, joblessness at the hacienda
December 4, 2003 – Around 80% of the 5,339 farm workers at the hacienda through their organization, AMBALA, file a petition to DAR to nullify and rescind the SDO and to stop land‐use conversion at the hacienda
October 1, 2004 – Illegal dismissal of 327 farm workers belonging to ULWU
November 6, 2004 – Members of the Central Azucarera de Tarlac Labor Union (CATLU) and members of the United Luisita Workers’ Union (ULWU) simultaneously stag a strike and block the mill’s Gate1 and Gate 2. The strike arose from the deadlock in the negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between CATLU and HLI (HLI).
November 16, 2004 – Violent dispersal of striking workers leave seven (7) dead, scores were injured. This has been known as the infamous Hacienda Luisita Massacre
November 22, 2004 – the DAR issues Special Order No. 789 which called for the strengthening of the Task Force Stock Distribution Option through the PARC Secretariat
November 25, 2004 – The DAR task force stock distribution, later renamed Task Force Luisita, convenes for the first time to discuss the petitions by Luisita supervisors and farm workers. Prior thereto, HLI filed with the DAR its answer to the petition/protest filed by the supervisory group.
March 15, 2005 – DAR deploys 10 teams to 10 barangays within the hacienda to conduct focus group discussions with 453 farmers concerning their understanding of SDO, the supposed benefits thereof, the home lots and other provisions of the agreement, their recommendations on the SDO, and to determine whether there is truth to the allegations of the farm workers that they have been pushed deeper into the quagmire of poverty by the SDO and MOA.
July 2005 – Task Force Luisita submits its report on findings and recommendations to DAR Secretary Nasser C. Pangandaman especially as regards the investigation conducted on March 15, 2005
August 2005 – Pangandaman creates a special legal team to review the legal issues in the task force’s report
September 23, 2005 – DAR special legal team submits its terminal report on the two petitions, recommending the revocation of the 16‐year‐old SDO agreement in Hacienda Luisita
December 23, 2005 – PARC issues Resolution No. 2005‐32‐01 which recalled/revoked the SDO plan of TADECO/HLI and placed the lands subject SDO plan under the compulsory coverage scheme of the CARP
January 3, 2006 – HLI files its motion for reconsideration of the said resolution
February 2006 – Despite the pendency of the Motion for Reconsideration it has filed, HLI files a petition for certiorari and prohibition against the PARC et al., before the Supreme Court
May 3, 2006 – PARC denies the motion for reconsideration of HLI
June 2006 – Supreme Court issues a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) which enjoins PARC and DAR to implement/execute the resolution revoking the SDO
July 2010 – Supreme Court sets case for oral arguments
August 3, 2010 – SC moves oral arguments to Aug. 18
August 6, 2010 – HLI and unauthorized representatives of AMBALA and ULWU sign compromise agreement
August 11, 2010 – HLI submits compromise agreement to Supreme Court for its approval