Pay Davao firms, Court tells Land Bank

Subscribe Now April 15, 2011 at 10:34am

The Supreme Court has sustained its 2010 ruling ordering Land Bank of the Philippines to pay two Davao-based fruit companies P1.33 billion to compensate them for the inclusion of their land in the land reform program. The Court rejected a second plea to reconsider its order from Land Bank and the Office of the Solicitor General.

The high court faulted Land Bank for a 12-year delay in compensating Apo Fruits Corp. and Hijo Plantation Inc. of Aquino supporter Jesus Ayala for the government’s expropriation of their properties.

Apo Fruits had offered 640 hectares, and Hijo Plantation 805 hectares, for the government’s land reform program in 1995.

“It is undisputed that the government took the petitioners’ lands on December 9, 1996[, but] the petitioners only received full payment... on May 9, 2008,” Associate Justice Arturo Brion said.

The P1.33-billion award includes 12 percent interest a year, and computed from the time the pieces of land were transferred to the government in 1996 and up to 2008, when Land Bank finally paid the principal.

Unless the parties agreed to a shorter period, the “payment shall be in monthly installments of P60 million until the whole amount owing, including interest on the outstanding balance, is fully paid,” the high court said.


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