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Ang: SMC settled with Sumilao farmers

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Joel Guinto

MANILA, Philippines — Food and beverage conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) would have sued what it claimed were “fake” agrarian reform beneficiaries from Sumilao, Bukidnon had President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo not intervened in the case.

In a briefing for Arroyo at SMC headquarters in Mandaluyong City on Wednesday, SMC president Ramon Ang said the company had complied with its settlement agreement with the Sumilao farmers.

Under the settlement reached in March last year, SMC agreed to donate 50 hectares of a contested 144-hectare property in Sumilao, which the company will develop into a hog farm.

The remaining 94-hectare portion of the contested area was taken from a nearby SMC property, Ang said.

“Kung di dahil sa Presidente, yung mga fake farmers idi-dimenda po namin yun [If not for the President, we would have sued those fake farmers],” Ang said, eliciting chuckles from the audience, composed mostly of SMC employees.

“Sinabi natin na dahil fake farmers yung mga yan, di natin sana bibigyan ng trabaho. Sige na, puwede na kayo magtrabaho para makinabang lahat. [We said before that we would not give jobs to these fake farmers. But we gave in, so that everyone could benefit],” he said.

The Catholic Church took up the cudgels for the Sumilao farmers, who marched from Bukidnon to Malacañang in late 2007 to press their claim to the 144-hectare estate.

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Written by joelguinto

WedUTC2009-02-18T14:05:04+00:00UTC02bUTCWed, 18 Feb 2009 14:05:04 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 pm02

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