MANILA — President Corazon Aquino today signed a decree ordering redistribution of all agricultural land in the Philippines. But the watered-down executive order left it to the Philippine Congress to decide how much land estate owners can keep and how much money they will get for what they surrender.
The program would compensate landlords for property redistributed to millions of landless peasants.
Presidential spokesman Teodoro Benigno said the decree covers all public and private agricultural lands except those held by "cultural minorities." He said Aquino told members of her Cabinet to support the program or resign.
The decree represented a compromise between those who pressed for a detailed presidential decree limiting private holdings and those who maintained Congress should implement such a program. Congress convenes Monday.
Landlord associations throughout the country have opposed the plan as confiscatory and some have threatened to organize armed groups to prevent takeover of estates.