HAU, the Game Changer

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Sunday, August 31, 2014


PORAC residents who have been caught in the divisive issue concerning the Hacienda Dolores conflict may now be swayed to side in favor of the claimant-owners of the 1,125-hectare estate.

Poracquenos led by their municipal officials can see the bright prospects in future development and progress of their community with the plan to establish a mix-use township project at the hacienda, reported ex-oficio BM and senior Municipal Councilor Michael Tapang.

Providing credibility and public support to the “Alviera”, the proposed land development venture of the Ayala-Leonio partnership is the Holy Angel University, Central Luzon’s largest high educational institution. The HAU will establish its 10-hectare campus at Alviera within seven years, according to a joint announcement.

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A university at the township enterprise will become the instant and effective magnet to the Dolores estate. Porac residents and officials find the HAU’s unprecedented expansion to their town as the best answer and argument to the roiling agrarian conflict at the blood-stained hacienda.

Residents, however, question the length of time- 7 years - before the HAU can make its off-campus extension a reality. They cited the INC’s monumental Philippine Arena project that took only less than three years to build.

Are the Ayalas and Lenios using the HAU off-campus school as a gimmick to attract people’s support and favourable perception of their Alviera project? This query was raised by concerned Porac officials who cited past history. During its inception in the late 60’s, the promotional gimmick of Trinidad Village, a Pag-IBIG-assisted housing project in Angeles City was to put up billboards that La Salle University will build an extension school in that area. With that brilliant marketing strategy, lots at the said subdivision sold like the proverbial hot cakes. I am sure it will not be the case in Porac with HAU as partner provider of the Ayala-Leonio group.

Like the schools that generated massive public patronage to Delfin Lee’s housing projects, the HAU will give a tremendous boost to the Alviera.

The Nepomuceno family has done their Ayala friends an immense favor. While the land conflict at the Hacienda Dolores has already been tainted by blood and violence, the issue of social justice strongly beats in the hearts of Poracquenos. Their passion for the higher education for their children will hold their prejudice and soften resistance to the partner-developers.

The residents have justified their sympathy and support to the displaced farmers by the right of effective occupation. The local alliance of “magbubukid” insists that land disputes anywhere are governed by the law of effectivities.

Suddenly, with the promised entry of a fine educational institution to the town, most residents including the farmer-litigants in Dolores have a tendency to subsume fundamental claims to ancestral lands to the higher imperatives of education for their children. Definitely the HAU factor will soften populace resistance and bias against the titled owners of the vast estate.

Judicial judgment, being a failure by its prolonged delay, cannot now be enjoyed by the farmer-claimants. To prove its validity as a game-changer in the hacienda debate, the HAU should not take up to the year 202l to put up their school at Alviera.

In local land issues affecting rights of displaced families and the dispossessed it has been an age-old wisdom to defer to the political agencies such as the Office of the Governor to interpret tradition, unwritten laws, and unsecured rights.

The legal and political questions arising at the Hacienda Dolores now take a new color in HAU’s commitment in that violence-prone community. The school’s promised presence may influence and redefine the peace and order climate in the troubled land.

By their record in sacrosanct family tradition, the Nepomucenos had always taken the right side of history by heeding to James Howell advice that “an acre of performance is worth the whole world of promise.”

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on September 01, 2014.

Opinion

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