Vera Files’ reaction to Iggy Arroyo’s denial

VERA Files maintains that its story, “Iggy to use biofuels law to evade CARP,” written by Jessica Hermosa and Johanna Sisante, is factual and accurate.

The Biofuels Act of 2006 which Rep. Jose Ignacio Arroyo co-authored effectively creates a demand for ethanol. The construction of an ethanol plant on Hacienda Bacan was in line with its conversion from agricultural to industrial, DAR documents showed.


As stated in the story, “Reclassifying and converting Hacienda Bacan to agro-industrial land will exempt it from CARP distribution because R.A. 6657 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law only provides for the distribution of agricultural land not classified as…industrial land…” This was confirmed by agrarian reform lawyer and former DAR undersecretary Gil de los Reyes, whom the reporters consulted regarding CARP.

Hermosa and Sisante contacted Rep. Arroyo’s office several times regarding Hacienda Bacan through telephone, mobile phone, and e-mail from March 4 to March 17, 2008 to get the congressman’s side on the issue. The correspondence ended when Arroyo’s political affairs officer, Paolo Balmores, indicated through SMS that their chief-of-staff said that the reporters’ questions about Hacienda Bacan were not relevant to the house bill. Copies of these e-mails and text messages are still with the reporters.