The New York Times on Wednesday said it is standing by its Hacienda Luisita story where it quoted a Cojuangco family member as saying that the clan will not let go of the 4,500-hectare plantation – a claim that runs contrary to the campaign promise of presidential aspirant Sen. Benigno “Noynoy" Aquino III (Liberal Party).

Carlos Conde, New York Times’ correspondent in the Philippines, made the statement after Aquino said in an interview that his cousin, Fernando Cojuangco, was possibly misquoted in the article.

On his Web site, Conde said the interview with Cojuangco, chief operating officer of the holding company that owns Hacienda Luisita and Central Azucarera de Tarlac, was recorded on tape and could be made available to the public.

“We stand by our March 16, 2010, story on Hacienda Luisita. Our interview with Mr. Fernando Cojuangco . . . was recorded. If Mr. Cojuangco wishes the tape to be released to the public, we will gladly do so," he said.

Fernando is the son of Aquino’s uncle, Pedro Cojuangco.

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