DAR probes land anomalies in Luisita

on . Posted in DAR In The News
manila bulletinThe Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) said it has been monitoring and investigating alleged illegal lease and sale of Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program-awarded (CARP) lands in Hacienda Luisita, even before reports came out that a former official of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) has been leasing or renting out parcels of agricultural lands within the sugar estate in Tarlac.
“I already instructed our Regional and Provincial Office to investigate reported informal leasing in the Hacienda even before (former LTO chief) Ms. (Virginia) Torres made her public statement,” DAR Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes said.

DAR pointed out that the law prohibits the informal leasing of awarded lands.

“Under the law, the conveyance of rights to possess CARP distributed lands, such as leases, must be approved by the government before it can be undertaken,” DAR Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Luis Meinrado Pañgulayan explained.

He added that any leasing out of agricultural lands without the said approval is illegal. Erring beneficiaries may face penalties under Sections 73 and 74 of the CARP Law or Republic Act 6657.

“The unlawful leasing of land may also be a ground for the cancellation of the titles awarded to them,” Pañgulayan said.

He pointed out that they are also looking into possible penalties on the part of the lessees.

Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) acting chairperson John Milton Lozande said they believe that DAR has complete knowledge of Torres’s transactions in Hacienda Luisita.

“According to the victims, even local DAR lawyers and employees go out of their way to personally facilitate transactions and even the violent eviction of farmers and destruction of their food crops to make way for Torres’s sugarcane aryendo with the Cojuangco-Aquinos,” Lozande said.

Source: http://www.mb.com.ph/dar-probes-land-anomalies-in-luisita/#pFV1DUcdomk4O2u5.99