DAR to oversee orderly installation of farmers in controversial San Isidro Farm in Davao del Norte

news national 1 pix 1 april 17 2017Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano has directed Region XI agrarian reform officials to oversee the peaceful installation of members of the Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association (Marbai) in awarded lands in Tagum, Davao del Norte.

Mariano specifically directed the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) region XI director and the Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer to conduct a pre-installation conference to facilitate the installation of Marbai members in the awarded hectare in San Isidro Farm within the Lapanday Foods Corporation (LFC).

In a memorandum dated April 11, 2017, Mariano ordered Regional Director Joseph Orilla and Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Jocelyn Sena to convene the pre-installation team composed of the Sheriff, DAR regional office XI, the provincial director of the Davao del Norte Provincial Police Office, and Representative/s  of the Commission on Human Rights.

“You are directed to facilitate the meeting of the above-mentioned members to finalize the conduct of the installation,” Mariano stated in the memorandum.

Mariano said the order is in response to the “continued defiance of the LFC and all of its officers, employees or persons acting for and in its behalf, to the cease and desist (CDO) issued by DAR on December 14, 2016.

“If not restraint, such defiance, will surely impede and frustrate the mandate of the DAR to protect the rights and welfare of agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) to own directly or collectively the lands they till or to receive their just share in the case of farmworkers,” Mariano said.

DAR region XI officials had previously confirmed and validated complaints made by Marbai ARBs who said they were forcibly ejected by LFC from the lands already awarded to them.

DAR, for its part, issued a CDO to restore and maintain peace and order in the area and to prevent further damage to property and bodily harm, injury or even loss of lives among Marbai ARBs. 

Mely Yu, chairperson of Marbai, filed a petition before the DAR for an “extremely urgent request for intervention” which was treated as a petition for installation of ARBs amid the recent attacks and harassments suffered by Marbai members.

Mariano explained that considering that the area claimed by Marbai members is an awarded land under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), the ARB/s have the right to take possession of the land covered by his/her/their titles from the time the same is awarded to them through a registered CLOA.

“In cases where the taking of possession of the awarded lands by the ARBs would endanger or imperil their lives, as in the present situation, the DAR shall assume the responsibility for their installation to the awarded property by way of a writ of installation, pursuant to Section 109 of Administrative Order (A.O.) 07-11,” Mariano said. 

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