DAR chief to install Davao farmers next week

news national 2 pix 1 may 12 2017Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano is determined to install next week the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) of the Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Inc. (Marbai) who were forcibly evicted by the Lapanday Food Corp. (LFC) in Tagum, Davao del Norte.

Mariano made the move after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte ordered the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to proceed with the reinstallation of farmer-beneficiaries to the 145-hectare banana plantation controlled by agribusiness firm Lapanday Foods Corp during his visit at the farmers’ campout in Mendiola on May 9.

For his trip next week, Mariano requested the office of the President to issue a directive to government agencies namely the departments of police, justice, public attorneys’ office, human rights, anti-poverty commission, social welfare, agriculture, the interior local government and the governor of Davao del Norte to assist the DAR in the implementation of the Writ of Installation.

Mariano earlier attempted to install the 159 farmer-beneficiaries, twice, on April 18 and 21, but was opposed by LFC owners with the help of their armed goons and the failure of the Region XI local police to come up with operational plan to execute the writ the of installation. 

“I will be in Tagum again next week to fight for the ARBs’ rights to be on their awarded land. I will personally join them with the support of representatives from various government agencies to install the farmers to the land that is rightfully theirs,” Mariano said. 

Taking cue from Pres. Duterte’s pronouncement (during a dialogue with 200 displaced Mindanao farmers at the Mendiola Peace Arch), Mariano said “I will not be deterred by the RTC order. It is actually the LFC who defied our cease and desist order so they could eject the Marbai farmers.” 

“Only the Supreme Court can overrule the writ of installation I have issued. Until then, I will not stop until the farmers reclaim control of the land that is legally theirs,” Mariano said. 

CDO is based on the quasi-judicial powers of the DAR secretary. Any person who ignores or violates the CDO is guilty of contempt.

“Such defiance, would surely obstruct and frustrate the directive of the DAR to protect the rights and welfare of farmers to own directly or collectively the lands they till or to receive their just share in the case of farmworkers,” Mariano said. 

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