Castriciones orders reversion of illegally allienated CLOAs to DAR

news national 3 pix 1 july 26 2018July 26, 2018, DAP, Tagaytay – Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary John Castriciones ordered the reversion of lands distributed to farmer beneficiaries by reasons of unlawful sale, transfer, mortgage, purchase or conveyance of Certificates of Land Ownership Award {CLOAs} acquired by farmer-beneficiaries through CARP.

The cases to be filed in the reversion to DAR of all lands acquired and transferred to unscrupulous buyers most of whom are businessmen, who have exploited the farmers’ ignorance and in dire need of finances.

He made the strong pronouncement yesterday at the DAR’s ongoing mid-year performance review and planning session at Development Academy of the Phils. (DAP) in Tagaytay City, following reports of the DAR regional offices that majority of member-beneficiaries of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organizations  {ARBOS} did not want to join farmer-organizations or could no longer be found in their awarded lands. Hence, most ARBO members are not CLOA holders.

DAR’s provision of support services is implemented by the Office of the Support Services and is coursed through ARBOs which according to data, are around 6,000 organizations nationwide.

“Our beneficiaries are the CLOA holders. If they are not the ones we are helping, we have no reason to exist,” he said.

He tasked “all Municipal Agrarian Reform Provincial Officers (MARPOs) to look for all CLOA holders even in far-flung barangays, visit them and if you see that they are not the ones tilling their lots or they are no longer cultivating their lands, file cases to get back those lands.”

“Let us show them that we mean business and we are serious in helping our farmers and farm workers. We cannot allow the situation to continue where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. We will file cases of reversion of CLOAs to DAR.”

As the lands are reverted to DAR and re-distributed to more responsible and deserving farmers, the buyers of the land lose their investments as they cannot have a recourse to the courts of law since they are aware of the 10-year prohibition for farmers to dispose of their awarded lands.news national 3 pix 2 july 26 2018

Under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law or RA 6657, DAR is mandated to help qualified agrarian reform beneficiaries, such as agricultural lessees and share tenants, regular farmworkers, seasonal farmworkers, other farmworkers, actual tillers or occupants of public lands, collectives or cooperatives of the above beneficiaries, and others directly working on the land.

Beneficiaries under Presidential Decree No. 27 who have culpably sold disposed of, or abandoned their land are disqualified to become beneficiaries under CARP. Under RA 6657, a CLOA beneficiary is prohibited to sell, transfer or convey the right to use or any usufructuary right over the land he acquired by virtue of being a beneficiary.

One basic qualification of a beneficiary shall be his willingness, aptitude, and ability to cultivate and make the land as productive as possible. The DAR is also mandated to adopt

A system of monitoring the record or record or performance of each beneficiary, so that any beneficiary guilty of negligence or misuse of the land or any support extended to him shall forfeit his right to continue as such beneficiary. The DAR shall submit periodic reports on the performance of the beneficiaries to the PARC.

“It’s foolishness to ever state that farmers or farm workers do not want to own land. There is no such reason for the slow distribution of land for this year. PAROs should follow up their MAROs. It means that MAROs are not working,” Castriciones added.

Lands acquired by beneficiaries may not be sold, transferred or conveyed except through hereditary succession, or to the government, or to LBP, or to other qualified beneficiaries for a period of ten {10} years.

On possible legal repercussions, the secretary said “he who comes to court must come with clean hands.” Thus, even if counter-suits are filed by violators, these cases will not prosper.

To date, DAR has already distributed 4.8 million hectares to 2.9 million CLOA holders. 

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