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220 farmers in Tarlac awarded 349 hectares of land

manila bulletin blue logoAt least 220 farmers have been awarded 349 hectares of land by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Tarlac last Tuesday.

Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano said 228 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) received 303 certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs) situated in the municipalities of Anao, Camiling, Moncada, San Jose, San Manuel, Tarlac and Victoria.

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DAR to press charges vs aryendadors

news reg 1 pix 1 may 1 2017The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) will press charges against politicians and individuals who act as aryendadors and have thus, violated the agrarian reform law.

This was the statement issued by Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael V. Mariano soon after he declared as null and void the buying and leasing of lands awarded to Hacienda Luisita farmers.

RA 6657, or known as the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law prohibits any sale or disposition of agricultural lands. 

According to Mariano, RA 6657 is clear on its prohibited acts, that awarded lands may not be sold, transferred, or or conveyed except through hereditary succession or to the government.

“The aryendo system must stop. Those ‘financiers’ or aryendadors who coerce, lure, and swindle land reform beneficiaries must be charged for obstruction of land reform in Hacienda Luisita,” said Mariano.

He added that “most farmworkers in Hacienda Luisita were forced by circumstances to give in to aryendadors because they did not get any support from past administrations—who covertly supported the resistance and manipulation of landowners.”

In March 7 to April 7, 2017, DAR conducted a month-long validation study covering some 5,031 agrarian reform beneficiaries from Hacienda Luisita.

The study revealed that about 2,841 ARBs or 45.73 percent leased, mortgaged or rented-out their CARP-awarded lands, while 617 or 9,87 percent have already sold their lots to other third party-buyers.

Some 187 ARBs or 3.01 percent were engaged in joint venture arrangements.

The study also revealed that the most common reason for leasing the awarded lands were financial difficulties and sickness in the family. 

A number of respondents said that they could not afford to cultivate the lots awarded to them because of the distance from their residences.

Mariano said that most of these ARBs admitted that the last time they saw their lots was during the installation in 2013.

“We know  of wide-ranging disenfranchisement of farm worker beneficiaries (FWBs) in Hacienda Luisita. FWBs who were also victimized by the rampant aryendo or illicit lease-back system utilized by ‘aryendadors’ must not be disqualified from land reform. They are victims of scheming opportunists who wish to subvert land reform in Hacienda Luisita,” said Mariano.

“We salute the determination and courage of Hacienda Luisita farmworkers. We must continue to work together to make genuine agrarian reform a reality,” Mariano concluded. 

#DAR4Farmers #Land4Farmers #PartnerForChange

Mariano declares null and void lands leased or sold by ARBs in Hacienda Luisita

news reg 1 pix 1 april 26 2017Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael V. Mariano declared null and void the selling and leasing out of lands awarded to Hacienda Luisita beneficiaries and threatened to throw the full force of the law against those that would defy his order.

“This is a decisive action (mapagpasyang hakbang) to defend and assert the rights of farmers to own and cultivate their awarded farmlots,” Mariano said.

This in effect placed the vast Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac under the full ownership and control anew of the farmer beneficiaries.

Mariano reminded aryendadors or “buyers” of the said lands of the Rights and Obligations of CLOA holders, such as the 10-year prohibitory period for the buying, leasing and selling of awarded lots.

The Department of Agrarian Reform Central Office (DARCO), Mariano bared, has just finished a month-long ARB validation study covering some 6,212 ARBs that have been awarded a total of 6,884 farm lots located in 10 barangays inside Hacienda Luisita.

“The study revealed that local politicians, utilizing an illicit leaseback system known as aryendo, have duped thousands of cash-strapped agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) of Hacienda Luisita into letting go of farm lots already awarded to them,” Mariano said.

The ARBs had received their Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) from the Department of Agrarian Reform.

But the study, conducted from March 6 to 24 and April 3 to 7, revealed that within the last three years, almost 4,000 ARBs or 83% out of a total of 5,212 Hacienda Luisita ARBs were not in possession of their awarded lands.

The study also showed that aryendadors gained possession of ARB-awarded Hacienda Luisita lands when farmer-beneficiaries faced financial difficulties owing to lack of funds for producing crops or when there was an illness in the family.

 Mariano lambasted local politicians for “preying on the weaknesses of agrarian reform beneficiaries in Hacienda Luisita.”

“The practice of aryendo is illegal and a willful and deliberate obstruction in the delivery of the agrarian reform program,” he stressed.

In an executive report submitted by the DAR Central Office (DARCO) Validation Team, Hacienda Luisita ARBs disclosed that investors in Hacienda Luisita, as well as influential personalities and local politicians are the aryendadors that have taken their awarded lands.

The DAR Central Office Validation team was led by Luisita Task Force Chairman and Undersecretary for Field Operations Marcos Risonar, Jr. and Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs Elmer Distor.

Field interviews and verifications made in the course of the study showed that some 2,841 ARBs have leased, mortgaged or rented out their lands.  Majority or around 2,000 of these farmers come from Barangays Mabilog, Pando, and Motrico.

Farmer beneficiaries in Barangay Pando admitted that their awarded lands were leased for P7,000 a year to a prominent political clan in Tarlac province.

Barangays Cutcut II and Motrico have the biggest number of lots sold.

More than 600 ARBs have sold their lots to third-party buyers, while almost 200 ARBs have been made to engage in joint-venture agreements.

Mariano noted that one barangay who has managed to escape the aryendo practice is Barangay Bantog, where some 117 out of 236 ARBs are still actual cultivators of their farm lots that are now devoted to vegetables, rice, and corn production.

“DAR recognizes the sacrifices and efforts of farmer-beneficiaries who remained in possession of their awarded lands. This is to honor and give justice  to the families of vistims of Hacienda Luisita massacre as the Cojuangco Aquino continue to maneuver to circumvent the SC decision.

We urged those who were forced to lease or sell their lots to hold their ground. DAR will help them fight the illegal practice of aryendo,” he said.

#DAR4Farmers #Land4Farmers #PartnerForChange

4K Luisita farmers duped by local politicians, DAR validation reveals

news reg 2 pix 1 april 25 2017Lots awarded to around 4,000 farmers of Hacienda Luisita have been leased or bought by local politicians or aryendadors within the past three years since the distribution of Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to farmworker-beneficiaries, data from the department show.

A total of 5,031 of all the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) validated in 10 barangays have been interviewed during the conduct of the three-week validation of the controversial Tarlac estate. Almost 4,000 or 83 percent of the ARBs were found out to be not in possession of their awarded lands.

Luisita Task Force Chairman and Undersecretary for Field Operations Marcos Risonar Jr. ordered an additional week from April 3 to 7 to have a concrete and conclusive picture of the actual state of ARBs in the hacienda. Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs Elmer Distor joined the team on the extended period to fast track the completion of the validation.

Based on the results of the field interviews and verifications, around 2,800 farmers have leased, mortgaged or rented out their lands while 600 have sold their lots to third-party buyers. In addition, almost 200 have been engaged in joint venture agreements.

DAR officials and employees conducted the investigation on the 6,212 ARBs of the sugar plantation from March 6 to 24 as per the directives of agrarian reform Secretary Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano. “We wanted to assess the condition of the awarded lands in Hacienda Luisita, the whereabouts of their awarded lands and in order to determine potential areas for acquisition and distribution by the department,” Mariano said.

According to the executive report submitted by the validation team, investors in Luisita including influential personalities and politicians were mentioned by ARBs as financiers or aryendadors of the awarded lands under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

Most of the interviewees mentioned illness in the family and lack of funds to support the agricultural production as reasons for the conveyance of the land. They were not aware of the Rights and Obligations of CLOA holders most importantly the ten-year prohibitory period for the leasing and selling of the awarded lots.

Barangays Mabilog, Pando and Motrico, with 2,000 farmers, have the biggest percentage of ARBs who rented out their lots. Majority of the beneficiaries in Barangay Pando admitted that their awarded lands were leased for seven thousand pesos yearly to a prominent political clan in Tarlac province. While Brgys. Cutcut ll and Mapalacsiao have the biggest number of lots sold, data showed.

Noticeably, 117 out of 236 ARBs in Barangay Bantog are found actual cultivators engaged in vegetables, rice and corn production.

“DAR recognizes the sacrifices and efforts of the farmers who remained in possession of their awarded lands. This is also to honor and give justice  to the families of victims of Hacienda Luisita massacre as the Cojuangco Aquino continue to maneuver to circumvent the SC decision.

“We enjoin those who were forced to rent out or sell their lots to hold ground in their awarded farms because the exacerbation of the aryendo system in Luisita is a deliberate obstruction of the delivery of agrarian reform,” Mariano said.

#DAR4Farmers #Land4Farmers #PartnerForChange


Region III News

manila bulletin blue logo
May 02, 2017 36

220 farmers in Tarlac awarded 349 hectares of land

At least 220 farmers have been awarded 349 hectares of land by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Tarlac last Tuesday.Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano said 228 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) received 303 certificates of land ownership… Read More..
news reg 1 pix 1 may 1 2017
May 01, 2017 44

DAR to press charges vs aryendadors

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) will press charges against politicians and individuals who act as aryendadors and have thus, violated the agrarian reform law.This was the statement issued by Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael V. Mariano soon after he… Read More..
news reg 1 pix 1 april 26 2017
Apr 26, 2017 53

Mariano declares null and void lands leased or sold by ARBs…

Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael V. Mariano declared null and void the selling and leasing out of lands awarded to Hacienda Luisita beneficiaries and threatened to throw the full force of the law against those that would defy his order.“This is a decisive… Read More..
news reg 2 pix 1 april 25 2017
Apr 25, 2017 40

4K Luisita farmers duped by local politicians, DAR…

Lots awarded to around 4,000 farmers of Hacienda Luisita have been leased or bought by local politicians or aryendadors within the past three years since the distribution of Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) by the Department of Agrarian Reform… Read More..