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DAR asserts jurisdiction over disputed Tagum farm

news reg 1 pix 1 april 19 2017Agrarian reform Secretary Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano affirmed the Department of Agrarian Reform’s (DAR) jurisdiction over the controversial San Isidro (SANID) farm area in Tagum City after local police refused to assist DAR in the installation of farmers yesterday due to technicalities invoked by agribusiness firm Lapanday Foods Corp. on the said landholding.

Representatives of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Region 11 cited their lack of operational plan to assist with the installation and sought clarification from the Davao Regional Trial Court Branch 14 as to whether the Writ of Installation issued by DAR subdues the Writ of Execution issued by the court in November 2016.

Lapanday has stated to continue managing the SANID farm pursuant to the final and executory decision by the court and has argued that DAR’s installation order is null and void.

Mariano, however, stressed the agency’s quasi-judicial powers to adjudicate agrarian reform issues and determine matters involving the implementation of agrarian laws based on the authority vested to DAR as stated in Section 50 of Republic Act No. 6657.

The DAR Secretary likewise urged the Davao del Norte Provincial Police Office to uphold the agency’s decision to distribute the 145-hectare banana plantation to 159 members of the Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association, Inc. (MARBAI) since they each own a 0.79-hectare portion of the plantation after receiving a Certificate of Land Ownership Award back in 1996 under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

“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.

The writ of installation was issued as a response to a petition filed last Dec. 9 by Mely Yu, chairperson of MARBAI, 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 last year.

Lapanday reportedly employed 800 armed security guards yesterday to frustrate the installation and allegedly installed ‘booby traps’ along the fences according to numerous eyewitnesses’ accounts.

According to Mariano, the Provincial Agrarian Reform Office (PARO) shall coordinate installation activities that would necessitate the provision of police and/or military forces for assistance as per the existing guidelines stated in a memorandum of agreement executed by DAR, the Department of Interior and Local Government, and the Department of National Defense.

DAR has postponed the installation of agrarian reform beneficiaries in Barangay Madaum to April 21 and ordered the local police to ensure that the security agency employed by Lapanday would not interfere with the department’s rescheduled installation.

#DAR4Farmers #Land4Farmers #PartnerForChange


Lack of police assistance stalls farmers’ installation in Tagum

news reg 3 pix 1 april 18 2017TAGUM CITY, April 18 – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has postponed the installation of agrarian reform beneficiaries in Barangay Madaum to April 21 after local police in Davao del Norte refused to mobilize its forces for the said activity.

Agribusiness firm Lapanday Foods Corp., who is currently in control of the San Isidro (SANID) farm area, reportedly deployed 800 armed security guards to barricade the banana plantation and allegedly installed ‘booby traps’ along the fences according to eyewitnesses.

Agrarian reform chief Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano was initially scheduled to install 159 members of the Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association, Inc. (MARBAI) to the 145-hectare land but had to postpone to ensure the safety and security of the agrarian reform beneficiaries.

“We will not bow down to this act of aggression by big landlord-oligarchs against our bid to implement genuine agrarian reform. We will ensure that the farmer-beneficiaries will be installed to their rightful lands safely,” Mariano said.

In a press conference held this afternoon, the DAR Secretary explained that the local police invoked technicalities and cited the lack of operational plan for the installation despite meeting with local DAR officials for a pre-installation conference last April 17.

Mariano arrived in Tagum early this morning and met with Davao del Norte Governor Anthony Del Rosario for the “peaceful installation” of MARBAI members. He also talked to Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa to seek help for additional security measures.

The 145-hectare land that was previously awarded under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program in 1996 was successfully turned over by DAR to MARBAI farmers last Dec. 19. However, they were reportedly dispossessed of their farms at the end of 2016 when around 300 security guards forced them out of the landholdings.

Lapanday, in addition, stated that it does not recognize DAR’s jurisdiction over the banana plantation and argued that Mariano’s writ of installation is null and void. The agribusiness firm also applied for a temporary restraining order and a writ of preliminary injunction before the Court of Appeals to undermine the Cease and Desist Order issued by Mariano but the court denied the application.

DAR has ordered the police to ensure that the security agency employed by Lapanday would not interfere with the department’s rescheduled installation. Last January, Mariano warned Lapanday of contempt and additional criminal and administrative cases if the banana farmers in Tagum City are not reinstated to their lands immediately.

#DAR4Farmers #Land4Farmers #PartnerForChange

Bato orders PNP to assist in farmers’ installation as DAR, Mariano face ‘defiant’ Lapanday

news reg 2 pix  1 april 18 2017TAGUM CITY, April 18 – Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, has ordered PNP Davao del Norte to assist in opening the barricaded San Isidro (SANID) farm area after agrarian reform chief Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano sought police assistance for today’s installation of beneficiaries in the said landholding.

Lapanday Foods Corp., through its lawyers, sent a letter to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) stating that it does not recognize its jurisdiction over the banana plantation and argued that Mariano’s installation order is null and void.

The agribusiness firm reportedly employed around 700 armed men to secure the 145-hectare banana plantation and installed ‘booby traps’ near the fence according to eyewitnesses’ accounts.

Thousands of farmers and agricultural workers from the Southern Mindanao region have gathered near the SANID plantation in Madaum, Tagum City to join the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) and DAR as they reclaim the Lapanday farm today.

Reports also show that hundreds of members of peasant organization Bagkus Salug from San Fernando, Bukidnon were blocked by elements of PNP in Kapalong, Davao del Norte as they were traveling to the encampment site to support the installation of farmer beneficiaries.

DAR is set to reinstall 159 farmers belonging to the Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association, Inc. (MARBAI) who were evicted by the agribusiness firm in 2011. Mariano arrived in Tagum earlier this morning and met with Davao del Norte Governor Anthony Del Rosario for the “peaceful installation” of MARBAI members.

In a memorandum dated April 11, the DAR Secretary directed Region XII Director Joseph Orilla and Davao del Norte Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer (PARPO) Jocelyn Sena to conduct a pre-installation meeting with the Provincial Police Office and the Commission on Human Rights. The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the PNP have committed to deploy 200 men to enforce the writ of installation issued by Mariano.

The order is in response to the “continued defiance of [Lapanday] and all of its officers, employees or persons acting for and in its behalf, to the cease and desist order (CDO) issued by DAR on December 14, 2016,” according to the agrarian reform chief.

DAR issued a CDO prohibiting the agribusiness firm from forcibly evicting members of MARBAI from the banana plantation amid the series of attacks on the farmers’ encampment by alleged personnel of Lapanday.

“If not restraint, such defiance, will surely impede and frustrate the mandate of DAR to protect the rights and welfare of agrarian reform beneficiaries to own directly or collectively the lands they till or to receive their just share in the case of farmworkers,” Mariano said.news reg 2 pix 2 april 18 2017

The 145-hectare land that was previously awarded under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program in 1996 was successfully turned over by DAR to MARBAI farmers last Dec. 19. However, they were reportedly dispossessed of their farms 12 days after when around 300 security guards forced them out of the landholdings.

Lapanday also applied for a temporary restraining order and a writ of preliminary injunction before the Court of Appeals to undermine the CDO issued by DAR but the court denied the application last Jan. 6.

Mariano affirmed the agency’s quasi-judicial powers to adjudicate agrarian reform issues and determine matters involving the implementation of agrarian laws based on the authority vested to DAR as stated in Section 50 of Republic Act No. 6657 and Section 17, Chapter 4 of Executive Order 220.

#DAR4Farmers #Land4Farmers #PartnerForChange

Mariano deputizes Davao del Norte PNP chief to assist in installing MARBAI farmers

news reg 1 pix 1 april 18 2017Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Rafael “Ka Paeng” V. Mariano today gave orders to DAR officers in Region XI “to secure police and/or military assistance in ensuring the peaceful, orderly and effective installation of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) that have claimed lands awarded to them in Tagum, Davao del Norte.”

Mariano specifically commanded the Sheriff of DAR Regional Office No. XI, the Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer of DAR Provincial Office-Davao Del Norte, and the Provincial Director of Davao Del Norte Police Office  to proceed with the installation of Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association, Inc. (MARBAI) members in the 145-hectare San Isidro (Sanid) Farm.

The DAR had earlier issued a writ of installation allowing members of the Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association, Inc. (MARBAI) to claim lands awarded to them in the 145-hectare San Isidro (SANID) farm area.

"The Provincial Director of Davao del Norte Police Office is deputized to assist DAR in the enforcement and implementation of the writ of installation,” Mariano said.

The San Isidro Farm is inside the lands operated by the Lapanday Foods Corporation (LFC). 

Mariano said the area claimed by the members of MARBAI is an awarded land under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). 

As such, MARBAI members—being agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs)— have the right to possession, pursuant to Section 108 of DAR Administrative Order (AO) no. 7, Series of 2011.

Section 108 states that: “As owner/s of awarded lands under CARP, the ARB/s shall take possession of the land covered by his/her/their titles from the time the same is awarded to them through a registered CLOA.”

Mariano added, however, that MARBAI chairperson Mely Yu petitioned the DAR on December 9, 2016 for an “extremely urgent request for intervention” because “LFC officers, employees or persons have subjected MARBAI members to forced eviction, harrassment, and attacks.”

DAR Secretary Rafael Mariano issued a cease and desist order (CDO) to LFC last December 14, 2016, following the tension between Lapanday and MARBAI members which led to the shooting of 10 farmers by LFC security personnel.

“The LFC has been impeding and frustrating the mandate of the DAR under Section 4, Article XIII of the 1987 Constitution,” Mariano said.

He stressed that under Section 4, “the State shall, by law, undertake an agrarian reform program founded on the rights of farmers and regular farmworkers, who are landless, to own directly or collectively the lands they till or, in case of other farmworkers, to receive a just share of the fruits thereof. To this end, the State shall encourage and undertake the just distribution of all agricultural lands, subject to such priorities and reasonable retention limits as the Congress may prescribe, taking into account ecological, developmental, or equity considerations, and subject to the payment of just compensation. In determining retention limit, the State shall respect the rights of small landowners. The State shall further provide incentives for voluntary land-sharing.”

 Mariano added that Section 4 also states that the State (in this case, the DAR), shall not be bound by technical rules of procedure and evidence but shall proceed to hear and decide all cases, disputes or controversies in a most expeditious manner, employing all reasonable means to ascertain the facts of every case in accordance to justice and equity and the merits of the case. Toward this end, it shall adopt a uniform rule of procedure to achieve a just, expeditious, and inexpensive determination of every action or proceeding before it.”

The DAR Secretary further said that in cases where the taking of possession of awarded lands would imperil or endanger the lives of the ARBs, as in the situation faced by MARBAI members, “the DAR shall assume responsibility for the installation of ARBs.”

To this effect, Mariano cited the Writ of Installation or Section 109 of AO 07-11 which states that, “in case of taking possession of awarded lands by ARBs would imperil or endanger their lives, the DAR shall assume responsibility for the installation of the ARBs on the subject land with the assistance of the police or military until they are settled and in constructive and physical control of the property.”

He added that under the amended provisions of Section 50 of Republic Act (RA) no. 6657 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL), “DAR is vested with primary jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters and shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over all matters involving the implementation of agrarian reform.”

“The Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer (PARO)  may issue a Writ of Installation directing the Sheriff of the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD) or the Regional Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (RARAD) who has jurisdiction over the landholding, alone or with the assistance of the police or military, to conduct all necessary lawful acts to physically install the ARBs on the subject landholding,” he explained.

Mariano further said that “in case the installation activities would necessitate of the provision of police and/or military forces to assist the Sheriff, the PARO shall coordinate the said activities with the Department of National Defense-Armed Forces of the Philippines (DND-AFP) and the Department of Interior and Local Government-Philippine National Police (DILG-PNP), pursuant to the existing guidelines per Memorandum of Agreement executed by the DAR, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Department of National Defense (DND).”

#DAR4Farmers #Land4Farmers #PartnerForChange

Region XI News

news reg 1 pix 1 april 19 2017
April 19, 2017 20

DAR asserts jurisdiction over disputed Tagum farm

Agrarian reform Secretary Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano affirmed the Department of Agrarian Reform’s (DAR) jurisdiction over the controversial San Isidro (SANID) farm area in Tagum City after local police refused to assist DAR in the installation of farmers… Read More..
news reg 3 pix 1 april 18 2017
Apr 18, 2017 14

Lack of police assistance stalls farmers’ installation in…

TAGUM CITY, April 18 – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has postponed the installation of agrarian reform beneficiaries in Barangay Madaum to April 21 after local police in Davao del Norte refused to mobilize its forces for the said… Read More..
news reg 2 pix  1 april 18 2017
Apr 18, 2017 18

Bato orders PNP to assist in farmers’ installation as DAR,…

TAGUM CITY, April 18 – Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, has ordered PNP Davao del Norte to assist in opening the barricaded San Isidro (SANID) farm area after agrarian reform chief Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano sought police… Read More..
news reg 1 pix 1 april 18 2017
Apr 18, 2017 25

Mariano deputizes Davao del Norte PNP chief to assist in…

Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Rafael “Ka Paeng” V. Mariano today gave orders to DAR officers in Region XI “to secure police and/or military assistance in ensuring the peaceful, orderly and effective installation of Agrarian Reform… Read More..

Region 11 Calendar of Activities