Welcome to DAR Region XI



500 farmers appeal for land distribution in North Cotabato

news reg 1 pix 1 jan. 14 2017The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Undersecretary for Field Operations Office Marcos D. Risonar Jr. with Undersecretary for Foreign Assisted and Special Project Office Sylvia F. Mallari and local government officials recently convened the 500 farmers from North Cotabato in a consultative dialogue in Davao City.

The dialogue delved on immediate distribution of the University of Southern Mindanao (USM) and Cotabato Foundation College of Science and Technology (CFCST) reservation land  in Arakan, North Cotabato, that they have been cultivating pursuant to the provisions of RA 6657 or Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law as amended by RA 9700.

Risonar said the group appealed for the coverage and distribution of a reserved area of 5,018.3697 hectares of University of Southern Mindanao, which have not been actually, directly, and exclusively used to be necessary for the purpose for which the proclamation was issued.

The 2,110 potential farmer beneficiaries are actual occupant of the area from the group of Mailuminado Farmers Association Inc. (MAFAI), Arakan Progressive Peasant Organization (APPO), Tinanan Kulamanon Lumadnong Panaghiusa (TIKULPA), Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP-Cotabato) and Apo Sandawa Lumadnong Panaghiusa sa Cotabato (ASLPC) in Arakan, North Cotabato.

Under Executive Order No. 407, series of 1990, as amended by  Executive Order 448, series of 1991, the DAR, in coordination with the government agency or instrumentality concerned in whose favor the reservation was established, is empowered to determine whether such land or portion thereof, which have been reserved by PD.  428, are suitable for agriculture and are no longer actually, directly and exclusively used or necessary for the purposes for which they have been reserved.

The DAR is also mandated to segregate such portion, and the government agency, or instrumentality to transfer the same to the DAR, for distribution to qualified beneficiaries under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).news reg 1 pix 2 jan. 14 2017

Risonar said DAR North Cotabato still stand to its approach to resolve the problem through close coordination and collaboration with involved institutions CFCST, Commission of Higher Education (CHED), Department of Environment of Natural Resources (DENR) and local government units (LGUs) as per mandate of E.O 407 as amended by E.O.448 and further amended by E.O. No. 506.

He added that the Deed of Transfer must be executed immediately so that the documentation and processes can be started right away.

Present during the negotiation are CHED Commissioner of Ronald Adamat, Hon. Jesus Sacdalan, 1ST District of Cotabato Representative, Hon. Nancy Cotamco, 2nd District of Cotabato Representative, Thadeus Tularan (representative of Acting Cotabato Governor Sherlyn Macasarte), Vice Mayor of Arakan Hon. Jennifer Anorma Pangilinan, Regional Director Nasser M. Musali, Director III Marion Y. Abella, Office of the DAR Secretary Joebert Pahilga, DAR Assistant Director for BLAD Joey Sumatra and DAR Officials of Region 12.

To settle the issues, a joint board meeting was scheduled on February 9, 2017 with Board of Regents of the USM and Board of Trustees of CFCST where the key officials from the DAR, CFCST, CHED, DENR and LGUs are enjoined to attend to give support to the farmers.

news reg 1 pix 3 jan. 14 2017Cecilio Carmelo, 62 years old, Chairman of Mailuminado Farmers Association, Inc. (MAFAI) said that most of the present actual occupants are generation of original tillers who had been in the area even before the creation of CFCST in 1963.

“We are the rightful owners of the land,” Carmelo said.

Photo 1: Before the negotiation, DAR Undersecretary for Field Operations Office Marcos D. Risonar Jr. with DAR 12 RD Nasser M. Musali and the group of farmers in front of the DAR Regional Office XI, Davao City.

Photo 2: Undersecretary for Foreign Assisted and Special Project Office Sylvia F. Mallari with a group of farmers consisting of at least 500 individuals, who have staged a protest in front of the DAR Regional Office XI, Davao City.

Photo 3: During the negotiation, from the right, CHED Commissioner of Ronald Adamat,  Hon. Nancy Cotamco, 2nd District of Cotabato Representative, USEC Risonar, Thadeus Tularan (representative of Acting Cotabato Governor Sherlyn Macasarte), DAR USEC Sylvia Mallari, PARPO Marion Abella and Regional Director Nasser M. Musali.

Sec. Mariano Issues Cease and Desist Order vs Lapanday

news reg 1 pix 1 dec. 15 2016TAGUM CITY, Dec. 15 – Amid the wave of attacks on the farmers’ encampment in Brgy. Madaum this week, agrarian reform chief Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano has issued a Cease and Desist Order prohibiting the Lapanday Foods Corp. (LFC) and its security guards from forcibly evicting the members of the Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association, Inc. (MARBAI) from the banana plantation.

MARBAI President Mely Yu, through a letter dated December 13, requested the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to intervene in their case as several of their members have been injured due to the series of assaults perpetrated by the alleged security guards of the LFC. 

At least three people were wounded and several others, including women, were held hostage by suspected goons of the LFC on December 14, the latest in the round of attacks that has hit the MARBAI farmers’ encampment.

Last Dec. 12, seven victims have been injured after a gunfire attack by security guards of the LFC struck the farmers’ campsite. The DAR has then ordered the Regional Office of Region XI and the Provincial Agrarian Reform Office of Davao Del Norte to probe the said attack.

Section 46 of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Administrative Order (A.O.) No. 7, Series of 2014 states that a cease and desist order is issued “at any time prior to either the finality of the order of the Secretary or the perfection of an appeal, in cases where any party may suffer grave or irreparable damage.”

Secretary Mariano urged Regional Director John Maruhom and Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Jocelyn Seno to secure police or military assistance to ensure that there will be no disturbance in the peaceful possession and occupation of the farmers in the 145-hectare banana plantation.

The DAR also directed its local officials to coordinate with the Philippine National Police to file cases against the suspects of the reported assaults.

Probing the conglomerate

Lapanday is a multibillion export company of tropical products such as bananas and pineapples. Former Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Luis “Cito” Lorenzo, who was allegedly involved in the P728 million fertilizer fund scam in 2004, is one of the corporation’s owners. He escaped investigation in 2005 when he left the country before a Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on the mismanagement of funds during the presidential campaign of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

However, Lorenzo has been recently cleared of the accusation with a 24-page decision of the Sandiganbayan stating that “there is no probable cause to hold the accused liable for the crime of plunder.” 

Peasant organizations have long hit Lorenzo’s family as they have also assumed proprietorship of the Central Azucarera de Tarlac (CAT) through a landmark agreement with the Cojuanco in 2015. The CAT operates inside the highly disputed Hacienda Luisita where hundreds of farmers have been victims of exploitation and suffering.news reg 1 pix 2 dec. 15 2016

Awaiting installation

Despite a final and executory December 15, 2015 decision ordered by Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD) Jose Nilo Tillano in favor of the MARBAI farmers, they were not installed to the 145-hectare banana plantation.

In his visit last October, Secretary Mariano assured the farmers who were already in a camp-out at the gate of the LFC compound that the DAR would push for their peaceful installment into their landholdings. However, their safety and security were compromised due to the recent incidents.

MARBAI farmers have been staging a camp-in protest at the banana plantation after successfully reclaiming the land last Dec. 9, six years after the LFC ousted them out. They are farmer beneficiaries who were given a collective Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) in 1996 under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). Each of the 159 farmers owns a 0.79-hectare piece of the banana plantation. 

According to Yu, they were forced to enter a Banana Sales and Marketing Agreement with the LFC who buys their products for export. She added that they were tricked into selling high-grade bananas which were poorly classified for a lower price, thus resulting to a measly Php2,000 monthly income. The agreement has caused the farmer beneficiaries to accumulate a debt of almost Php1 billion to the LFC. 

MARBAI Finance Head Artemio Serot said the farmers are on high alert as threats to their lives and livelihood remain. Thousands of farmworkers and members of peasant organizations have joined the MARBAI farmers’ camp to support their fight for land ownership.


DAR Orders Prosecution of Tagum Attackers

news reg 5 pix 1 dec. 14 2016TAGUM CITY, Dec. 14 – At least three people were wounded and several others, including women, were held hostage by alleged goons of the Lapanday Foods Corp. (LFC), the latest in a wave of terror attacks that hit the Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association, Inc. (MARBAI) farmers’ encampment.

Agrarian reform chief Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano urged the local officials of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to coordinate with the Philippine National Police of Davao Del Norte to file cases against the suspects of the reported assaults.

Tagum Mayor Allan Rellon, through the chief of police, has already dispatched the city’s policemen to ease the tension in the area. He has also called for a meeting between the Lapanday and MARBAI for the speedy resolution of the conflict.

Officials of the DAR have been meeting with the MARBAI farmers for their installation to the 145-hectare banana plantation as ordered by Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD) Jose Nilo Tillano in his December 15, 2015 decision, a pronouncement that has long been final and executory. 

In his visit last October, Sec. Mariano assured the farmers who were already in a camp-out at the gate of the LFC compound that the DAR would push for their peaceful installment into their landholdings. However, their safety and security were compromised due to the recent incidents.

Last Dec. 12, seven victims were injured after a gunfire attack by suspected guards of the LFC struck the farmers’ campsite. The DAR has then ordered the Regional Office of Region XI and the Provincial Agrarian Reform Office of Davao Del Norte to probe the said attack.news regfl 5 pix 2 dec. 14 2016

MARBAI farmers have been staging a camp-in protest at the banana plantation after successfully reclaiming the land last Dec. 9, six years after the LFC ousted them out. They are farmer beneficiaries who were given a collective Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) in 1996 under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). Each of the 159 farmers owns a 0.79-hectare piece of the banana plantation. 

According to Mely Yu, president of MARBAI, they were forced to enter a Banana Sales and Marketing Agreement with the LFC who buys their products for export. They were tricked into selling high-grade bananas which were poorly classified for a lower price, thus resulting to a measly Php2,000 monthly income, she added. The agreement has caused the farmer beneficiaries to accumulate a debt of almost Php1 billion to the LFC. 

MARBAI Finance Head Artemio Serot said that the farmers remain on high alert despite the release of those who were held captive earlier as threats to their lives and livelihood persist. Thousands of farmworkers and members of peasant organizations have joined the MARBAI farmers’ camp to support their fight for land ownership.

DAR Orders Investigation and Prosecution of Perpetrators involved in the Shooting of Seven Farmers In a Campsite

news reg 1 pix 1 dec. 13 2016TAGUM CITY, Dec. 12 – Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano has ordered the Regional Office of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Region XI, and the Provincial Agrarian Reform Office of Davao Del Norte to probe the reported gunfire attack by security guards of the Lapanday Foods Corporation (LFC) at the farmers’ encampment in Brgy. Madaum, Tagum City. He also instructed local DAR officials to coordinate with the Philippine National Police of Davao del Norte for the possible filing of cases against the suspects of the shooting incident.

Six victims, including a 16-year-old minor, were taken to the Davao Regional Medical Center after sustaining gunshot wounds at around 7:45 a.m. Another one suffered a minor injury and did not seek hospital treatment. In addition, several accounts claimed that an airborne craft was seen spraying pesticide at the campsite immediately after the reported incident.

Farmers of the Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association, Inc. (MARBAI) have been staging a camp-in protest at the LFC compound after successfully reclaiming the contested land last Dec. 9, six years after the LFC evicted them out.

Almost 2,000 farmworkers and members of peasant organizations have joined the farmers’ camp in Brgy. Madaum to support the fight of the MARBAI farmers.news reg 1 pix 2 dec. 13 2016

MARBAI members are farmer beneficiaries who were given Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) in 1996 under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). Each of the 159 farmers owns a 0.79-hectare piece of the 145-hectare banana plantation. 

news reg 1 pix 3 dec. 13 2016According to Mely Yu, president of MARBAI, they were forced to enter a Banana Sales and Marketing Agreement with the LFC who buys their products for export. They were tricked into selling high-grade bananas which were poorly classified for a lower price, thus resulting to a measly Php 2,000 monthly income, she added. Because of the agreement, the farmer beneficiaries became indebted to LFC for more or less a billion pesos (P1,000,000,000.00).

The DAR has been meeting with the farmers for their installation to the 145-hectare land as ordered by Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD) Jose Nilo Tillano in his December 15, 2015 decision, which has long been final and executory. 

In October of this year, when the farmer-beneficiaries were already in a camp-out in front of the gate of the LFC compound, Secretary Mariano himself visited the farmers and had a dialogue with them assuring them that the DAR is studying the matter carefully and wanted to install them peacefully into their landholdings without compromising their safety and security.

Unfortunately, this incident happened.

Region XI News

news reg 1 pix 1 jan. 14 2017
January 14, 2017 10

500 farmers appeal for land distribution in North Cotabato

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Undersecretary for Field Operations Office Marcos D. Risonar Jr. with Undersecretary for Foreign Assisted and Special Project Office Sylvia F. Mallari and local government officials recently convened the 500 farmers… Read More..
news reg 1 pix 1 dec. 15 2016
Dec 15, 2016 65

Sec. Mariano Issues Cease and Desist Order vs Lapanday

TAGUM CITY, Dec. 15 – Amid the wave of attacks on the farmers’ encampment in Brgy. Madaum this week, agrarian reform chief Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano has issued a Cease and Desist Order prohibiting the Lapanday Foods Corp. (LFC) and its security guards from… Read More..
news reg 5 pix 1 dec. 14 2016
Dec 14, 2016 47

DAR Orders Prosecution of Tagum Attackers

TAGUM CITY, Dec. 14 – At least three people were wounded and several others, including women, were held hostage by alleged goons of the Lapanday Foods Corp. (LFC), the latest in a wave of terror attacks that hit the Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries… Read More..
news reg 1 pix 1 dec. 13 2016
Dec 13, 2016 54

DAR Orders Investigation and Prosecution of Perpetrators…

TAGUM CITY, Dec. 12 – Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano has ordered the Regional Office of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Region XI, and the Provincial Agrarian Reform Office of Davao Del Norte to probe the reported gunfire attack… Read More..

Region 11 Calendar of Activities